No need to panic. Mobile Food Rodeo, the outdoor gorgefest that draws dozens of food trucks (and epic crowds), is not going anywhere. But changes are ahead.
Unlike in years past, just one Rodeo is planned for 2013; it happens on May 5. In place of a second Rodeo, organizers are busy plotting the Seattle Street Food Festival. Like MFR, this first-ever fest is ambitious in scope.
"There's a lot more to street food than just food trucks," explains founder Ryan Reiter. And while plenty of them will be on hand, so will carts and booths featuring familiar faces from farmers markets and reps from 10 restaurants. This setup, he adds, will help the festival in showcasing "emerging, younger chefs you'll be hearing about in the future."
To wit: Each day's festivities will give way to a "night market" starring five up-and-comers in a pop-up–style setup. Anyone with a particular knack for bread and cheese is encouraged to compete in the Grilled Cheese Grand Prix. (Thinking of participating? Pointers here.) Also in consideration is "off the cuff, impromtu street cooking performances" featuring more established chefs. Mr. Curb Cuisine himself Josh Henderson is one name Reiter mentioned; more participants will be finalized in weeks to come.
While the goal of the festival is to celebrate street food in all iterations, it also should make life easier on food trucks: Prepping two days worth of grub and feeding relentless lines has proved difficult during past Rodeos. Eventually it may just make more sense to fold Mobile Food Rodeo into the street food fest, says Reiter.
Seattle Street Food Festival takes place August 17 and 18. The location is yet to be determined; follow Facebook for updates.