Another Project: “E-Dogz” Mobile Culinary Community Center

Project by Eric May

E-Dogz is more than just a food truck, it is a Mobile Culinary Community Center. And what exactly does that mean? Food is a medium for social interaction. All over the world, street food- food that is prepared and served in public provides moments which bring together communities. My city, Chicago, has a distinct lack of this type of culture. I would like to launch this project as a means for not only serving great food, but also ideas and conversation about food. I would like to inform and stimulate people’s relationships and attitudes towards what they eat.

The Center will host a range of public activities that will inspire community conviviality such as block parties, cook-offs, and a visiting chef series that will feature everyone from professionals, to amateurs, budding young cooks, and talented grandmas. The Center will also host educational programming such as cooking demonstrations and urban food awareness workshops. Even through the cuisine itself, which will feature unlikely ingredients that may be foraged from the landscape or grown at the Center itself, an awareness and appreciation of food sources will be promoted.

Sales of foodstuffs will be re-invested into the programming of the Center.

Once funding goals have been met I will purchase a concession trailer. I will apply for the proper licensing from the city which will include securing a catering license and certification for the requisite stable kitchen space that you see in my video. This is the law in Chicago, all foods served from a mobile food facility must be prepared and prepackaged in a certified kitchen.

During the colder months, I will begin to work on outfitting the trailer with cooking equipment. I will also invest a great deal of time designing the identity of the project, embellishing the trailer with signage, a sound system, and interactive display areas. I hope to hit the streets by early spring.

$9000 of funding for this project has been secured through a grant from Northwestern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts. This is nearly enough funding to buy the concession trailer itself. I am trying to raise another $3000 toward the rest of the money needed for the trailer and beyond that to fund equipment and licensing costs.