‘Madwoman’ brings her food truck, edible concoctions to new home base on Great Road

Chef Katlyn Abate speaks before the North Smithfield Town Council.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – A chef who has trained in five-star restaurants across the state has gone rogue, with plans to roll her new kitchen on wheels into a space on Great Road, which will serve as her weekday home.

Methods of a Madwoman, a food truck owned and operated by North Smithfield native Katlyn Abate, will soon be found in the parking lot of Chamberland Business Accounting, serving up, “eclectic edible delectable concoctions,” to hungry visitors during the week.

With special events and festivals booked through next year, Abate told NRI NOW this week that she plans to use the space in town for daytime hours, as her availability permits, Monday through Saturday.

“I’m trying to dedicate solid daytime hours to that location as our home base,” she said.

Abate, who opened the truck in July, received her permit to operate in town Monday night.

“I’ve been an executive chef for years,” she said. “I decided to go on my own because my daughter is five now.”

Locals may have caught Abate and her signature black truck at events in recent months, including the Holiday Stroll in Woonsocket, and the Assembly of Food Trucks in Burrillville over the summer. The truck offers snacks such as popcorn chicken and “street corn” served with red onion relish, cilantro aioli, cojita, tajin and lime; and bowls including Korean BBQ beef, Peruvian chicken and coconut shrimp. Desserts include “Not Your Average Reeses,” a peanut butter cheesecake served with fudge, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, whipped cream and a heath bar graham cracker crust.

Abate’s grandfather, Robert Egan, sits in front of the Method’s truck

The chef, who studied at Johnson & Wales, worked under culinary masters at five-star restaurants including the Ocean House, and as an executive chef at the Rathskeller Tavern in Charlestown.

“Who’s Chef Kate? Oh my, well, she’s one part mad scientist, one part beguiling sorceress,” notes the business’s website. “When you come to the Methods food truck, you get to experience what a top-tier chef can do when left to her own devices in her very own rolling food lab.”

Councilor Paulette Hamilton asked Abate where she got the unique name.

“I was actually 16 when I came up with the name,” Abate said. “It fit with the truck. I made it, ‘methods,’ so I could do different things.”

She later elaborated, noting that the name hails back to her time as a student at North Smithfield High School, when she was really into Shakespeare, did a term paper on Hamlet.

“There’s a line about there being method to Hamlet’s madness, and the phrase stuck with me throughout my kitchen career, mostly because I would have an erratic way about things, and I’d have to be like, ‘trust me, trust me there’s a method to my madness, I swear,'” Abate said, noting she also has a deep love for Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein. “Eventually, I decided I was a mad food scientist, so the Madwoman was born.”

“Every interesting food creation, I brought to life,” she said.

In addition to ongoing special events – and weekdays by the accounting office – Abate said she also plans to do some catering.

“It’s been good,” she said of her business to date.

“I make a motion to approve the mad woman to have her food truck,” Hamilton said at the meeting Monday, Dec. 5.

Councilors approved a new food truck license for Methods of a Madwoman, Inc., for hours Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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