The Traveling Food Dude finds inspiration in Grand County

Adam Vosding
Adam Vosding

Twelve months ago, Adam Vosding left Tampa, Florida, and corporate America to pursue his goal of becoming the “Traveling Food Dude.” Vosding was approaching his fortieth birthday shortly after his father died. He found himself single, without kids, and he recalled his mother’s dream of living in a different city each year. He thought to himself, Why wait? So Vosding packed up his dog, Holland, and his Airstream, hitting up 18 different states and parts of Canada and Mexico along the way.

But unlike a lot of tourists, Vosding wasn’t attracted to large, popular destinations. He’d just left a bustling city, where he’d worked in commercial real estate and had the desire to travel the back roads to get a new perspective of our country. “Cities are so highly publicized that you already know what you’re going to see before you get there,” Vosding explains. Instead, Vosding wanted to see the “Real USA and write about how geography affects what food can be grown and how it’s prepared.”

With a goal of bringing lesser-known culinary spots to a larger audience, Vosding accepted a kitchen position at the historical Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch, located along the Colorado River in Parshall. “The owners, Cheri and Jerry Helmicki, welcomed me with open arms,” Vosding similes. “They’re those kind of people.” At the Bar Lazy J, Vosding worked under the tutelage of Chef Eddie, learning to cook regional favorites like BBQ Salmon and Bison meatloaf. “I can’t believe I’ve literally rushed out of the kitchen into the fresh mountain air to clip herbs from the garden for dinner,” Vosding exclaims.

Vosding notes that while cities, like grocery stores, are often the same, living and working in smaller towns affords him the ability to truly discover of a region. “I’ve learned how to be flexible and creative, adapting recipes with availability,” Vosding shares. He’s all over the area, trying everything from fresh field greens to Frito pie. But more than discovering new food, Vosding has experienced the ranching lifestyle firsthand and learned the spirit of the West. He explains, “I have a huge amount of respect for the wranglers and their passion for their craft. It’s taught me to accept the uncertainties in life and the rewards that come with testing myself.”

Vosding’s contract with Bar Lazy J ends near the middle of Fall, and like many, he’s found himself in love with Grand County. He insists, “I prefer exploring small towns with a lot of history. That history REVEALS the hard work and sacrifices people took to make this country. When you see it first hand, you appreciate it more.” Vosding plans to continue traveling and blogging about different regions throughout the country and the food offered by the people who call unique places, such as ours, home. “I HOPE I CAN NOW call Grand County home,” Vosding shares. “I’ll definitely be bringing family back here to see it.” With his adventures blogged online and social media, Vosding hopes to inspire folks to “Visit a new place, try a new food, talk to a stranger and enjoy the ride.” While he’s still in the area, Vosding asks locals to visit @TRAVELINGFOODDUDE on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK or to offer suggestions and feedback.