5th annual Copperas Cove Food Truck Festival draws crowds despite heat
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Temperatures soared past the century mark on Saturday afternoon as the City of Copperas Cove’s Special Events held the 5th annual Copperas Cove Food Truck Festival.
The event featured more than 20 trucks which sold a variety of cuisine to include pizza, Cajun, Caribbean, Mexican, Pacific Islander, barbecue, seafood, funnel cakes, doughnuts, boiled peanuts, and more.
A panel of community judges tasted a total of 11 dishes and scored them based on appearance, creativity, taste, and signature dish quality.
When the results were tallied, one Copperas Cove area food truck emerged victorious in two categories.
Sticky Fingas Barbecue won Best Signature Dish and Best Barbecue, for their Barbecue Parfait, which was served up in a plastic cup. The layered dish consisted of mac ‘n cheese, topped with sliced barbecue, sausage wedge, pulled pork, and sauce, all accented by a cool dollop of potato salad on top. The two awards totaled $500. Locals will have the chance to try Sticky Fingas’ winning dish at the upcoming 4th of July Celebration, to be held by Cove Life Church at Copperas Cove City Park.
La Palapa won for Best Mexican Food, with their birria tacos and an accompanying dipping sauce on the side.
Best Dessert went to Mon Amie Caribbean Flava Ice, for their cold and refreshing variety cup with pina colada and mango ice. The nondairy option featured the truck’s best-selling frozen treats.
The Grand Champion Award went to Yeah She Rollin, for their dish “Yeah Delight,” which consisted of shrimp, sliced sausage, and diced chicken, along with “Yeah Sauce,” a proprietary recipe created by the truck’s owner, similar to an etouffee’, all over rice. The dish, displayed in styofoam square box, was accented with an orchid. Yeah She Rollin won a $500 grand prize.
All of category winners received a cutting board for their category along with the cash award.
Among the festival newcomers this year was Cousins Maine Lobster, out of Austin. The nationwide food truck chain was founded by a winner of the show “Shark Tank.”
Ashley Wilson, Parks & Recreation’s administrative assistant and special events coordinator, was pleased early on that despite the heat, people continued to turn out to the festival.
Judges for the festival’s competition were Copperas Cove city councilmembers Fred Chavez and Shawn Alzona, Casey Wiggins with United Portable Buildings, one of the event sponors; and C.J. Sowell, Cove Santa and representing the Copperas Cove Leader-Press.
Besides the food trucks, there were a number of vendors on site, as well as bounce houses and other attractions for families. Out of the more than 20 trucks on site, 11 submitted entries for judging.