Toronto's 2012 Food Truck Awards by Ama Scriver

Toronto held its first ever food truck awards, AwesTRUCK2012, on Sunday September 9, 2012 at the Evergreen Brickworks. This event, groundbreaking for food truck artists not waiting on approvals from government and their loyal followers, welcome 600 VIP and 1,000 general admission ticket holders at its first event.

Food trucks were represented from all across Southern Ontario including Toronto, Hamilton, St. Catherines and Missisauga, to name a few. However, one sentiment was echoed throughout the entire event: “The big challenge for Toronto food trucks is finding locations and fighting the by-laws." James Cunningham of Food Network Canada's Eat St. was there to congratulate and support all the fellow owner telling everyone, "Keep the street food revolution alive. What we lack in quantity, we certainly do make up in quality.”

Food was being dished out at the event. The winner for best menu item at AwesTRUCK2012 was the tempura battered cod tacos from El Gastronomo Vagabundo. Man, were they ever good. Bite sized and full of flavors. I had topped them off with a Pink Peppercorn Tonic with had a nice kick to it.

Next up, another nominee for best menu item: Risotto Rice Balls in a bed of marinara from Dobro Jesti. When served up these balls, they were cheesey and delicious and perfectly cooked. They were some of the best risotto balls I have had from any restaurant (moving or not) in my life.

An item not up for best menu, but that you should try should you come across it: the Blue Donkey Streatery truck's Deep Fried Zucchini sticks with Paprika Tatziki and Feta. A very simple snack with the perfect crunch and hitting all the salty notes. Besides, who doesn't love deep-fried?

Finally, I tried a sandwich from Gorilla Cheese, the People's Choice award winner: their menu item, El Hefe (Cheddar, Pulled Pork, Blackforest Ham, Pickles and Dijon Mustard). All I can say is: wow. This is probably the best item I had the entire day. That sandwich packed a punch. Biting into it was pure heaven, it's no wonder they're the people's choice.

The organizer, Suresh Doss, and Food Truck Eats have come a long way since the events humble beginnings. They had originally launched the Toronto’s first Food Truck Eats event on July 2, 2011 at the Distillery District with just five gourmet trucks. Now there are 23 in Ontario with another 10 poised to launch. Toronto seems to be slowly opening its eyes and progressing into a more food-truck friendly culture.

To find out the details regarding the other winners of AwesTRUCK2012, please see below:

People's Choice – Gorilla Cheese

Best New Truck – Dobro Jesti

Road Warrior – El Gastronomo Vagabundo

Best Menu Item – El Gastronomo Vagabundo (Fish Tacos)

Best Concept – El Gastronomo Vagabundo

Best Pop-Up – Fidel Gastro

Best Graphics – Blue Donkey Streatery


Photos by Ama Scriver.

Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a foodie and music fiend. She is a food writer for Pink Mafia with her 'Eats' column and works as an event planner full-time. She enjoys random adventures that you can follow each and everyday through Twitter (@amapod) or follow through Instagram (username: amapod).


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