A Food Truck Thanksgiving

Rebecca Kelly spent 16 years in the restaurant business before striking out on her own with this mobile kitchen.

She started Street Chefs in 2011. The restaurant on wheels serves up southern comfort food with a modern twist. “We try to make sure that everything is fresh.”

Street Chefs is just one of a growing number trucks bringing food to hungry Floridians. There are now more than 2200 statewide, up 17% from a year ago.

“We’ve seen from Pensacola to Miami, these food trucks growing,” said Ken Lawson.

Ken Lawson heads up the state department in charge of licensing and inspecting the trucks. He says they’re just as clean and safe as traditional restaurants. “Here’s the deal, alright, the rules are the same for a food truck and a restaurant and the food trucks need to be licensed.”

A couple of quick things to look for to know if the truck’s been inspected; look for a purple sticker and a licenses number.

Food trucks are randomly inspected a couple times a year, and now a growing number of trucks are offering Thanksgiving Dinner.

“We’re talking, grilled turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, handmade cranberry sauce, stuffing, even desert, the whole nine yards,” said Kelly.

Street Chefs haven’t been booked for Thanksgiving yet, but they are catering several holiday parties. And the best part about hiring a food truck for the holidays is.

“When we come by and we do you’re catering. We bring the dirty kitchen away with us.”

Some food for thought, while scrubbing those Thanksgiving dishes.

Since the trucks are mobile it takes investigators a little more leg work to perform random inspections. One place to drop-in on cooks is at food truck fair. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is hosing its 3rd fair December 5th in Tallahassee. Vendors from all over the state are invited to attend.