Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Time Out Chicago's 'Food Truck Social' Returns For Second Year in West Town

Conspicuously missing from this year's lineup is Matt Maroni, who was one of the pioneers of Chicago's food truck movement. (Photo via Time Out Chicago)

This weekend marks the second-annual Food Truck Social, which is put on by Time Out Chicago and the West Town Chamber of Commerce. But in all the excitement of more participants than ever and the expected crowds of more than 20,000, I couldn't help but wonder if it's a little bittersweet for one guy.

Matt Maroni shuttered Gaztro-Wagon in late 2011 to retool his "thought processes and move forward." Considered one of the pioneers of Chicago's food truck scene when he launched the Gaztro-Wagon in 2010, Maroni also helped organize the first year of the Food Truck Social. He even featured some of the more high-profile chefs like Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat), Bill Kim (Urban Belly) and Justin Large (Big Star) on his truck during the two-day event.

Believe it or not, he's not even a little sad that he's not involved in the food truck movement or this weekend's event.

"I am great!" he exclaimed to 312DD in an email on Tuesday. "(I'm) working in a private club on Michigan Avenue. Great hours... Better lifestyle... In at 8 out by 4. ... But life is good ... Out of the rat race."

The Food Truck Social, which happens noon-10pm Saturday and Sunday, this year features more than 14 food trucks, live music provided by The Empty Bottle, and more than 30 retail vendors. There will also be a pop-up truck featuring chefs Brian Jupiter (Frontier), Carlos Gaytan (Mexique) and Michael Kornick (MK/Ada Street).

It's a $5 donation, with proceeds benefiting the West Town Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Park Advisory Council, and Share Our Strength. The event takes place on Chicago Avenue, between Wood and Wolcott streets.

See the entire list of participants right here.

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