Tag Archives: food truck

7 Italian American-Owned Food Businesses in the Carolinas

Here is a list of some of my favorite local food products and food trucks in North Carolina and South Carolina owned by Italian Americans.

Nellino’s Sauce Co.–A pasta sauce company started in Raleigh, North Carolina, by Italian-American Neal McTighe based on his mother’s and great-grandmother’s recipes for classic sauces like marinara or tomato and basil made with good ingredients.

 

Melina’s Fresh Pasta–Italian-American owner Carmella makes classic fresh pastas like spaghetti and linguine as well as many creative ravioli like roasted red pepper & feta or goat cheese & honey. There’s even the pimento cheese ravioli. She also teaches pasta making classes in Durham, North Carolina.

 

 

Barone Meatball Company–Serving up classic Italian meatballs as well as fun creations like buffalo chicken meatballs and vegetarian ricotta balls. Owned by Italian-American Stephen Dewey, based in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.

 

 

Oak City Amaretto–An Italian-American amaretto made by Italian-American Anthony Scalabrino from a recipe inspired by his grandmother’s homemade amaretto, made in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

Benny T’s Vesta–The first dry hot sauce available in five grades of heat made from a variety of fresh chile peppers grown in North Carolina, created by Italian-American chile enthusiast Ben Tuorto.

 

Charleston Bloody Mary Mix–A bloody Mary mix made by Italian-American Ryan Eleuteri that has all good ingredients and no horseradish–its distinctive flavor comes from a habanero mash, made in Charleston, South Carolina, found throughout the East Coast and Midwest.

 

Mr. A’s Beignets–A food truck serving delicious beignets and coffee with chicory New Orleans style in Apex, North Carolina, owned by Italian-American Arlton Cangelosi.

 

All photos in this article were used with permission of their respective owners.

–Dina Di Maio

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Review of Chef Movie

Chef follows a chef who feels stifled when the owner of the restaurant where he works forces him to cook a boring, predictable menu instead of a creative one on an important night when a particular food blogger will be there.  He does it, gets a bad review and begins a Twitter war with the food blogger eventually leading to his quitting, having a breakdown and opening a food truck selling Cuban sandwiches.

The movie is full of A-list actors:  Dustin Hoffman plays the restaurant owner; Scarlett Johansson is the hostess; John Leguizamo is the sous chef; Bobby Cannavale is a chef; Sofia Vergara is the ex-wife; Amy Sedaris, a publicist; Oliver Platt, the food blogger; and Robert Downey, Jr., Sofia’s ex-husband and benefactor of the food truck.  Jon Favreau plays the title character.

Chef has a slow start, as it takes too much time to get to the heart of the story–the food truck.  I also couldn’t understand the purpose of Scarlett Johansson’s character, as she is a love interest in the beginning of the movie but never seen again once Chef creates his food truck.  And John Leguizamo’s character?  Really?  He jumps ship after becoming sous chef to work for free in a food truck?  The movie is cute and does explore some interesting issues, especially the role of social media in making or breaking a chef’s career.  And that food bloggers can have a great impact.  However, I found this too unrealistic, as is the ending.  It was too happy Hollywood for me, and I expected more from an independent film.  I do want to give props to the cameraman for great cooking scenes.  The grilled cheese sandwich looks amazing, as does most of the food Jon Favreau is cooking.  Favreau wrote the script and consulted with Roy Choi of Kogi Korean BBQ food truck fame, who eventually became a co-producer of the film.

Weekend Whets 6/14

Newark Small Business Week 2013, June 14-21, 2013, Newark, New Jersey:  Support local restaurants and other businesses in Newark with discounts.

Chocolate Bar Brownie Eating Contest, Saturday, June 15, 2013, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Manasquan, New Jersey:  Presented by SquanStrong during their Tailgate on the Square event benefits efforts to rebuild the shore.

Danielle Gould, Monday, June 17, 2013, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., NYU Chemistry Department, room 1003, 31 Washington Place between Washington Square Park and Greene Street, Village:  Founder of Food+Tech Connect discusses technology in the food industry as part of NYU’s Experimental Cuisine Collective.

Born with a Junk Food Deficiency, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan:  Writer Martha Rosenberg discusses what goes on behind the scenes at large food companies.

The Food Truck Handbook, Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan: Food truck owner David Weber discusses New York’s food trucks.

National Dine Out Day, Wednesday, June 19, 2013:  Eat at participating restaurants and a portion goes to Hurricane Sandy New Jersey relief.

Union Square Wine’s Summer Tapas Party, Saturday, June 22, 2013, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Union Square Wines, Union Square:  Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Galicia, Montsant, Jumilla and aged cheese, cured meats, and prepared dishes.  Free.

Southern Cuisine Dinner, Sunday, June 23, 2013, 7:30 p.m., La Casita de Porres, Brooklyn:  Dinner of pickled pigs’ feet and okra, buttermilk biscuits, fish dipped in cornmeal, Broadbent Kentucky country ham, poundcake with strawberries and whipped cream and she-crab soup.  $70.

Sunday Brunch, Sunday, June 23, 2013, Noon, Chopsticks or a Fork, Bushwick, Brooklyn:  Join other foodies for brunch.  $52.

MDA’s 20th Annual A Taste of Down Under, Monday, June 24, 2013, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tribeca Rooftop, 2 Desbrosses Street, Manhattan:  Food tastings by NYC chefs and wine and beer from Australia to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Farmhouse Fest, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Alewife, Long Island City, Queens:  Farmhouse style beers, wines and food like cheeses, breads, meats & gourmet pickles.  Tickets $65.

Spina’s “Rosato Amato” Dinner Party, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., 175 Avenue B, East Village:  Five-course dinner with pairings of rose wines from upstate New York to Greece.  $65.

Vosges Haut Chocolate Tasting, Wednesday, June 26, 2013, New York:  Waitlist $25.

On the Chocolate Trail, Monday, July 15, 2013, 6:30 p.m., Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, Manhattan:  Author Deborah R. Prinz discusses the history of the chocolate trade.

Ice Cream Serendipity

I wasn’t on my way to get ice cream.  I was hurriedly walking somewhere else when I spotted the light blue Itizy ice cream truck and a small line forming in front.

The small menu features a few classic flavors like vanilla and some creative ones like coffee brownie.  I chose vanilla, as vanilla is the staple by which I judge if someone can make ice cream or not.  I also chose the roasted banana special.

It’s rare these days that I’m blown away by an ice cream, but Itizy ice cream did just that.  This is some seriously good ice cream.  You want that authentic flavor in your ice cream (made from using fresh and organic ingredients), and you also want it to be creamy and delicious (it’s made from farm-fresh cream and milk).  Making ice cream is more than just using good ingredients though, as I’ve had ice creams made from good ingredients that just didn’t make the cut.  Itizy has the right ratio of cream and milk to create a clean, creamy consistency.  It’s got perfectly-shaped scoops.  It’s got that old-fashioned vanilla flavor and the ripe taste of banana.  Itizy is everything you want in ice cream.

There are some interesting toppings on the menu that I’d like to try another time.  They include sea salt & caramel, maple pecan granola, chocolate almond toffee crunch, crushed Oreos, Ghiradelli chocolate sauce and Ghiradelli caramel sauce.  And the best part of eating a scoop of Itizy?  For every five scoops they sell, they donate a meal to a child in need.

Weekend Whets

International Food Truck and Beer Festival, Sunday, August 12, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at South Street Seaport.  Tickets are $40 (which includes six food vouchers), but you can get a discount ticket for $17 through Time Out New York.  Food trucks like Schnitzel & Things, Kimchi Taco and Mexico Blvd will be there.

Weekend Whets

PARKED! A Food Truck Festival at South Street Seaport this Saturday, August 4 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The fifth annual festival includes 30 of New York City’s famous food truck vendors, such as Wafels & Dinges, Coolhaus, Kimchi Taco, Gorilla Cheese and Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.  It’s suggested to get the PARK PASS for $65 to avoid long lines.  There will be other forms of entertainment like music, stilt walking, face painting and hulahooping.

Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi & the “No Soup for You” Food Truck Tour

Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi & the “No Soup for You” Food truck tour stopped in front of my office in New York City today on its August 1 tour of New York.  Actor Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi, was there posing for photos with fans who lined up around the block.  You can still catch the truck on August 3 in Boston and August 6 in Baltimore.