Saturday, November 27, 2010

Support CHOC - Win Tickets - Have Fun

You all know that the Gourmet Food Truck community supports charities everyday. Some in a big way at large events and some by donating food to local homeless shelters at the end of a long day serving curbside.

Save the Food Trucks will be giving away one pair of tickets to the CHOC 2010 Fest at Knotts Berry Farm December 4th. There will be many of Southern California's premier food trucks donating a portion of their sales to this wonderful charity.

RULES to Enter: The rules are simple, leave a short comment at the bottom of this post including your Twitter name and follow @SaveFoodTrucks on Twitter. All entries must be received by midnight Thursday Dec 2nd pacific time. We will select one entry and notify you via twitter. Its that simple.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Day of GFT FOOD and Fun to Benefit CHOC at KNOTT’S

A DAY OF FOOD AND FUN TO BENEFIT CHOC AT KNOTT’S
BUENA PARK, CA --The Torch Relay for Children's Miracle Network (CMN), along with Knott's Berry Farm and Mobile Food Properties, have joined forces to raise awareness and funds for CHOC Children's Hospital.   CHOC FEST 2010 at Knott’s Berry Farm will bring the Orange and Los Angeles communities together for a day of family fun, entertainment and a variety of gourmet food trucks on Saturday, December 4 from 10 am to 3 pm.
A wide selection of unique gourmet food trucks will gather in the lawn area of the Park Pavilion across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm.  Among the specialty food options that will be available are dan dan bbq, Ahn Joo, LouksToGo, Del’s Soft Frozen Lemonade, Vesuvio Italian, Chunk n Chip Cookies, Kabob Express, Chomp Chomp, Calbi and more.  Unlimited fountain drinks are included with $8 adult admission and beer and wine will be available for purchase.  Children 10 and under are free.  Park admission is not required to attend this event.
The Torch Relay for Children's Miracle Network is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting non-profit children's hospitals throughout the United States.  From the simple beginnings of this event in 2002, The Torch Relay for CMN has raised more than $5 million dollars for Children's Hospitals nationwide. 
Within the Orange County market, the Torch Relay dedicates its efforts in raising awareness and funds for CHOC Children's Hospital. Since opening their doors in 1964, CHOC has provided the highest quality medical care to children. Their regional health system includes a state-of-the-art 238 bed main hospital facility in the City of Orange, a hospital-within-a-hospital in Mission Viejo, and several primary and specialty clinics — plus over 100 additional programs and services. With admissions growing by 124% since 1998, CHOC and CHOC at Mission combined rank as the 17th busiest children's hospital in the country. 
With the support of Knott's Berry Farm and Mobile Food Properties, the Torch Relay for CMN is proud to host CHOC FEST 2010 to support CHOC Children's Hospital and their mission - Change CHOC, Change the World.
As part of the annual Toys for Tots drive at Knott’s, $15 gifts will be available for purchase at CHOC FEST.  Knott’s will provide free park admission with each toy purchased at the CHOC event and donated to the U.S Marine Corp at Knott’s main gate for Toys for Tots.
For more information on CHOC FEST 2010, visit www.torch-relay.org to buy tickets for this event.  For information on all Knott’s has to offer this holiday season, visit  www.Knotts.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Food Truck Industry: Protecting our Own

"As a sports fan growing up in the Northern suburbs of Detroit, MI, I had the opportunity in the 70’s to latch onto a sport that had a relatively small niche following. The National Hockey League was available every Saturday evening via the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) before the advent of cable television.


I would watch my home team Red Wings every chance I had and grew to love the sport even though, I didn’t play it. In the 80’s the league expanded and began to take teams out of small markets in Canada and the US rustbelt, and moved them to warmer parts of the country in an attempt to wrestle away viewers of the NBA and NFL. The league had some success in doing this, and went prime time when the NHL signed huge television contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports. What happened next was alien to me, but in an attempt to make the sport more palatable for the whole country, the NHL agreed with FOX, to allow a blue dot to follow the puck during play on their national television broadcasts. This trend quickly died, as long time fans, turned the channel in disgust, as they watched as their small niche sport make the move to the big time.


The ratings started to plummet enough that both ESPN and FOX dropped their weekly programming of hockey, why? Because the original fans stopped watching, and the trendy new blue puck wasn’t enough to keep the new fans. A new trend in the food truck industry has reminded me of hockey history, and if something isn’t done to protect it, we may see the equivalent of a blue dot following the food trucks in our industry.


Although food trucks have been in the United States (primarily NYC and Los Angeles) since the 70’s, the industry has reached new levels of prominence in the country over the last 3-5 years. The big turning point for the industry was this year’s inaugural season of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” which brought mobile cuisine to the national stage.


Food trucks are popping up in every region of the country, and more and more cities are legislating new ways to allow the industry within their limits. Yes, this is great for the mobile entrepreneurs who prefer to open up mobile dining vehicles as opposed to traditional brick and mortar establishments, but at the same time, large corporations are starting to look at the industry as a means to market for their already established restaurants. It has been reported over the last few months that companies such as Sizzler, Tasty D-Lite and Cousins Submarines are planning entry into the food truck industry. It appears, their marketing strategy isn’t to help the food truck industry, but to attract customers to their in-line restaurants.


I found out from the Wall Street Journal, that Aaron Webster, owner of three Tasti D-Lite stores in Houston, says he bought a used van last year for $90,000 from the frozen-dessert brand’s parent company. It’s complete with a small refrigerator, freezer, sinks, countertop, soft-serve machine, toppings bar and power generator. A bubble-gum pink exterior features the brand’s logo and website address.


Mr. Webster, a former investment banker, uses the van to sell ice cream mostly at community events and for catering jobs. He says mobile sales account for less than 2% of total revenues for his businesses but that the van is helping to raise brand awareness. “It’s really a roving billboard,” he says.


A roving billboard? Is that really where we want to see the industry head? Of course the National Restaurant Association opened up a measly 1,500 square feet of its annual show to food trucks last year, how else would they be able to show all of the national restaurant chains how they can expand their current stores?


Please don’t take this article the wrong way, expansion of the industry is a good thing, and healthy competition on the streets will help to maintain creative menus and innovative fare being served from food trucks. However, our concern is what the next step in this evolution may entail.


As it stands today, many cities already have limits on the number of licenses they issue to mobile food vendors, if these mega corporations delve into food trucks with the backing of their huge coffers of capital, where will that leave the small business owner who loves to cook, and has a new twist on burgers or tacos they wish to share? Will they have to wait 10 years before getting the proper license because Taco Bell or McDonalds already has fleets of 10 plus trucks rolling around each major market in the country? Will cities draw back from their current support of the industry because there are too many corporate applications being submitted for review and approval? Or even worse, will there be a backlash by the current followers of trucks such as Kogi BBQ, The Big Gay Ice Cream, or The Nom Nom Truck? Will these loyal fans turn their backs on the established trucks because of the onslaught of profit driven establishments that litter every corner of the public right of way?


I certainly hope not, however, if nothing is done to help protect against this, I am afraid in the next few years we may have our own version of the blue dot following our industry."

To read the original the article visit Mobile Cuisine Magazine

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Saturday Night Foodies To Host Special Celebrity Edition OC DinDin-A-GoGo For ‘Drive Out Hunger’ – November 17

Drive Out Hunger is in full swing. People are bring in food and many trucks are offering specials when you drop off food donations. Saturday Night Foodies is now taking the food drive to the next level. In conjunction with 19 gourmet food trucks and other leading food bloggers, Saturday Night Foodies  will host a special food truck event Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., in the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater parking lot (8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA).

This special Drive Out Hunger event will expand on OC DinDin-A-GoGo, a weekly gourmet food truck event managed by the Tropical Shave Ice Truck. For those that have experienced a DinDin-A-GoGo event, think OC DinDin on steroids! We really encourage everyone to bring folding tables, chairs and blankets.

Celebrities helping to bring awareness to the hunger crisis in Orange County will be on hand to take pictures and sign autographs for a donation of 10 non-perishable canned or dry good items, per person. There will also be a silent auction, and participants will have the opportunity to bid on Lakers and Lady Gaga tickets, vacations, and autographed art, to name just a few. Event admission and parking are free.

Celebrities* participating in the special Drive Out Hunger OC DinDin-A-GoGo event at press time are:

Ashley Argota (Nickelodeon’s True Jackson VP)
Rachael Bell (Disney’s Suite Life on Deck)
Doug Brochu (Sonny with a Chance)
Taylor Dayne (Singer)
John and Steven French (Disney’s Suite Life: 2 for the Road)
Shar Jackson (Moesha, Celebrity Fit Club)
Savannah Jayde (Big Time Rush)
Ashley Jones (True Blood, Bold and Beautiful)
James Kyson Lee (Heroes)
Corey Miller (LA Ink)
Bronson Pelletier (Twilight Saga)
Raini Rodriguez (Paul Blart Mall Cop, Disney’s Prom)
Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family)
Gretchen Christine Rossi (Real Housewives of Orange County)
BooBoo Stewart (Twilight Saga)
Fivel Stewart (Guardians of Luna)
Kaycee Stroh (High School Musical 1, 2 & 3)
Jessica Sutta (Pussycat Dolls)
*Celebrities subject to change without notice. Visit www.saturdaynightfoodies.com for latest lineup.

The donations that are needed most are:

Non-perishable canned goods or dry food**:

  • Canned meats, fish, soup, fruits, vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Hot and cold cereal
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter

Personal care items:

  • Diapers
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap

** Please no glass containers or expired items.

The following gourmet food trucks will be at the event to accept donations: @BakeryTruck, @BrcelonaontheGo, @CalbiBBQ, @ChompChompTruck, @ChunknChip, @CrepesBonaparte, @DanDanBBQ, @DosChinos, @LeesPhilly, @LomoArigato, @Loukstogo, @OhForSweetsSake, @PiaggioonWheels, @Seabirdstruck, @ShortstopBBQ, @TheBurntTruck, @TheGreasyWiener, @TheLimeTruck, and @TropShaveIce.

For food enthusiasts that are not located in Orange County, but want to contribute, a virtual food drive has been established online so they can participate regardless of where they are located. Please click on the Drive Out Hunger icon to make a monetary contribution.

Participating bloggers helping with the virtual drive are: The Cupcake Activist, Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman, Gourmet Food Truck, Marian the Foodie, Just Spotted, Save the Food Trucks and Savored.

Please join us for this very special edition of OC DinDin-A-GoGo! Bring lots and lots of cans!

When you see @satnightfoodies and @DriveOutHunger thank them and follow them on Twitter for latest updates, news, truck specials and other information supporting Drive Out Hunger!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Food Drive Nov 7 - 20, 2010 - Help Those Less Fortunate

Join the Team and Make a Difference.


Its up to all of us to take this wonderful community of new found food and friends and show how much we care.

Saturday Night Foodies has partnered with 20 Orange County Gourmet Food Trucks, leading food bloggers, to host Drive Out Hunger, the county’s first mobile food drive. The two week food drive will be held from November 7-20, 2010 and will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.


Did you know according to the Second Harvest Food Bank, approximately 615,000 Orange County residents are at risk of going hungry each month.

Because the economy has been slow to rebound, donations have been low this year. In turn, the Second Harvest member agencies are reporting an average 35 percent increase in demand for food assistance. We, with the help of the foodie community, want to collect 1,000 pounds of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.

What to you do? Easy:
Bring a food donation when you visit your favorite Gourmet Food Truck during the two week food drive.  Oh and spread the word.

Whats needed most? Easy:

Non-perishable canned goods or dry food:
  • Canned meats, fish, soup, fruits, vegetables
  • Pasta
  • Hot and cold cereal
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Peanut butter

Personal care items:
  • Diapers
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap
* Please no glass containers or expired items.

Participating gourmet food trucks will have collection bins at their food stops from Nov. 7-20, to accept donations:
  • Bakery Truck
  • Barcelona on the Go
  • CalbiBBQ
  • Chomp Chomp Truck
  • ChunknChip
  • Crepes Bonaparte
  • DanDanBBQ
  • Dogzilla Dogs
  • Dos Chinos
  • KonaiceBC
  • Lomo Arigato
  • Longboards
  • Louks
  • Oh For Sweets Sake
  • Piaggio on Wheels
  • Seabirds
  • Shortstop BBQ
  • The Burnt Truck
  • The Greasy Wiener
  • The Lime Truck
  • The Taco Dawg
  • Tropical Shave Ice
Find their daily locations via their respective Twitter or Facebook pages.
If you are not located in Orange County or want to make your donation on line, click here Drive Out Hunger.