From Chef to Trucker—Lee’s Switch From Cookbooks to Logbooks

When we met Lee in Part 1 of this interview series, he discussed life on the road so far and what the final push was for him to pursue a truck driving job. To review, here's what he said...

Q: What made you say, “Ok, time to get into truck driving?”
A: I was at OSU working at a catering company. I’d been in cooking for 25 years. At 50 years old, it started to get difficult loading, unloading, cleaning, etc. Twenty hour days start to wear on an old man. I went to California last summer for a family reunion. I took my granny, my wife and my aunt and I saw that USA Truck symbol. I thought about it a couple years before that but decided against it. Then I saw that truck again and decided I was going to apply because I wanted to get out of the business of food. So I applied, you guys called me, and the rest is history.

In Part 2 of our interview with USA Truck driver Lee Washington, he discusses his life prior to trucking. Lee worked for many years in the catering and cooking business. Read on to learn why he decided to make this change!

Q: What were you doing at the catering company? Cooking, setting up?
A: Everything. I’ve got some cooking skills. I wouldn’t have a problem going back to catering work, but I wanted to do something different and enjoy my job.

Q: Has your culinary background benefited you at all as a truck driver? Do you use those skills to prepare your own meals on the road?
A: When I was in the military, you stay out there and eat a lot of trash. MRE’s. Food rations. Dehydrated food and stuff. On the truck I buy a lot of tuna and chicken because it’s really expensive out here over the road. Truck stops are expensive as hell so it’s cheaper to stop at Walmart and get crackers, bread, bologna, and a little mini fridge or cooler. I get soup too, I just microwave it in the truck stop. I don’t really do much cooking on the road, so I miss that. I cook a LOT at home, though. But the military background has helped me a lot out here.

Q: What cooler/fridge would you recommend?
A: The Coleman. It’s a pretty decent size fridge. Plug it into your cigarette lighter and whatever the temp in your truck is, it’s 40 degrees cooler than that. I’m a camper, so I have a lot of Coleman stuff. I was going to get the Roadpro, but a lady suggested the Coleman and being a camper, I decided to go with that. It’s been good.

EXTRA: Find out what it was like when Lee took his marriage mobile here

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