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Gourmet on the Go

FES1009TrendsMobile-2Aside from kitschy menus, culinary inspiration and great-tasting food, mobile food trucks require a few other key ingredients to make their on-the-go cooking platforms clean, legal and searchable. Chief among these ingredients are a three-compartment sink, space-saving equipment and a Twitter feed or modern website. While the West Coast cities of Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco are quickly on their way to making the modern-day mobile food truck a part of their culinary landscapes, other municipalities face a series of obstacles in the form of health codes that prohibit this type of cooking and foodservice.

FES1009TrendsMobileStill, there's no denying that mobile food trucks continue to generate buzz throughout the foodservice industry. Earlier this year, the National Restaurant Association's annual exhibition gave foodservice professionals a firsthand glimpse inside these trucks. On display was the interior of celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre's LudoBites truck, where attendees could sample fried chicken. Lefebvre developed his truck by working with Mobi Munch, a Los Angeles-based mobile-food-truck consultancy.

"We envision a world of widely accessible mobile cuisine opportunities for chefs and food lovers alike — where affordable gourmet meals are conveniently created and consumed at the curb, and where fun, interactive dining experiences spark meaningful online and offline community building," Mobi Munch cofounder Ray Villaman said.

Even nonrestaurants are getting their own trucks. One frying oil company took its healthful marketing message to the streets in the form of an 18-foot delivery truck retrofitted with a fully operational kitchen that can feed up to 1,200 people. The truck runs on recycled cooking oil that has been transformed into biodiesel.