Mighty Local Stories

Gourmet to Go

Fancy a “drive-in” food truck fix?

Gourmet to Go is serving up a unique eating experience in Hamilton this Friday – food truck meals for ‘drive-in’ pick up.

Created by the organisers of the popular Gourmet in the Gardens, Gourmet to Go will see four food trucks cooking takeaway meals for collection at Claudelands.

It will be offered through online ordering this Friday, then on Friday and Saturday nights in May, with a variety of food trucks on offer. The novel idea has been created by Tania Simpson, who five years ago set up Gourmet in the Gardens, a mass gathering of up to 30 food trucks every Sunday evening in the summer months at Hamilton Gardens.

It has been a big undertaking just to get to this point, with the ‘drive-in’ food truck idea a completely new concept.

“We would greatly appreciate your support and will be doing all we can to bring you the love and excitement of Gourmet in the Gardens to your bubble.”

Customers will require an order confirmation which will give them access to the pick- up area.

Gourmet in the Gardens has been phenomenally successful in the Waikato and is believed to be the biggest weekly gathering of food trucks in New Zealand.

Several of the vendors have transitioned from working out of gazebos, to owning food trucks during the five years, thanks to the ‘bread and butter’ regular work the event offers.

And Waikato people love it – which is why Tania, and partner Frank Te Wani, hope people will get out and support Gourmet to Go.

The recent Level 4 lockdown meant food trucks lost their bookings, so this allows them to resume trade, under the strict Level 3 regulations around the sale of take-out food.

This week’s four food trucks are Lukey J’s, Fritz Wieners Hamilton, Locomexicano and Unique Food Geeks. They will be operating from the red barn at Claudelands, with access from Gate 3 from 5-8pm.

Orders for a specific time slot can be placed from the menus at gourmettogo.nz with online payment by debit and credit card and internet banking. Runners will deliver the food – contactless of course – to the car bonnet.

Tania, a former bank manager, looks after all the behind-the-scenes logistics for this and Gourmet in the Gardens, as well as a weekly summer food truck market at Mount Maunganui.

Vendors do not have to worry about those ‘extra’ things like power supply and marketing. “When they turn up, everything is sorted. They just need to come, have their food ready, and deliver.”

All in all, it is all about creating a memorable food experience. “You very seldom see people on their devices at Gourmet. They just go and enjoy – I called them ‘golden moments’ – because we see a lot of those, like when their child dances for the first time in front of the live musicians. Those things that only happen once in a lifetime.”

The goal is to offer something special - interesting international food choices to cater for all tastes and budgets, as well as meeting specific dietary needs.

Visit Gourmet to Go's website

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