The May long weekend in Niagara is about to get cookin’ with some serious food truck eats, tasty Ontario wine and a healthy helping of local musical talent.
Food Truck Eats at Peller Estates Winery, the first event of its kind in Niagara, will feature 16 food trucks from Ontario and the U.S. and a full portfolio of wines from the Niagara-on-the-Lake estate winery. The culinary event showcases the food truck craze that has over taken North American streets.
Food Truck Eats is the brainchild of Suresh Doss, publisher of Toronto food, wine and lifestyle website spotlighttoronto, who has organized food truck events in Toronto, Stratford, Hamilton and other locations in Ontario but not in Niagara and not with the added element of wine being involved.
Mark Torrance, director of estate wineries at Andrew Peller, said Doss approached him about the idea and immediately said yes.
“It seems like every day someone on the team is dreaming up new ways to experience wine and food at Peller, but Suresh gets all the blame for this one, I don’t know if he was just thinking out loud, but he said ‘what about a huge food truck event at Peller,’ and I said ‘we’re in,’ ” said Torrance.
“It didn’t dawn on me until much later just how much of an undertaking this was going to be. There are a lot of moving parts to this event and it’s the biggest event by far that we have ever undertaken, but we have such a talented team who are fuelled by heaps of excitement for the event so they just keep ploughing through any obstacles that they find. It’s going to be a great party.”
The event takes place on Sunday May 20 and Monday May 21 from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday and to 5 p.m. on Monday. Tickets are $15 per person, which includes admission to the event, a glass of Peller Estates wine and souvenir Govino (plastic) glass. They can be purchased here or by calling 1-888-673-5537 x 2. There’s also a Facebook page here. The twitter hashtag is #foodtruckeats.
Torrance calls this inaugural event “a funfair for foodies. Hours on end of killer food and 16 Peller wines backed-up with about half a dozen local bands. We’re seeing lots of groups of friends organizing to all get together for the afternoon. I think it is going to have a real festival vibe, great energy.”
He said the original plan was to attempt to guide visitors to have certain wines with certain food. But with 16 trucks totalling 60 or more food items “we realized that our food and wine pairing idea would be contrived at best and so we backed off.”
Peller will still guide wine choices through some simple messaging on the wine menus but, as Torrance says, “I have a feeling that the visitors at this event won’t need much guidance.”
Two wines from the Peller portfolio that play a huge role will include the sparkling duo of Peller Ice Cuvee and Peller Ice Cuvee Rose. “These are the most versatile and food friendly wines around and nothing says ‘party’ like sparkling wine,” said Peller.
Doss, who has pioneered the food truck movement in Toronto, Hamilton and Stratford, said what drives him to bring this kind of event to Niagara is because food trucks have been so influential in his culinary travels.
“But, to be honest, there are very few spaces that can host an FTE type of event. Peller immediately came to mind because of their beautiful space, and their openness to hosting this event. I pitched it, and they fell in love with the idea and have been fully supportive ever since.”
Doss said you can expect a unique and diverse selection of street food, paired with local wines. “It’s a food festival unlike anything Niagara has seen before,” he said. “From tacos, to pizza, to oysters, and cupcakes. This festival will showcase Ontario’s current street food scene. 16 Food trucks that have never shared the same space at the same time.”
Here’s a first look at the food trucks coming to
Food Truck Eats at Peller Estate:
A 16-foot custom-built kitchen on wheels offers fast, fresh, affordable and delicious food — from hearty soups to unforgettable sandwiches, salads and baked goods. They only use the freshest of the fresh ingredients and believe in locally sourced ingredients and artisan quality. Offers variety and a healthy alternative to the usual lunchbox letdowns.
Canada’s first mobile cupcake shop. Cupcake Diner has put a modern twist on the traditional 1950’s diner. Cupcakes are a fun, glamorous indulgence that will sweeten up your day and this mobile cupcake shop brings them right to you — what could be better.
Caplansky’s Thunderin’ Thelma serves up deli-style food, including their famous smoked meat sandwiches, BBQ brisket, poutine, and delicious maple bacon doughnuts.
Bonfire Catering operates Ontario’s first fully mobile Mugnaini Italian pizza oven within a full-service catering trailer. They bring a wood-fired pizza to the food truck party.
El Gastronomo Vagabundo
El Gastrónomo Vagabundo is a new take on international street food, offering a continuously changing menu of globally inspired gourmet cuisine. Spurred by the increasing popularity of mobile street food in North America, El Gastrónomo Vagabundo is the first mobile food truck of its kind in Canada, featuring gourmet tacos, tapas, southeast Asian dishes, and garden fresh salads.
The Portobello Burger is a vegetarian/vegan food truck that caters to people who are interested in eating healthy, tasty, but hearty food.
Gorilla Cheese delivers a delicious grilled cheese experience like you’ve never had, served out of the “AWESOMEST” truck you’ve ever seen.
Blue Donkey Streatery
The menu of “gourmet food at street prices” tops out at $8 and is mostly Greek with a few Canadian touches, like the obligatory poutine.
Bringing some yummy European eats to the streets of southern Ontario. Dobro jesti means good eats.
The folks at Shriner’s Creek Kettle Popcorn strongly agree with the motto “The Race for Quality has No Finish line.” It is with this philosophy in mind that they continue to offer authentic hand stirred kettle popcorn to their customers and have proudly become Niagara’s choice for gourmet popcorn. For Food Truck Eats at Peller, Shriner’s Creek is bringing:
Black Truffle: Hand-stirred gourmet popcorn infused with Italian black truffle oil and seasoned with black truffle salt.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Hand-stirred gourmet popcorn coasted with a confection of pure cane and golden sugars, fresh creamery butter, natural and artificial wine flavours.
Salt & Pepper: Hand-stirred gourmet popcorn seasoned with 100% natural “pink” Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper.
Beaver Tails Toronto
They start with a whole wheat/cracked wheat pastry. Hand-shaped and float cooked on 100% canola oil, magically a D-lectible fresh beavertail is born. Then they put butter (yes, made from cream and not vegetable topping), cinnamon and sugar, lemon if you want, or maple spread, or chocolate spread. Add M&M’s, Skor Bar, Ice Cream … If it fits (and they have it in stock!), they’ll put it on. Hot, fresh, less calories then a donut, less fat then a low-fat muffin. What more could you want? Maybe a fruit smoothie?
The Roaming Buffalo’s goal is to smack the taste back into the mouths of food lovers worldwide! We will create well-known Buffalo menu items using fresh, local ingredients, and spread the pride across the country. So what exactly is The Roaming Buffalo? It’s a mobile food truck that carries a vast array of kitchen equipment inside. We are capable to cook up all of Buffalo’s favourites. From chicken wings to beef on weck we will make it.
The Tide and Vine Oyster Company
Making its event debut, The Tide and Vine Oyster Company brings the sea to Niagara’s wine region.
Hank Daddy’s BBQ
No matter how you spell it, they cook it right! Competition quality barbecue inspired by the flavours of the South. Their meats are smoked for hours at low temperatures using local fruitwood to enhance the flavours of their injections, rubs and sauces. The result … tender, succulent meats. The accompaniments are their own secret recipes and are all made from scratch using fresh ingredients.
Buster’s Sea Cove
Buster’s Sea Cove is a seafood vendor that has been a fixture in the St. Lawrence Market for two decades. The core offerings and the biggest sellers are the grilled fish, calamari, haddock and chips, halibut and chips and our orzo.
Also making their event debut, the Gourmet Bitches, Bianka Matchett and Shontelle Pinch, vow to “bust our tails” to change street food as we know it and inspire everyone to eat healthy and experiment with flavours.
Note: Doss says there are a few “a few surprises that we’re keeping under wraps for now.”
Note Two: Many thanks to Doss for the Food Truck photos that were mostly taken by him. The photo of Doss is courtesy of GridTO.