Rafael Villagomez from Rafael’s Aloha Tacos says his honey taro tortillas are sure to bring home the top title from Sunday’s Battle of the Food Trucks.
He’s stacking those gluten-free tortillas with local ono fish and his signature lemon cilantro sauce and shrimp with a spicy pineapple honey sauce.
“Nobody makes this kind of food like this, fresh and it’s quite possible I’ll win,” Villagomez said on Wednesday as he was solidifying his choice for the challenge. “I’ve been the chef in front of people before.”
But he’s not the only one stepping up to the plate in this Iron Chef-style food truck cook-off happening in the Kauai Veterans Center parking lot from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Rafael’s Aloha Tacos food truck is going head-to-head with six other food trucks including Molokoa Food Co., Dim N Den Sum, Chalupas Kauai, D Green’s BBQ, Full-Filling Crepes and Chip Wrecked.
Justin McDaniel of Chip Wrecked said their truck will be slinging Cuban-style nachos with spiraled ham, kalua pork, a homemade Swiss cheese sauce and a honey mustard drizzle.
“Our chances are really good that we’re going to win this thing,” McDaniel said. “Everybody loves nachos.”
Each food truck’s chef will create one dish for tasting and attendees will be the judges of who makes the best food.
Sweet and savory, the sky is the limit for contest chefs as long as they include the single required ingredient in the challenge — honey from Kauai Nectar Company, which is a new business launching a line of honey and bee products harvested from their 200 local hives.
“It’s about promoting local businesses and supporting the food truck community,” said event organizer Jen Schad.
The Battle of the Food Trucks is Parkinglot Pa’ina’s first event and the organization has big plans for activities that will support local food trucks and local food production.
Proceeds are going to the Hawaii Food Bank — Kauai Branch and to the Kauai Veterans Center Museum.
The plan is to start hosting street food nights, gathering food trucks on a monthly basis with music, too.
Admission into The Battle of the Food Trucks on Sunday is free, but tickets are required to taste each of the food trucks’ dishes.
You can pay $30 for two tastings, $50 for five tastings, or $100 for a VIP ticket that gives you early admission — 4 p.m. — 10 tastings and more.
While all the chefs are rolling up their sleeves for some friendly competition, the chance to get together and share camaraderie is a draw, as well.
“I’m just excited to get with some other food trucks who are being creative and doing something that maybe isn’t in their norm,” said Sterling Snyder, of Full-Filling Crepes.
He was working out his own dish on Wednesday as well and said he’ll be indulging the sweet tooth with a classic crepe and a few fancy twists.
“I’m doing something like a crepe I used to do on my truck,” he said. “Banana peanut butter with honey. We’re lucky to have great honey here and I’m excited to highlight this great product.”