A Big Day for Street Food

Yesterday, Councilman Kwanza Hall of District 2 invited the Atlanta Street Food Coalition to City Hall to spark an interest with the other members on the City Council and honor pioneers such as the Yumbii truck, the King of Pops, and other attendees.

Proclamations were read, popsicles were shared, and sincere thanks went to the Councilman, who briefly alluded to the current statute of street food (“not quite legal at the moment”) and has vowed to introduce new legislation to help vendors over the hurdles.

Look at all the happy faces of the honorees!

Vendor Gallery: Cassandra Loftlin

Cassandra Loftlin

Cassandra Loftlin was raised in Augusta, Georgia, and, because she grew up “during the rise of the original super chefs, Julia Child, Pierre Franey, James Beard, Craig Claiborne, and many, many other greats,” her first memories of food revolve around her mother and grandmother “creating and reinventing southern specialties with new-found ingredients and cooking techniques popularized during this renewed interest in cooking and in regional cuisine.”

To this day, she says, her favorite meal consists of “Braised Lamb Chops, courtesy of Julia Child, House Corn Bread, created by my great-grand mother, Grace Wimberly, Black-eyed Peas and Butter Beans mixed together, prepared in only a way my grandmother can make them, and Orange Cinnamon Pekoe Iced Tea, one of my mother’s special blends of tea.”

Cassandra has always enjoyed cooking and after several other career pursuits, she took a job a prep cook for a small catering firm in Atlanta. “It was in this small, family owned catering business that my love of cooking matured into a passion,” she says, and she embarked on her career as a chef. For the last four years, she has owned and operated a catering firm of her own. She recently became involved in the Atlanta Street Food Coalition because she is in the process of purchasing a food truck for use during catering events.

“In order to maximize the investment in the truck, part of my business plan is to prepare and serve lunch and dinner out of the truck on city streets when it is not being used for catered events,” she writes. “The prohibition against preparing food on the truck and limiting a vendor to two locations has proven to be very problematic for me, as well as other food truck vendors.”

Her recent participation in the Urban Picnic/Street Food Advocacy Day was much appreciated by many, including both Mayor Kasim Reed and Councilman Kwanza Hall, both of whom stopped at her table decked with fresh daffodils and enjoyed a taste of her Caesar pesto chicken salad made with romaine lettuce, Springer Mountain Farm chicken, parmigiano reggiano, and a homemade Caesar pesto dressing.