We had the good fortune of connecting with Allan Huntsman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Allan, what’s your definition for success?
I think a lot of people think “successful” means being rich or famous but honestly, I think it’s bigger than that! I’ve seen rich and famous folks who weren’t growing and weren’t happy but those aren’t the people I ever considered role models. Success to ME is waking up every day excited to learn and grow! I think being happy is a big part of success too. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think every day in owning a business is going to be rainbows and unicorns because it’s not, but the amount of good days will more often than not, greatly outweigh the bad. I also believe that each person has to define what success looks like to them by setting goals to achieve that.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’ve worked in kitchens since I was 15. I turn 33 this year. So over half my life, I’ve been in the restaurant world. I’ve done it all. Washed dishes to being the General Manager over an entire store. I always have had an eye for business. It kind of came natural to me and in high school I got to compete nationally in a business competition as one of the top 100 in my category. From that moment I knew I wanted to have my own business. In college, I ended up pursuing a degree in Economics but the idea of sitting behind a desk wasn’t driving for me even after putting in more hours than I’d like to admit without actually graduating with “the paper”. So I went through the day to day grind that is the kitchen. Early mornings. Late nights. Cuts. Burns. Underpaid. Overworked. Still giving my everything to trying to be one of the best everywhere I went. I’ve always wanted to be known as the hardest worker in the room and I think that’s what I’m most proud of. That made me push through walls and show myself what I was truly capable of every time I would challenge myself. If anyone tells you that it’s going to be easy, they’re liars. I’ve had my power cut off. I’ve pushed myself through 80 hour weeks. I’ve missed things in life. I’ve grown apart from people I was really close to at one point. I’ve failed and in those failings made sure I learned about why. I don’t regret it but I’m here to say there’s always challenges. I mean even in achieving my dream with my food truck, there were a ton of challenges along the way. I’ve learned that you have to hustle and adapt to survive. You’ll get knocked down a lot but it’s about getting back up. Also people will look at you funny when you chase your dream but my food truck was a dream and I chased it like a marathon and still do every day. I’m not done. Big Al’s “HOT DAMN” Chicken will be way more than a food truck. I know this and believe this. Just watch what we do!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So we’re gonna hit up GADS (Great American Donut Shop) and get a dozen donuts (blueberry cake is a must) and I’m gettin some chocolate milk. Lisa’s on 5th Street. Then later in the day, got options like Hickory and Oak, maybe GDogs for some hot dogs, El Maz is happening at least 3 times that week. If it’s a full week, we’re goin down to Nashville to grab some food somewhere or going up to Lexington to get some Bourbon N’ Toulouse. Hands down best NOLA food I’ve ever had outside of NOLA!
Drinks: The Office. I’m not really a big drinker but my homie Braz has a dope little spot and it’s not one of those places where you’re gonna have to fight through 100 people to get a drink! Then walk right down the way to Tidballs because if you’re coming to BG and not seeing a show at Tids then you’ve missed out on one of the best spots for live music in the country for real! You’ll see at least 20 people you know just kicking it in the parking lot or smoking a cig by the front! It’s really just a beautiful thing going to a packed out show there!
I love Bowling Green! Shoutout Bowling Green, KY! I think there’s a ton of things to do here and to see! I mean if you ask me what you should check out….the whole damn city! Home of the Corvette Plant! Lost River Cave!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family. We’ve been through a lot and they made me who I am today. They showed me that hard work will get you where you want to be. They also are the first people who gave me a job in the kitchen! They showed me how to put love in my food and they believe in me and always tell me they’re proud of what I am doing. I LITERALLY wouldn’t be in the position I am today without them!
Also, shoutout all my homies who have seen me through my darkest days and seen me get to here. Ernest, shoutout $chmoney Team, Ebony and Ivory for life! Skip. Al. Mike. Madison. The list really goes on. My friends have always pushed me and cheered my hustle!
I couldn’t go on without shouting out all the chefs I’ve had the privilege to work with and talk to, asking questions about anything!
Other: Big Al’s “HOT DAMN” Chicken! IG: bigalshotdamnchicken Twitter: BigAlsHOTDAMN Facebook: Big Al’s “HOT DMN” Chicken Shamelessly promoted or not, go give us a follow or stop by the truck if you’re in town!