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Mobile Food

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rafiqi simply grid

Rafiqi’s is the first food cart in New York City to be powered by grid electricity.

NEW YORK, NY - Simply Grid announced today that it has launched a food cart electrification pilot in New York City’s Union Square. This is the first example of a mobile food vendor on New York City’s public streets using grid electricity rather than a noisy, polluting generator. Citywide, more than 3,000 mobile food carts create the equivalent pollution emissions of approximately 10,000 cars. This pilot, launched in conjunction with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, Con Edison, the NYC Department of Transportation, and Closed Loop Advisors, will last for up to a year and abate up to 9 metric tons of CO2.

Nationally, the mobile food industry counts over 25,000 food carts and food trucks, and the market is projected to see double digit growth over the next several years. While this has been a boon for foodies everywhere, mobile food vendors traditionally rely on noisy, expensive, and polluting generators to power their operations.

Simply Grid’s technology allows lot owners and municipalities to provide grid electricity to mobile food vendors which makes them cleaner, quieter, and more profitable. Electricity is made available to these vendors via outlets in industry standard electricity pedestals which have been customized with proprietary metering controllers. The controllers connect wirelessly to Simply Grid’s cloud-based platform which manages customer accounts, metering, and billing. The system allows vendors to initiate service with their mobile phones and connect to the electric grid with cables they already use with their generators. Grid electricity is a significantly cheaper energy source for food vendors, and it also eliminates the pollution and noise associated with running a generator.

“Food carts’ portable generators emit twenty times more asthma causing pollution per unit of energy than the city’s electricity supply,” said Sergej Mahnovski, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. “According to a City survey, nearly 60% of food carts use generators. This demonstration project will help determine if providing electricity to food carts can contribute to the PlaNYC goal of making New York’s air the cleanest of any major city in the United States.”

“Con Edison supports this pilot program and hopes the technology will free food cart vendors across our city from having to rely on noisy, polluting generators,” said Robert D. Schimmenti, Vice President of Engineering and Planning for the utility. “If vendors use our grid, they will have a reliable source of power and New Yorkers will have cleaner air and quieter streets.”

“We’re thrilled to have this pilot up and running in New York City,” said Mike Dubrovsky, CEO of Simply Grid. “Our goal is to show that this technology can eliminate the generator noise and pollution associated with food carts while saving vendors money in the process.”

“While we’re already up and running in other locations such as Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA, it’s quite exciting to be bringing this solution to our hometown,” said Jeffrey Hoffman, COO of Simply Grid. “It’s gratifying to be helping our community enjoy the food vendors they love while making the experience more environmentally friendly.”

“We are pleased that this pilot is going forward,” said Sami Abbay, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Closed Loop Advisors. “Our analysis for the Mayor’s Office showed that switching to grid power reduces food cart CO2 emissions by 80% and virtually eliminates the NOx pollution which gasoline powered generators would otherwise produce.”

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Food_Carts_Athens_OHATHENS, OH - According to some accounts, the idea of mobile food started with cattle drives and the creation of the chuckwagon. From those days of beans and cornmeal, we now have street food that’s sometimes gourmet and certainly trendy.

Practically every Ohio University student (and many locals) have chowed down at the Burrito Buggy near the College Gate or one of its curbside restaurant neighbors

These days the tradition is evolving and the locations are proliferating as the restaurant-on- wheels movement makes eating out easier and more appealing.

The mobile food scene is “definitely growing,” confirmed local restaurant expert Leslie Schaller. And there’s “more focus on healthy and local options.”

One example, said Schaller, is Chelsea’s Real Food, which is one of the latest entries in the market. Chelsea Hindenach, 30, opened for business over the summer.

Hindenach invested $50,000 into what she calls a “mobile kitchen.” The kitchen is a trailer that’s pulled from location to location by a pickup truck.

(Mobile kitchen, food truck, food trailer, food cart, food buggy and less charitably, roach coach are names used in the industry to identify movable venues that sell food.)

Hindenach’s cooking background includes five years at the Village Bakery in Athens. “That’s where I learned the intricacies of the local food scene,” she said.

Her resume also includes more than two years as a personal chef. Alas, the family she worked for moved away from Athens, leaving her unemployed. That’s when she took the plunge into the street-food business with the help of family and friends.

Find the entire article by Fred Kight at The Athens News <here>

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Mobile Cuisine profiles mobile food vendors from across the nation every week. At the end of the week we provide a poll that includes each of the vendors we have profiled, so that the readers can tell us who they feel is deserving of their Mobile Food Vendor of the Week.

Food Truck of the Week

The polls are posted on Friday afternoons, and will run through the following Monday until noon (CST). At that point we will inform the winner and all of our readers, and present the trophy (Sorry folks, it’s only an image of the trophy).

Ok, with all of that said, we can start the polling. This week’s contestants are (click on them to find their profiles)…

Potato Champion – Portland, OR
Schnitzel King – Chicago, IL
Ms. Cheezious – Miami, FL

If you are an owner of a food vending business and would like to be profiled, please contact us at MFV@mobile-cuisine.com. We will setup a time in which we can talk or get some details from you for our profile.

 

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We would like to thank our readers for their time and effort in voting for Mobile Cuisine’s Mobile Food Vendor of the Week. With all the votes in and counted, your choice was the Rickshaw Stop of San Antonio, TX.

FTotW Rickshaw Stop

Click the link to find the Rickshaw Stop Profile if you missed it.

 

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Mobile Cuisine profiles mobile food vendors from across the nation every week. At the end of the week we provide a poll that includes each of the vendors we have profiled, so that the readers can tell us who they feel is deserving of their Mobile Food Vendor of the Week.

Food Truck of the Week

The polls are posted on Friday afternoons, and will run through the following Monday until noon (CST). At that point we will inform the winner and all of our readers, and present the trophy (Sorry folks, it’s only an image of the trophy).

Ok, with all of that said, we can start the polling. This week’s contestants are (click on them to find their profiles)…

BBQ Bus - Washington DC
Rickshaw Stop - San Antonio, TX
Nammi - Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

Who is your choice for Mobile Food Vendor of the Week?

  • Rickshaw Stop - San Antonio, TX (76%, 67 Votes)
  • Nammi - Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (17%, 15 Votes)
  • BBQ Bus - Washington DC (7%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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If you are an owner of a food vending business and would like to be profiled, please contact us at MFV@mobile-cuisine.com. We will setup a time in which we can talk or get some details from you for our profile.

 

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We would like to thank our readers for their time and effort in voting for Mobile Cuisine’s Mobile Food Vendor of the Week. With all the votes in and counted, your choice was the Bacon Bacon of San Francisco, CA.

FTotW Bacon Bacon

You may find their profile <here> if you missed it.

 

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Mobile Cuisine Magazine profiles mobile food vendors from across the nation every week. At the end of the week we provide a poll that includes each of the vendors we have profiled, so that the readers can tell us who they feel is deserving of their Mobile Food Vendor of the Week.

Mobile Food Vendor of the Week

The polls are posted on Friday afternoons, and will run through the following Monday until noon (CST). At that point we will inform the winner and all of our readers, and present the trophy (Sorry folks, it’s only an image of the trophy).

Ok, with all of that said, we can start the polling. This week’s contestants are (click on them to find their profiles)…

Street-Za Pizza – Milwaukee, WI

Coolhaus - Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York

Bacon Bacon – San Francisco, CA

If you are an owner of a food vending business and would like to be profiled, please contact us at MFV@mobile-cuisine.com. We will setup a time in which we can talk or get some details from you for our profile.

 

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Are you a food truck or cart owner that is looking to add some beautiful photos of the fare you sell from your mobile kitchen? Are you a foodie who blogs about food trucks and is interested in getting better shots of the delectable food you have sampled from these rolling bistros? If you fit either of these areas, then today’s article is for you.

Photo of Kogi BBQ Korean short-rib tacos

If you visit any book store and head over to the cook book or food magazine sections and you’ll be overwhelmed by the array of books and magazines filled with wonderful photography of the meals being written about.

Colorful stacks of vegetables drizzled with rich sauces on a clean white plate with glistening table settings; you know the shots. Sometimes the photography is almost the true focus of the book with the recipes or stories taking secondary roles.

1. Lighting – Treat the food you’re photographing as you would any other still life subject and ensure that it is well lit. Many of the poor examples of food photography that we’ve come across in the research for this article could have been drastically improved with adequate lighting. One of the best places to photograph food is by a window where there is plenty of natural light – perhaps supported with flash bounced off a ceiling or wall to give more balanced lighting that cuts out the shadows. Daylight helps to keep the food looking much more natural.

2. Props – Pay attention not only to the arrangement of the food itself but to the context that you put it in including the plate or bowl and any table settings around it. These elements can often be placed in secondary positions in the foreground or background of your shot.

3. Be Quick – Food doesn’t keep its appetizing looks for long so as a photographer you’ll need to be well prepared and able to shoot quickly after it’s been cooked before it melts, collapses, wilts and/or changes color. This means being prepared and knowing what you want to achieve before the food arrives. One strategy that some use is to have the shot completely set up with props before the food is ready and then to substitute a stand-in plate to get your exposure right. Then when the food is ready you just switch the stand-in plate with the real thing and you’re ready to start shooting.

 

4. Style it – The way food is set out on the plate is as important as the way you photograph it. Pay attention to the balance of food in a shot (color, shapes etc) and leave a way into the shot (using leading lines and the rule of thirds to help guide your viewer’s eye into the dish). One of the best ways to learn is to get some cook books to see how the pros do it.

5. Enhance it – A photographer suggested to have some vegetable oil on hand and to brush it over food to make it glisten in your shots.

6. Get Down Low – A mistake that many beginner food photographers make is taking shots that look down on a plate from directly above. While this can work in some circumstances – in most cases you’ll get a more better shot by shooting from down close to plate level (or slightly above it).

7. Macro – Really focusing in upon just one part of the dish can be an effective way of highlighting the different elements of it.

8. Steam – Having steam rising off your food can give it a ‘just cooked’ feel which some food photographers like. Of course this can be difficult to achieve naturally. Food stylists suggested that they add steam with a number of artificial strategies including microwaving water soaked cotton balls and placing them behind food.

We hope these suggestions help any of you that are interested in adding high quality food photography to your websites. If you have any additional food photography tips you would like to share, please feel free to add them to the comments section below.

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