By Julien Perry | Eater.com
It was briefly mentioned on the Mobile Food Rodeo’s blog Wednesday—an announcement that they were launching the city’s first Street Food Festival August 17-18. Now, more details from Creative Director and Co-Founder Ryan Reiter:
It’s always been our desire to make the Mobile Food Rodeo expand into more of a weekend festival, but the biggest issue is that a lot of the food trucks have a hard time supporting a two-day festival. So, this is really a great opportunity to showcase, not just food trucks, but some of the top restaurants in Seattle.
Reiter, whose family runs the Fremont Sunday Market, says the idea is to really celebrate Seattle’s diverse international cuisine curbside, but in a different format than the Mobile Food Rodeo. What that looks like: food trucks, carts, and booths with some notable Seattle chefs cooking. Definitely a lot more involved than the Rodeo in terms of programming and showcase experience.
And, because this is Seattle, there will also be a pop-up element.
The pop-up dining experience is the opportunity to put five chefs together on a given night; they each create kind of a tapas-style plate, and you get to experience some new cuisine from some of your favorites.
It’ll be part of something called the Night Market, since this festival will go from around noon until 11 pm. There will also be 30 local breweries on tap and a Grilled Cheese Grand Prix.
And something else that’s different: trying to cut down on the lines!
One thing we’re aiming to change with both formats is an opportunity to keep portions affordable and smaller, so people can get smaller bites and eat throughout the festival over the weekend or on a given day. Right now, we’re looking at three menu items per food vendor with $5 portions. The idea is to attract a bigger crowd, but also be able to feed them at the same time.
Reiter won’t know for sure until February 1, but says he’s pretty much banking on Fremont for the festival’s location.
We looked at SLU, but it’s just not a neighborhood yet and there’s so much change and construction right now that it’s really hard for us to build a future home for it. We’ve been talking to the city about plans for putting the Street Food Festival down at the Pier eventually, just because it’s such a nice back drop. Fremont we know we can grow into.
By the way, the Mobile Food Rodeo returns to Fremont May 5.