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Rochesterfest is focused on food

Gluten-free food, including pork nachos, are available at Twigs at Rochesterfest. The event is being held at Soldiers Field. Head chef Uber Morales is pictured.

Three new food vendors were introduced Monday at the 33rd annual Rochesterfest.

R & A Concessions, Twigs Tavern & Grille and Twisted Barrel Wood Fired Pizza are among the 30 food vendors at this year's Rochesterfest.

However, these vendors are not your typical "carnival food." They offer food disguised as desserts, completely gluten-free options and wood-fired pizza.

R & A Concessions, a company based out of Northwood, Iowa, is known for their hot beef sundae. Meant to look like a dessert food, the hot beef sundae starts with a layer of mashed potatoes, topped with hot roast beef, sprinkled with cheddar cheese and garnished with a cherry tomato.

"Our theme is dessert-oriented main entrees," said Annika Schreiber, owner of R & A Concessions. "Everyone is always looking forward to dessert so we combined two meals together."


Being their first year at Rochesterfest and third year in business, Schreiber and her father, Ken Athey, of Rochester, are excited to see the reactions of everybody.

"Typically people walk by with disgusted looks," Schreiber said. "Then they actually read the description and usually order one of our sundaes."

Schreiber who commutes to and from Rochester was interested in promoting her company at such a big event.

"Rochesterfest is focused on food and was the perfect opportunity," Schreiber said.

Aside from the hot beef sundae, R & A Concessions also sells hot dog splits and chicken cake nachos.

If you're seeking gluten-free options, Twigs Tavern & Grille, based in Rochester, fits the bill. They are the only food vendor to offer a selection of gluten-free food items.

"We are a dedicated kitchen," said Savannah Manning, a supervisor at Twigs. "The menu is very similar to the restaurant."

Twigs is offering captain chicken, pulled pork, pork nachos jubilee and a sonorant hot dog wrap.


With the gluten-free population, it's convenient for festival goers to have this choice. Manning even goes to say, "It will be a hit."

As for the menu, the fan favorite will be the pork nachos jubilee; tortilla chips topped with Babcock barbecue pulled pork, cheese sauce, fresh onions, tomatoes and sour cream.

The last new food vendor is unlike any vendor at Rochesterfest, complete with a wood-fire oven inside of the food truck.

Twisted Barrel Wood Fire Pizza, owned by Derrick Chapman, is fairly new to the mobile food scene. His company recently started in September 2015 while trying to start a brewery and wood-fire pizza joint. It ended up not all coming together so Chapman decided to go mobile.

Chapman's decision has had huge success, with appearances every week for breweries, weddings, private parties and local events.

The food is simple and fast. Preparation comes first and followed by the cooking. The wood-fire oven is anywhere from 800-1000 degrees and it only takes about 90 seconds to cook the pizza.

"My favorite part is seeing people smile when they eat the pizza," Chapman said.

One of their most popular pizzas being offered at Rochesterfest is "the carnivore." It's a perfectly cooked pizza topped with bacon, Canadian bacon, sausage and pepperoni.


The new vendors are offering twists from the classic foods, however, the favorites are still there providing the fried and sugary foods that are a staple for Rochesterfest.

The food vendors are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday.

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