KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Travel center chain Pilot Flying J is partnering with renowned chef and restaurant owner Tim Love to create new signature food items for its PJ Fresh foodservice platform. Known for his signature “urban Western” cuisine, Love will also develop food items specifically for Pilot Flying J's Southwest region locations, focusing on the flavors and specialties that represent the region's fare.
This collaboration between Pilot and Love will focus on providing more diverse and notable food offerings for customers traveling on the interstate.
"I am thrilled to be partnering with Pilot Flying J. They truly want to provide a better food experience for their guests," said Love. "Our mission will be to create nutritious options that are easy to carry and easy to eat; that criteria tends to be top of mind for most travelers, but hard to come by on the road."
Love's dishes have received critical acclaim, having been recognized by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. Love also appeared on Bravo's "Top Chef: The Cruise" and "Top Chef Masters," as well as Food Network's "Iron Chef America."
"I've always been a big fan of the brand, especially their Knoxville roots, and have been visiting locations regularly over the years while traveling," said Love. "I thought there might be an opportunity to see what we could do in this type of setting, as it's very different from the dining experiences I usually oversee and operate. There is certainly a need to challenge the status quo for those on the go and provide wholesome options."
Love (pictured) will be working closely with Shannon Johnson, vice president of food innovation at Pilot Flying J, to continue to develop the company’s PJ Fresh Marketplace brand to give consumers a wider variety of food and beverage offerings along the interstate.
"When I first met Tim, I could tell he was just as excited to up the food game in this space as I am," said Johnson. "It's important to me that we implement new items for our guests that are surprising, delicious and keep them coming back."
The company's proprietary PJ Fresh concept is based on the fast-casual restaurant idea of delivering fresh-made food to consumers, offering a wide assortment of food options ranging from healthy green salads and fruit bowls to freshly made sandwiches and dinners.
Based in Knoxville, Tenn., Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations.