FOOD TRUCKS SHAKE STREET FOOD UP
The streets of great American cities -Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York- have taken the lead in the bloom of "gourmet-food-trucks". These mobile foodstands, designed like ice-cream trucks, have real "chefs" for pilots. Convenient, mobile, cost-reduced, creative and connected... Beyond the mere fashion craze, some true laboratories of taste are re-shaping, re-inventing the very relation to customers in infinite variations. They're offering a true alternative to classical food: all at once creative, sophisticated and cheap...Culinary fab labs
If the concept of mobile food stands is not new, it has long suffered from the image of low quality fast food, with very negative impact.
With its ultra-elaborate, creative visual identities, and a sometimes experimental fusion food approach, the new generation of food trucks helps street food regain prestige.
Hyper than ever, here's a selection of some of the hottest trucks.
- Kogi BBQ
A pioneer become cult classic, Kogi BBQ was started by Roi Choi, "2010's best cook" according to Food&Wine magazine. The menu, with its creative fusion food, and creative names (Pacman burger, Blue moon Mulita, Black Jack Quesadilla cf image 2) is not afraid to mix Cocina Mexicana and Korean flavours. “Signature Taco", menu special : caramelized short ribs with sesame sauce & Chili, cilantro-green onion-lime relish, Kimchi sider.
- Lobsta truck
Los Angeles Lobsta truck, specialized in lobster, is a great success. Its menu special: (organic) lemonade, fresh lobster meat on a toasted split top roll with lemon butter. Simple, efficient, tasty and cheap.
- Flying pig
1. Flying pig in Downtown L.A, photo via www.roaminghunger.com 2. « Pork belly », photo © drinkeattravel.com
Still in Los Angeles, the Flying Pig, famous for its revisited "bao buns", also offers spicy pork tacos, with green papaya and cilantro cream, at rock-bottom price.
Immediate success for the CoolHaus, a name inspired by dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The two creators first started with a vintage mail truck bought online. They now have 18 employees, 3 more trucks (two in Austin, one in the Hamptons), and plan to export the concept in Rome and Paris. The reason for such success? Organic Gourmet ice cream sandwiches, with explosive flavours and names: mango sticky rice, candied bacon or strawberry-jalapeno pepper, all sandwiched between ginger molasses or lemon rosemary cookies...
- Dessert truck
The Dessert truck in New York is seriously starting to challenge the best pastry shops in town.
- Green truck on the go
1. The Green truck in L.A, via eatingthebigapple.wordpress.com 2. Veggie burger, beetroot mayo, photo © flickr, sfPhotocraft album
Venice's Green truck (in LA) is 100% all-natural, fueled on vegetable oil, with fresh, organic and local products... A highly sustainable food truck.2.0 Proximity
Far beyond their culinary creativity and sense of staging, these mobile foodstands also innovate in their ways of interacting with customers.
1. CoolHaus twitter account is a way to keep customers posted on new menus and on the truck's itineraries 2. Food trucking or food tracking? The Roaminghunger application and foodtruckmap associated website, enable people to follow the live activity of these ever moving foodstands. Sometimes turning into a real treasure hunt game, another way for people to discover their city.
A genuine 2.0 generation, these new foodtrucks have chosen social networks and geo-localization as their favourite media (cf contra): daily publication of menus, real- time community information on their whereabouts... Just like the good old trucks were regularly patrolling the poorly supplied countryside areas. A way to develop proper bonding and complicity with customers on a daily basis, with added technology value. The latter, if cleverly used, can reveal a true service to human beings...