Nearly 40 food trucks will have their best culinary delights on display in Springfield this Saturday. The vendors will be competing for a $10,000 grand prize in the city's first ever Gourmet Food Truck Competition.
The Springfield Rotary Club organized the event, which has drawn national attention from the growing food truck movement. Vendors from outside of Ohio have signed up to showcase food that ranges from gourmet hot dogs to Korean fusion food.
Springfield will be represented by the Ramen Rickshaw and the Painted Pepper, which is run by Louie Ortega, who shared that many of the vendors set-up shop together to satisfy the cult food following food trucks have generated.
"We actually park with them and I prefer to have more trucks to kind of draw in more business and people know about it and people come to seek it out now," Ortega said.
Korgi Mori operates the Ramen Rickshaw. He feels gourmet food truck fare is growing in popularity and quality across the country.
"You've gotta give credit to the food truck movement that started to gain traction out on the east and west coasts. They elevated street food to the gourmet level," Mori said. "And I believe that the Springfield Rotary was really looking for food trucks that had gourmet offerings not just your average hamburger and hot dog offerings."
The Gourmet Food Truck Competition runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will be held in Veterans Park. Live music, from four local bands and a beer garden will be part of the festivities.
WYSO is the media sponsor for the free event and Speedway is the corporate sponsor. Money raised from the competition will go towards the Springfield Rotary Club's charities.
The winner of the $10,000 grand prize for Best Food Truck Cuisine will be decided by a panel of local celebrity judges, which includes:
Doug McGregor, chef and owner of Seasons Bistro in Springfield
Amelia Robinson, food writer for Cox Newspapers in Dayton
Tina Pavlatos, chocolatier and president of Visual Anatomy, LTD in Springfield
Steve Neely, Rotarian and president of Armoloy of Ohio in Springfield
Mary Kay Smith, chef and owner of the Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs