The food truck revolution began in 2008 with pioneers such as L.A.’s Kogi BBQ, the little Korean taco truck that could. As of spring 2013, the food truck movement has swept North America. In Vancouver, we’ve got 99 food truck vendors serving tasty fare on city streets.
I recently sat down with James Cunningham, magnetic funnyman and host of Food Network Canada’s popular Eat St. show, to talk about Vancouver food trucks. The host was in town to launch his new book Eat Street, featuring recipes from the “tastiest, messiest, and most irresistible” trucks.” Hundreds of North American food trucks submitted recipes. The best of the best made it into Penguin’s test kitchen. Only 125 made the final cut.
Many Vancouver food trucks made it into the new cookbook. Find out which ones after the jump.
According to James, indulging in Vancouver’s gourmet street food scene is a passion shared by locals and visitors who make pilgrimages here to eat darn good food truck fare. We may be tempted to question the City of Vancouver’s rigorous food truck permit regulation when looking jealously at Portland’s 700 food carts, but Cunningham says that Vancouver is quite progressive.
By having food cart requirements such as health and diversity, we’re showing that we put a lot of thought into doing it right. “Many cities aren’t even having the conversation,” says Cunningham. Plus, I hear food cart pods are in the works for 2013.
Eat Street may be the only cookbook by an author who can’t actually cook, but the enthusiasm is there. Cunningham talks up some of his favourites–Japadog, Soho Road, Vij’s Railway Express, Fresh Local Wild, and the Juice Truck–during the interview. Fun fact about James: He was brought up not to waste food by his Polish gramma. So he finishes every single bite of whatever you seem him start eating on the show.
“I hate wasting food. The food stylist will go to throw it out and I’ll grab it back. There are days during filming when I’ve eaten five whole chickens,” says Cunningham.
The Eat Street cookbook is also hot and heavy on the food porn. Cunningham flips to an alluring photo of a macaroni-and-cheese waffle cone adorned with “bacon bling” by the Gypsy Queen Cafe truck in Baltimore Maryland and tells me I have to serve this at a summer bbq.
Eat Street (the book) is already a bestseller. If you’re considering purchasing it, you’ll find recipes by Vancouver food trucks including:
Recipes By Vancouver and BC Food Trucks
- Terimayo Dog, Japadog
- Oroshi Dog, Japadog
- Malaysian Lime-Chili Tofu Grilled Burritos, Roaming Dragon
- Pacific Rim Chowder, (Victoria’s) Red Fish Blue Fish
- Kimchi Quesadillas, Coma Food Truck
- Bonzai Prawns, Feastro
- Coconut Halibut Cheeks, Vij’s Railway Express
- Strawberry Coconut Smoothie, The Juice Truck
- Chocolate Diablo Cookies (Tofino’s) Tacofino
Eat St. is in its fourth season. Watch episodes and get the Eat Street App here.
Want more updates on Vancouver fun? Follow me on Twitter @TJerven