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Let There Be Bacon had a memorable ride on the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race, following in the tire tracks of Chris Hodgson, who parlayed his stint on the show into a brick and mortar restaurant.
If you weren’t following along this season, Let There Be Bacon bowed out on Sunday’s episode, with Jon Ashton, Dylan Doss and Matt Heyman taking home third place.
But the postgame on Food Network (yes, there’s a postgame for this sort of stuff, we guess, and it’s very clearly labeled EXCLUSIVE) ends on a positive note for LTBB and Cleveland.
What was the overall hardest part of operating a food truck for the first time?
LTBB: Parking. No, seriously, finding parking is a beast.
What’s next for you guys? Will there be an Ohio Bacon truck in the future?
LTBB: The Bacon Army marches on. Expect to see us on the streets of Cleveland soon.
Here’s the first look at Los Angeles chef Roy Choi‘s somewhat secretive CNN project, now confirmed to be called Street Food with Roy Choi. The show, produced by CNN Digital Studios, will be distributed exclusively online in a Netflix-style model, with all eight episodes available to stream starting October 13. In the preview, Choi says the show will explore how “the flavors, sounds, styles” and people of Los Angeles fuel the city’s food scene and overall culture: Choi interviews a diverse line-up of guests like chef/fellow CNN host Anthony Bourdain, YouTube star Michelle Phan, and filmmaker Jon Favreau. According to Choi, the current preview contains placeholder music — with the real intro still yet-to-be-revealed — but for now, go watch:
Food truck grub hub to offer variety during ArtPrize
“Comida Mobile” explores the Latino experience as mirrored in the lives of pushcart vendors in Fruitvale, Oakland.
Born and raised in Oakland, 22-year-old Miguel Montiel operates his family’s fruit cup stand on International Boulevard, often working from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. For him and his parents, their business is a way to connect with the country his parents left behind.
Parts 2 and 3 of the film are forthcoming.
To learn more about Oakland Local’s initiative on “Street Food: Meet the people who make it” click here. Read the previous installment about the daily life of vendors and the community they’ve cultivated here. Oakland Local staff members Barbara Grady and Simone Larson contributed to this story.
For more stories about Oakland’s street food vendors, follow Oakland Local on Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation at#foodundocumented.
More than 45 local and regional craft beers will fill tasting glasses for Lake Zurich’s first Craft Beer Festival next month.
The mostly tented fest, at Paulus Park, 220 S. Rand Road, will run Columbus Day weekend — Oct. 10-11 — and will do its best to recreate the feel of a “quaint European street fest,” according to the village.
That will include a music stage, arts and craft vendors, and food. It is expected to have about 45 craft beers on tap.
So far, brewers who have signed on include Lagunitas, Sam Adams, Goose Island, Shock Top and others, according to Special Events Management, which is presenting the event.
Brewers who are about “80 percent confirmed” include Temperance Beer Company, Flying Dog Brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Saugatuck Brewing Company, Founders Brewing Company and more, SEM said.
SEM CEO Henry Zemola said the fest will attract people in their 20s and 30s from within a 20-mile radius; at least, that’s how it usually goes for Zemola, who’s been putting on special events in the Chicago area for about 26 years, he said.
Zemola told the village Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in June that he expects about 2,000 people to attend the two-day event.
Though the food vendors and craft beers have yet to be announced, Park and Recreation Manager Bonnie Caputo told Advisory Board members not to worry at their Sept. 9 meeting.
SEM said vendors usually commit to beer festivals in the two weeks leading up to the event, when the entertainment and local and state liquor licenses are secured, Caputo said.
“Once we get some of those things rolling, I think we’ll see it pick up — they assured me it would pick up,” she said on Sept. 9.
As for musical entertainment, so far Led Zeppelin tribute band Kashmir will play on Friday, starting at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Bliss will play at 3 p.m., Pirate Radio at 5:30 p.m. and Lounge Puppets at 8 p.m.
Board officials said they are confident in Zemola’s ability to deliver, as his resume includes events like the Chicago Craft Beer Festival, Wells Street Art Festival, Belmont-Sheffield Music Fest, North Halsted Music Days, Puerto Rican Festival and the Taste of Lincoln Avenue, among others.
The cost of a single day craft beer tasting pass is $40 in advance and $50 on site. This pass will afford the holder a souvenir tasting glass and samples of up to 20 3-ounce beers from the various breweries on site.
Specialty beer tastings will run from 5-9 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 2-6 p.m. on Oct. 11. The fest will close at 10 p.m. each day.
Those wishing to forego sampling but still hoping to enjoy the music, food and fun can purchase a general admission ticket for $7. The price of food is separate.
A Groupon deal offering two tasting passes for $39 for either Oct. 10 or Oct. 11 has already sold out — more than 460 deals were sold, according to www.groupon.com.
For more information, visit www.lakezurich.org/528/Craft-Beer-Fest
It may have looked like any other food truck — shiny silver with “tacos,” “tortas” and “burritos” splashed across the front — but until recently, it’s where customers in Denver armed with code phrases such as “six pack” or “yellow cups” could order methamphetamine with their meal, authorities said.
As part of a federal and local law enforcement investigation called “Operation Cargo,” authorities seized 55 pounds of meth in what is said to be one of the largest such busts in state history. On Monday, a grand jury indicted 17 people.
“After conducting five wiretaps over five weeks, fifty-five pounds of meth was taken off the streets,” Attorney General John Suthers said in a news release. “The brazenness of this ring was astounding. For example, customers could literally walk up to a food truck and order a side of meth with their taco.”
Juan Carlos Gonzalez is one of 17 indicted for an alleged international drug operation. (Colorado Attorney General’s Office)
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, 37, alleged leader of the Gonzalez drug trafficking organization, is accused of coordinating with others to import meth as well as cocaine from Mexico into California for delivery in Colorado. He would then distribute the stash to his two aunts and others in the ring to sell in the taco truck, according to the indictment.
Gonzalez allegedly ran the international drug operation out of his BMW, organizing dealers, drug storage and money laundering.
Oscar Ruvalcaba, 29, is accused of being the “load car” driver who transported the drugs into Colorado and then delivered them to Gonzalez. In August, authorities seized 40 pounds of meth stashed in a secret compartment in the floorboard of Ruvalcaba’s red Mini Cooper, the indictment stated. That was the incident called one of the largest meth seizures in the state, according to the attorney general’s news release.
Federal and local law enforcement in Denver seized 55 pounds of meth in what authorities said is one of the largest such busts in state history. (Colorado Attorney General’s Office)
After Gonzalez received the drugs, he would allegedly distribute them primarily through his aunts, Monica Gonzalez, 54, and Luz Gonzalez, 50, to sell to customers. Maria Arellano, 39, is accused of selling the meth out of her taco trailer.
Guns and money were also seized during the investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration special agent in charge Barbra M. Roach said.
By following the suspects, authorities were led to stash houses and a storage unit where the drugs were kept.
The 64-count indictment includes conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, distribution of controlled substance, money laundering and tax evasion, among other charges.
“Today’s arrests represent the final dismantlement of the apex of this organized trans-national criminal activity operating in Colorado,” Roach said.
h/t The Denver Post
Mexican street food is headed out of the taco truck and into the mouths of foodies seeking a quick restaurant bite.
For some diners, a taco with a Doritos-flavored taco shell constitutes a major upgrade in their dining experience. But other diners crave better food quality than they can find at a Taco Bell or Del Taco — and entrepreneurs are jumping to deliver the better-quality Mexican dishes they want.
The massive success of Chipotle’s upscale quick-Mexican cuisine — the $9 average guest ticket is substantially higher than at most of its competitors — has no doubt helped inspire many restaurant entrepreneurs to launch new concepts based around upgrading Mexican street food. The new entries are more creative than longtime sector competitors Qdoba and Chevys Fresh Mex, and more focused on natural and locally sourced ingredients.
The new breed of taco chains are meeting consumers’ growing appetite for better-quality ingredients and unusual spices. Where low-end chains tend to focus on burritos, tacos are the star in this emerging trend.
In many cases, these aren’t newbie entrepreneurs entering this niche. What’s grabbing attention is the experienced food players who’re jumping into the better-taco category, and the fast growth of some of the entrants.
Much as we saw with the upscaling of the fast-food burger and mass-market pizza, Mexican food purveyors are now seeking to move up and grab a piece of the higher-end, “fast-casual” restaurant sector exemplified by Chipotle.
Here’s a look at five of the hottest next wave of better-Mexican competitors that are earning diners’ loyalty for their cuisine:
Diner’s Choice: Top 8 Tastiest Fast Food Chains
U.S. Taco Co. is a brand-new upscale taqueria entrant by none other than Taco Bell, which is clearly hoping to grab its share as the Mexican-food category grows. The first restaurant opened in Huntington Beach, Calif., in August. Dishes include a “1%er” flatbread with lobster in garlic butter. As with many of the entrants in this category, U.S. Taco is committed to fresh and natural ingredients — hormone-free dairy and sustainably caught fish, for instance.
Chronic Tacos is the most established of the new taco wave — it’s 12 years old and has 30 units in the U.S. and Canada. Based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., Chronic has plans to grow to 100 units by 2018 through franchising. Unusual dishes here include a mashed-potato and cheese taco.
The Little Chihuahua is the brainchild of former Chevys Fresh Mex chef Andrew Johnstone. The San Francisco-based mini-chain has three locations around its home city, featuring such flavors as chile verde tofu, wild mushrooms, and salmon. Average guest check here is $12, Johnstone recently told industry trade publication Nation’s Restaurant News.
Velvet Taco is based in Dallas, and is brought to you by the same folks who operate the Twin Peaks “breastaurant” chain. There are two Velvet Taco locations in Dallas, and a third is slated to open in Chicago this fall. International flavors are big here, including a crisp tikka chicken taco with basmati rice, and one with Thai roast pork on a blue corn tortilla.
America’s Taco Shop began in 2007 in Phoenix and has grown to 15 units. It’s named after Mexican founder America Corrales-Bortin, but is now owned by multi-franchise conglomerate Kahala Corp., whose stable includes Cold Stone Creamery and Blimpie. Cuisine here focuses on classic al pastor tacos and burritos.
It’s too early to say which of these entrants might emerge as a dominant national chain as this trend grows, but it’ll be an interesting niche to watch in the next few years.
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Hawaii Food Wine Festival: Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2015, the Hawaii Food Wine Festival will mark the fifth anniversary of their “premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific,’ Sept. 4 – 13. (Photo by Hawaii Food Wine Festival/Facebook)
Food has quickly become America’s favorite guilty pleasure. From an entire Instagram genre to a category of reality competitions (with Gordon Ramsay at the helm), some would argue that food has ousted baseball as America’s favorite pastime.
Where once the only things that could attract masses of Americans out to brave the elements were big sporting events, now people looking for a culinary delight are willing to trudge out in the rain, snow or sleet to experience some great food.
Here, we bring you the best of America’s food festivals, held in small towns and big cities alike. Click through the slideshow above to see if the festival you love makes the list.
(MORE: Best Cities for Music)
Garden State Wine Growers to Hold Jersey Skyline Wine Festival September 13th 14th
PRWEB.COM NewswireRidgefield Park, NJ (PRWEB) September 09, 2014
The Garden State Wine Growers Association will hold the 2nd annual Jersey Skyline Wine Festival this weekend at Overpeck County Park, in Ridgefield Park, NJ. The festival will be open from 12-5pm each day, featuring 12 terrific NJ wineries, local foods, arts and crafts and live music each day. This will be the third of five annual statewide wine festivals produced by the GSWGA this fall. The event gives northern NJ and New York City residents a chance to enjoy and learn about the award-winning wines being produced right in their back yard, from the Highlands of northwest New Jersey to the sandy shores of Cape May.
The skyscrapers of Manhattan etch the skyline upon entering the park, which sprawls over 800 protected and preserved acres in 5 neighboring municipalities. Stretching along the Hudson, it provides an ideal setting for local wine enthusiasts to toast the harvest season, and savor the last whispers of the summer. NJ wineries have exploded in number, from 10 in the early 2000′s to nearly 50 today. With a wide range of soil and weather across the state, local wineries produce a equally broad spectrum of wines, from dry traditional European varieties, to sweeter native grapes. Some producers even ferment other local fruits such as blueberry and peach. With hundreds to sample, the festival guarantees a wine to suit every palate.
Overpeck County Park allows responsible consumption on the property, so attendees can enjoy their favorite wines on the lawn in front of the bands. On Saturday, Abraham The Groove will play RB and reggae. On Sunday, Total Soul returns from last year to play on Sunday. The band was wildly popular, playing Motown, RB, and today’s pop covers. The bands play from 12-5 each day.
Foodies will feel at home with food trucks offering delectable bites from flatbread wood-fired pizzas and BBQ, to seafood soups. “The Empanada Guy” will be on site in one of his food trucks, fresh off an appearance on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay.” Artisan food and craft vendors will have their wares available; with everything from spices and sauces to chocolates and other seasonal treats. The event is family friendly, with a crafts activity tent for kids to enjoy as well.
Tickets are $25 for adults; while those under 21 are free. Designated drivers receive complimentary admission to the festival. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at a $5 discount, which is available through Saturday the 13th. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass that can be used to sample the wines. Overpeck County Park has entrances at 199 Challenger Road in Ridgefield Park (best for approaching from NJ) and 40 Fort Lee Rd in Leonia (easier for driving from NYC), or a 20 minute bus ride from the Port Authority Bus Terminal on Manhattan will drop visitors from New York City at the southern entrance. The park will operate a shuttle from the parking areas to the festival grounds each day as well. The Jersey Skyline wine festival will run from noon to 5 p.m. each day. Ticket information, a festival guide, and the full list of winery participants can be found by visiting http://www.newjerseywines.com.
The GSWGA is a coalition of nearly 50 wineries and vineyards across New Jersey, dedicated to raising the quality and awareness of the New Jersey wine industry. For more information, please contact Executive Director John Cifelli at 908-866-6529 or John(at)newjerseywines(dot)com.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/jersey/skyline/prweb12154499.htm
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Fall’s chill signals the return of stouts, porters, Oktoberfest lagers and – whether you love or hate them – pumpkin-flavored brews. It’s now high season for local beer festivals, with plenty of events between now and mid-October.
The Mark Twain House‘s annual “Tapping into Twain” event Friday, Sept. 26, at 5:30 p.m. features more than 20 regional breweries and home brewers, plus food from several local restaurants. Tickets are $45 in advance, $50 at the door ($40 for MTHM members.) Designated driver tickets are $20. Prices include all food, beverage and a collectible pint glass. The Mark Twain House is at 351 Farmington Ave. in Hartford. Information and tickets: 860-280-3130 and marktwainhouse.org.
Two Roads Brewing Company, 1700 Stratford Ave., Stratford, hosts its Ok2berfest Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27 and 28, from noon to 6:30 p.m. each day. The event features food trucks and live music. The $15 admission fee includes an authentic German stein. Beer tickets are $5 apiece and must be purchased with cash (limit of four tickets). Attendees must be 21-plus; no minors or animals are permitted. Information: 203-335-2010 and tworoadsbrewing.com.
The annual Sun BrewFest returns to Mohegan Sun Oct. 4 and 5, with tasting sessions on Saturday afternoon and a special BrewBrunch Sunday morning. Tickets to the Saturday sessions are $25 each; the first session runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the second session runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Sunday brunch features Goose Island beer and Absolut Bloody Mary cocktails, with beer-infused food items. Tickets are $60, including all food and drink. For more information, visit sunbrewfest.com.
Broad Brook Brewing, 2 North Road, East Windsor, hosts a one-year anniversary party open house Oct. 4 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. The event includes tours of the brewery, free samples and food for purchase. Information: 860-623-1000 and broadbrookbrewing.com.
Chili reunites with its good friend beer at the Smoke in the Valley Craft Beer Chili Festival in Seymour Oct. 4, from noon to 5 p.m. More than 100 breweries are expected at the event, along with dozens of chili competitors in two divisions, including restaurant entrants. Proceeds will benefit Seymour Youth Sports programs and Seymour Fire and EMS Companies. Information: 203-437-1009 and smokeinthevalley.com.
The inaugural Connecticut Brewers Fest at Two Roads Brewing in Stratford Oct. 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., gathers more than 20 state breweries under one roof. Food trucks Lobstercraft, Local Meatball and Bounty Burger will park on site. Tickets are $25 and include 3-ounce pours of beers; all proceeds benefit the CT Beer Guild. Information: 203-335-2010 and tworoadsbrewing.com.
The Rotary Club of New London presents Brewfest at the Beach at Ocean Beach Park Oct. 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event features tastings of more than 150 beers. Cost is $25; proceeds benefit Camp Rotary, a nonprofit camp for New London students. Information: newlondonrotary.org.
The CPTV Craft Beer and Chili Challenge on Oct. 11 at Hartford’s Old State House features tastings of more than 100 local beer and chili recipes. Guests will vote on their favorites in more than a dozen different categories. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door and $20 for designated drivers. A $45 “brew crew” ticket includes early admission for reserve tastings and an interactive experience with a local brewmaster. Early entry beings at 2 p.m.; general admission is at 3 p.m. Information: beerandchili.org.
The Hoptoberfest 2014 Beer and Wing Festival at Shelton’s Riverwalk Oct. 11 features more than 80 craft brews and wings from local restaurants, with guests voting for “King of the Wing.” A $25 ticket purchased in advance includes beer and wings. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Information: facebook.com/SheltonHoptoberfest.
Cottrell Brewery, 100 Mechanic St., Pawcatuck, hosts its 4th annual Oktoberfest Oct. 11 from 3 to 6 p.m. The party includes free beer tastings, live music and food for purchase from Munchies Food Truck. Information: 860-599-8213 and cottrellbrewing.com.
Max Restaurant Group hosts its first annual Hoptoberfest at Rosedale Farms Vineyards in Simsbury Oct. 12 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event features beer from more than 30 breweries and food sampling, with additional food available for purchase. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door (if not sold out.) A portion of the ticket price will be donated to the CT Farmland Trust. Guests must be 21 or older. Information: maxrestaurantgroup.com.