This has very little to do with food trucks or taco stands. What it has everything to do with is why amazing food is flowing out of the most unassuming environments. By unassuming environments I mean places that we’d traditionally associate with poor quality, poor service, and no culinary significance.
Two decades ago, I was a toddler. However, many of the people I deal with on a daily basis were beginning their careers in the food and beverage industry. If you were to ask them what most restaurants were doing to stand out, it’s hard for them to re-call anything more than top tier restaurants using garnishes – a.k.a parsley on top of their mash potatoes and steak. Simply put, the food scene was really, really boring compared to where it is today.
Not too long ago, the best restaurants weren’t really defined by the creativity and adventurousness of their dishes. Restaurants were set into a hierarchy that was largely dictated by price and service and served very specific economic groups. A french dinning restaurant, a New York steak-house, American Diner, Neighborhood Italian, ect… these were all classes of restaurant that existed and operated solely within their own stereotype. And because of it, a “great restaurant” wasn’t defined so much by the food as it was by whether or not your server wore white gloves.
But now, food is sexy. So sexy. With the explosion of cultural culinary exchange and ingredient sourcing that has happened in the past two decades food has gotten exponentially more exciting. And thanks to it, people have gotten much more adventurous for trying new and exciting foods.
What has this done? Well, it has made people care much, much more about the food they are eating. They care about it in terms of quality ingredients, recipe, as well as presentation. This has created a high demand for exciting and creative new food offerings. The se-saw affect of this demand has made stodgy service and traditional dinning atmospheres significantly less appealing to people eating out.
This is the fun part though. What has it done to chefs? It’s enabled what can largely be considered creative culinary freedom! Now your restaurant’s reputation is not dependent on a multi-million renovation budget, but instead by how stand-out you can be in your recipes and the atmosphere you create when serving them.
Whether it is a gourmet mac & cheese food truck, an Indian inspired taco stand run out of an AirStream trailer, or a back patio wine bar serving fine cheeses and charcuterie, the possibilities are seemingly endless for what can now be a successful food concept.
~ Sebastian L. Scholl: Contact