Dining With Denise Neil

Should pumpkin brats be a thing? Find out at pumpkin patch cook-off

Local food trucks will be competing to make the best pumpin-based dish at Sunday’s ICT PumpkinFest Cook-Off.
Local food trucks will be competing to make the best pumpin-based dish at Sunday’s ICT PumpkinFest Cook-Off. TNS

Perhaps you don’t think a hot dog cart owner would stand a chance in a cooking competition centered around pumpkins and pumpkin spice.

Perhaps you are right.

But it’s worth a try, decided Adam Bussey, the owner of Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hotdogs and the organizer of Sunday’s ICT Pumpkinfest Cook-off at Cox Farm, 6059 S. Seneca.

Bussey said he got the idea after parking his cart at Cox Farm last October. The place was completely packed with people wanting to visit the farm’s seasonal pumpkin patch or wander through its corn maze.

“The whole pumpkin season, there were just so many people there,” he said. “I just wanted to be able to utilize that with the Wichita food trucks and put something together.”

On Sunday, seven trucks will be set up at the farm from noon to 3 p.m., and each will be adding something to its menu that’s made with pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavors. A panel of judges, which will include me, will decide which truck did it best.

Bussey will be participating with a pumpkin brat, made by the Douglas Avenue Chop Chop and flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. He’s made a special pumpkin mustard and pumpkin aioli to top it.

The other food truck competitors will be LumpiaPalooza, whose owner has been working for weeks to perfect a pumpkin lumpia, plus Urban Skillet, B.S. Sandwich Press, Charlie’s Pizza Taco, the Big Chill, Brown Box Bakery and a Derby-based truck called Rockin Rico's New Orleans Style Sno Balls.

It’s free to attend the food truck event, which also will include live music. Visitors also can pay to tour the farm’s popular pumpkin patch and corn maze. Hours for Sunday are 10 a.m to dusk. The corn maze is $8. Pumpkins rage from $5 to $25. For more information, call 316-524-8062.

“People love pumpkin,” Bussey said. “This is the time of year where people want to start putting food in their bellies, and pumpkin spice is so popular.”

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