The Great Food Truck Race

Credit: The Food Network

Imagine if you will Top Chef mixed with a little Pimp My Ride and just a touch of The Amazing Race and you might have something akin to The Great Food Truck Race. The host of the show is Chef Tyler Florence and the prize for the winner is $50,000.00 and the food trucks are not ordinary, each one sells a unique and somewhat gourmet offering and are manned by skilled chefs. The teams will travel from city to city starting in Los Angeles and ending in New York City. All the trucks started with an empty pantry and they were told in each city they would get $500.00 to buy supplies. They must find a place to park the truck and start selling. They have two days in each city to make as much money as possible because at the end of each stay they will meet up with Tyler and the team that made the least amount of money goes home.
The seven teams participating in the race are:

Crepes Bonaparte from Fullerton CA who sell sweet and savory crepes.

Nana Queens from Los Angeles, CA who sell hot wings and Banana pudding and are originally from Compton.

Austin Daily Press from Austin, TX who sell hot pressed sandwiches and they are the only team who does not have a panel truck, they use a pull behind trailer.

Ragin Cajun from Lafayette, LA who sell authentic Cajun dishes just the way they made them 100 years ago.

Grill Em All from Los Angeles, CA sells gourmet burgers made by culinary school drop outs.

Nom Nom from Los Angeles, CA who are UCLA business school graduates selling Vietnamese sandwiches. The name comes from the sound you make when eating something good… nom nom nom nom nom.

Spencer on the Go from San Francisco, CA serves fine French food on the go.

Although they have met up in Los Angeles, Tyler informs the teams that to make things fair, they will not be selling their first day in Los Angeles because there are teams from Los Angeles. So they are all informed to drive south to San Diego to sell. On the drive down, Nom Nom is on the phone making inquiries about places to park and sell and they find out there is a Farmer’s Market they can sell at so they pick up supplies, park at the Market and start selling right away. The other teams find it a bit more challenging to find park and sell spots. Ragin Cajun sets up in front of a restaurant, Grill Em All finds an area near some bars. Nana Queens takes a risk and secures a paid spot at a festival, but they are told it will cost $1000.00 for the spot. Sadly when they arrive they realize they have no propane on board and end up with close to nothing in sales for day one. Crepes Bonaparte found a spot near but not on the beach and Spencer on the Go finds a good spot in Midway Park between two tourist attractions. The Last team for find a spot is Austin Daily Press who ends up parking at a drycleaners near a couple bars. As day one ends, Nom Nom’s seems to have had a great day but the rest of the teams have struggled a bit. Ragin Cajun becomes aware of the festival and decides to try to get a spot there for the next day.

The next morning Ragin Cajun gets a call that there is a spot for them at the festival but the cost is $675.00. They accept hoping they can negotiate a better price at the end of the day. Nana Queens are running late as Mr. Banana is late getting out of bed and they also receive a shock while they setup and hear the voice of Ragin Cajun on the main stage advertising their food. Mr. Banana runs to the stage to put in the pitch for Nana Queens and the day begins. Most of the teams seem to be doing better on day two than day one although Grill Em All is struggling. As day two comes to a close, the man from the festival comes around to collect the fees. He tells Ragin Cajun they have to pay $300.00 which they are glad to do and thank him for the discount. Nana Queens is presented with same price but since they were there for two days, its $600.00 total and they have only made just over $700.00. So they decide to find a street to setup on and sell for a bit longer to salvage the weekend. Austin Daily Press does some interesting marketing. They give away blank stickers and tell people to name their own price. Most of the patrons end up overpaying for sandwiches and it drums up business. The next morning they will meet with Tyler to balance the books.

At the first elimination, all the teams look nervous as they see Tyler preparing to send someone home. First he announces the winners. With $1078.00 in sales the winners are Nom Nom. In addition to being safe, they win a trip back to San Diego from Orbitz since on this trip they only got the see the inside of their truck. The rest of the teams finish as follows:

$940.00 for Crepes Bonaparte
$727.00 for Austin Daily Press
$706.00 for Ragin Cajun
$667.00 for Spencer on the Go
$632.00 for Grill Em All
Nana Queens is the first team to get sent home. The teams are told they will be heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the next round, and they’re off!!