Food truck fest set to delight gourmets The food carnival will have 30 trucks this year with Durham College students putting up a stall with a mix of professional staff and students from the culinary and hospitality departments.

Whitby’s Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy is returning for its fifth year.

The two-day event is run by Whitby’s Rotary Club (Ontario, Canada – D 7070) and is its biggest fundraiser of the year.

The event will run Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, on the Iroquois Park grounds, 500 Victoria St W, Whitby.

Whitby’s Rotary Club works to support its community and help solve international issues. Locally, Rotary has helped almost two dozen community groups, such as Durham Youth Housing, the AIDS Committee of Durham Region and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.

The money from the event will be put back into the community.

Filipe and Fabiana Oliveira picked up a Chimneys' treat at last year's Food Truck Frenzy. The event returns on May 26-27 and features 30 food trucks and more for families to enjoy. Photo: Jason Liebregts/Metroland
Filipe and Fabiana Oliveira picked up a Chimneys’ treat at last year’s Food Truck Frenzy. The event returns on May 26-27 and features 30 food trucks and more for families to enjoy. Photo: Jason Liebregts/Metroland

Planning for the Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy starts about eight or nine months prior to the event, says Elizabeth Darbyshire, the co-chair of the event. Everything is planned by volunteers.

“It’s a volunteer-driven event, and without them it would not be the success that it is,” she says.

Volunteers must secure entertainment, discuss what will be added this year, decide what trucks will be included and work with the town to hold the event.

The event will have local entertainment, clowns, face painting, henna, glitter tattoos and of course, food trucks.

Whitby’s Gourmet Food Truck Frenzy will have 30 trucks participating this year — some new and some returning. Artisan vendors will also be featured.

Among those vendors is Durham College’s Centre for Food (CFF) students.

Kelly O’Brien, the general manager of the CFF, says a mix of professional staff and summer students from the culinary, hospitality, special events, food, and farming and horticulture programmes will be at the event running a booth, selling jams, jellies, spice mixes and, possibly, a butter-tart-filled doughnut.

O’Brien says the main reason for participating is to raise awareness for the CFF and its programmes, as well as supporting an organisation that supports the centre.

“To me, it’s raising awareness and being involved in a community event,” she says.

O’Brien says the students will also learn more about their community, processing, sales, promotion, marketing and how to act as a local business.

“Giving back to the community is a key to any local business,” she says.

The Rotary club has expanded its event to include Whitby’s Station Gallery, which will be hosting programmes inside and will have food trucks parked in its parking lot, and new business Reptilia, Whitby’s reptile zoo, which will bring reptiles to entertain the kids and families.

Admission and parking will be free, but the Rotary club will be asking for donations at the door.


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