How does a California-based food vendor prepare to sell ice cream at Life is Beautiful? “We have about 300 to 400 gallons of ice cream on hand that we brought with us,” says Kassie Manalo, the project manager with Afters Ice Cream. “We have a truck on standby in case it looks like we are running low. But that’s at least a five-hour drive so I hope it doesn’t come to that and we can make it through the weekend.”
Coming to the festival for the first year can be a bit of trial and error for new food vendors, especially those based out of state. However, there are plenty willing to give it a shot.
“This is our first festival out of state,” Manalo says. “We knew if we wanted to do one it was going to be [Life is Beautiful]. We know the food vendors here are top of the line.”
On the other side of the Downtown grounds, Seoul Sausage Co. is selling its traditional Korean barbecue sausage roll along with a french-fry-crusted corndog.
“We’ve done events and catering in Las Vegas before,” says Yong Kim, one of the owners of the California-based company. “We wanted to come here because we liked the concept of this festival. It’s been awesome so far.”
Even though its homebase is about a mile away, Cornish Pasty Co. wanted to give the event a try too. The restaurant moved into its Downtown space in 2016, and decided to be part of Life is Beautiful to provide attendees with a local taste.
Richard Blankley, one of the owners, says not many people know what a pasty is. “We get a lot of questions about it,” he adds. “But it’s a good festival food because it’s easy to carry around and eat.”
Blankley says they are able to make the pasties ahead of time at the restaurant and bake them as ordered. On the first night, they ran out of all 600 by 9 p.m.
While the other restaurants have a booth to sell their items, White Rabbit Truck rolled up into the event ready to sell its Filipino fusion cuisine.
Melvin Chua, one of the owners, says they’ve done other events in Las Vegas, including Las Vegas Foodie Festival.
“But we knew we wanted to add this one because of the way it’s organized,” Chua says. “Our burritos are the most popular because they are compact enough to carry around with you. Plus, it’s a good food to have if you’ve been drinking.”