Flavour of the Week

The Hungry Swine - Founders Dean Wilcockson Est. 2018

After 17 years of working as a trained chef, pumping out hundreds of intricate, complex meals at some of Auckland’s best restaurants, Dean Wilcockson gave it all up to pursue his dream of perfecting the humble sandwich. 

Originally from England, Dean sports an impressive culinary CV. Having worked as a chef at The French Café, Meredith’s and One Tree Grill, Dean is no stranger to the pressure and pain of hospitality. At age 33, Dean decided to change tack and leave his fine dining career to work for himself, creating simple yet delicious unfussy food. 

Hence, the beginnings of his food truck The Hungry Swine. Dean and his crew serve truly epic chargrilled pork belly sandwiches out of their little caravan—think huge slabs of juicy pork with crispy crackling nestled in soft, fluffy buns. Each sandwich is named and themed after a cuisine, such as ‘The English,’ which features pork, Granny Smith apples, sage mayo, crispy onions and watercress—basically a full roast in a sandwich! Keep it classic with ‘The Kiwi,’ which includes everyone’s favourite Kiwi dip or get fancy with truffled crème fraiche and Swiss cheese in ‘The French.’ All of Dean’s offerings are delicious so you can’t really go wrong, but the fan favourite so far has been ‘The Asian,’ with crispy pork belly, pickled veges, sriracha, coriander, mayo and fried shallots. Yum! Dean’s experience and skill is obvious in the food he serves. 

Many people think owning a food truck is easy—only trading two or three days a week, cool events and big queues. And perhaps compared to the intensity of full time chef work, food truck life is easier. However, street food brings its own unique set of challenges and Dean was quickly introduced to these. The Hungry Swine attended one of the first AFTC Street Kai on Takutai events in Dean’s early days of trading and received what Dean describes as a ‘proper hiding.’ Trying to feed hordes of people who are expecting quick service and fast food while still figuring out your processes and methods is no joke, but Dean handled it like the pro he is and has been slinging sammies all over Auckland ever since. Other challenges have included events being cancelled last minute so lots of prep and food are wasted and people not understanding that, like all good things, good food takes time! 

Regularly parking up in spots like Mt Albert Streetfood Station, Coatesville Market, Kumeu Market and our AFTC collective events, The Hungry Swine’s succulent sandwiches are well worth tracking down. Dean’s dream is to one day open up a Hungry Swine shop, but until then follow their Facebook and Instagram to see where they’ll be trading next and keep up to date with their journey.