Tex-A-Consin coming to Waukesha
How a mobile smokehouse reignited a chef’s life


Dec. 26, 2017

Terence Williams, left, and Todd Lewis said they are looking forward to giving back to their community with smoky delights steeped in passion and soul.
Brandon Anderegg/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA — Tex-A-Consin, a western-style mobile smokehouse and food truck owned by Waukesha County Technical College professor Todd Lewis and award-winning professional chef Terence Williams, is slated to hit the streets of Waukesha in mid-January, according to Williams.

The food truck will offer a variety of Texas-style dishes including smoked ribs, pulled pork, brisket, sandwiches and of course, Wisconsin staples like burgers and brats with the smoky-flavored twist of the Lone Star State.

But if it’s not the rich scent of smoked and sizzled meat that draws you in, it’s probably the interior of the smokehouse, which is adorned in saw-blade sconces, whips, horse reins, spurs, longhorns and other items indicative of Texas. Take one step inside and it’s as if you’ve been warped back in time to the life of a cowboy in the late 1800s — when the creaking of a wooden rocker and the howl of wind paired up with a story about a horse too fast to catch.

The 30-foot mammoth of a smokehouse is built out of trees and repurposed wood from a 100-year-old barn in Michigan. So how did it get to Wisconsin? The story behind the trailer and how the owners acquired it is just as intriguing as Tex-A-Consin itself.

Terence Williams said he gets goosebumps when he thinks about all the details and how much passion the craftsman had for the trailer. He said that he'll often go out to it late at night and brainstorm ideas. 
Brandon Anderegg/Freeman Staff

As it turns out, Lewis was browsing Craigslist to gauge a fair selling price for his previous trailer when he saw the mobile smokehouse for sale in Michigan. He shared the post with Williams and when he saw photos he thought, “That’s not a Johnny-jam unit, that’s a Texas Class smokehouse,” said Williams. Within a month, the two were on the road to Michigan with a rack full of Wisconsin-style ribs for the owner and architect of the trailer, who held it just for them after hearing their story.

In fact, giving food to others has been their motto throughout their

whole business venture, said Williams. He said it’s important to know that the trailer will be available for people to use in the community.

“Everyone we’ve touched and everyone that’s touched us on this project, we have served,” said Williams. “We’ve received help, therefore we want to help others.”

For Williams and Lewis, giving back to others is the most important aspect of this business. This notion stems from Lewis’ involvement with the community as a professor but also from Williams, whose appreciation for life and cooking knows no bounds after surviving a stroke in 2012.

After the stroke, he said, his life completely changed. Williams, who had been in the restaurant and cooking business for over 25 years, didn’t know if he would ever cook again. He said meeting Lewis, getting the trailer and starting Tex-A-Consin was another chance at his passion.

“This means something to me because my children can be involved again and because I’m actually upright,” said Williams. “That’s why it was such a big deal because I never thought I would have a chance to do it again.”

For more information on prices, catering and special events, visit https://texaconsintrailer.com/.