Thursday, March 19, 2015

What's cookin' at Papa John's?

Every year, the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville is bigger and better, but one thing stays the same. With all that walking and talking, you are going to be hungry. When you shuttle over to the parking lot at Papa John’s, you’ll discover that you and your taste buds have hit the jackpot.

Why is everyone so hungry at a truck show? Not to worry.
The trade show takes place March 26-28, and show management arranges for their trucking guests to park in the lot at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. During the off-show hours, the place is jumpin’. This year, move over, Granny Clampett, because almost everybody’s whomping up vittles.

You’ll find Truckers United for Charities and the Just Because (JBC) volunteers grilling up good stuff in exchange for donations, which they then pay forward to numerous charities for children. As usual, they will be cooking dogs, burgers and brats all three days. On Thursday and Friday morning, they’ll be serving sausage, bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast.

OOIDA’s Jon Osburn says starting Thursday, Truckers United for Charities and JBC are teaming up again with their traditional “blue plate special” for dinners after the show closes each night. OOIDA Life Spouse Kimberly Schmidt, secretary for both of those groups, says items on the menu include pinto beans and cornbread for Wednesday, chicken fried steak for Thursday, fried catfish and hush puppies for Friday, and brisket and barbecued chicken for Saturday night. (Psssst. OOIDA Members Buzz and Laurie Scutt told Land Line the blue plate specials will make the neighbors come running.)

Dean Owens reports that every day the Jacob Russell Boulanger Memorial Fund group ( will have food available to all drivers at no cost. He says the food is free at the “Burnt Beans Commissary” but donations are “gladly accepted.” JRBM is planning two dinners in honor of the group’s founding members, OOIDA Life Members Rusty “Yoda” Wade and Don “Burnt Beans” McKinley. Rusty died in January of 2013, and Don died in June of 2014.

OOIDA Member Rob Fernald reports that he and a small enthusiastic group of truckers (not affiliated with any club or charity) will again be setting up their kitchen and “dining room” at the north end of Lot C. Rob says it’s truckers who like doing it and “giving back,” and that’s why their kitchen is called the Because We Can CafĂ©.

Rob, Kacie Wood, Janet and Lawrence McNeil and a handful of other OOIDA members will serve free, healthy and wholesome meals to attendees. 

Saturday starts with biscuits and gravy with Tim Ridley (Nemo Entertainment) to benefit the St. Christopher Fund. After the show closes at the Expo Center on Saturday, there’s more action at Papa John’s, including a cook-off.

In addition to the fare of these road kitchen cooks, the first-ever "Cooking in the Truck Summit"
 is set to begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in the Freightliner hospitality trailer at Papa John’s.

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