June 9: Farm to Food Truck Challenge III

Previous winner Andrew Gruel of SlapFish to Judge and Canned Goods to Be Collected For Food Drive
On Saturday, June 9th, SoCo Certified Farmers’ Market will host its Farm to Food Truck Challenge III, a farmers’ market inspired cooking competition. Top gourmet food truck chefs will compete in an epic Clash of the Titans, as our winners of the Farm to Food Truck I come back to defend their title against the challengers of our Farm to Food Truck II. The “Top Chop Truck” title will be given to the Chef who can create the best dish using locally grown farm fresh ingredients. More than 15 gourmet food trucks will be present at the weekly farmers’ market from 9 am 2 pm with 6 select trucks competing.
The Food Network TV Show “Chopped”-style competition requires food truck chefs to shop the farmers’ market for pre-determined seasonal ingredients and whip up a culinary masterpiece in just 60 minutes. The panel of top local foodie judges will include Mona Shah Anderson, O.C restaurant publicist, Chef Andrew Gruel, Winner of Farm2GFTII, and Owner of SlapFish, Chef Santanna Salas from Haven Gastropub, Kim Glen, representing the City of Costa Mesa, and Priscilla Willis, She’s Cookin’, Food blogger Bobby Navarro will act as MC. The panel will judge the dishes on creativity, taste and presentation and decide who will be crowned the ‘Top Chop’ Truck! The Challenge kicks off at 12 pm, judging begins at 1pm and the winner will be announced at 1:30 pm.
The festivities will also feature live music, kid-friendly activities and plenty of free parking. Admission is also free. A food drive benefiting Costa Mesa locals will also take place and attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods or make a small donation. Any donation will be used to purchase food directly from the farmers. The event will be held in conjunction with the SoCo Certified Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Saturday at South Coast Collection (“SoCo”) at the 3315 Hyland Ave in Costa Mesa from 9 am 2pm
Event Schedule:
  • 9:00                   SoCo Farmers’ Market opens
  • 11:00                 Judges, & Foodies arrive, check in at info booth
  • 11:30                 Judges choose six ingredients to be used in competition 

*Foodies start tweeting, taking pictures, & filming

  • 12:00               Chefs dash, grab, and cook (60 min time limit)
  • 1:00                 Judging begins, tasting 6 submissions
  • 1:30             Winner crowned Top Chop Truck
Competition Rules:
The rules are pretty simple; Chefs have 60 minutes to dash, choose, plan, and to make a small tasting for six judges, using:

  •   Utilization & creative use of farm fresh ingredients                          50 points
  • Taste                                                                                         30 points
  •  Presentation                                                                               20 points

  • Five ingredients Farmers’ Market ingredients pre-chosen by the judges, plus an additional two ingredients of their choice
  • A protein of choice
  • And their choice of one cheat ingredient (i.e. tortillas).
  • They are also welcome to use their pantry ingredients, olive oil, spices…

Criteria for Judging:
Judges will score on the following criteria. Most points wins! This will be a blind tasting. Keep in mind that the overall scoring emphasis is based on creative use of farm fresh ingredients in this competition


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