Food-truck craze lets local chefs take talents on the road

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Fast food now has a new meaning. Forget the drive-thru. It's all about food truck these days.

Brooke and Nathan Francis opened The Roasted Shallot Food Truck and are taking their talents on the road.

"The best part is being able to do our food and seeing people enjoy it," Brooke said.
She and her husband have owned the truck for more than one year, but they are not alone. The couple is among the many food truck owners popping up in the Valley of the Sun, including Wade Phillips with Chef Wade's Bistro on Wheels.

His newly built truck dishes French-American food with an ever-changing menu.

"I do have staple items that we like to make, but I'm able to change my menu all the time," Phillips said.

Owning one of these restaurants on wheels comes with many challenges. Space and trying to find space on the side of a road to set up shop.

"It's difficult, learning about the laws for each city, permits, the licensing and how you need to figure out where you can go was a little more difficult than we anticipated," Brooke said.

Some cities are scrambling to adapt to the food-truck craze.

"Some of their laws are starting to ease a little bit, as long as the truck is correctly permitted," she explained. "We can start being on side streets and pull up and open our doors."

Chef Wade said that although he's enjoying every minute of it, he knows that the rolling restaurant might not have him rolling in the dough for years.

"I don't think I'm going to be profitable in the first year, first year and a half," he said. "In a couple of years I should be making profit, once I get established."

Both the Roasted Shallot Food truck and Chef Wade's Bistro on Wheels will be at Kierland Commons from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23 for the 3rd Annual Foodie Faire.

Food tickets are $8; drink tickets are $2. A ticket package (4 food, 2 drink) is $35. Proceeds benefit Arizona Friends of Foster Children.