Food blogger launches campaign for Rockland food truck

Posted:  Friday, October 24, 2014 - 1:30pm
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ROCKLAND — Malcolm Bedell, a food blogger (www.fromaway.com) and Maine native, has launched a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign to open a gourmet sandwich food truck, 'Wich Please, in Rockland in March 2015.

"It's time to execute a mid-career Hail Mary and dive into the food world with both feet," Bedell said, in a news release. "It's time to stop endlessly writing and talking about food, and actually start making and serving it full time."

And not just food: sandwiches. And not just sandwiches.

"Incredible sandwiches, baked on fresh, crusty bread and filled with braised meats and locally produced cheeses," Bedell said. "Highbrow sandwiches made with garlic-roasted asparagus and quick-pickled onions in the summer. Lowbrow sandwiches packed with homemade lamb chili and cheese in the winter."

Bedell envisions a menu "that changes with the season, with just a few items designed to appeal to the different desires of tourists and locals alike, served out of the side of a mobile kitchen, at prices so low, everyone can enjoy something new and interesting for lunch, every single day."

The campaign was 33 percent funded within 36 hours of its Oct. 22 launch.

Bedell has a background writing about and photographing food, crafting recipes and cooking. He will be competing in the sandwich division of the World Food Championships in Las Vegas in November for the second year in a row. Last year he placed 13th out of 50 of the top sandwich masters in the world. (He blames the "Gouda Gals" for stopping his trajectory toward sure victory.)

In addition, he has appeared in cooking competitions nationwide, either winning or placing in competitions sponsored by NBC, the Boston Lamb Council, Jones Dairy Farm and the Wisconsin Cheese Board. In 2013, he was crowned the winner of the Superbowl Chicken Wing Cookoff live on NBC's "Today Show" for his Apricot-Shellacked Ghost Chile Wings, carting a giant golden chicken trophy back to Maine, where it sits proudly in his basement.

His writing and photography has appeared in Bon Appetit, Down East Magazine, The Guardian, Serious Eats, Food & Wine and the L.A. Weekly's nationally top-ranked food blog, Squid Ink. This year he and wife Jillian published their first cookbook: Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

But at heart, Bedell doesn't want to write about food. He wants to make food. In fact, he wants to make you a sandwich. Every day, for the rest of his life.

"I want to bring an obsessive level of detail to sandwich-making, and sling the finished product out of the side of a trailer, in a small-but-happening town in Midcoast Maine.

“That's my dream," he said. It's time to take our shot."

For more information or to donate to Bedell's campaign, go to: http://www.wichplease.me.