published Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Bonnaroo food as diverse as music

Charles Bradley performs during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Charles Bradley performs during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Saturday, June 9, 2012.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MANCHESTER, Tenn. -- By Saturday, Harrison Covington, 19, of Charleston, S.C., had eaten all of the granola bars he cared to, so he headed to the Food Truck Oasis area at Bonnaroo.

He chose a spiced meat sandwich from Pot Black Kettle, which just so happens to be based in his hometown.

"We didn't really know what we were going to do about food," he said. "I like that there are a lot of choices."

That's part of what the folks at Superfly Presents, co-producers of the music and arts festival going on this weekend in Manchester, had in mind, according to Kerry Black. Superfly uses the same philosophy to find food vendors as to book bands, he said.

"We try to find good diversity and vendors that offer quality stuff."

Superfly added four new trucks to its lineup of more traditional vendors last year and four more this year. They sell everything from gourmet wraps to gourmet tacos to Brooklyn-style pizza.

"Roberta's Pizza is well-known," Black said. "They do hand-pulled mozzarella on site."

Inside the Centeroo area, patrons also can get a fresh salad bar and organic wraps, in addition to gyros, corn on the cob and sausages.

"I got an arepa," said Zane Webster, 18, from Chattanooga. "It's a combination of cornbread and mozzarella cheese and it is the best grilled cheese sandwich on the planet."

Black said Superfly tries to find regional vendors and those that at least try to use good green, or sustainable, practices. There are vendors from Kansas City, Mo.; Miami; Knoxville; and Charleston, S.C., at Bonnaroo this year.

Molly Clark is the co-owner of Eatbox, a truck based out of Asheville, N.C. She works a lot of music festivals and NASCAR races, and said when she can, she uses locally grown produce.

"Sometimes you just can't because of the volume and availability," Clark said.

The festival also helps the Grundy County Food Bank, which works with the Chattanooga Food Bank to help needy families on Monteagle Mountain.

Last year, husband and wife Glenn and Carol VandenBosch drove to the festival each day to get the leftover foods prepared in the VIP and Artist areas for distribution to needy local residents.

"On Monday last year, Glenn was able to drive through the campsite area and if the lemonade vendor had leftover lemons or whatever, he got that," Carol VandenBosch said.

Among the acts on the Saturday lineup were the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice Cooper, The Roots and The Punch Brothers.

Today's lineup includes The Beach Boys with Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, The Shins, fun., and Bon Iver. Phish closes out the festival today with a four-hour, two-set show beginning at 8 p.m.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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