Urban Vistro of Cincinnati was selected as the $10,000 grand prize winner of the 5th annual Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition on Aug. 18.
Judges included Doug McGregor (Seasons Bistro and Grille), Micah Berner (Cecil and Lime), John Da Rosa (Seasons Bistro and Grille), Tina Pavlatos (Visual Anatomy) and Lisa Freeman (Le Torte Dolci). The food truck was honored for its Borocado Martini dish.
The judges tasted all the food trucks’ signature dishes and scored each dish based on numerous categories.
When asked about his first time competing in the event, Urban Vistro owner Vitor Abreu had one word to describe the experience: “Incredible.”
“We started our truck three years ago and Marty [of Marty’s Waffles] brought this event to our attention, but we kept missing the entry deadline,” Abreu said in a news release. “We wanted to be a part of it because it’s a true food truck competition, so we said to ourselves, ‘Let’s bring our A game.’”
“It’s not just a rally. It’s trucks bringing their best and unique items,” he said.
Mojo Tago, of Columbus, Ohio, with their Deconstructed Pork Belly Taco and Marty’s Waffles, of Alexandria, Kentucky, with their Chicken and Waffle BLT were awarded the $5,000 runner-up prize and $2,000 third-place prize respectively, and Fat Racks Smoking Co. took home the second-ever $1,000 People’s Choice Award, which was voted on by attendees through the event’s mobile app.
This year’s event featured 13 new food trucks and 19 returning competitors.
The money raised from the sales of drinks and T-shirts, in addition to corporate sponsorships, benefit the many charitable causes of the Springfield Rotary Club, such as helping individuals with disabilities, and supporting international projects, such as Polio Plus and various projects in Lesotho, Africa.
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“Since the inaugural event in 2014, we’ve raised over $100,000 for our various charities, which has increased the number of people our club can serve by 70 percent,” said Eddie Bell, Rotary member and food truck competition marketing committee chairman. “Most attendees don’t realize what a tremendous impact this event has on the local community and beyond.”