Aug 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Bakery fixing up food truck to deliver treats to charity

A Fondren business is fixing up a food truck to be the first charity bakery in the state.

Campbell’s Bakery is fixing up a 1951 panel truck to deliver baked goods to charities on a weekly basis.

Currently, charities receiving donations have to come pick up their items at the bakery.

Mitchell Moore, owner of Campbell’s Bakery, said the mobile unit will operate as a traditional truck, but for charity events, it will be turned into his business “care-a-van.”

“It’s one thing to have a food truck and make money and sell stuff, but that’s not really our way of doing things,” Moore said. “We donate all of our leftover goods every Saturday to different charities. “We’re very involved with the mission to the homeless here in the Fondren area, and we try to do as much as we can to give back.”

The bakery is also asking for the public’s help. Moore is trying to raise $20,000 by Oct. 16. About $700 has been raised so far.

Anyone interested in helping can learn more here.

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Aug 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Four-Wheeled Prizes On the Line in First-Ever Food Truck Face Off

Food Truck Face OffIt’s no secret that the food truck industry has hit its stride in recent years, as the culture of traveling cooking and eating can be seen from coast to coast. Beginning this fall on the all-new series Food Truck Face Off, budding food truck operators will have the chance to break into that mobile arena, but not before they prove their staying power with a winning business model that can withstand the fierce competition.

Each week beginning Thursday, October 2 at 8|7c, four new teams will gather to present their food truck ideas to a rotating panel of proficient judges, but ultimately only two will earn the right to face off against each other for the win. Host Jess Palmer, a former NFL superstar and a broadcast sports journalist, will be on hand to challenge the top contenders to 48 hours of no-nonsense contests, and if these future entrepreneurs want to impress Jess and the judges, they must endure a roster of tests designed to demonstrate their powerful business mindset and impressive customer service — not to mention wow-worthy food.

What’s on the line? In addition to the praises of guest judges like restaurateurs Alpana Singh and Andrew Gruel, and TV personality Steak Shapiro, the winning team members each week will drive away with their own food truck, a coveted and big-value prize that could immediately launch their business.

Don’t miss the series premiere of Food Truck Face Off on Thurs., Oct. 2 at 8|7c.

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Aug 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck & Brew Fest a big hit at seaport

Saturday’s “Truck”erton Food Truck Brew Fest was a new event for the Tuckerton Seaport, but from the large number of attendees who just kept coming all day, it won’t be the last.

The seaport hosted a dozen food trucks offering just about any kind of food a festivalgoer might want.

Potables were sold by three craft beer brewers, the Valenzano Winery sold wine by the glass or bottle, somebody offered freshly squeezed lemonade and other vendors provided shakes, sodas and smoothies.

River Horse Brewery of Ewing apparently was the favorite choice for beer drinkers at the festival, because it ran out of beer by 2 p.m. and the festival went on until 7 p.m., but Pinelands Brewery and Three Beards Brewery had no trouble taking up the slack.

Al Faustino of Manahawkin, holding a souvenir plastic mug, now drained of its brew, was asking staff at the River Horse booth about visiting the brewery. He was told there were tours a couple of days a week, and even when there were no tours, the brewery’s gift shop was open. More information is available at www.riverhorse.com.

Jimmie Care of Absecon, wearing a shirt proclaiming “Life is too short to drink crappy beer!” said River Horse was his favorite as well, but he had no trouble making do with suds from Pinelands Brewery.

A truck called The Cow and the Curd had quite a few takers for its batter-fried Wisconsin cheese curd. Siobhan Rodgers of Tuckerton was one who had taken the truck’s message “Eat Curds” seriously and said they were delicious. Perched nearby in an Andirondack chair, Jade Schneller, 3, of Little Egg Harbor had his mouth full of cheese curd but managed to nod enthusiastically when asked if it was good.

Quite a few people were walking around with what looked like potato chips on a skewer. Les Malone, a Navy chief stationed at Lakehurst, said it was a “Tater Stick,” and pointed to a booth where bunches of them seemed to grow like flowers from a table. Potato treats in all shapes, forms and varieties were being sold from a truck titled 1 Potato, Two. Pulled pork sandwiches were on the menus of several trucks. Lilli Gonzalez of Hamilton had chosen a beef brisket slider from Oink Moo BBQ.

A truck called Five Sisters had a very extensive menu, including egg rolls, duck confit with cheese curd over fresh-cut fries; something called “Whiskey Tango, a twist on a pub burger,” an Aloha Turkey Burger with pineapple, bacon and onion rings and “Fat Sandwiches.”

There was pizza but not just regular pizza. Fundaro’s Wood-Fired Pizza offered personal pizzas and spumoni ice cream.

Health food fans had a choice, too. Kevin’s Salad truck put together all kinds of salads made with Jersey Fresh veggies.

Intrepid gourmands could try alligator legs among other spicy fare at Cajun Jax. Alligator sandwiches also were available from The Laughing Crab, which had the longest line at the event for its seafood specialties.

To cool off, Chillin’ Out sold frozen ice cream novelties and soft serve ice cream, and Waffle De Lys had both sweet and savory waffles for sale. The sweet ones could be had with ice cream, fruit toppings, caramelized hazelnuts and more.

It was a family affair and many had brought children for the fun, which included three bands, the Dan Brown Duo, Shady Street Show Band and local favorite the Billy Walton Band. There also were crafts tables for kids and a bounce house.

Adult crafters had a chance to stop and chat with members of the Seaport Stitchers Guild, who were working on a project inside the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club building.

To find out about upcoming events, visit www.tuckertonseaport.org.

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Aug 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Action on village food truck proposal delayed

After a deluge of questions during a public hearing Wednesday, Village Council postponed action on legislation that would allow mobile food trucks to operate in six areas of town.

Council members agreed to continue the public hearing Sept. 3, and the legislation may be revised slightly to allow pulled food trailers in addition to trucks.

Although there were comments both for and against the proposal, it appeared many of those in attendance, both established restaurant owners and mobile food truck owners, wanted to see maps of where the mobile food vendors would be allowed.

Councilman Matt McGowan suggested tabling action “to allow more people to inquire and look at maps — allowing everyone to feel more comfortable.”

Village Law Director Michael King said he would check the Ohio Revised Code for clarification of the types of mobile apparatuses that are covered.

“We will be more specific about what is covered and what isn’t,” he said, adding, however, that units such as hot dog push carts would not be included.

The food trucks proposal came about after one vendor, Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, owned by Granville Township residents Jessica Collins and James Anderson, put in a request a year ago for a permit to operate in Granville.

King said that after a review of ordinances, there was no way to accommodate the request, which led to the new proposal.

Kara Gallagher, who with her husband Greg Tracey opened Moe’s Original Bar B Que downtown on April 1, expressed concern about bringing more competition to town.

“We were really excited to come to Granville. We love this town,” she said. “We’re really happy here. For a barbecue food truck to be in Granville would be possibly devastating to us. We’d like an opportunity to survive.

“This is a small town. Two barbecue places?” Gallagher said.

Jay Snyder of Granville, who in May opened the Steam Roller Bagel Sandwiches food truck, said his truck currently operates one day a week at the Beverage Source on Church Street, just outside of Granville.

“We would very much like to do more within Granville,” he said. “This (legislation) provides us with somewhat of an opportunity.”

Snyder said that 70 percent of his menu items come from growers within 30 miles of Granville, and his business regularly donates back to the community.

“I am excited to be a part of what we’re doing here and I understand the concerns of others,” he said, but added that sometimes food trucks are open when brick-and-mortar restaurants are closed. He said he does not yet have a Granville location picked out if food trucks are allowed.

Barbara Franks, of Taco Dan’s on South Prospect Street downtown, said she doesn’t think her business would be hurt by food trucks.

“I think that we should be opened-minded as a village in moving forward into this decade and this century,” she said of the food-trucks trend.

Snyder added, “Trucks tend to and often are incubators that can grow into brick-and-mortar restaurants. As you know there is not a plethora of (food) options in Granville right now.” Snyder said that by putting such incubators, empty storefonts downtown could be avoided in the future.

Village Planning Director Alison Terry, in summarizing the ordinance proposal, also said, “The village is not allowed to ban mobile food trucks from operating in the village. We can limit districts where they can be allowed to operate.”

The proposal allows food trucks to operate in six village zoning areas: Community Service District, Institutional District, Village Gateway District, Planned Commercial District, Suburban Business District, and the Village Institutional District.

Under the proposal, mobile food trailers would not located in the downtown business district, nor on village property or village rights of way.

The ordinance would also allow such vendors to operate without a permit if they are part of a village-approved special event, which has been the case at some local events such as the Fourth of July Celebration.

The proposal also requires that the units be located on a lot containing a principal building, with the maximum number of food trucks being one for one-quarter acre to one acre, and a maximum of two on lots greater than one acre.

Permitted hours of operation would be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It was suggested that operating times might be varied according to district, example being the Institutional District, which includes Denison University. One observer speculated Dension students would be more likely to order from a food truck at, say, 1 a.m.

Mary Kirwin asked that an allowance be made for food trailers pulled by vehicles. She said she operates a concessions truck of that variety.

Where food trucks could be in Village of Granville

• Community Service District, which includes the Westgate Drive commercial area and the business area east and west of South Main Street between Munson Street to the north and the T.J. Evans Bike Path to the south, and between the Old Colony Burying Ground to the north and Old River Road to the south.

• Institutional District, primarily the Denison University campus and schools.

• Village Gateway District, comprised of two main entrances to the village: Ohio 661 (South Main Street) and Cherry Street.

• Planned Commercial District, south of Ohio 16, east and west of North Cherry Valley Road, and areas on either side of Ohio 661 south of the bike path and north of Ohio 37.

• Suburban Business District, which includes the Erinwood office complex north of Newark-Granville Road and properties immediately west of North Cherry Valley Road, bordered in part by South Galway Drive.

• Village Institutional District, which includes the lower Denison campus between North Mulberry and North Plum and Burg streets.

Source: Village of Granville

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Aug 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food truck festival being planned at Meriden mall – Meriden Record




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MERIDEN — Rob Ferrie has heard complaints about not enough restaurants and entertainment in the city. In response, he is coordinating food and entertainment for a food truck festival in October.

The festival is planned for Oct. 25 and 26 at the Westfield Meriden mall.

“It’s important to get some life into the city,” said Ferrie, a Meriden resident.

Close to 30 food vendors are signed up, Ferrie said. He expects 50 to 60 in total. He is renting the parking lot in front of the former J.C. Penney’s store in addition to the three-story parking garage. His plan calls for food trucks in the parking lot and on the top level of the garage with entertainment at each location.


“There’s already plenty of parking at the mall and a lot of people are already at the mall on the weekends,” Ferrie said.

A Westfield Meriden mall spokesperson did not return a request for comment. The contract for the event, however, was recently confirmed by Economic Development Department Director Juliet Burdelski.

“I think it’s really exciting … he is very energetic,” Burdelski said. “He helped get food truck to the music downtown event and the farmer’s market … I think this event will work well, the mall was a good idea and a private site so he doesn’t have to worry about the city regulations.”

Ferrie knows the food truck business and has seen it grow rapidly over the last few years. He builds food trucks and concession trailers through his Wallingford-based business, Franks and Pattys Concession Trailers. He also helps people start food truck businesses.

“In California, they’ve been doing the food truck thing for 30 years, but in Connecticut it’s really picked up the last two years,” Ferrie said. “There’s been a massive boom.”

A recent statewide food truck festival in North Haven had a good turnout. The event came with some flaws, however, with a lack of parking, shortage of food and most vendors unable to sell drinks. Ferrie said all vendors will be allowed to sell drinks at the Meriden festival.

Ferrie has also been coordinating with the city’s Economic Development Department in recent weeks to bring more food trucks to Meriden. A food truck was at a recent downtown music event selling pirogies and he expects more food trucks at upcoming events.

More information about the event can be found at www.Facebook.com/USFOODTRUCKFEST.

dbrechlin@recordjournal.com 203-317-2266 Twitter: @DanBrechlinRJ


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Aug 22, 2014
Terri Judson

From the vine to home: Making the most of Michigan’s grape harvest



With the grape harvest kicking off, now is the perfect time to learn more about wine.
Family Features La Crema




Wine is the perfect complement to any occasion whether cooking dinner for a family gathering or huddled with friends around a platter of corn chips and guacamole. It begs a toast, and when paired with the right recipe can pack the same flavor punch as a sprinkling of spice.

But how do you know what wine to serve? With the grape harvest in Michigan kicking off soon now would be the perfect time to learn more about the wine-making/wine-tasting process.

To get you started here are a few tips compiled by La Cremas winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas:

1. Train your senses. If youve attended a wine-tasting event youve probably heard your host speak of aromas and flavors including many fruits and spices. While a wine connoisseur can pick a cherry note within seconds, for others it takes practice. Train your nose and your palate by heading to the grocery store or farmers market, says La Cremas spokesperson. Youll soon discover green apple and yellow apple have different scents and flavors and youll start to recognize the distinctions between cinnamon and clove. Then put your knowledge to the test: The next time, you uncork a bottle of wine give it a whiff and see if you can pick out those sensory characteristics.

2. Let your palate be your guide. Instead of buying the same wine as your friends or your parents, pick something different. It could be a bust. You might hate it. Then again it could become a new favorite for you and your friends. I have an adventurous niece who is always introducing the family to a new wine that she discovered through her many travels or via another adventurous friend. This is the same niece whose wedding reception is being held on the grounds of a beautiful vineyard in Ontario. Which brings up another point: Explore the wineries in your own back yard. Yes, Francis Ford Coppola makes great wine, but so does Leelanau and Gills Pier. Michigan and its neighboring province of Ontario are home to many great wineries. Michigans unique glacial soils impart unique boutiques and finishes to please even the most discriminating palate. Oenophiles to budding enthusiasts are sure to discover a red or white varietal that will become their new favorite, according to the report by Pure Michigan.

3. Plan a visit to your local winery. If you really want to discover the diversity of your local wineries, consider taking a tour of Michigans wine trail or attending one of many wine festivals going on throughout August and September. Michigan wineries totaling more than 100 nestled on nearly 15,000 acres of scenic vineyards are a great source for information, accommodations and relaxation. For a full list of wineries visit michigan.org/wineries.

4. You might also check out the Virtual Vinter (v.lacrema.com) program launched by La Crema, which gives guests a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process. The backstage cellar journey led by winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas features video, quizzes and winemaking tutorials designed to be fun and educational.

5. Lastly, consider the best of the best. The following is a list of the top winners in Michigan Wines 37th annual wine competition. Held at the beginning of August, the gold medal competition featured 25 wine experts from around the country judging the entries of 51 Michigan wineries and 50 selections. The best in each category included:

Sparkling: Aurora Cellars 2011 Brut

Dry White: Bluestone Vineyards 2013 Riesling

Dry Red: Peninsula Cellars 2012 Cabernet Franc

Semi-dry White: Gills Pier Vineyard Winery 2013 Semi-Dry Riesling

Semi-dry Red: Lawton Ridge Winery 2012 AZO Red

Dessert: Black Star Farms 2012 Arcturos Winter Harvest Riesling

Fruit: 45 North Vineyard Winery Peach Cremant

Ros: Chateau de Leelanau 2013 Cabernet Franc Ros

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Aug 22, 2014
Kim Rivers

Hoboken’s ‘Food Truck Frenzy’ offers 20 plus vendors with countless choices – The Jersey Journal

More than 20 food trucks will be stationed at Pier 13 in Hoboken and while local restaurants offer great food, these mobile eateries provide a delicious outdoor experience as well.

While there are normally three to six food trucks at the pier weekdays, at least 20 will gather for “Food Truck Frenzy” today, Aug. 21 and again on Sept. 18 from 4 to 10 p.m.

“It’s a great spot with an amazing view of the city,” said Josh Sacks, owner of Oink and Moo, who offers BBQ style food that included brisket sliders, ribs, chili, chipotle chicken tacos and quesadillas. “It’s great food coming out of these trucks from real chefs.”

The array of food trucks will offer dinner and desserts from vendors that include Aroy-D the Thai Elephant, The Empanada Guy, The French Quarter, Pizza Vita, Amanda Bananas, The Taco Truck, Luke’s Lobster, Dark Side of the Moo, Waffles De Lys, Milk Sugar Love, Incrediballs and Kate’s Kreations.

Steven Rodas may be reached at srodas@jjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @loftyparks. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.

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Aug 22, 2014
Tim Lester

Street Food Favorites Go Head-to-Head at Vendy’s Masters Cup

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Vendy Awards: New York’s premiere street food competition, the Vendys are bringing back past winners from the last decade to compete in a head-to-head grilling showdown for the new Masters Cup. The grill-off will take place on September 13 on Governor’s Island, and the finalists are the iconic Calexico (Mexican/Southern BBQ), Hallo Berlin (German Soul Food), King of Falafel (and his infamous chicken shawarma and white sauce), NY Dosas Guy (vegan Sri Lankan food), and Solber Pupusas (Salvadorian tortillas).

Most of the past winners have come a long way since their last trophy, like Calexico, who since their 2008 victory has opened up a fleet of restaurants across the city, and the King of Falefel’s goods can be seen at select grocery stores in the city.

The Vendy Awards themselves have also grown up since starting with a small contest of four food trucks in a parking lot — there are now over 175 vendors competing every year and competitions are held in Philadelphia, L.A. and Chicago. The finalists for this year’s regular competition will also be announced soon.

For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi

 

 

 



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Aug 22, 2014
Terri Judson

WATCH: Wine festivals key to Okanagan’s wine tourism success

OKANAGAN — Wineries can sell a lot of its products, win many awards, but those aren’t the main reasons why visitors keep on coming back,  according to new research.

An Okanagan College professor says he’s learned what attracts people to the valley and spend their money here.

“Wine tourists who visit the Okanagan for wine festivals stay longer, spend more and visit significantly more wineries while they’re in the valley,” says Blair Baldwin, Okanagan College School of Business Professor and Okanagan Wine Festivals Society General Manager.

This research is commissioned by the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society, the British Columbia Wine Institute and Okanagan College School of Business.

About 900 people were interviewed at different wineries, which were done both during the festivals and at other times of the year when the festivals were not being held.

Now that the local wine industry is earning a higher global profile, other wine regions are thirsty to learn how the Okangan achieved its current success.

The study’s findings were presented earlier this summer at the prestigious Academy of Wine Business Research in Germany.

 

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