A Letter from the Beet’s Resident Forager – Looking for Help Getting His Food Truck Going
Hi, my name is Eric May. Besides writing for the Local Beet about foraging, I am also an artist, a summertime chef at a 100 year old art school in Saugatuck, MI called Ox-Bow, and the director of a nonprofit art center in Noble Square called Roots & Culture. I am also pursuing a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at Northwestern University in multi-disciplinary art practices, in particular exploring the intersection of food, ecology, and art.
I am trying to launch a new Food Truck project. It is part of my thesis work and I hope it will be a long term project beyond school. The University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts awarded me $9000 for a grant that I wrote to fund the project. After about five months of shopping for a used concession trailer I realized that it would be best to buy a new model. I am trying to raise another $3000 which will cover the extra costs and equipment and licensing costs as well.
E-Dogz is more than just a food truck, it is a Mobile Culinary Community Center. And what exactly does that mean? Food is a medium for social interaction. All over the world, street food- food that is prepared and served in public- provides moments which bring together communities. My city, Chicago, has a distinct lack of this type of culture. I would like to launch this project as a means for not only serving great food, but also ideas and conversation about food. I would like to inform and stimulate people’s relationships and attitudes towards what they eat.
The Center will host a range of public activities that will inspire community conviviality such as block parties, cook-offs, and a visiting chef series that will feature everyone from professionals, to amateurs, budding young cooks, and talented grandmas. The Center will also host educational programming such as cooking demonstrations and urban food awareness workshops. Even through the cuisine itself, which will feature unlikely ingredients that may be foraged from the landscape or grown at the Center itself, an awareness and appreciation of food sources will be promoted.
Some of you will be familiar with the Kickstarter website for small project fundraising. It is incredibly easy to use and pretty fun to look at. Please consider making a small donation for the project through this website. It can be as small as $1. I will have 45 days to reach my fundraising goal and they only release funds to fully funded projects. I have some pretty cool rewards for donating a variety of levels which will be spelled out on the site. The address for my project is:
So, check out my (slightly embarrassing) video and please consider a small donation.
Thank you so much for supporting my projects and research! Hopefully I’ll be cooking up some crazy cuisine on a street corner near you!