Monday, 24 September 2012

Food Trends: Food Trucks

Food, just like fashion, has trends. Think about fondues and the number of people that had fondue dinner parties in the 70's. The number of sets that were given as wedding presents in the past (although, thinking about it, with all that cheese and chocolate, I think it's a fashion we should bring back). Truffles is certainly a more recent trend, made even more popular by them being available in Australia rather than having to import them. And salted caramel is becoming a bit of a buzz ingredient. I mean, once you find it at your local coffee shop as a milk shake, you know it's hit the big time.
One of the more recent trends to hit the streets of Sydney, literally, is food trucks. But these trucks don't have food like the ice cream van type, or bad egg sandwiches and freeze dried coffee like you imagine the food to be like at those American building site food trucks. No, these trucks have deliciously prepared food cooked by amazing cooks. Food that you hang out for. Food that makes your mouth water in anticipation when you see the truck.
Globally, this isn't anything new, but it's taken a long time for it to actually happen in Sydney. After more than two years of campaigning, the ball finally started rolling in 2011 and the City of Sydney issued 10 licenses. But it's really only been in the last few months that the trucks have started to hit the streets in a year long trial. Why did it take so long? Who cares! The main thing is we make the trial a successful trial. After all, the food is delicious and after a couple of drinks, what would you prefer, a pulled pork roll from Tetsuya's old sous chef, or a kebab made from unknown meat that could have been being heated/cooked for a few days?

Of the 10 licenses given, 5 trucks are up and running in Sydney so far. Sydney Food Trucks are getting their app up and running, but in the mean time, you can follow the trading trucks on Facebook or Twitter to find out where they are going to be when. For those who work around Walsh Bay, they tend to always be just off Hickson Rd at Barangaroo every Friday lunch time (12 - 2.30pm).

Agape Organic: An organic food truck that serves tapas, pizza and sweet delights. The chef is organic Chef Simon Lawson, who's the chef and owner of Agape Organic Restaurant & Bar in Botany.

The Veggie Patch: The Veggie Patch uses seasonal produce from local growers to produce high quality vegetarian food with minimal processing. Their philosophy extends to the environment as well, aiming to have as minimal impact on the environment. They run their truck on recycled vegetable oil and use solar panels to power the cooking equipment.

Eat Art Truck: The modern street food served at this truck has a Japanese and Korean influence, but it's heart lies in the deep south with pulled pork, brisket and chicken wings often on the menu. And who could go past the food with Stuart Mcgill (former Sous Chef of Tetsuya's) and Brenton Balicki (former Chef of Quay) the chef's there. Their pulled pork is amazing. If only I could nab that recipe!

Cantina Mobil: Slow cooked mexican delights like taco's, nachos and burritos, along with non-alcoholic sangria and chilli-chocolate ice cream are served at this truck. The chef at Cantina Mobil is Simon Livingstone, former Sous Chef for Kensington Place in London and the founding head chef at InSitu in Manly.

Tsuru: The latest truck to hit the streets, Tsuru sports Asian style street far, from pork buns to chicken skewers. Their signature dish is the Pig: pork belly roasted and then braised and sandwiched between steamed buns and cucumber pickles. I haven't managed to catch this truck yet, but I'm certainly looking forward to tasting it's fares.

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