On Saturday I went to The City to check out the San Francisco Street Food Festival, and I had a blast. The festival was a culinary celebration where food trucks from all over the country gathered on the streets of San Francisco to showcase high-quality, artisan dishes. I enjoyed interacting with the Food Truck owners, sampling a variety of multi-cultural fare, and seeing a huge support for this new food movement. I get really stoked when people proudly share their culture and their excitement for their quality craft.
The Food Truck Movement is the result of our struggling and sluggish economy. It is an example of how creative people turned their passion into successful business ventures. Rather then paying for restaurant space, these business owners took an alternate route and utilized Food Trucks as mobile restaurants. With the burden of rent eliminated, these innovators took Food Trucks to a higher level.
The use of a Food Truck allows the business owners and chefs to interact on a personal level with their consumers. This is something that really appeals to me. I enjoy hearing about how my meal was prepared, and learning about the local farmers who provide the products. For consumers, like myself, eating out is about "more" then just, well, eating. It's about being aware of the food I eat, experiencing new exciting flavors and learning about how the dish came to be.
We spoke to a women from Malaysia who told us she "Americanized" her curry chicken by serving it in buns. Her dish was an example of how the the influence of cultures can spark innovative dishes while still celebrating tradition.
Walking around the festival reminded me of being in another country, expect I was able to experience multiple cultures. I could watch a women make plantain pupusas and next to her was a man making pulled pork sliders. The variety of dishes from empanadas (I like to refer to them as pastry parcels) to Wax Moth Larve Tacos (unfortunately the line was too long and I didn't get to sample) was pretty extreme to say the least.
Seeing people turn their passion into successes really inspires me. It's experiences like this festival that remind me the American Dream can be achieved. Food Trucks, Etsy Stores and Blogging are all up and coming avenues that allow people to share their passion, and make their dreams a reality. Those are the kind of people and businesses I love to support and celebrate.
If you live in the Bay Area a similar food festival, Eat Real (which I attended last year) is happening next month in Oakland. I'll be there, so please let me know if you will be attending as well.
And for the rest of you, I encourage you to check out Food Trucks in your area, and to support your local businesses.
If you are a small business owner please leave a link in your comment. I would love to check it out.