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Kabob anyone? Local chef’s grilling goes mobile

May 23, 2013
By MEL TOADVINE (mtoadvine@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

How about a "shish kabob" coming at you, all ready to eat, juicy and hot, and for three bucks?

A Lehigh Acres entrepreneurial chef has just the right idea: he's built his own mobile way to deliver the food to you or you can find him on some weekends at the Lehigh Flea Market.

But a lot of people have noticed him of late riding around town on a contraption like a bike pulling a grille.

Article Photos

MEL TOADVINE
Chef Raul Gallow holds to hot shish kabobs, just off the grille.

And that's pretty much what it is for Raul Gallow of Delaware Ave. He's 51, single, with children and grandchildren and after he left his last job as a master chef due to the poor economy, rather than sit home and watch TV, he came up with the idea of building his own motor-operated grille.

"People call me 'Chef," as I ride around town selling them "pinch kabobs" or "shish kabobs" if they flag me down, I get off the road and raise the lid of the grille and pull out whatever they want. Could be pork, beef or chicken, all grilled up with the best flavors anywhere. Hey, you can't get this much meat for three bucks," he said.

Gallow is originally from Cuba, but that's been many years ago.

In the U.S. he has studied culinary arts to become a master chef and has worked at a couple places locally that many have heard of, including Marias in Lehigh and Havana Cafe, also in Lehigh.

"When the economy went bad, I had to decide what to do and it is difficult to get a job now as a chef, but it will change but for the present time, I'm the barbecue man on wheels."

"I can barbecue up shish kabobs with the best flavors. I use charcoal and woods, mainly hickory and oak. My repeat customers tell me they love them," he said.

Chef Raul starts grilling in the morning at his home in central Lehigh. He puts on his clear plastic gloves, begins to cut up his meat that he has prepared the night before and has refrigerated. Carefully, he uses a big knife to cut the meat into nice sized chunks to glide down the shish kabob skewer. Along the way, he adds such things as cut-up onions, "to give it flavor that is already good."

He does all the work himself and come to enjoy it, he says, because he has made lots of friends, who see him at the flea market or coming down his street, much like the ice cream truck and children.

"I do okay and it pays my bills," he said. "When times improve, he will be back looking for a top chef job, one that fits his experience and school training.

"Hey, if you see me coming, flag me down. I'll pull over and get you your order. I never go on someone's property and I am very safety conscious about driving the streets," he said.

"It's hard out there for a lot of people, a major part of Lehigh, who don't have jobs now because of the Great Recession. But you can't sit home and do nothing and worry how you're going to pay your bills; you get out there and come up with an idea to make a living so you can support yourself," he said.

He learned cooking lessons when he attended a Kansas City culinary school where he became certified to be a master chef.

"Lehigh's a great place. I got three kids and I am a grandfather of five, all who live in Tampa, so they are not that far away.

"Got no soft drinks or beverages, but I got the best shish kabobs that you will find anywhere," he said smiling.

Chef Raul starts cooking in the morning and then takes off on his motorized bike and grille. The food is done, but the coals are hot to keep the shish kabobs warm.

"That's the only way to eat them," he laughed.

"Shish kabobs, shish kabob, come and get them. I'm at the flea market or riding around Lehigh. Just flag me down; I ride on the edge of the streets to be safe. I got the shish kabobs, all sweet in flavor and tender to eat. They're almost a meal in themselves," he said.

"They're truly something to die for after you've had one, you will come back for more."

 
 

 

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