Plymouth, MA: Food Truck Festival Serves Up Concept Food

By Larry Claflin Jr. | The Patriot Ledger

Save your appetite for Saturday, when a culinary caravan rolls into Plymouth for the first-ever Fabulous Food Truck Festival.

The event, the first of its kind in the region according to organizers, will feature many of Boston’s best food trucks, some personally run by celebrity chefs.

The Fabulous Food Truck Festival will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday at The Pinehills. It will feature seven “concept trucks” as well as a beer tasting for adults and entertainment for children.

Winners from WBOS-FM’s recent Battle of the Bands will perform as will a young, Cape Cod based singer-songwriter. Additionally, Cafe Olio and The Market, both based at The Pinehills, will be open for business.

Admission is free to the rain-or-shine event and food prices vary, said Donna Tefft, The Pinehills’ director of marketing. Everything will happen on the community’s Village Green.

“Everyone likes to eat, and everyone likes to try different things,” Tefft said, “and whenever you’re in an area where there are a lot of good restaurants, you can’t try a variety of foods at one time without going to something like this.”

Chef Allison Fong, will work from Bon Me, a winner of the 2011 Boston Food Truck Challenge, serving vibrant Vietnamese-inspired dishes; artisan bakers will inhabit the Kick Ass Cupcakes vehicle; and The Froyo Truck will churn out cool, swirly yogurt combinations that can be complemented by Belgian organic waffles and fresh fruit.

Also, chef Jasper White will represent his Summer Shack truck, called a “clambake on wheels,” offering savory lobster rolls, clam chowder and corn on the cob.

The Eat Wagon will sell gourmet hot dogs, and burgers and tacos made with beef from grass-fed cows, according to Aaron Cohen of Eat Boston, which will preview its new truck Saturday.

Cohen and chef Will Gilson run Eat Boston, which puts on large-scale food events and “feeds people in interesting and unique ways,” Cohen said.

Gilson is chef/owner of Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge and is doing a summer residency as a chef at Adrian’s in Truro.

“(Food trucks) are a way for chefs to promote themselves and their restaurants while also trying out new menu items,” said Cohen, a Cambridge resident who will get to see family at the event.

“My parents live in The Pinehills, so it’s one way to get me down Route 3 to visit them.”

To be clear, these are far from the old “roach coach” vehicles slinging pre-packaged foods of suspect origin, rather they are clean, self-sufficient rolling restaurants from which creative dishes are sold.

“This event is fully the new food-truck movement,” says Todd Saunders, CEO and managing member of Food Truck Nation, a company that outfits restaurants with trucks and is helping to put on Saturday’s event.

According to Saunders, Boston is catching up with cities like Portland, Ore., Miami, Chicago and Washington, D.C., which have a plethora of food trucks with a variety of well-made, quick dishes. The trend began in Los Angeles a couple years ago, said Saunders, with the Kogi truck, which sold Korean barbecue in a Mexican tortilla.

Saunders will bring his truck, Grilled Cheese Nation, which offers – you guessed it – nothing but grilled-cheese sandwiches, with shots of fresh tomato soup, too.

Grilled Cheese Nation selections are made with Iggy’s bread and feature produce and cheese from New England farms.

There’s The Boston Common (aged Vermont cheddar on organic, pain de mie bread with option of fresh tomatoes and/or applewood smoked bacon); In Gouda We Trust (smoked gouda on dark rye pan de mie, caramelized onion and sauteed mushrooms); and the Bleu Man Goo (bleu cheese on raisin pecan bread with organic fig jam).

While a crew of six take care of hungry patrons, Saunders will be outside, talking to people while they wait to be served.

“People actually like to wait in line and meet other people and socialize – it’s a new trend of sharing, food and conversation,” Saunders said.

IF YOU GO . . . .

WHAT: Fabulous Food Truck Festival
WHEN: From noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine
WHERE: The Pinehills Village Green, Plymouth
HOW MUCH: Free admission

Food trucks featured

Grilled Cheese Nation – Serves grilled cheese sandwiches made with local cheeses and breads.

Jasper White’s Summer Shack – Chef White’s “clambake on wheels” offers lobster rolls, clam chowder and corn on the cob.

Bon Me – A winner of the 2011 Boston Food Truck Challenge, Chef Allison Fong serves Vietnamese-inspired dishes.

Kick Ass Cupcakes – Gourmet cupcakes with flavors such as Strawberry Margarita and Green Monster, which is topped with Sam Adams Cream Stout frosting.

The Eat Wagon – Burgers, dogs and tacos.

The Froyo Truck – Frozen yogurt.

Red Barn Coffee – Espresso shots, lattes and Peruvian coffee blends.

Beer tasting

The Long Ridge Wine and Spirits tent is holding an afternoon beer tasting by Mayflower Brewing Company from noon to 3 p.m., and Cisco Brewers from 4 to 7 p.m. (21-plus ID required for sampling)

There’s music, too…

Ocean Transfer, Beneath the Sheets and The Ground Up, winners of WBOS’ Battle of the Bands, will perform, as will Carly Tefft, 17, a singer-songwriter from Sandwich, who will attend Berklee College of Music this fall.