az canteen food truck

The 2014 United States Barista Championship season is nearly upon us, bringing with it a slate of three massive regional events scattered across the country. The first such regional event happens October 25th-27th in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is really beautiful that time of year, and it’s being hosted at Uppercut Boxing Gym by Wilbur Curtis Co. and the hometown team at Cafe Imports.

These big events draw competitors from the best speciality coffee companies across America, and the hosts at BCRBC are going all out to show off the best of what Minneapolis has to offer. We’ll be featuring some of the cool stuff to look forward here on Sprudge in the coming weeks, starting today with Andrew Zimmern’s food truck.

Yes, you read that right. Andrew Zimmern, of TV’s “Bizarre Foods” fame, has a food truck in Minneapolis called AZ Canteen. You’d guess the menu would include like, Filipino fertilized duck embryo street foods and what-not, but the offerings at AZ Canteen contain no gimmicks or oddities. Think more like Food & Wine Magazine “100 Best Recipes Ever” gumbo, a super-serious sounding (and well-reviewed) burger made with Pat LaFrieda beef, Nicaraguan-style shaved ice, and a Vietnamese papaya salad with pork belly. It’s in a worldly style that suits the man himself. Andrew Zimmern could have carved out a nice niche as “that guy who eats ants on TV”, but he’s much more than that: an established food world polymath, Mr. Zimmern is a prolific author, editor (at Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and the excellent Delta Sky Magazine), and James Beard Award winner.

AZ Canteen will be at the BCRBC, providing delicious food each day on site. chatted with Asher Miller, Mr. Zimmern’s Director of Operations at AZ Canteen, to learn more about what Big Central attendees can expect at the truck.

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Can you tell us a bit about your place?

We are a food truck offering a worldly menu based on the travels of Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel.

Tell us a bit about your ethos.

Here’s a quote from Andrew Zimmern:

“I love food. What I love even more is food with a story. That’s why I’ve created AZ Canteen. This carefully curated menu showcases some inspired versions of the best food items I’ve discovered on the road. From a Nicaraguan shaved ice that I’ve seen only once outside of Central America, to goat sausage grinders (one of the most delicious meats on the planet!) made with an exclusive cabrito blend from my friend Pat LaFrieda, these foods resonated with me and I’m thrilled to share my culinary experiences with you. Give these dishes a try. I hope you see what I see which is that they’re all delicious And at that point, these foods will become a part of your story, too.”

How’d you get hooked up with the Big Central barista competition?

Andrew and Noah Namowicz of Cafe Imports are buddies, and Noah was recently on Andrew Zimmern’s podcast.

Have you ever seen a barista competition?


Web Deets:
Twitter – AZCanteen
Facebook – AZCanteen
Instagram – AZCanteen 

Look for more on Sprudge in the coming days on the unique cadre of vendors and purveyors slated to appear at the Big Central Regional Barista Competition in Minneapolis. 

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