Arts & Entertainment Reporter
Campus restaurants and food services faced a convoy of competition yesterday afternoon.
A group of seven food trucks was stationed outside the Learning Resource Commons at the North campus. Each vendor offered a selection of its signature dishes and $1 from every meal sale was slated for scholarships for students in need for the Humber Gives campaign.
The Humber Food Truck first hit the road in 2015, and is used for culinary student education and catering. Students can develop their cooking skills and gain experience in food trucking, which Humber’s School of Hospitality, Recreation, and Tourism calls “an ever-growing trend.”
A food truck can be a more accessible avenue for culinary entrepreneurs.
“It’s still an expensive operation,” said Humber chef and alum Robb Kerr. “But it’s less than say, running your own restaurant.” Kerr has over 25 years of experience in the culinary industry, having worked at restaurants, hotels, golf courses, banquet halls, and convention centres.
For Kerr, the food truck is a different experience. At 20-feet long, the Humber Food Truck can only allow for three cooking staff on duty at a time. But for Kerr, it’s not fellow staff that make working a food truck so different.
“It’s definitely interactive,” he said. “So often when you work in a kitchen, you’re stuck behind a wall, and you don’t see the guests.” Being face-to-face with the guests at the food truck window takes some separation away from the cook and the diner. Kerr said he appreciates the “chance to get positive or negative feedback from them.”
Working in a kitchen of this scale also gives students an idea of how to prepare food in a smaller environment with more limited means.
Yesterday’s festival also provided an opportunity for culinary students to get experience working in this unique kitchen environment.
For Nyoka Taite, this was particularly valuable. Enrolled in the culinary management program at Humber, Taite’s entrepreneurial goals are more easily realized from the food truck experience.
“I enjoy being able to build different dishes – the creativity,” she said. “Being able to build my own [business],” Taite says is her main goal. “First, start off small, probably do a few cruises, then go into my own.”
Though Taite enjoys preparing Jamaican dishes at home the most, her favourite menu item at the Humber Food Truck is the ‘Dirty Fries’ – sweet potato fries with pulled beef, fried eggs, and smothered with cheese.