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Soulcial Kitchen launches second dining concept with new head chef

The new concept, El Guaqo Taco, pairs authentic Mexican food fused with competition-quality smoked barbecued meats, officials said
Credit: SLBJ
The new EL Guaqo Taco food truck and concept recently launched by Soulcial Kitchen.

ST. LOUIS — Soulcial Kitchen, a Metro East hospitality incubator building a fleet of food trucks and mobile catering services, recently rolled out its second dining concept and named a new head chef.

The new concept, El Guaqo Taco, pairs authentic Mexican food fused with competition-quality smoked barbecued meats, officials said.

El Guaqo joins Soulcial Kitchen's first concept, A Fine Swine BBQ. David Stidham, partner/chief operating officer of Soulcial Kitchen and founder of A Fine Swine BBQ, had relaunched the barbecue concept in May after it closed as a restaurant in November due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Soulcial Kitchen is a hospitality incubator and "virtual food hall" platform, and is the Metro East's first so-called "cloud: commercial kitchen, officials said when it launched. A cloud kitchen, sometimes called a ghost kitchen, provide food service facilities without the in-person dining space. As it develops new concepts

A Fine Swine BBQ and El Guaqo Taco are booking food truck locations and catering orders, with plans to offer delivery and takeout services through its virtual kitchen at the end of September.

Soulcial Kitchen also recently hired Chris Stein as head chef. The Southern Illinois native graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and spent the last 10 years working for the Wrigley family’s Santa Catalina Island Co. on Catalina Island. Prior to that, Stein staged in the kitchens of Niche and Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis, under James Beard award-winning chefs Gerard Craft and Kevin Nasham. Stein also has done month-long staging stints in Vietnam, the Yucatan and East Africa, officials said. 

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