Get Hungry: Street Food Meets Street Art
Can food be art? Mo Moubayed and Jeremy Yang decided to share their love for good food through their appreciation of art by starting Eat Art Truck, a gourmet street food and art truck in Sydney, New South Wales.
'Growing up street art was everywhere,' Mo recounts. Spray-painted semi-abstract motifs on walls, hand-painted figurative designs on bridges or public transportation. Graffiti has been blossoming in New South Wales since the 1980's, and Jeremy and Mo both felt that street art should be part of their food truck concept.
'We liked it because it was an avenue of expression unlike any other. A medium which really had no boundaries and it represented real people,' explains Mo.
They decided their truck would be a canvas for artists to express themselves freely. 'We never ask an artist to paint a particular artwork and we don't put constraints on what they can paint,' says Mo. Every month a new artist paints a piece of art on the side of their truck. At the end of the month, each artwork is auctioned off for charity.
'Initially, we approached the artists we liked and from there it has really taken on a life on its own. We have so many requests by artists to paint the truck that sometimes it works based on timing.'
Over the years, Eat Art Truck has seen the likes of well-established New South Wales artists such as Beastman, Bafcat and Phibs as well as up and coming street artists.
The two partners are art and business savvy but Eat Art Truck also needs a chef. Former Sydney Tetsuya's Sous Chef Stuart McGill was the truck's founding chef. 'We all wanted to bring quality food to the people and break it out from fine dining restaurants,' says Mo. 'It couldn't have worked out better.'
Eat Art Truck has been trucking in New South Wales for 3 years and has already won Best New Food Truck of 2012 from Good Food magazine and Good Food Guide's Top 10 Cheap Eats. If you're in Sydney, why not try their hot smoked pulled pork with mustard cabbage and bourbon barbecue sauce in a soft white bun, it's their best-seller. But be quick, their mains usually sell out in less than two hours…you've been warned!
Interview with Mo Moubayed
How did the idea of the Eat Art Truck start?
Jeremy and I travelled to America and saw food trucks there. It was our first experience with food trucks and we loved the concept of being able to have great food at the street level.
What's the philosophy behind the Eat Art Truck cooking?
We slow roast our beef and pork for many hours (between 8 and 12). Our main aim really is to be able to serve really tasty food. We try to keep our menu small also. This allows us to focus on the dishes we create and ensure that we aren't serving items we don't think are perfect.
Could you share a memorable food truck moment with us?
On our launch night we had a line which was over 100 metres long before we had opened. We had done a couple of soft openings but only with family and friends. About an hour into our service our generator stops, which shut the whole truck down! We had been running on a full tank for both soft openings and we never thought to refill it. All purchases were wiped and we didn't have a backup battery for the POS. Riots ensued. Actually, people were really nice, we started to hand our free food for people in the line while we got back up running. The real problem now was to figure out who ordered what.
If you could create a dish that represents New South Wales, what would it be?
Whenever I think of New South Wales, I think of the great Australian barbecue. Just throw anything on really and keep the marinating to a minimum. I love the taste that you get from charcoal on a perfectly seasoned piece of steak or prawn
Where in New South Wales can we find you?
The best way to find us is to check out our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We post weekly and daily updates. There is also an app called the Sydney Food Truck up which has every location and live notifications.
Follow their moves with the Sydney Food Trucks app.
Find out more about Street Food options in New South Wales.