Mother Nature be darned, one of the year's most novel cooking competitions and tastings is happening on Saturday. Teams of mobile food vendors and restaurant chefs will collaborate and compete at Truck and Mortar Throwdown, to be held rain or shine at 6th and W streets (aka the site of Sunday's farmers market under the freeway) from noon to 3 p.m. Each team will have an entire pig and one gallon of honey to impress a judging panel - including chef Patrick Mulvaney, Bethany Crouch of FOX 40 and myself - and the public vote. After a couple shuffles, here's the final roster of culinary teams:
* Oliver Ridgeway (Grange) and Robert Ramos (Coast to Coast Sandwiches)
* Mike Thiemann (Ella Dining Room and Bar) and Chando of Chando's Taco's
* Matt Brown (Golden Bear) and Donell Hendrix (Simply Southern Foods)
* Billy Ngo (Kru/Pork Belly Grub Shack) and Davin Vculek (Krush Burger)
* Pedro Depina (Ettore's) and Andrew "Drewski" Blaskovich (Drewski's Hot Rod Kitchen)
Now that's a line-up of some of Sacramento's key tastemakers, and there's bound to be some great creations to taste. The chefs are being pretty hush-hush about what they plan to make, but we're hearing whispers of dishes that include charred jalapeno honey, raw oysters and what's dubbed "the last Twinkie." Yow!
The event will also feature a gaggle of raffle prizes. Among them: produce and pantry items from Feeding Crane Farms, tickets to Capital Beerfest, a signed guitar from the Deftones, a gift basket from Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, a whole bunch of restaurant gift cards and more. Raffle tickets will cost $2 each, or three for $5.
Proceeds from Truck and Mortar Throwdown will benefit childrens' charities including Toys for Tots and the California Fire Foundation. Ticket stubs are also tax deductible. Advance tickets cost $45 in advance, or $60 at the door. They can also be purchased at Kru, Hook & Ladder, Ettore's and from the participating food trucks.
For tickets and more information, click here.