2015 was an incredible year! Jonny Blonde was voted "Best Food Truck" by View Magazine and The Hamilton Spectator’s 2015 Reader's Choice Award, along with "Best Sandwich" and Gold winner for "Best Catering.” Then in November, his hand-cut burger took top prize in the city’s Novemburger contest. Jonny and Layal are grateful to all their friends and fans for their loyal support.
Jonny is a committed member of his community. He supports numerous charities and area farmers and businesses. He uses high quality local, hormone-free meats and fresh seasonal ingredients. He strives to make everything from scratch – from butchering his meat, to making his own homemade breads and delicious sauces.
Jonny Blonde has been cooking professionally for over fifteen years. Born in Spain and raised in Hamilton, Jonny dropped out of high school and got his first job in a kitchen at a chicken wing joint. He went on to make a name for himself at two of Burlington/Oakville’s finest Italian restaurants (La Costa and Amici-Impazza Ristorante) and soon after was designing tapas menus at popular Burlington Lakeside cafe, Fava in the Middle.
When opportunity knocked, he moved to Toronto to work for Cumbrae’s high end butcher shops selling prepared gourmet foods and naturally-raised meats. At Cumbrae's, Jonny was introduced to artesanal food and it’s ties to health, the environment, local farmers and sustainability, which had a major influence on his cooking. Soon he was head chef Cumbrae’s newest kitchen in Dundas, where he began participating in cooking competitions and regularly appearing on local television to cook and talk about food.
Although Jonny had found his passion in cooking, he decided to go back to school, completing his GED and attending McMaster part-time towards a degree in Economics. The degree now hangs on his wall - a reminder that he can do anything and that cooking is his #1 choice, not his only option. Operating out of Hamilton, Jonny feels blessed to be able to do what he loves in the city he calls home.
Layal- aka. the Gypsy - is Jonny's lady and business partner on the truck. They met at the birthday party of a mutual friend in August 2012 and have been stuck like glue since. After six months of commuting between her life in Toronto and her love in Burlington, Layal decided to jump head over heels into the food truck business with Jonny, quitting both her jobs and moving cities to live and work in her original hometown, Hamilton.
Layal has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. She spent ten years living in Toronto and working in television current affairs, documentary and media relations, while bartending and serving part-time - all of which has provided invaluable experience in her recent adventures as a food truck warrior.
She is currently working on a documentary about Hamilton and food trucks - title TBD - so stay tuned to social media for exerpts featuring some of your favourite food truckers.
You can find her on Instagram @gypsylulublonde and follow her blog at JonnyandtheGypsy.com