Have wheels, will travel: the best food trucks to cater your party
From crispy spuds and delicious pizza to luxury ice-cream, here is a food guide for your next special occasion
Festival favourite: the Home Fries van serves crispy fried spuds with toppings from a classic patatas bravas to chipotle sauce to the classic chipper curry sauce
So, the guest list is done and you’ve booked the band, but what are your party-goers going to eat? There are a growing herd of meals on wheels dishing up tasty bites at parties, weddings and festivals around the country.
Ferdia MagLochlainn is the spud enthusiast behind Home Fries (www.homefries.ie) , a favourite of festival and wedding organisers since 2012. This vintage van serves crispy fried spuds with toppings from a classic patatas bravas to chipotle sauce to the classic chipper curry sauce.
“The van is old and can’t go very fast,” says MagLochlainn fondly, “but we’ll travel nationwide for the right party”. They love to do weddings, birthdays and house-warmings, as long as there is enough space for the van and enough people to feed.
LaLa Poutine (www.lalapoutine.ie) is another potato-based food truck, this time serving up the Canadian delicacy of poutine: a righteously good mix of chips, gravy and cheese curds. It might not sound, or to be honest look, very appealing but LaLa Poutine are doing everything right with this comfort food dish. They have their very own farm supplier creating the cheese curds especially for them.
“It’s a secret recipe and the farmer is secret, too,” laughs their founder and chef Fred Peretti, when I try get the cheesy details.
Naoise Donelan is the pizza chef behind the wheel of The Pizza Truck, a Citroën H Van parked midweek in Greystones, serving French-style pizza with Emmental cheese. He took over The Pizza Truck from his aunt Emma Gray and her husband Giles Gaillot when they left the seaside to open Gaillot et Gray in Dublin 8. When he’s not parked in Greystones, Donelan takes the Citroën to parties in south Dublin and Wicklow. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For Neapolitan-style pizza parties inside and outside, Zero Zero Pizza (www.zerozeropizza.ie) is your gang. They have two wood-fired pizza ovens which they’ve taken by trailer around the country. “As long as your party is near a motorway, we can get there,” says their chief pizzaiolo Conall Doorley, who runs Zero Zero Pizza with his wife Alexandra Walsh and business partner Ronan Crinion.
If it’s sandwiches you’re after, The Gourmet Kitchen’s flame-grilled dry-aged steak sandwich is hard to beat. Chef and owner Liam Prenderville refurbished a retired ambulance for their food truck, which serves three cheese philly steak sandwiches, Asian beef brisket and chargrilled chicken ciabattas all around the country. “We’re hoping to do more private parties in the next year,” says Prenderville. So hit them up.
While not strictly a food truck, Sarah McNally and Liadain Kaminska have been gaining fans at festivals with their stall The Market Kitchen (www.themarketkitchen.org). Usually found in Temple Bar Food Market in Dublin, these two have perfected the art of the creative toastie. People are still talking about their pickled fennel sandwich with smoked drumlin cheese and mustard béchamel which appeared on the festival circuit this summer. This pair will travel with toasties in tow. “We really enjoy working with people on projects,” McNally tells me, “and getting to cook in wild and wonderful spots”.
If it’s fish you’re after, say no more than Say Fish. Among the most delicious fish and chips in the country, this classy chipper van has fish enthusiast Dave Harper at the helm. I ask him if he travels around the country with his van. “Do I what? Just the other week I was in the RDS doing an event, and then I pegged it over to Westport to do a wedding, and then back to the RDS. We go up and down the length and breadth of the country. We’ve been on rooftops. Rooftops!”
Their fish and chips stand out from the crowd with their golden fried hue and emphasis on sustainability. You can go traditional with their classic haddock or try something a little different with their Cajun-spiced pollock and their panko-crusted prawns. Their seaweed salted chips are so good.
If you’re looking for the perfect mix of smart casual, look no further than Julia’s Lobster Truck (www.facebook.com/juliaslobstertruck). Based in the Burren, head honcho Julia Hemingway cooks up lobsters caught by fisherman Gerry Sweeney in New Quay, near Kinvara, while her mussels and oysters are supplied by The Redbank Food Company. Her turquoise food truck makes a perfect backdrop for her petite brioche buns slathered in hot molten butter and stuffed with sweet lobster.
And finally, something sweet. Adare Farm Ice-Cream will take their cart beyond Limerick for the right occasion. This luxury homemade ice-cream is made from the fresh milk and cream from the farm’s pedigree Frisian dairy herd. The cart comes with a choice of six flavours of ice-cream and will come to your party for up to two hours. Plenty of time to keep your guests happy. www.adarefarm.ie