Hugh has an unusual capacity to think in an interdisciplinary manner and has reached a formidable level of expertise in several different areas. This allows him to seek connections that are not apparent at first. Hugh is a unique individual unafraid to delve into the intricacies of whatever field he gets into. Creativity and an obsession with detail allow him to take on daunting projects without blinking. The following innovations demonstrate the breadth and scope of his knowledge and attest to his willingness to take on any challenge, no matter how tough.
Mobile Food Services
Convened members of Dept. of Public Health, Planning and Public Works in San Francisco and helped lead a small advisory group with the purpose of revamping San Francisco laws pertaining to catering trucks / street food.
He also successfully lobbied to have food trucks declared restaurants on private property, changing the regulatory climate of SF street food culture and enabling large street food events with multiple trucks on private lots.
The World’s First Legal Taproom on Wheels
Hugh discovered a loophole in California law that enabled the permitting of a full-size school bus as a limousine. Consequently he was able to open Brewtruc, a leather-and copper-clad taproom on wheels, serving beer not legal in any other San Francisco venues, including several world debuts of future micro-brew brands and imported beers never before seen in the US.
Never one to shy away from controversy, Hugh plunged head first into the regulatory jungle of San Francisco local regulations and ended up co-chairing a panel to rewrite San Francisco’s street food laws. Within months he had instigated and directed a rewrite of those rules . His comments in a public hearing lead to the local restaurant association dropping their opposition. Eight months later, San Francisco street food culture blossomed, giving rise to hundreds of events per year which would otherwise have been prohibited. This also lowered cost barriers to entry for many mobile food aspirants.
The crucial innovation of indoor seating is what allowed operation of Le Truc in inclement weather, when other trucks were forced to close.
Hugh was first to install a system for venting CO2 above the truck, which alleviated a chronic problem in food truck design, the buildup of CO2 from combustion of generator fuels.
Innovations in Guitar Technology
• The Hü Tonelabs Signature Pickup: This Teisco square-pole reissue is a collaboration with Roadhouse Pickups. The original Japanese version had ceramic magnets and was a bit shill as a result. Also, the originals are highly “microphonic” i.e. feed back a real lot. The HTL version solves these problems by using Alnico 5 square pole magnets instead of ceramic.
The modern version is quiet and the tone is to die for. Sets of two are wired to humcancel in the middle position (RWRP). The best part: a VERY beefy sound that is somewhere between that of a “quarter pounder” strat pickup and a p90, with none of the brittle, shrill character of the original Teisco pickups. And ZERO mud in the neck position. Expect sweet, fat, warm cleans, but with pedals, look out: these are BIG, WILD sounding pups that eat gain for lunch.
• Hugh’s use of flush-mounted push-button switches replaces toggles that can be inadvertently hit out of position. (See Homewrecker bass, right.) He has also developed original Oilite bronze bridge saddles. These and other design innovations go into the guitars built by Hü Tonelabs.
Innovations in Home Product Design
• Passive Solar Collector Orientation Device
• Nextmas, the sustainable Christmas Tree stand that allows you to use tree trimmings to create a perfectly shaped Christmas tree without cutting down an entire tree.
Hugh is the first international beer chef, the most original multi-cultural food for pairings with craft beers of many flavors.
Under his brand Zula Tej, Hugh has made the first California-style Tej brews, including the first-ever hopped Tej and the first domestically available Tej brews using flavors like Citrus, Lavender, Bay Laurel, Hibiscus and Lemongrass.