Nationally recognized Chef David Tallent is helping Lotus blend local food with global flavor for this year’s Lotus World Music & Arts Festival. A nine-time James Beard Award semi-finalist, Tallent is guest curator for the 2016 Lotus Food Truck Village, inviting hand-picked food trucks from Louisville, Indianapolis, and Bloomington to offer festival attendees diverse menu options ranging from Indian cuisine and Pueblo-style Latin American fare, to traditional American comfort food. The Lotus Food Truck Village will be located on the south side of the square (Kirkwood between College & Walnut) during the Festival’s Friday- and Saturday-night musical showcases, and at Lotus in the Park on Saturday afternoon.
Lotus introduced the food truck concept during the 2015 Festival by inviting a few local vendors. The popularity of that offering inspired Lotus to envision a 2016 blending of the food-truck concept with the Lotus organizational mission of creating opportunities to experience, celebrate, and explore the diversity of the world’s cultures. “Food and culture are so intimately linked,” notes Lotus executive director Sunni Fass, “and it seemed a natural fit, as well as a way to collaborate with the local and regional culinary communities.”
Enter David Tallent. A Bloomington native and former owner of Restaurant Tallent, Chef Tallent’s commitment to local, sustainable food from across Southern Indiana made him the perfect curator for Lotus. “At first I was surprised when Lotus approached me,” Chef Tallent recalls, “but quickly I saw how the vision of the Lotus Fest could carry over to the growing Food Truck movement across Indiana. My goal was to bring together some of the most unique, global flavors to this year’s Festival.”
While diversity will be on display throughout the Lotus Food Truck Village, one common theme will stand out: like Tallent, each vendor passionately sources local, sustainable ingredients when possible. While some purveyors offer traditional Southern Indiana cuisine, others aim to innovative with menus that emphasize Southern Indiana is about more than “meat-and-potatoes.”
Festival fare beyond the food trucks includes local craft beers from Bloomington Brewing Company and Upland Brewing Company on tap for over-21 attendees in both outdoor venue tents, alongside snack offerings from One World Catering. Soft drinks, water, and other non-alcoholic beverages will also be available. Lotus performing artists will enjoy hospitality provided by Indiana Memorial Union Catering.
Photos courtesy of the Herald-Times and David Tallent.