The food truck scene is hot everywhere. Some of the hottest new dishes are coming off of food trucks, thanks to these “rogues of the culinary world,” as Chef Eric Greenspan refers to the innovative food truck operators. Now, you can celebrate some of my favorite things in the world—innovative food truck offerings and the smoky sweetness of New Mexico’s Hatch chiles in Dallas, Denver, and Austin through the month of August and in Phoenix for the month of September. It’s time for the Clash of the Hatch food truck competition, curated by Chef Eric Greenspan and 505 Southwestern®, with the finale scheduled for Santa Fe, New Mexico in October.
Clash of the Hatch Launches for Its Second Year
Last year, Clash of the Hatch took place in Los Angeles, with great success. “LA has a unique perspective on food trucks,” explains Chef Greenspan. “They have a culture all their own in how they compete and offer foods for their clients. By taking the contest on the road this year, it’s exciting to see more of those micro-cultures as we go on the road this year.”
Even though he was fine-dining trained, has had such amazing mentors as Alain Ducasse and David Bouley with Michelin-star experience, Chef Greenspan says that, at the end of the day, he’s a comfort food guy. “I’m all about democratizing fine dining and elevating comfort food. This is a natural extension of that. I love watching chefs push themselves and it happens every day on food trucks.”
This year’s contest kicked off in Denver, Dallas, and Austin, where special dishes using 505 Southwestern® Hatch Valley Flame Roasted Green Chile will be served throughout August. The Phoenix competition kicks off on September 1.
The process leads to some creative dishes. Chef Greenspan enjoys the entire process. “It starts will all of the trucks creating their dishes,” he says. “I have sessions with all of the trucks at the beginning as they create the dishes. We have a lot of people who have never used hatch green chiles before, but they use them in some creative ways.”
What’s So Special About Hatch Chiles?
Hatch green chiles are raised in New Mexico and are available fresh each year only from about mid-August through September. “It’s a great American product,” says Chef Greenspan. “I’m always a fan of culinary traditions of this country and what we as Americans do great. The Hatch Chile is a great example.” Chef Greenspan says Clash of the Hatch is a great opportunity to introduce those not familiar with the Hatch to the public. “Hatch is unique in its sweetness, subtle spice and earthiness. We’re putting Hatch green chiles in dishes where you wouldn’t expect them—a Benedict in Denver, a dumpling in Dallas. It gets people to eat them who wouldn’t necessarily eat them. They realize that the smoky sweetness balances any spice.”
Of course, using that 505 Southwestern® Hatch Valley Flame Roasted Grilled Chile also lets you expand that flavor of Hatch beyond the season. “I love that 505 Southwestern® captures the essence of the chiles year round. Otherwise, you can eat them in August and September and then you’re just bummed,” laughs Greenspan.
Join the Fun as the Food Trucks Compete
So now you can have a chance to experience those amazing Hatch chiles in some innovative dishes. The competition features food trucks in the four cities—Dallas, Denver, Austin, and Phoenix—serving up their custom 505 Southwestern® dishes. “I go to each city and talk to customers, see what they think about it, get people jazzed up and get people to vote, explains Chef Greenspan.
And the public vote is critical. You simply go eat great food and vote on your favorite dishes in each city. There will be one regional winner that gets $2,500 and each city-winner will be invited to a grand finale competition in Santa Fe, NM on October 20, 2018. The national winner will receive $10,000 and have a chance to work with 505 Southwestern® to create a co-branded retail item that will hit grocery store shelves.
Last year’s Los Angeles winner, Baby’s Badass Burgers, is working with 505 Southwestern® to create a special fry dipping sauce. This is especially rewarding for Chef Greenspan. “These folks who operate food trucks, daring to dream, to see their products on a supermarket shelf, is exciting. I take my role of mentor very seriously.” He also really appreciates the commitment from 505 Southwestern®. “Their commitment to Clash of the Hatch is impressive. It takes a lot to coordinate, organize all of the trucks, everything. They’re so excited about taking the product to the streets. Their commitment to the trucks and this event is very cool.”
Clash of the Hatch Hits the Dallas Streets
During the month of August, three food trucks in Dallas are featuring 505 Southwestern® Hatch Valley Flame Roasted Green Chile.
Easy Slider, DFW’s only gourmet slider truck, is offering Green Chile Sliders. These delicious bites are made with Certified Angus beef, provolone, truck-made red pepper mayo, and the flame-roasted Hatch chiles, all served on a made-fresh-daily bun. Catch Easy Slider around Dallas each day for lunch and check out their full schedule online. You can sample them this Sunday, August 26, at Cidercade, 2777 Irving Blvd., #200 in Dallas from 3 to 8 p.m.
Tutta’s Pizza (pronounced too-tahs) is a DFW hangout and food truck specializing in gourmet smoked meat pizzas, where even the dough is made from scratch. For the Clash of the Hatch competition, try the Peach Hatch BBQ Pizza Dumplings. These little BBQ pockets are drizzled with a Hatch chimichurri sauce and served with a side of lime crema. Check the schedule online and stop by 1710 N. Record Street in Dallas for a taste.
Azucar, serving up Latin American food on the streets of Dallas, is dishing out Green Chile Chilaquiles for Clash of the Hatch. Follow them on Twitter at @foodtruckazucar to find out where you can check out their great dishes.
The Other August Competitors
During the month of August, Clash of the Hatch is also in Austin and Denver. You can check out these great dishes at the local food trucks:
There are two food trucks in Austin:
- Fat Sal’s Deli is serving Hatch Green Chile Carnitas with jalapeño poppers, fajita onions and peppers, green Chile quest, salsa verde and tortilla strips on a hero. Check them out on Twitter at @FatSalsDeli.
- Gebby’s BBQ slow smokes all of their meats in wood-fired pits and is serving up brisket for Clash of the Hatch. Check it out at the Picnic Food Truck Park from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday and at 80 Rainey Street starting at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon on Saturday and Sunday. Check them out online at xxx.
There are three Denver food trucks:
- Arepas Queen, offering a taste of Venezuela in Denver, is serving Green Chile Arepas. Find their schedule on FaceBook.
- Billy’s Gourmet Hot Dogs is serving a Chick Mango Jalapeño—a gourmet sausage split, grilled and served on a bed of whipped cream cheese, topped with grilled onions, peppers, jalapeños and raspberry BBQ sauce.
- Still Smokin’ BBQ Joint is serving the 505 Alarm Smokehouse Chicken Sandwich with smoked chicken, 505 Hatch Green Chiles, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and avocado mash on a brioche.
Clash of the Hatch Launches in Phoenix on September 1
Clash of the Hatch finishes up the local competitions with Phoenix, beginning September 1. You can start visiting the food trucks then and vote on your favorite dishes. Stay tuned on the 505 Southwestern site for the evening that Chef Eric Greenspan will be joining the food trucks for a fun event. In the meantime, plan to start visiting these trucks after September 1 to sample their featured Hatch Green Chile dishes:
- Queso Good Quesadilla Truck serves up ridiculously good quesadillas and tacos. Check out their location online at QuesoGood.com.
- The Fry Bread Truck offers one of my all-time favorite comfort foods—fry bread! The assortment of toppings is wonderful all the time, so I can’t wait to hear which Hatch specialty item they’ll be serving.
- Burgers Amore grills up a huge assortment of fresh burgers, featuring beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, bison and even veggies. Follow them online at BurgersAmore.com.
This should be the best season yet of Clash of the Hatch. Chef Greenspan says he can’t wait to experience all of the excitement first hand. “I loved what came out of LA and I am excited to see what comes out of these cities.” He is also thrilled to be visiting some of the cities for the first time and in joining the winners for the big finale in Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 20, 2018. Get out there, sample the Hatch chile recipes and vote!