This Saturday, don't bother packing a picnic if you're headed to Oakledge Park. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Burlington High School's brand-new Fork in the Road food truck will be parked by the bocce court selling slow-fast food that'll blow your ham sandwich out of the water. "We're calling it 'classic concessions with a Vermont twist,'" says Sarah Heusner, Farm 2 School coordinator at the Burlington School Food Project (BSFP).
Food for the truck comes straight from area farms and from Burlington's student-tended school gardens. The menu is a veritable smorgasbord that bridges the gap between gourmet and accessible.
So think funnel-cakes. At the outset of a late-blooming strawberry season, BHS student chefs will be topping frittered dough (made with King Arthur Flour and cider from Champlain Orchards) with fresh berries from Norris Berry Farm and ice cream from Strafford Organic Creamery for an extra-sweet, extra-cool, park-perfect take on the classic strawberry shortcake.
For a salty fix, have yourself a hot dog — the truck will offer franks from Julie brown and Mike Bowen's happy hogs at North Hollow Farm in Rochester. They'll also be pressing Cabot grilled cheeses, oozing with melty cheddar between slices of Shelburne Farms bread baked just for the project. "It's kind of a quasi-slow fast-food menu," Heusner says. "We wanted it to be the quintessential street-vendor food."
BSFP teamed up with Burlington Technical Center (BTC) to helm the project, made possible by a sustaining grant from Dealer.com, and BTC culinary instructor Jason Gingold has been training 10 BHS students to transform a simple truck and trailer into their mobile café.
After this weekend, the truck will return to Oakledge most Saturdays, with stops along the way at Summervale (Thursdays starting July 3), the Community Sailing Center, BHS, the South End Truck Stop and at the WYSIWYG festival in August. For a full schedule, find the Fork in the Road food truck on Facebook.
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