By Alice Kleinpeter | AZFamily.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — From Cambodian spiced ginger beef curry to cheesy mac and rib grilled cheese sandwiches, food lovers are sure to find something to please their taste buds at the Street Eats Food Truck Festival.
Salt River Fields hosts more than 50 food trucks from around the country at this two day event that boasts good food, cooking demonstrations, bars, and musical entertainment.
But these trucks are more than a roadside snack bar or grill. The owners have backgrounds in gourmet cooking and interesting stories behind some of the unique concepts.
“We used to own Cajun restaurants back east and I was doing full service jambalaya like in a pot, like a paella pot,” said Chef Michael Brown, owner of Jamburritos Cajun Grill Express. “And then when I came out to the West coast I started being fascinated with the tortilla.”
The resulting creation is their signature “Jamburitto” – a burrito filled with jambalaya. The mobile Cajun grill features other comfort foods like jambalaya bowls, catfish plates and much more.
“The best part about it for me was the first time I drove out of the truck yard and had gumbo on the stove and smelled it,” said Brown. “But when it got down to the reality of it I had to learn to run a food truck business.”
And these businesses can prove to be highly successful. “The Grilled Cheese Truck” soon had one of the longest lines at the festival Saturday and it was much anticipated.
“We’re the most followed truck in the world on Facebook, the second most followed truck in the world on twitter” said Dave Danhi, the CEO, founder and chef for “The Grilled Cheese Truck.” “We get lines of up to three hours long in L.A.”
Anthony Peters made it a point to stop by “The Grilled Cheese Truck” and was lucky enough to miss the long line.
“My friends are always raving about it so finally I get to come here and eat this food too,” Peters said.
The Food Network’s Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian stopped by for a cooking demonstration Saturday and “Man v. Food” star Adam Richman will be at the festival Sunday for a “Man v. Food” live experience.
Guests can purchase a VIP ticket for $60 that allows access to a special VIP tent brought by LTB Concepts, and the chance to participate in the celeb chef Q & A, along with $20 in food tickets.
Stark Raving Un-Wine-d Lounge can be purchased for $35 and offers admission along with eight wine tastings and food pairings.
General admission is $10. Children 12 and under are free. The event is Saturday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 13 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is located at 7555 N. Pima Rd. in Scottsdale, AZ.