In the spring of this year media from across Calgary met at a tiny little restaurant called Taste to sample their new spring menu. It was at this meeting where I first met the owner of Taste and one of the several creative minds who all happened to converge on the food truck idea much at the same time.
You see, there are visionaries who happen upon the right ideas at the wrong time, and there are visionaries who happen to come up with the right ideas at exactly the right time. The story of Calgary’s food trucks is that of the latter. It is a story of not just one visionary, but several visionaries all coming up with the same idea with the absolute perfect timing.
There is a story, forgive me if it is not completely accurate as it is second hand information, about one of the first meetings between the city and the visionaries behind the food truck revolution. The story goes something like this. At the initial meeting one restaurant, who shall remain nameless, appeared quite surprised that there was more than one party in Calgary interested in starting a food truck. They apparently took offense to the other parties who appeared to be stepping all over their idea. The truth was that no one was stepping on anyone’s ideas at all. Much like in the case of Alexander Graham Bell and that other guy who both invented the telephone around the same time, sometimes ideas are, as Malcolm Gladwell put it, simply in the air. What should have been obviously apparent was that no single individual was a genius for coming up with the idea of a food truck in Calgary. Calgary was simply ready for food trucks, it was the next step in our city’s evolving food scene.
Combined with the fact that Calgary was ready, and that several parties were willing, the timing seemed right, the remaining piece of the puzzle was convincing the City of Calgary to allow the revolution to begin. This is where timing was so important. Under the leadership of the professionally bureaucratic and stiff Dave Bronconier food trucks would have never happened. However, with the progressive new leadership of Naheed Nenshi, anything became possible.
Other cities had already come up with the ideas for food trucks, the idea was not new. However, Nenshi paved the way for the revolution (with some help from the owner of Fiasco Gelato) – all the visionaries behind the food truck brands had to do was build the trucks.
Which leads me back to the spring menu tasting at Taste. This was where the owners laid out there idea to me. A food truck that served flavors of food from around the world, in the pinched form of a perogy. Long before the food truck revolution had even started, the vision for Perogy Boyz had been born. Visions without execution are nothing more than dreams. Perogy Boyz, to my surprise became a reality, a reality that tastes like a dream. Their perogies are a food lovers dream come true.
We love their perogies. The Traditional with potato and cheese, and the Sauerkraut with sauteed onions satisfy the traditionalists. The Mexicali, which is like a taco in a perogy, is as innovative as any food we have had out of a food truck. Dessert, well that is the icing on the perogy and probably one of the best dishes we have tried anywhere this year. It is carrot cake in the form of a perogy with cream cheese and cinnamon caramel syrup that is out of this world good.
As much as Calgary loves the food trucks, we love Perogy Boyz. What makes this whole food truck revolution so satisfying for us as Calgary Foodies, is that in an interview with Alberta Venture Magazine we predicted that the next step for Calgary’s food scene was street food. Although it didn’t make the article, we called the street food trend arriving in spring of 2011. While it took a couple of extra months, we like to think we nailed it.
Great minds really do think alike 🙂