‘Battle of the Food Trucks’ to benefit DuBoistown Fire Department

PHOTO PROVIDED The Grilled Cheese Cafe will be one food trucks who will participate in the Battle of the Food Trucks on Saturday at the DuBoistown Fire Department.

Members of the DuBoistown Fire Department, 2661 Euclid Ave., DuBoistown, will host the “Battle of the Food Trucks” from 1-7 p.m. on Saturday.

The event is free to the public, but each of the individual 15 food trucks that have signed up so far, will charge for their dishes. Participants will be able to buy the dishes and each truck will donate 20 percent of the day’s earnings back to the fire department.

“The trucks will be competing against each other,” said Daniel Rice, firefighter and event organizer. “And the members of the public will do the voting.”

The proceeds from the event will go to the upkeep of the department’s equipment, such as an engine, a tanker, a brush truck, two ambulances, a rehab trailer along and a search and rescue trailer as well as the purchase of other items needed for the protection of the surrounding community.

“We wanted to do something different and this would bring something new to area,” Rice said. “We looked into it, and this had been done in two other states — Virginia and Texas.”

Besides the trucks, a DJ will be set up, along with a bounce house, a dunk tank, a cake wheel and other items will be raffled.

Upon conceiving the idea, Rice explained that he immediately contacted the Jersey Shore based Erica Bame, of Real Taste Food Truck, which specializes in Mexican Street Food. Bame contacted several other owners of food trucks in the area and many agreed.

Bame explained this is good for the burgeoning food truck industry in the area because it creates exposure.

“The food trucks are new to this area and I believe many people do not know who we are,” Bame said. “We hope that this will increase the popularity and the food truck community will continue to grow.”

Bame said it was common for persons in the truck industry to take part in events that benefit locals.

“We have done this sort of event before,” she said. “We have supported other community events. We just recently took part in something to help raise funds for hurricane victims.”

Bame said that she was able to participate in an event that benefited a young girl dealing with serious medical issues.

Besides the event benefiting the community, she said that she is excited because this allows her to network with people she does not know.

“I’m getting excited about meeting new people,” Bame said. “I plan on trying all the different foods, too.”

When asked if she was nervous about competing against other food trucks, she said not at all.

“I own the Real Taste Mexican Street Food with my husband Curiel,” she said. “And he is a chef and he constantly says to me, ‘Let the food speak for itself’ and that is what we’re going to do.”

Nick Cowles, owner of the Grilled Cheese Cafe and Walkabout Trailer, said that a gathering of food trucks like this allows for customers to truly understand that a great deal of care and effort goes into owning a food truck or trailer.

“These events can really wake up the communities as to what we do,” said Cowles. “We have heard the term ‘roach coach’ used to describe our trucks, but that is not the case. We have a lot of high end and top quality food out there in these trucks.”

He explained that there are a great deal of regulations that have to be followed to keep food fresh and safe. Cooks in food trucks and food trailers continue to perfect their means of food preparations and do it in a reasonable amount of time.

“It can take less than five minutes to prepare a meal,” Cowles said. “And when the customer gets it, it is still hot.”

And he believes, that customers will be able to experience this on Saturday at the DuBoistown Fire Department.

Rice said that thanks to persons like Bame and Cowles, this could lead to future Food Truck Battles becoming a regular occurrence.

“We want to make this an annual event for as long as we can,” Rice said.

For more information about the event and participating vendors, visit the “1st Annual Battle of the Food Trucks” event page on Facebook.