On Saturday, November 17th, SoCo Certified Farmers’ Market will mark their two-year birthday with a lively culinary celebration – and you’re invited! If you haven’t visited the SoCo farmers market yet, this is the perfect opportunity. With a dozen food trucks offering the most creative gourmet food truck fare around, sounds of the lively steel band putting a spring in your step, and boutique-y shops at the OC Mart Mix for browsing before or after – SoCo transforms your weekly shopping into a fun weekend experience.
To make the day even more exciting, SoCo will host Farm to Food Truck Challenge IV, their popular farmers’ market inspired cooking competition where top gourmet food truck chefs compete in an epic Farmers’ Market Feast. Long communal tables will line the length of the market, where the public can sit and enjoy a feast. Guests will be able to make a suggested donation to the SoCo Certified Farmers Market non-profit and be able to Taste the Market with a sampling plate from the six competing trucks.
The Farm to Food Truck Challenge is a unique competition designed to feature all the amazing farmers at the market. The “Top Chop Truck” title will be given to the Chef who can create the best dish using locally grown farm fresh ingredients. More than 15 gourmet food trucks will be present at the weekly farmers’ market from 9 am – 2 pm with 6 select trucks competing.
The Food Network TV Show “Chopped”-style competition requires food truck chefs to shop the farmers’ market for pre-determined seasonal ingredients and whip up a culinary masterpiece. I had the pleasure of serving on the panel of judges for Farm to Food Truck Challenge III where Seabirds took the prize. This time the panel of top local foodie judges will be the fans and the public will decide who wins. Purchase a ticket for the tasting and you, Mr. and Ms. John Q. Public will be able to judge the dishes on creativity, taste and presentation and decide who will be crowned the ‘Top Chop’ Truck! The Challenge kicks off at 12 pm on November 17 (postponed due to forecasted rain on the 10th), judging begins at 1pm and the winner will be announced at 1:30 pm.
The first Farm to Food Truck Challenge in July 2011 crowned Bacon Mania as winner, the second challenge honored SlapFish as ‘Top Chop’ Truck, and the third challenge of the Clash of the Titans resulted in Seabirds garnering first place. The first event had over 2,300 people in attendance, the second 1,700, and the third 1,300 with each event bringing more than 40 bloggers and social media foodies, 20 farmers’ and vendors, 15 food trucks, 6 judges, 3 photographers and a handful of volunteers reporting on the action.
My mouth is watering just posting these pics for you! You don’t want to miss out on this fun event – admission is free, parking is plentiful and there will be plenty of kid-friendly activities, too. November begins the season of giving and we encourage you to bring canned goods or make a small donation to the food drive benefiting Costa Mesa locals. Any donation will be used to purchase food directly from the farmers. The event will be held in conjunction with the SoCo Certified Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Saturday at South Coast Collection (“SoCo”) at the 3315 Hyland Ave in Costa Mesa, CA from 9 am – 2pm. (Just North of Harbor Blvd. off the 405 in Costa Mesa at 3315 Hyland Ave.)