Meals on the go

Four years ago, Ms Luan Ee ditched her corporate suit after a two-decade run as a respected communications practitioner and took the high road - literally. Now, she plies the streets in Kerby, her hybrid Toyota Hino food truck.

The owner of food truck business Kerbside Gourmet turns 50 this year, but still feels like a 30-year-old.

It is this active ageing that organiser Pico Art International hopes to inject into the 50plus EXPO 2015 with the introduction of the new Food Trucks Park at the event this year. The event is hosted by the Council for Third Age (C3A).

Kerbside Gourmet is one of the three food trucks - the others are The Travelling COW and Coffee Bandits - that will be serving gourmet bistro fare at the park.

"In the past when survival was imperative, many seniors concentrated on providing and taking care of the family. Today, seniors are able to find, engage and participate in activities that they enjoy or take on new interests to lead a fulfilling and active lifestyle," says Ms Soh Swee Ping, 47, chief executive officer of C3A.

Old favourites with a twist

Menus have been specially tailored to suit the palates of the 50plus visitors.

Paying homage to traditional Singapore street food favorites, Kerbside Gourmet will be serving a unique bak chor mee (minced meat noodles) hotdog at the event.

For every hotdog sold, the social enterprise will be giving one meal to needy families.

"Bak chor mee is part of our food heritage. Our hotdog is a convergence of the young and old generations," says Ms Ee.

The Travelling COW will be launching its healthier version of homemade chicken rice burger for the seniors.

"Our chef's healthy burger recipe will let them enjoy a burger without guilt," says Ms Karen Cheng, 39, the founder of the food truck.

Her food truck usually serves classic bistro fare such as homemade burgers, beef bourguignon with mash and specialty dishes with a local/Asian twist such as beef bulgogi ramen burger, seafood laksa pasta and chilli crab pasta.

Cultivating a food truck culture

While food trucks have been a dining staple for communities in the United States, Australia, Canada, France and the United Kingdom, they started gaining traction here only in the last few years.

Food truck owners say they hope to cultivate the community and casual dining atmosphere that food trucks are loved for with the Food Trucks Park.

Ms Cheryl Ong, 36, co-founder of the Coffee Bandits, says her team was inspired by the "community feel" that develops around food trucks in the US and Australia.

"We don't see customers as just people who come up to order our food, we see them as people whom we can potentially get to know, interact with and bring joy to," she adds.

Having lived in the US and the UK and loved eating from food trucks there, Ms Cheng also hopes to create a new dining movement here.

"There is something very special about the appetising smells when you are in line, and the messiness of eating off a plate from the truck," she says.

Other offerings

There will be various complimentary health checks available at the expo, including bone-health checks, vision and hearing screenings, and consultations of the spine and joints.

More than 80 participating companies such as the NTUC Club, Abbott Laboratories and Fonterra Brands will also be offering a variety of products and services.

This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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