James Foxall of OC Foodie Fest (and Taco Dawg), Part One
|Photo: Meg Strouse|
|James Foxall and Virginia Strickland, organizers of the OC Foodie Fest|
OC Weekly: What's your connection with food trucks? Are you a former restaurateur?
James Foxall: I'm actually a food truck owner myself. I own Taco Dawg.
OCW: What inspired you to organize the Foodie Fest?
JF: Seeing how big this movement is becoming and recognizing that OC doesn't have the awareness or familiarity. That is the one thing we're hoping to accomplish, and if we can give back to the kids while we're at it, then double bonus.
OCW: What's the most challenging thing about a food truck festival in OC?
JF: Besides the costs, and paperwork, the logistics, and coordinating the people involved, it's a piece of cake.
OCW: The list of trucks seems to be all of the new gourmet variety; any plans to include traditional loncheras?
JF: We are making a conscious effort to try to find a way to pay tribute to those trailblazers without pandering or being artificial.
OCW: How many people are you expecting at this shindig?
JF: Well, if just everybody who is involved in the planning shows up we'll be a success. But seriously, there's going to be a lot of people. We are built and designed for handling just over 11,000 people in an efficient way so we will probably cap the ticket sales at 10,000 just to ensure that everyone has a good time.
OCW: Stories abound of flash mobs caused by just a few of these trucks assembling in one place; how are you going to deal with crowds?
JF: Our design team, along with the guys and gals at the Honda Center have been hard at work anticipating every potential problem, from line control to processing orders. To keep people from getting bored while they wait in line, we are going to have street performers and circus acts. We're giving them shopping, bands, artists and a kids area, lots of seating and tables for when they eat, and plenty of ticket takers, parking, bathrooms, etc.
OCW: Any advice for patrons of the Fest?
JF: Come early to catch all the entertainment we have lined up. It truly is a festival that you can and want to be at all day. Also, a little food tip: if you want to hit all of the trucks, come early so you have plenty of time to experience the entirety of the fest's offerings: food, entertainment, art and activities.
OCW: If you were on a desert island in the South Pacific, which of the guest food trucks would you want to have with you, and why?
JF: Taco Dawg. Seriously, not because its my own (okay, partly because of that) but seriously, I love these two foods--they're so simple and good and very easy to make taste different. If I were stuck on a desert island, I would want good, simple food that I could make with any of the local ingredients.
OCW: Are there plans for some of the LA-only trucks (the Buttermilk Truck, India Jones, etc.) to come down to OC on a more regular basis?
JF: Funny you should ask. Our company has already started on that. We are looking at the festival as a launching of our next venture...but that's another story in and of itself.
OCW: What one food truck (that doesn't exist) would you like to see roaming the streets?
JF: Wow. That's really a good question, and difficult to answer. There are already so many different and delicious trucks out there from vegetarian (Seabirds) to Spanish tapas (Piaggio) and everything in between. I'm not sure what's left. One thing I am sure of is that somebody somewhere will come up with something new and wow us... I just hope it's me.
Follow Taco Dawg at @TheTacoDawg on Twitter; follow the OC Foodie Fest at @OCFoodieFest.