PALM SPRINGS — Nearly 10,000 people gathered for a one-day food binge to experience a food-nomenon that has taken over the country.
“I’m blown away,” said Stephen Domingue, owner of Ragin Cajun, a Louisiana-style food truck that rolled in from Los Angeles. “I can’t believe the crowd we’ve got here.”
The first Palm Springs Food Truck Festival at the Spa Resort Casino attracted foodies from all over the Coachella Valley and beyond with nearly 70 food trucks that served up everything from rattlesnake hot dogs, dirty spaghetti tacos and tornado potatoes.
“I may starve to death because I can’t make up my mind,” Palm Springs snowbird Nancy Knight quipped as she took a break from her foodventure.
Festival organizer Cliff Young, host of “Out to Eat” on KVCR, the public television station that serves the Inland Empire, was inspired to bring the food trucks to Palm Springs after the success of last year’s Inland Empire Food Truck Festival in Ontario he attended.
“I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Young said.
Now he’d like to not only make it an annual event, but a twice a year signature event for Palm Springs.
“You’ve got great tacos, great Vietnamese food and a lot of trucks that have been on TV before,” said Jason Sheehan of Palm Springs. “It’s amazing.”
Gourmet food trucks emerged in metropolitan cities as the hip new way to eat about three years ago, changing the way people make food and consume food.
Domingue had a restaurant in Hermosa Beach for 20 years before competing in the first season of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” in 2010, and it “totally changed my whole life.”
“I would take a food truck over a restaurant any day of the week,” he said.
And looking at the crowds in front of the day’s trucks, others agree.
“It’s nice to see something new like Filipino food that we don’t see out here, “ said Eric Ugarte of La Quinta, a local chef.
“The convenience and simplicity of it makes it even better,” chimed in his friend, Brittany Moyron of Indio. Sheehan called the event “wildly successful.”
“I can’t believe it took this long to get something like this here, but it’s great,” he said.