A mixture of local, newcomer fair foods were featured among the traditional options for event goers inside the fairgrounds at the North Texas Fair and Rodeo Sunday afternoon. The fair and rodeo, now in its 91st year of operation, began on Friday and will conclude next Saturday.
A total of 18 food and beverage vendors were featured at the fairgrounds this year; that lineup includes three new local vendors, according to Executive Assistant Nanci Kimmey. The new vendors this year include MacTruck DFW, Later Gater Catering and Winkle Concessions.
MacTruck DFW, is a specialty mobile macaroni and cheese truck that has been featured on the Food Network, Fox and Friends and Beat Bobby Flay. Owners of MacTruck DFW, Dom Tesoriero, 35, and Lee Pedone, 32, who have operated their business out of New York City since 2012, recently expanding operations to Texas — with their first stop being at the fair and rodeo.
“I have three trucks in New York City, and this is the first one here in Texas part of our expansion,” Tesoriero said. “The North Texas Fair and Rodeo is the first event we’re doing, so this is the kickoff for the whole kit and caboodle.”
As part of their expansion, Tesoriero said, their mobile macaroni and cheese truck will be staying in the Denton and Dallas-Fort Worth area. In addition, that their business plans to expand their fleet of mobile food trucks, as to establish a permanent presence in the North Texas community.
Tesoriero and Pedone acknowledged that their product features a base of classic macaroni and cheese that is topped-off with local specialties and fan favorites. For their Texas expansion, Tesoriero said, their company is going to bring a barbeque-inspired twist to their product.
“Here in Texas, we’re going to be doing a Texas style barbeque beef brisket, as well as a crawfish mac-and-cheese with Cajun seasoning dipped in butter on the mac-and-cheese,” Tesoriero said. “We also do a buffalo chicken, cheeseburger mac and cheese, bacon mac and cheese, pulled pork mac and cheese.”
Plano residents April Hagan, 36, and her husband, Preston, 47, are first time event goers at this year’s fair and rodeo. April, a bakery manager at Festive Kitchen in Dallas, said she enjoys the variations that food trucks offer, such as the MacTruck DFW, but that more options are better.
“I mean normally you wouldn’t get like a food truck, which is nice,” April Hagan said about food option availability at fairs. “It would be nice to have 20 or 30 of them, and usually they have a following, but a variation of food trucks would be good.”
In attendance at the Fairgrounds on Sunday were also locally-based Denton County vendors.
Krum resident and owner of Koots Jerky, Tim Kutas, has operated his family originated beef jerky business for nearly 16-years. Kutas, who has attended the fair and rodeo previously before becoming a vendor, said the reason he continues to participate is because of the people.
“The reason that I love coming out here to the [North Texas Fair and Rodeo] is because it’s one big family reunion for not only myself but my family,” Kutas said. “My family was brought up here in Denton, my wife is originally from here and loves to join me because we see everybody.”
After nearly three-decades in the Denton community, and almost two-decades after working to perfect his families beef jerky recipe, Kutas acknowledged that he is fortunate to continue in the field of work his family began. In addition, Kutas acknowledged, that as a self-described people person he is grateful for the conversations he’s had with customers and the relationships built.