By Teresa Latchford | York Region
You could be eating gourmet food from a truck as early as this summer.
Newmarket seeks two interested vendors to participate in a one-year pilot project that brings gourmet food trucks to town. The call for interested trucks has just gone out and town staff is finalizing the town properties on which the trucks will be able to operate, such as Riverwalk Commons, according to community services commissioner Ian McDougall.
The intent is to gather insight from customers, residents and truck owners and report back to council with details when the pilot is complete, he added, pointing out that the consultation would include community groups such as the BIA on Main Street.
It isn’t uncommon for town staff to launch a pilot project without formal approval from council when the intent is to gather information to determine if the programs would be permanent.
The pilot project is restricted to two trucks and whether or not it will kick off in the next few months will be determined by the number of applications the town receives. Each application will be reviewed before the final vendors are selected. The idea is to have trucks that provide something other than the traditional hot dog, fries or burgers.
Andrew and Jennifer Tedford hope to be among the vendors selected to participate.
The Newmarket residents, he a Seneca College professor and she an employee in the food manufacturing industry, have invested more than $60,000 in the truck that is now getting the final touches, including being wrapped with the truck’s name, Wickedly Sinful. The couple is boasting it will be one of Canada’s first low-carb and no sugar added gourmet food trucks.
The Tedfords purchased the former Toronto service truck and have customized it, including the addition of three fridges, food preparation stations, a double fryer, one for main dishes and the other for desserts, a double oven and grill. The truck is also self-sufficient, meaning it has its own electricity and water supplies.
“We have never owned a restaurant, we just love to cook,” she said with a shrug.
The duo has been working on menu items for years, offering them up to family and friends for taste testing. The low carb and no added sugar idea came from a cruise they were on and the desserts tasted like there was sugar in them, but there wasn’t.
“I felt like I was cheating on my diet because the cheesecake and creme brulee was so good, even without the sugar,” she said. “I don’t think people should miss out because they can’t or don’t want to eat sugar.”
The challenge is finding healthy and fresh alternatives to your favourite foods and making it taste as good as the full carb or full sugar version.
They have decided the truck will offer a rolling menu as the seasons change, allowing them to work with local farmers for ingredients.
One thing is for certain, Wickedly Sinful will have a signature taco tart to offer customers. Other ideas are being tested, such as the pulled pork dish that comes in an ice cream cone to avoid the high carbohydrates contained in buns.
“We want to offer people a little something different on the social and food front,” Mr. Tedford added.
The truck still needs to undergo a certification from fire services and an inspection by public health before they submit an application for the pilot project.
If accepted as a vendor, Wickedly Sinful will be ready to roll in a few weeks and using social media to report their location every day and what’s on the menu.
For more about the pilot project or to apply, call the town at 905-895-5193.