Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Chefs Can be Found on Food Trucks

Bruno Fonseca making Balsamic "Caviar"
For all my friends who are still worried about - or snobby about - eating food from trucks, I give you Bruno Fonseca and the 5 Gastronomy truck and catering service. Like several other food truck chefs in town, Fonseca is a classically-trained chef who has worked for the finest restaurants in town. Have you heard of the top-rated Norman's at the Ritz Carlton Orlando? Fonseca was a chef de partie and house butcher there prior to being the owner and executive chef at 5 Gastronomy.

Now, let me get to my point: Fonseca recently won a hard-fought competition at the Whole Foods Market on Sand Lake Road in Orlando. Whole Foods Market's annual Chef Summer Cook-off event reminds me of the challenges that Top Chef contestants have to go through, and I was happy to see that, this year, the store decided to feature the very talented chefs from local food trucks. Over three nights, Fonseca; Bryce Balluf, owner and  chef at Fork in the Road truck; Catarina Triacca of Gastro Trina Truck; and Tony Adams with Big Wheel Provisions, competed. Each chef was given $20 and 20 minutes to speed shop for ingredients, then they had 20 minutes to prepare a delicious, affordable summer meal using only a grill. 

The final three - Adams, Balluf, Fonseca - competed in the last cook-off challenge late last week. Fonseca won with his Sous vide Corvina fish with grilled smoked sausage, accompanied by a Spanish sofrito and watercress salad with sherry vinaigrette. Still, Fonseca is not satisfied. He is always try to think of creative ways to incorporate his fine dining dishes into hand-held food truck fare. "We get really bored with food, and want to show what else we can do.The other food truck chefs and myself talk about how we can translate our fine dining sense onto a paper plate," Fonseca told Flavorful Excursions.

Readers of this blog have heard about some of my favorite dishes from 5 Gastronomy, which makes regular appearances at Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District, RDV Sportsplex on Friday afternoons, and several other Food Truck Bazaars and events. My favorite dish is the Soft Shell Crab BLT and 5 Gastronomy's crispy fries (better than many other trucks' fries). I also love the "Perfect Burger", which features melted Gruyere cheese and hickory bacon jam, as well as the Pork Tacos, and the FIVE Mac 'n Cheese.

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