Thursday, October 4, 2012

Weekend Gourmet Spotlight: HEB Food Truck Face Off...

I was recently invited to take part in HEB's Food Truck Face Off event. This friendly cooking competition was sponsored by HEB grocery stores, and it was so much fun! Four of San Antonio's most popular food trucks created original recipes featuring HEB Primo Pick items. The chefs who took part in the Food Truck Face Off included:
  • Jason Dady's Duk Truck
  • Johnny Hernandez's True Flavors
  • Pieter Sypersteyn's Where Y'at
  • Michael Anthony Romo's MARS Mobile Kitchen
All participating food trucks received a donation to a local non-profit organization of their choice for taking part in the event. The size of the donation was determined by the placing of each truck's dish. One winner was selected by a panel of local foodie judges, and one winner was selected as Crowd Favorite.

This free event was a fantastic Saturday morning activity for San Antonio food lovers...and the food was indeed fabulous! I arrived early and chatted with the staff from each of the food trucks to find out a little about their dishes and have a sample. First up was MARS Mobile Kitchen, who was featuring a refreshing and healthy Heirloom Watermelon Gazpacho. The gazpacho was very nice...the watermelon provided a touch of sweetness that cut some of the acidity of the tomatoes in the gazpacho. Their charity was the Wounded Warriors Project and Soldiers' Angels.

The next truck I visited was Where Y'at, which was serving up authentic New Orleans BBQ shrimp. The sauce was flavorful and spicy, and the shrimp were plump and sweet. They served  their dish with thick slices of French bread, which worked perfectly for soaking every bit of the delectable sauce. This was the best BBQ shrimp I've had outside of New Orleans, and I can't wait to visit this food truck again!! Their charity was Gordon Pictures, a Christian movie ministry.

After enjoying my shrimp, I entered the line for Jason Dady's Duk Truck...and some of his cleverly named Not 'Cho Dady Hatch Chili Nachos. They were upscale comfort food...spicy with lots of layers of flavor and texture. These nachos would be very easy to replicate at home using the same HEB products that Chef Dady used. Michael would really enjoy noshing on these nachos on Texans game day!! Duk Truk's charity was Culinaria's new community garden and educational center.

My final stop of the morning was at Chef Johnny Hernandez's mobile La Gloria spinoff True Flavors. I'm a huge fan of La Gloria, and the mobile version did not disappoint! His team was cooking up Pork Street Tacos with Pickled Red Onions. The tacos were full of juicy pork, and the pickled red onions provided a tart contrast that matched very nicely with earthy corn tortillas. Their charity was The Culinary Institute of America. 

Before I knew it, the winners were being announced. The winner of both the judges and the crowd favorite was the amazing New Orleans BBQ Shrimp from Where Y'at. By claiming both First Place prizes, they received $10, 500 for their charity. Duk Truck came in Second Place and received $5,000 for their charity. True Flavors came in Third Place and received $2,500 for their charity, and MARS Mobile Truck came in Fourth Place and received $1,000 to be split between their two charities.

In the end, everybody was a winner at the HEB Food Truck Face Off: some great local charities received donations, and lots of appreciative San Antonio foodies got to taste some tasty food prepared by some of the best food trucks the city has to offer! I had a great time getting to know these talented chefs and try some of their culinary creations. Special thanks to HEB for inviting me to take part and share this experience with my readers.

Disclaimer: In exchange for covering this event, HEB provided me with a gift basket containing a beautiful red enamel-over-cast iron Dutch oven and some gourmet food products. All opinions expressed are my own

1 comment:

  1. How fun! The food looks so great it would be difficult to pick a winner. Hope this competition becomes a tradition. Sorry I missed it this year.


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