For many, the road to becoming a professional chef is a long and arduous one. For Karel and Monika Vitek, owners of the Tábor food cart in Portland, Oregon, the journey was much longer and more unpredictable than most.

"We would not be in the food business if we had remained in the Czech Republic," says Monika. "But being immigrants gave us an advantage."

It was not an easily earned advantage. Karel first attempted to escape from the former Czechoslovakia, then under Communist rule, in 1984, by applying for a one-day tourist visa to Turkey. He was foiled, however, by the presence of undercover police in the region, and forced to abandon his plans.

Kogi Food Truck



part2 of "Keep On Truckin'!- Immigrants Keep Food Trucks in High Gear"

It's easy to dismiss food cart dining as just another trend, one that will soon burn out on the flames of its own popularity, as trends inevitably do. But consider the fact that Kogi, the popular Los Angeles-based fleet of trucks, has more than three times more Twitter followers than the Council on Foreign Relations, and, all told, more social media supporters than some small countries have citizens. Trend or not, there is something astounding in Kogi's reach and resonance.

It's Kogi's tasty Korean-Mexican fusion fare that has its legions of fans clamoring. Using Twitter and other social media outlets to announce locations and specials, the trucks cruise the streets of Los Angeles serving up fusion dishes such as Kogi Kimchi Quesadillas, tacos stuffed with Korean barbequed short ribs and spicy pork, and their signature Kogi sliders.


Food Truck Articles

Keep On Truckin'!- Immigrants Keep Food Trucks in High Gear


Hi All,

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my visitors and EOL Community members a very happy holiday season and Happy Thanksgiving.

One thing that this season brings to mind is that we are all immigrants here in the US (unless of course you are 100% American Indian which is highly unlikely)  and I would like to combine that fact with one of my pet themes here on EOL- Food Trucks.

I was approached by Joyce Li from the Vilcek Foundation to publish these articles on how immigrants have contributed to the Food Truck movement and there is no better time to start adding them to the site than now, just before Thanksgiving.

This first piece is written by Zach Brooks of the NYTimes who was a judge in last year’s Vendy Awards.

I will also be publishing a link to all the recipes from this series.



Julia ChildCooking With Julia Child

Even those of us who turn to BBQ catering for all of our big time culinary celebrations should know a few tricks in the kitchen. Of course there will always be times when we must turn to corporate catering companies to spruce up our events, but once we understand the basics of food we are far more likely to actually want to cook many of our own meals.

Many people already enjoy the culinary arts and can spend extensive hours at work in the kitchen without ever feeling like cooking is work. Those who really enjoy cooking think nothing of making the same dish five times in order to get it just right. These kinds of people tend to want to work in the food industry, so that they can tap into their own talents in a greater way.

I Love Touring Italy - Springtime In Basilicata

Basilicata is a little region of southern Italy with a very small coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west and a slightly larger coastline on the Gulf of Taranto to the east. You won't see too many tourists here, which may be just one more reason to visit this traditional region. Its weather may be somewhat cooler than you might expect, especially in the early spring.

One major early spring festival is the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) Pageant. A great place to experience this Festival is the small town of Barile, population about 3 thousand, with a substantial Albanian influence due to the origin of many people. As elsewhere, the Stations of the Cross represent the various episodes of the Passion of Christ. You will see authentic reconstructions of the Gospel stories, accompanied by fantasy figures expressing ancestral fears. For example, the "Negro" represents a stranger, and the "Gypsy" is a dark symbol of wealth hiding evil and danger. These are quite major figures of popular collective atonement. You will be impressed by the participants' spirit. Other localities hosting memorable Via Crucis Costumed Parades include Atella on the Thursday before Easter, and on Good Friday Maschito whose ceremony includes both Albanian and Greek aspects, and Venosa. The following day Rionero in Vulture celebrates its pageant, which also has Albanian and Greek aspects.