On that front, gastronomes the world 'round must concede: Chicago chef Matt Maroni is doing the Lord's work. The sandwich purveyor is petitioning the City Council with a model ordinance aimed at opening up the Windy City to freshly made food truck delicacies; right now, only pre-prepared and packaged foods can be sold on the street.
The Chicago Tribune writes that Maroni isn't just shooting from the hip on this thing:
"An experienced cook, Maroni was executive chef at Chicago's Mid America Club from 2007 to 2009 and has a degree in hotel and restaurant management. Most crucially, he has spent the last five months studying municipal codes about food trucks in other U.S. cities."
The result was a 30-page model ordinance that the chef is using to jump-start the council's action on the issue.
In related midwestern news, Minneapolis took a leap earlier this year, passing an ordinance that will allow a boom in food trucks in a limited downtown section of the city. The move has already borne fruit, with chefs like Beard award "Rising Star" semi-finalist Sameh Wadi testing the waters, and a new truck-mounted wood-fired pizza oven doing the rounds at farmers' markets. Among the biggest backers of the new ordinance are Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer of Chef Shack, a mobile outfit known for its Indian-spiced mini donuts, beef tongue tacos, and emphasis on high-end local ingredients. And where they have led, Minneapolitans fervently hope, others will follow.