By Anjali Fluker | Orlando Business Journal
If we thought Orlando’s food truck scene had arrived before, the City Beautiful is set to soar among the stars now.
The Cooking Channel’s Eat Street TV show — a Canadian-produced show that celebrates North America’s hot street food trend — spent a day each with three of Central Florida’s mobile eateries in preparation for three separate segments set to air later this fall as part of the show’s planned third season.
The three trucks — Yum Yum Cupcake Truck, Big Wheel Truck and The Crooked Spoon — said the Eat Street crew stumbled upon Orlando’s growing food truck industry during a visit to Miami. The crew initially planned to feature two trucks in Orlando, but after seeing how popular the mobile vendors were, decided to take on a third.
The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck spent the day with the crew on July 4, starting at the commissary — including five hours of filming co-owners Alex Marin and Joey Conicella baking their delicious treats. The crew then followed the truck — “They had a cameraman hanging out of their minivan, filming us driving down Mills,” said Conicella — to its selected spot for the day outside Thornton Park’s Nube Nova Salon, where a loyal group of Twitter followers and Facebook friends had gathered for the filming.
Eat Street wanted to feature Yum Yum’s four most popular cupcakes: peanut butter chocolate, lemon meringue, strawberry shortcake and orange creamsicle cupcake. And it was just one day short of Yum Yum’s latest flavor unveiling: key lime pie.
Meanwhile, the crew met up with Big Wheel Truck on July 5 with the goal to see some of Chef Tony Adams’ more unusual dishes, such as spicy octopus skewers with marinated chickpea salad and grouper cheeks slider with homemade tartar sauce. A big focus for Big Wheel’s interview involved its focus on locally sourced ingredients, Adams said.
“It was a long day,” said Adams, who said the crew met him at Lake Lily in Maitland in the morning and stayed with him as he prepped for the weekly Maitland food pod later that evening. “We finished around 11 o’clock that night.”
The final day was July 6 with The Crooked Spoon, which hosted the Eat Street crew at its regular lunch spot at University Boulevard and Goldenrod Road in east Orlando. Chef/owner Steve Saelg said he initially was asked to prepare his shrimp and grits dish, but because he wasn’t able to get the type of shrimp he needed, he shifted to swordfish with cheesy stone-ground grits finished with basil vinaigrette and anatto oil. He also prepared his ever-popular 420 burger — angus beef, pineapple relish, bacon, swiss cheese, honey whole grain mustard and a fried onion ring — and his six-cheese macaroni and cheese.
One of the things all three chefs said was important to them was emphasizing how the trucks in Orlando tend to work in tandem, rather than competing against each other. A core of six trucks started together earlier this year and have traveled as a group to gatherings in downtown Orlando, Maitland and Oviedo.
And they’ve even decided to try to move the pods to other areas, like Kissimmee, Apopka and even the Waterford Lakes Town Center in east Orlando.
But the real good news with this is that Orlando will get some more positive attention on national TV when the shows air.