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Food trucks offer casual way to feed wedding guests

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pinkggfes , ultimo intervento di
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    When they started planning their wedding, Samantha Davis and Nickie D’Alessandro knew they didn’t want to go the traditional catering route for the reception. • “I have a pet peeve about going to a wedding and being served cold chicken piccata from a buffet line,” said Davis, 29.

    So the Ohio natives (and Oregon residents as of last year) hired a food truck to cater their July 11 reception at the Whetstone Park of Roses.

    Along with their 75 guests, the couple feasted on hot fried artichokes, corncakes and pulled pork passed through the window of a Sweet Carrot truck.

    “We just wanted something casual and laid-back,” D’Alessandro, 27, said between bites.

    “A lot of our family and friends are really into food, and they loved the idea.”

    Food trucks — already a popular sight at festivals and other events around town — are catering an increasing number of weddings in central Ohio and nationwide.

    “Food trucks have made a major appearance at weddings in the past couple of years,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, deputy editor of The Knot, a website and quarterly magazine dedicated to matrimony.

    Meals on wheels fit a broader trend toward more-casual weddings, according to wedding planners and food-truck owners.

    After all, what pairs better with a Pinterest-worthy barn wedding full of Mason jars and twine than scratch-made barbecue?

    Fans of food trucks tout the varied options, especially when multiple trucks are involved.

    At the Davis-D’Alessandro wedding, guests fawned over fare ranging from chicken meatballs with sesame-ginger sauce to fried artichokes with chipotle aioli.

    “When we found out there was going to be a food truck here, we were really pumped,” guest Julie Snyder, 29, said as she waited at the truck window with her husband.

    “Everybody loves food trucks.”

    Gera and Kristin Grabovich of Galloway had three food trucks at their reception in May at Camp Mary Orton on the Far North Side.

    Paddy Wagon and the Cheesy Truck served gourmet sandwiches, tacos and sides for dinner; and, later, Mikey’s Late Night Slice slung pizza.

    “When you go to a wedding, you remember the food and the dance floor,” said Mrs. Grabovich, 33. “ So we wanted that to be fun and memorable.”

    The pricing didn’t hurt, either.

    “There are a lot of cost benefits (to the food-truck route),” Mr. Grabovich said. “It’s . . . a lot more inexpensive to do it than some caterers.”

    The couple spent about $2,500, he said, to feed 180 people — a per-person cost of about $15, compared with an Ohio average of $55 with traditional catering, according to the Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study.

    Food trucks, however, aren’t always budget-friendly.

    “People think, because it’s a food truck, it’s going to be cheaper,” said Catie Randazzo, chef and owner of the Challah truck, which specializes in Jewish deli-inspired fare.

    “And that’s not necessarily true.”

    The pricing structure — a la carte or per person — varies by truck and by food choices.

    Her prices for weddings, Randazzo said, range from about $15 a person for standard fare to as much as $40 a person for a customized menu.

    Yet food trucks don’t include the bells and whistles that traditional caterers might, said Arielle Gavin, a wedding planner who owns Wedded Perfection.

    “You’re not getting all of the little extras,” said Gavin, noting that the plates and utensils lean toward the paper and plastic variety instead of fine china and silver.

    With no clear-cut etiquette regarding food-truck receptions, Cooper generally recommends at least one truck for every 75 guests.

    “The thing about food trucks is people are going to have to wait in line,” she said. “You want to make sure it’s not frustrating and that you can get guests through the food line as soon as possible.”

    To avoid crowds, Cooper said, couples might consider summoning guests by table — “so you’re not having all 150 guests in line at the same time.”

    Not all couples want a food-truck-only reception. Some book a truck to follow a more traditional dinner.

    “It’s something to feed the guests after they’ve been on the dance floor for a while,” Cooper said.

    Whether it covers the whole shebang or just munchies, though, the food-truck movement seems a good match for many members of the generation getting hitched nowadays, said Zach James, owner of the Paddy Wagon.

    “They prefer something a little lighter and less stuffy,” he said.

    “They don’t want that whole chafing-pan catering thing that everyone’s done for as long as people have been having weddings.”

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