Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Name Games: Chairman Bao Ditching the Bao Part

We recently heard about Brunch Box changing its name to Bandit Truck before changing it again to Fogcutter. Now it looks like the name change bug is spreading to Chairman Bao. Beginning with a November 3 visit to Los Angeles for a food tasting, the collaboration between Chef Hiroo Nagahara and Mobi Munch will drop the "Bao" portion of its name and simply be known as "The Chairman."

According to Nagahara in a Mobi Munch press release, the truck is looking to expand its menu beyond just steamed and baked buns. "We decided to change our name as the truck shifts in direction to include more than just bao," Nagahara explained. "I've spent the past year refining my art and 'staging' at great houses around the world. I hope to share my experiences with everyone."

In perhaps an homage to Iron Chef, the next phase of the truck's life will feature former Bar Charlie executive chef Nagahara taking on the role of "The Chairman," though it is unknown if this move will supplant the Mao Panda icon rendered by artist James Jean.

Along with the imminent menu changes, there is another expansion in the works. 2012 will see the launch of a second truck by The Chairman in the Bay Area. It's a proliferation of arms being undertaken by several food trucks as of late, and with the corporate backing of Mobi Munch and legions of fans this seems like a natural move for The Chairman.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the revelation that Brunch Box is changing its name in response to a legal challenge from another Bay Area company. Now known as Fogcutter, two of the truck's founders—Eric Rud and Caroline Hummer—were previous operators of Chairman Bao, a truck that has gotten into a bit of a tussle with New York restaurateur Eddie Huang. He claims that the truck was named after his signature dish, a braised pork belly gua bao with similarities to the San Francisco outfit's most popular item. Mobi Munch has dismissed this to a common play on words, however, and there are no indications that this name change was prompted by any history between the two.

Until the changes in November, Chairman Bao will continue with its current setup and schedule.

The Chairman (@chairmantruck)

Via: The Chairman

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