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Street Food Institute food truck

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — As the popularity of food trucks climbs, some colleges have begun offering classes for future vendors.

Future chefs at Central New Mexico Community College are mixing, sauteing and plating their created dishes as part of a pilot program.

Just like the hit television show “Top Chef,” the students get certain ingredients and can make whatever they want. In the end, someone has to win.

For the class, the students prepare the food and run the truck. CNM created the class because the food truck industry has exploded across the country. In Albuquerque alone, there are more than 200 mobile food vendors.

CNM partners with the Street Food Institute for the food truck.

Find the original article with video at koat.com <here>

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cnm logoALBUQUERQUE, NM - Central New Mexico’s Culinary Arts program wants to keep up with how the industry is evolving, and food trucks are the “next big thing.” As it turns out, the newest truck serving Albuquerque is actually a classroom for some students.

“The reality of a brick and mortar building, it’s a huge investment for students to overtake…the food truck industry is a great way for students to get their foot in the door, try it out and see,” CNM dean Donna Diller said.

It’s also a new way to serve students in a growing department. Earlier this year, CNM added extra kitchen space and courses to keep with the now 600 students enrolled, making it the biggest culinary school in the state and a national competitor.

Student Greg Fason took the class to learn the business side of things.

“The operation of the food truck itself, the licensures you have to get to get the truck up and going,” Fason said.

Instructors hope more people will show passion like his, and that the program will expand.

“This is our first truck, trying to add at least 2 more in the next year, and add a commissary and hopefully roll it out to more and more students,” instructor Scott Clapp said.

Find the original article with video at kob.com <here>

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LAS CRUCES, NM - Imagine, a little boy or girl is sitting in their living room playing a game, when all of the sudden a soft noise starts to play in the background. The sound gets louder and the tune is recognized as a familiar song. Perhaps the song is “Yankee Doodle” or “London Bridge,” but whatever it was, it means one thing – the ice cream truck is coming.

Though the ice cream truck is not as popular as it used to be, a new wave of mobile vendors known as food trucks have taken over the country, including Las Cruces.

Although not all of them are easily seen, Las Cruces has more than 65 active food trucks, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

According to Christine Logan, economic development and business assistance liaison for the City of Las Cruces, anyone serving food, even in a mobile unit, is required to have the same food service permit.

“Just like restaurants, the trucks are inspected by the environmental department,” Logan said. “Once the (owner) has a food handling permit from the state environmental department, they have to get a business license, which is $35 for a (restaurant) building and $40 for a mobile vendor.”

The building permit must be renewed every year through the city.

For Paul Faulkner, owner of Desert Dogs – a mobile hot dog vendor – the food permit comes at a crazy cost.

“It’s $200 a year, and I just don’t get it,” Faulkner said. “What I have is about the smallest food truck you can get. People don’t have to come and inspect my bathrooms or walkthrough my kitchen. I think the amount you pay should be proportional to the size of your truck (or restaurant).”

Though the permit process is the same, starting a food truck can be significantly easier than running a “brick and mortar” restaurant, said Jesse Addison, president of Jesse’s KCBBQ.

Addison said he thought about opening a restaurant, but decided he would start with a mobile barbecue truck first.

“I enjoy meeting people and talking to them, that’s why I like this business so much,” he said. “I am still held under the same scrutiny as restaurants, but I don’t have to deal with all their problems.”

Addison, who leases his spot at 230 S. Church St., said the key to a successful food truck is keeping the food and location consistent.

“I decided on a permanent spot to build clientele,” he said. “People expect to see the golden arches of McDonald’s when they round the corner, and people expect to see me at my spot. When they don’t, they start to panic. I have people calling and asking where I am.

“You also have to keep your food consistent and menu simple. For example, I don’t do French fries because I don’t want that hot grease flying around in my smalltruck.”

Keeping a simple menu also helps Addison keep a clean kitchen, which is inspected regularly.

Find the entire article <here>

PS: Love to see that the the city of my first college (New Mexico State University) is opening their streets to the mobile food industry.

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