No, it’s not about jacked-up pickups waging destruction in a mud pit. But the first annual Loaded Up and Truckin’ Food Truck-Off and Aural Pleasure Fest, to be held this month at the scenic event venue REEB Ranch on the Henderson/Transylvania County line, will feature a whopping, unprecedented gathering of 18 local food trucks (see sidebar for complete list).
For a $60 judge’s ticket, attendees can sample all the food they want from any truck, thus steering the contest with their own palates.
“The voting process for the competition puts the power in the hands of the people who have made the beer and food scene possible — customers who have made the choice to spend their money on local food and beer. Some suggested we have ‘celebrity’ judges, but we like the idea of the crowd deciding who gets the trophy and the [$500] cash prize,” comments Aaron Baker, director of marketing and events at host business Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard.
The brewery’s own CHUBWagon will take part, but Baker points out that food, and foodies, have been part of the Oskar Blues culture since the company began in the small town of Lyons, Colorado, back in the early 2000s.
“Our history is steeped in restaurant culture,” he says. “Oskar Blues now operates multiple restaurants in Colorado, including a bike cantina and a craft casual burger joint. This part of the [company] culture came to North Carolina when we shipped our food truck across the country. The CHUBwagon has been operating for just over a year, and we are planning to purchase a second food truck in 2016.
“Food is very much a part of the Oskar Blues ‘thing,’ and we want this event to be a shout-out to food trucks and foodies out there who have built the scene here in WNC.”
The Loaded Up and Truckin’ Food Truck-Off and Aural Pleasure Festival happens Saturday, April 16, at REEB Ranch, www.reebranch.com.