Every Saturday evening for the last year, the Food Truck Caravan has taken over downtown Scottsdale, along 5th Avenue and Goldwater Boulevard.
The Food Truck Caravan’s one-year celebration is Saturday, June 28, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. The trucks have been asked to whip up something special for the caravan-wide themed “A Night in Tuscany,” said Lori Baker, Food Truck Caravan founder.
“Every truck will have something on their menu that fits the theme,” Baker said. Saffron JAK, Aioli Burger, Queso Food, Grilled Cheese Truck and many more food trucks, will be cooking up creative Tuscan specials.
There will also be a pizza making demo and a demo from a local dairy farm on how to make strawberry balsamic ricotta cheese, she said.
The Tuscan theme was inspired by the season. It matches produce that is farm fresh and seasonal, such as basil and strawberries.
Baker started Food Truck Caravan last summer to build the community and support local businesses and farms.
“Food Truck culture is so much more than just eating off the truck,” Baker said. “There’s a powerful community drive behind it.”
Food trucks were not originally allowed in downtown Scottsdale, Baker said. She had to pitch the concept to the city in order to get a permit. Food Truck Caravan is the first food truck event in the downtown area.
Food Truck Caravan has local music, seating, misters in the summer, heaters in the winter and tents. When people attend, they stop in bars for a cocktail and shop at art galleries in the area, which stay up on Saturday nights just for the event.
A typical caravan consists of between eight and 12 trucks, Baker said, adding that each chef has to make an $8 special every week, to make sure there is a varying menu.
A large part of the caravan is to showcase and introduce new food trucks. Baker said she has anchor trucks each week and at least three rotating trucks.
Food trucks “create a vibe of community,” Baker said. They are a place for people to gather, to sit and eat together. Cuisine from around the world is served at Food Truck Caravan, Baker said. The event is a great chance for people to try new and inspiring foods.
To Baker, community is centered around food, where people want to support local and they want quality and delicious cuisine.