The BBQ food truck category is heating up and about to get another contender.
Urban Smoke Fusion BBQ is the latest addition to Toronto’s growing list of gourmet food trucks and a new venture by Toronto caterers The Gourmet Group.
Yesterday I paid a visit to the Gourmet Group’s expansive headquarters and got a tour of their operation from co-owner’s Martin Buckingham and Scott Danyshyn and Manager of Social Media Samantha Lock.
In addition to checking out their warehouse and catering prep area (including a massive hickory pit smoker imported from Missouri), I also got to see their brand new food truck and sample some of the tasty menu items they are going to be featuring on the truck.
After snacking on slow smoked brisket and pulled pork, I sat down with the Gourmet Group team to chat about their business, their new truck and their menu.
TFT: Can you tell us a bit about the Gourmet Group and your new food truck?
Urban Smoke: We are an event catering company that started in 1998 and we specialize in southern style BBQ. Currently we do about 600 BBQ events a year and serve about 300,000 people a year. We service the GTA and do special events, festivals, private parties, corporate parties and after being really inspired this year after a trip to San Deigo for the National BBQ Association Tradeshow, we decided to open a food truck.
The food truck is called Urban Smoke and it’s an extension of BBQ Gourmet and The Gourmet Group and the goal of the truck is to spread our brand and offerings even further.
TFT: Tell us about the concept behind the truck and the truck itself.
Urban Smoke: The truck is self contained. It’s a classic food truck but it’s really set up and designed to do traditional BBQ as well as fusion BBQ – which for us means combining different elements of different cuisines and marrying them with traditional southern style BBQ. When possible we are going to bring an actual smoker trailer to an event and combine the two units so we can have a real on site presence in terms of grilling, smoking and of course entertainment value.
TFT: What are some of the items people can look forward to on your menu?
Urban Smoke: In terms of classic BBQ, we’re going to do things like Memphis style pulled pork with tangy slaw and a soft bun, and of course Texas brisket. But then we’re going to take different ingredients and ideas from different cultures and do things like cajun chicken pizza on naan bread with caramelized red onions and sun dried tomatoes. We’re also going to do a brisket poutine and even stuff like a brisket stroganoff.
In addition to our core dishes we’ve also got some cool deserts planned like a banana pudding, a Georgia-style peach crisp, and a sweet grilled cheese with mascarpone, Nutella and a hint of chili.
TFT: Where can people expect to find the truck?
Urban Smoke: We’re going to be selling in the traditional food truck sense at festivals and events but we’re also going to be offering it to our corporate clients to give them a food truck experience which is very popular right now. In additional we will be using it as an option for some of the weddings that we do where we will roll in and do a late-night snack service.
We also want to get out on the streets soon like some of the other Toronto food trucks and get our name out there, perhaps down at Queen and Jarvis, but it will just be a matter of seeing where that will fit within our model and schedule. You’ll probably see us doing this in a much larger capacity in the fall.
TFT: Where can people follow you online?