Food on Wheels

Enlisting a Food Truck for Reception Fare
Words by Jenn Rein + PHOTOGRAPHY BY Erin Wheat

If you have chosen the Tetons as the location for your life-changing event, the details must be on point. Wardrobe. Check. Photography. Check. Accommodations. Check. But what about the food?  You are about to share a meal with your closest friends and family to celebrate a very special union. So naturally, you want them to go home talking about it—for all the right reasons.

There is no doubt the thought of a formal dinner will cross your mind in the planning stages, as you mull over the question, chicken or fish? But, decidedly, your wedding already has an experiential vibe, simply due to its mountain location. So, why not take it one step further and explore the option of a food truck?

Thinking Beyond the Taco

Here in the Tetons, there are multiple mobile choices that will set the stage for bountiful food memories. In the case of In Season—an outfit based in Teton Valley, Idaho, servicing both Wyoming and Idaho—wood-fired pizza, served family style, is the star of the show. And, Blaine Gallivan and Franny Weikert have their formula dialed. Ingredients are sourced from local farms and distributed on top of their own perfected sourdough crust. The couple takes the time during table service to explain what the guests are enjoying, with kudos given to their nurtured farm connections. 

“What I like most is talking to the guests about the food and the choices we make for their meal,” says Franny. 

Table service can be expected from other food truck purveyors, as well. Sagebrush Grille, a food trailer option in Jackson Hole, employs this tactic. Even still, laying down a buffet isn’t out of the question. Owner Amy Marrington is all about flexibility, “We like to be transparent about expectations. We want to be sure the challenge of the meal is met, and having fun with it all is a priority.”

Consider More than One Meal

Sagebrush can attend to the main event, as well as the welcome party, the post-reception bite, and the “day after” party, too. “Our favorite [time] is after the reception,” says Marrington. “Dinner is over, guests have loosened up, and, on their way out of the venue, we are there to serve them a snack.”

Streetfood, a truck based in Victor that serves both sides of the Tetons, likes being involved in all pieces of a couple’s plan. “We can mix it up for them and can serve from the truck or perform table service,” says owner Amelia Hatchard. “Spending time with the guests over a couple of days makes it special for us, too.”

Streetfood focuses on global cuisine, with choices like Korean bibimbap, a variety of taco combinations, and a gyro spit. These options give the celebration international flavor, with selections that are appropriate for all stages of festivities. “The day after party is becoming more popular,” says Hatchard. “Rolling in to provide one last taste to the guests is a great send-off for everyone.”

Photo by Lindley Rust

Carving Out Your Footprint

To say Pinky G’s owner Tom Fay has a “pizza problem” would be an understatement. With brick and mortar establishments in Jackson, Victor, and Big Sky, Montana, he keeps the pies flying. 

And then, there’s the food truck. 

Fay cornered his niche at music events, serving up New York-style pizza to hungry concertgoers. His bag of tricks now includes a plethora of private events. “We have done backyard weddings and [weddings at] larger venues,” says Fay. “The pizza can be a treat at the end of the night, or we can serve it as the main meal, family style.” 

An event Pinky G’s attended last summer involved several local food trucks, providing guests with multiple choices in a ranch setting. “The more the merrier,” he laughs. “Having many trucks from the community at one location is so fun.”

Photo by Erin Wheat

Location and Logistics

Location matters in the food truck game. Consideration must be given to where a trailer or truck can be parked, so that dinner service runs as smoothly as possible. Sagebrush Grille owner and chef Jamie Culp admits there can be complexities to the rugged landscape of the Tetons. “Have we ever gotten stuck?” he asks. “Uh, yeah.”

Catering on wheels has special logistical considerations, too. It means arriving with enough power to sustain a full event and carrying back-up supplies, just in case. Serving both sides of the Tetons isn’t always viable due to weight considerations on the road, and the rugged commute over Teton Pass.

Sagebrush will travel Togwotee Pass to cater in Riverton, Wyoming, but will not risk Teton Pass. Culp explains that his food trailer is nicer than some kitchens he has worked in. “We are not into the idea of losing our brakes,” he laughs. “But I’ve gotta admit it. My favorite location to serve is out in the middle of nowhere.”

Irreverence has a place in the wedding game, but the novelty of a food truck can be both charming and thoughtful. And when you involve local food professionals and their pleasing Teton flavors, you can’t go wrong. Your event will create the memories you crave, and your guests will have even more to rave about—beyond the mountain views. 

Is a food truck or trailer the best choice for you?
  1. Do you have the right space?
    A mobile catering team needs a place to park. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a parking lot, but rather an area that is properly graded in order to ensure the truck, itself, can be parked safely. 
  2. Does formality matter? 
    If individual place settings are part of your vision, employing a mobile catering service probably won’t work. Even with table service in play, these dinners will more than likely be served family or buffet style.
  3. Jackson Hole or Teton Valley, Idaho? 
    There are plenty of food truck choices on both sides of Teton Pass, but it’s smart to pick an option close to your venue. In other words, don’t always expect a Jackson provider to traverse The Pass to Teton Valley, or vice versa.
  4. Can you deal with limitations?
    Food truck purveyors need to work within the confines of their mobile kitchens. They will offer you menu options that work for them, but you’ll need to understand that the sky is not necessarily the limit. The upside to this is that they have perfected what they do offer, and your collective palates will rejoice.

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