- 19th June
- 29th May
- 30th April
What happens when you put creative people at the same table to brainstorm how to help raise funds for a worthy non-profit? First, you get enthusiasm. Then, you get an “all hands on deck” approach to getting the best results possible. And, then, you accomplish your goal – you actually wind up making a difference.
This was the process behind the latest sidebar effort for our new Big Project: the creation of 11 Food Truck Festivals throughout New England this summer and fall. We wanted a product to sell at the festivals, something that would involve the trucks but would also raise funds for a worthy non-profit. During a brainstorming meeting we decided to create a food truck calendar – not one that would focus on the trucks, but rather one that would include the trucks, but would have a “sexy twist”. Okay, so naked food truckers with vital parts hidden by food was ruled out. How about a vintage pin-up calendar, featuring beautiful women in vintage 50’s wardrobe said our creative director Lane Atteridge. An idea was born! And thanks to the generosity of Phillips Design Group of Boston under the direction of Cara King, photographer Steve Sherman of Stephen Sherman Photography and Producer Michelle Doucette of M Doucette Production…the idea is becoming a reality….
Steve Sherman, Elizabeth Brenke, Michele Doucette, Cara King, Lane Atteridge
I arrived early in the morning on Sunday for the shoot. It was on the Hicks Farm property in Westford, MA. When we lost our venue for the shoot, we called the Hicks with barely 124 hours notice and they were nice enough to let us use their barn. It was pouring heavily outside, the first rain we’d had in months and the farm was an hour or so drive for most of the participants and the trucks – yet everyone showed up (except for one truck who cancelled at the last moment). We were using a propane heater to keep the models warm, as they were in skimpy clothing – yet not one complaint, not one negative word from anyone. We decided to have the pin-up girls pose in or in front of the trucks. Each outfit would be matched in some way to the corresponding truck. For example, in front of the Go Fish Truck, the girl would be wearing a vintage bathing suit and floppy sun hat.
Model Asia Barnes with a lobster in front of the Go Fish Truck
The team we had on hand was utterly fantastic! Despite the moisture in the air, hair and makeup were able to pull together the perfect looks. The wardrobe team found outfits that for just a second made you forget the rain and imagine we were at a lobster bake on the Cape. The head photographer, Stephen Sherman and his crew were wonderfully professional on set and Michele Doucette and her team kept things moving along seamlessly. They knew the right things to say to pull the perfect pose from the models! It was amazing to me that everyone came together to donate their time because this was a project they believed in.
Model, Jacqueline Voeghtlin and Steve Sherman in front of Lobsta’ Love
It was a unique opportunity for all the truckers as well. Many times the festivals are so busy that the truckers are unable to get a chance to meet each other. This was the exact opposite! Everyone was talking and introducing themselves. The team from Grilled Cheese Nation was making lunch for all and Frozen Hoagies was chatting up the guys from Redbones while handing out ice cream sandwiches. It was like our own mini food truck festival! In all, a grueling and soggy, cold day – but extremely heartwarming and gratifying.
Model, Jacqueline Voeghtlin with Mary McPartland of Frozen Hoagies
Now we can’t wait to see the final product –the calendar should be ready and on sale by the beginning of June at a cost of $10, with 100% of the proceeds going to Community Servings, a Massachusetts organization that prepares and delivers 7,500 lunches and dinners each week to the homes of almost 775 individuals and families who are homebound with an acute life-threatening illness. We plan to sell the calendars at all of our Food Truck Festivals throughout the summer and fall (full schedule is at www.foodtruckfestivalsofne.com ), on all the participating trucks – and hopefully many trucks in the region – and through Community Servings itself. Our – and my personal — thanks to the many who helped to make it possible:
Special thanks to the Creative Leadership of:
Stephen Sherman, Photographer // Stephen Sherman Photography
Michele Doucette, Producer // M Doucette Production
Cara King, Senior Designer // Phillips Design Group
Lane Atteridge, // Food Truck Festivals of New England LLC
AND THANKS TO THEIR TEAMS:
Dan Orlow, Assistant Photographer
Elizabeth Brenke, Senior Designer
Danita Jo Talbot, Assistant Photographer
David, Russel & Marie Hicks of Hicks Farm
Robyn McGuire, Digital Tech
Al Arakelian, Arakelian Real Estate
Mike Ritter, Assistant Photographer
Rocco & Zita Scippa, Swanson Meadows Golf Course
Teegan Lufkin, Assistant Producer
Brandon Lake, Stylist / The Loft
Kara Kamrowski, Make-Up
Britton, Makeup/ Chic & Destroy
Andrea McGuiness, Ennis, Inc.
Joe Sherman, Video
THANKS TO MODELING AGENCIES
Model Club Inc.
and their models..
AND, OF COURSE, THANKS TO THE TRUCKS, TOO!
The Chubby Chickpea, owner Avi Shemtov
Lobsta Love, owner Todd Saunders
Cool Cow Ice Cream, owner Eric Anderson
Frozen Hoagies, Mary McPartland
Grilled Cheese Nation, owners Todd Saunders & Ron Sarni
Kickass Cupcakes , owner Sara Ross
Lefty’s Silver Cart, owner Phillip Francis
Go Fish , owner David Stein
Bon Me, owner Patrick Lynch
Redbones, captain Rudy Rudolph
Paris Creperie’s La Tour Eiffel, truck manager Gavin Bodkin
- Anne-Marie Aigner, Executive Producer of Food Truck Festivals of New England
- 20th April
Just like on a dining car on a train, their menu is as unique as the places they visit along the way – Boston’s ‘The Dining Car’ is no exception. And, co-owner’s David Harnik and Naomi Close took quite an unlikely route to ownership of this mobile “restaurant” known these days as a “gourmet food truck”.
Harnik began his career in high tech as an executive recruiter. In his free time he was drawn to the kitchen – cooking for family and friends. As word of David’s culinary skills spread, he began to cater small parties here and there. At one catering event, he found himself explaining the mechanics of food to a few kids and explaining the reactions of sugar in frying up a pan of rice. As he turned around, he was face to face with the kids’ father, an executive at Mars Candy Corporation ,who hired David on the spot. Following his job at Mars, he went to work for some of the top restaurants in Boston, heading up the catering division of L’Espalier and Sel De La Terre.
Close’s path was much different. David was a family friend, but the two had never met until the birth of their food truck business. Close was trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City in 2005. Her education was based mainly in a vegetarian diet and allowed her to learn about foods connection to health. The “food as medicine” mentality allowed her to learn in-depth about vegan, macrobiotic, and raw diets.
To balance her education, she interned at Anissa Restaurant in Greenwich Village with Anita Lo, owner and Executive Chef. She worked with all meats including delicacies ranging from frogs legs to ostrich, etc.
At that same time, Close was getting very interested in the mobile food scene. She had a young kid, and was hoping that this emerging trend would allow her the life of a chef with the freedom of a business owner. A family member knew David, and connected them to chat about potentially starting a business together!
What David loved most loved catering was the invitations he received into his clients’ homes, allowing him to be a part of some of their most joyous and memorable occasions complimented by the great food and beverage that Chef Harnik would provide. David’s passion for catering transitioned into a love of the mobile food industry, which was just beginning to develop in Boston. As his plans for the truck came together, he struggled to find a name that ‘said it all’. It wasn’t until Naomi, asked her 5 year old son – who was a train fanatic — if he had any ideas for a name for the food truck. He tossed out ‘The Dining Car’.
And the rest is history… well not exactly. From his catering days, David knew he needed it all, so the truck was fully equipped with a full size oven, stove, fryer, and even a smoker! Yes, you heard right – a smoker! How else would they be able to make their famous pulled pork recipe? As we continued to talk, David mentioned the uniqueness of the truck culture. He talked about the restaurant world where the chefs create the food, but never get that direct interaction with the customer. In his new line of business on wheels, he is excited that he is invited to talk with his customers and can hear their instant feedback on their meals Best of all, he can thank repeat customers for their business. He is having his cake and eating it too!
From my conversation with Naomi, she is grateful for her collaboration with David. They bring two world together combining very different cooking styles. Whereas David leans toward the traditional french side of things, Naomi loves the concept of keeping food natural, local, and organic when possible.
To learn more abou tDavid and Naomi of ‘The Dining Car’ visit their website http://diningcar.net and be sure to see them and other fabulous food trucks at the Food Truck Festivals of New England http://www.foodtruckfestivalsofne.com !