Bringing the taste of summer to the streets of Austin / By Tiffany Harelik
Summer crops bring tasty menu options for food truck chefs who are part of the farm-to-table movement. The Seedling Truck, founded by Royal Fig Catering owners, offers some of the most farm-fresh gourmet foods from area ranches and serves their masterpieces out of their food truck. Kristen Stacy and husband Dan Stacy started Royal Fig catering in May 2009.
“We started Royal Fig because we were getting married and couldn’t find the food we wanted. So we saw a void in the market and we went for it,” Kristen shares.
The couple moved to Austin four years ago from New York City, where Dan was working with Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle. Two years in to the catering business, in November 2011, The Seedling food truck was born.
“Our whole mission is sustainability, with an emphasis on doing things as locally as possible,” Kristen explains. They have relationships with about 15 to 20 local farms, where they buy most of their food. But when they have to reach for something outside of Austin, their strategy is to source from an organic and sustainable ranch or farm within the United States. How do they get all that homegrown goodness from plow to plate?
“Farm to Table is a sort of broker for restaurants like us who want locally grown food but don’t have the time to go to 10 different farms. Every Sunday, they email us a list of what they have and we make our order. We make a separate order from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Windy Hill. As far as our cheeses, Antonelli’s does that for us, and of course, we do the farmers market with Salt and Thyme, and we use their sausages and hot dogs.”
Because of the fresh products they use, the menu changes weekly. If Dan sees there is plenty of squash available when he gets his orders on Sunday, he’ll arrange for a menu that incorporates squash that week. The Seedling Truck has many delectable gourmet options, but is perhaps best known for its polenta cake, which comes with a poached egg and kale pesto (for only $5). The bacon cinnamon roll and bacon sandwiches are popular with many folks because of the fact that The Seedling makes its own bacon. The lobster mac and cheese is another signature dish, and Kristen’s personal favorite is a toss-up between the short rib pierogi and the pork belly nachos.
The truck roams from farmers markets to specific locations, and you can always find the travel schedule on the website, theseedlingtruck.com.
“Our favorite place to bring the truck is probably the Draught House on Medical Parkway because that crowd totally fits our food. People are going there for craft beer and our style really fits that location,” Kristen says.
In addition to catching The Seedling in action on the streets of Austin, you can also book this truck for special events and private parties.
make it at home
Watermelon Feta Salad
1 medium-sized watermelon
2/3 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup black olives, sliced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Cut watermelon into cubes and toss with feta and olives. Add in sherry vinegar and olive oil, season with salt. Consider topping with a little torn mint for garnish.