Recently, food trucks have been all the rage not only in the rest of the country, but here in the valley as well. From festivals to carnivals, and even in an episode of Bob’s Burgers – food trucks are up and coming as a new favorite among foodies across the country.
The results are in – the valley’s best food truck for 2015 is none other than The Uprooted Kitchen, a vegetarian food truck serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Winning by 11.68% over their closest competitor, Spice it Up, The Uprooted Kitchen is definitely a destination on wheels worth trying.
Using fresh ingredients such as kale, spinach, quinoa, and other delectable tidbits, this particular food truck is “a vegetarian’s dream”, as stated by a Yelp reviewer. Healthy, yet delish options is definitely what The Uprooted Kitchen is bringing to the valley – something that is very rarely seen among food trucks here in our corner of the universe, making the demand for this type of cuisine-on-the-go (literally) pretty high.
We got the chance to talk to one of its creators – Erin Romanoff. She and her husband, Chad, along with their 11 year old twin boys Cole and Jonah, reside in Chandler, where they implement the same nutritious, delicious food into their own daily lives.
A typical day in my life includes… planning our weekly menu, shopping/picking up produce and supplies for week, kitchen prep and cleaning, serving from our truck on Wednesday nights (at Agritopia Farm) and Saturday mornings (at Gilbert Market).
When and why did you start your food truck? We decided to start our food truck in the summer of 2011. We opened in the spring of 2012. We decided to start a food truck – rather than a brick and mortar – because we still had young children and we wanted a very flexible schedule. We also wanted to gauge interest in customer as well as build a loyal clientele that could follow us if and when we decided to open a restaurant. We saw a need for more organic/vegetarian food establishments in our area.
One main reason we decided to start The Uprooted Kitchen was because my husband and I wanted to create something that we really believed in. We wanted to create something of our own that would allow us to work together as well. We love working side by side every week – we are very lucky that we work well together. We also wanted to be good examples to our children – to show them that you can really succeed at anything that you a passionate about – and to give them the opportunity to become part of the business with us if they choose.
Why did you decide to focus on vegetarian food for your food truck? Our focus is on vegetarian/vegan cuisine because that is what we eat at home. We would never serve anything on our truck that we don’t feed our own family. All of our produce is certified organic – much of it coming from The Farm at Agritopia (Gilbert, AZ).
We are vegetarian because we believe that a plant based diet is the healthiest for our family. We believe that everyone – including non-vegetarians – can benefit from including vegetarian meals into their diet. We have already proven to many of our customers that “vegetarian” can be flavorful and very satisfying.
Credit: The Uprooted Kitchen (Instagram)
Who runs the business? I (Erin) am the chef – I create the menus and prepare all of the food. Chad (my husband) runs the business side (finances and ordering) as well as customer service – taking orders. We have no employees.
When I was younger, my dream job was… When I was a child I wanted to be a veterinarian. So I guess that goes along with being vegetarian and caring for animals. I am not sure what my husband wanted to be – but he is currently a Pediatric Occupational Therapist.
The dish on the menu that is my absolute favorite is… I have no favorite dishes – my menu items are kind of like my children – I love them all the same! I get very bored making the same things – so I change the menu weekly based on what is growing seasonally and actually what I am in the mood to eat.
I am inspired by… My mom definitely inspired my cooking. She was always making up sauces and impressing people with her cooking. We always had a home cooked meal on the table. She was never afraid to play around with food. So I have always been very comfortable experimenting and trying new things. My husband and my kids also inspire me because I am always striving to make healthier/tastier food for them. They are my favorite people to cook for because it makes me feel wonderful to be able to nourish them.
If I could change anything in the world, it would be… our food system. We have lost sight of what eating is supposed to be. I am afraid for my children’s generation and the quality of the food that will be available for them.
Something that I have not accomplished yet, but would like to is… open a restaurant.
My life… is pretty much perfect.
When and where can someone find the food truck? Wednesday nights from 4-8pm at The Farm at Agritopia (dinner menu) and Saturday mornings from 8am-12pm (winter), 7am-11am (summer) at The Gilbert Farmers Market.
People should try The Uprooted Kitchen because… Our food is abundant and nourishing. Every ingredient in our food has a purpose. Our goal is to make our customers feel really wonderful after eating one of our meals!