Up to 30 food trucks are set to compete in the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition on Aug. 20 in Veteran’s Park; but like any competition, there can only be one winner.
The winner of the $5,000 grand prize will be decided by a panel of local and special guest celebrity judges, which includes:
- Erica Blaire Roby, Champion of Food Network’s BBQ BRAWL, from Dayton — Erica Blaire Roby, a local barbecue expert, attorney, certified wine expert, award-winning cookbook author and social media influencer, earned the title of “Master of ‘Cue” in 2021 by beating 11 other champion pitmasters during a grueling 10-week competition on Food Network’s BBQ BRAWL. She is know for her culture-driven approach to barbecue. Learn more about “The Master of ‘Cue.”
- Lisa Freeman, Chef/Owner of Crust & Company, Salato Deli and Le Torte Dolci in Springfield — Originally from Westbrook, Maine, Freeman said she wants people to enjoy life over a meal and that her vision is “to bring people together with the goodness of food, using high quality ingredients and fresh flavors.”
- Clayton Horrighs, Executive Chef at Speakeasy Ramen in Springfield — Speakeasy Ramen has become one of the most popular spots in Springfield. Horrighs brings his culinary expertise to Springfield and highlights his Japan, Vietnam, China, and Korean skills. He also focuses very highly on great customer service from his time working in tourism-centered culinary hub, Charleston, South Carolina.
- Doug McGregor, Owner of Seasons Kitchen in Springfield — McGregor owned Seasons Bistro and Grille in Springfield for 12 years with his sister, Margaret Mattox, prior to unexpected challenges from COVID-19 forcing it to close in May 2020. But the siblings quickly opened a new concept – Seasons Kitchen, a catering business producing a weekly menu of carryout meals. McGregor’s history includes working his way up from a dishwasher to a sous chef, and attending culinary school at Colorado Mountain College.
- Elizabeth Wiley, Chef/Owner of Meadowlark Restaurant and Wheat Penny Oven and Bar in Dayton — Elizabeth Wiley first made a name for herself at The Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs before opening Meadowlark Restaurant in Washington Township. in 2004. She has sinced open Wheat Penny Oven & Bar in Dayton in 2013, and recently became co-founder of SageCraft Catering and Events.
In addition to the grand prize, the runner-up will receive $2,500 and third place will receive $1,500. Attendees may also use the Springfield Food Truck mobile app to vote for their favorite truck to receive the $1,000 People’s Choice Award.
How Judging Works
- The winner of the $5,000 grand prize for Best Food Truck, the $2,500 Runner Up and $1,500 Third Place truck will be decided by a panel of five local professional chefs and at least five roving anonymous volunteer judges.
- The chef judges will base their scores on a combination of factors including: Flavor/Taste, Presentation/Visual Appeal and Creativity/Originality from a signature dish chosen by the truck, to be delivered at a prescribed time without disclosure of the truck’s identity.
- The anonymous judges will provide scores Truck/Cart Design, Customer Service/Friendliness/Hospitality and Menu Variety/Value/Originality that will be added to the chef judges’ scores to determine the first through third place winners.
- A $1,000 “People’s Choice” award winner will also be determined by attendee votes the day of the competition. Attendees will be limited to one vote per mobile device for their favorite food truck.
The Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition will be held Saturday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Veterans Park in Springfield, Ohio. Learn more at springfieldfoodtruck.com and follow Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition on Facebook for more details and competition updates.