Mobilizing: Can Chefs Get Chicago to Green-Light Food Trucks?

Chef Matt Maroni's food truck, the Gaztro-Wagon, parked in downtown Chicago
On the final day of the 2010 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Mobi Munch—the country’s “first mobile food service infrastructure company,” according to its website—drove its slick prototype onto the “Food Truck Spot” pavilion. Attendees drifted in and out of the crimson red vehicle, which was souped up with gas heat, waste containment, and a POS system. A banner overhead rallied: “Take your eats to the streets with Mobi Munch!”

If an entrepreneur had been moved to buy the truck and speed off to launch his own itinerant eatery, he wouldn’t have made it beyond the parking lot: food trucks—specifically those from which chefs both prepare and serve food—are illegal on the Windy City’s streets. (The city does permit mobile vendors to sell prepackaged goods that were cooked in a licensed

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On the Menu: October 31 through November 6

Beard House Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week:

Sunday, October 31, 5:00 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit: Sunday Supper South This fall our perennially popular Sunday Supper benefit is heading south to Atlanta’s trendy Westside neighborhood. Hosted by JBF Award winners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison, who will be joined by their talented team, this family-style feast will be prepared by a group of the region’s best and brightest chefs. Monday, November 1, 10:00 A.M. Chefs and Artisans Darryl Estrine’s photographs are iconic, bold, and aggressive. His Chefs and Artisans show reflects the strong bond between the art of chefs and the craft of their

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Eat this Word: Lotus Root

lotus rootWHAT? Lies beneath lilies. Lotus (or water lily) flowers have been prized for their beauty for thousands of years, but below the water is another prize, the edible rhizomes, which are often mistakenly called roots. (Ginger is another type of rhizome.) Lotuses grow wild throughout mainland Asia and were introduced to Japan by China. Light in color, long, and cylindrical, when sliced the lotus root reveals a fibrous, tart flesh with a lovely lacy pattern of holes. Lotus is eaten throughout Asia. It can be blanched or steamed, served cold in salad or hot in soup, pickled, fried for tempura, stir-fried, or braised. WHERE? Shin Thompson's Beard House dinner WHEN? October 12, 2010 HOW? Crispy Suzuki with Grilled Haricot

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