UC-Davis features Pham’s Asian specialties via food truck

The University of California-Davis has wheeled out the first in a fleet of food trucks that Sodexo plans to develop for foodservice clients under a licensing agreement with celebrated Asian chef Mai Pham.

The prototype Star Grill & Noodle Bar truck, named after Pham’s popular Sacramento, Calif., restaurant, features some of the street foods that have fueled the chef’s reputation, including banh mi and wok-fried noodles. The truck will be parked every weekday outside UC-Davis’ Silo student union, according to Sodexo.

“This food tuck is like our Star Ginger restaurant but on wheels,” Pham said in an announcement. “We take great ingredients and cook everything fresh.”

Although a Star Ginger truck may be new to college feeding, the brand name is not. Star Ginger restaurants are in operation at Stanford University, UC-Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Sodexo said that the food truck is its first stand-alone Southeast Asian outlet. The company announced earlier this year that it had a 10-year licensing deal to develop the Star Gingers on wheels.

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Sodexo has partnered with fast casual Blaze Pizza to offer the chain’s signature pizzas, salads, beverages and desserts at select venues served by Sodexo, including colleges and universities.

Bill Lacey, senior vice president of marketing at Sodexo, said that Blaze’s growth in the fast-casual sector drove the partnership. Blaze opened its first unit in 2012 near the University of California at Irvine. Its pizzas are flash fired, cooking in under 180 seconds, according to the chain—a selling point for busy customers.

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