Food trucks may soon come to the Valley

COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - A popular food trend that's become a staple in Los Angeles and Orange Counties may be headed to the Valley.  Riverside County Supervisors are voting Tuesday on whether or not to lift the ban on food trucks, changing the way people not only eat, but also do business in the Valley. 

"Food trucks are the way of the future," said Chef Tony Riccio. 

From tacos and french fries to five star gourmet meals, these restaurants on wheels have become big business.  The trendy industry even has his own show on the Food Network

"The quality of food, they can be more contemporary, cheaper," said Valley resident Chris Baird.

Tony Ricico is the owner and chef of La Bella Cucina.  He's been wanted to expand into the food truck business for five years. 

"We can go out and touch more people with it and so they can see the food that we are doing here," said Riccio.

It can also help chefs who don't have the capital to start a restaurant. 

"Brick and mortar you have a bill every month coming through that you have to pay the landlord and everybody else and worker's comp and labor and all of that stuff, and a food truck there is three people who control it," said Riccio.

So why hasn't this new trend in food come to the Coachella Valley?  Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit says it's all about food safety.

"We are mostly concerned and have always been concerned with the health and safety of people utilizing those type of food production methods and we think we've found a way to make sure we ensure that and still allow that business to thrive," said Benoit. 

Each food truck will have a letter grade, just like all restaurants now are required to have. That way you know the all the food you are going to be eating is safe.

"What we will do at the county level is set some very ridged health safety standards but individual cities will decide if they will allow them in their cities, when or where," said Benoit. 

Ricco is apart of a group of restaurateurs and the ShareKitchen who are already looking at creating a central commissary in Cathedral City that all permitted food trucks in the valley would have to use. 

"What we are trying to do is control everything and control the food trucks be cleaned, waste, everything comes out of that and also proper handling of the food," said Riccio.

Riccio also envisions the trucks at local schools. 

"What we are going to do is bring the kids in, train them on the trucks and teaching them inside the commissary and try to just give back to the community with kids," said Riccio. 

 "I think it will be safe and fun, you go to a bunch of different food trucks go for one night and just experiment, I think it would be a good idea," said Baird.

"Hopefully it passes through because we need it," said Riccio. 

Supervisors are holding a public hearing Tuesday.  If it passes, cities will then decide how they will regulate the new industry. 

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