Food Network’s New “Great Food Truck Race” Driven To Succeed

Posted by on Aug 7

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It's no surprise that cooking shows are becoming increasingly popular. With several networks offering dozens (even hundreds) of shows daily, producers are finding it hard to come up with new ideas.

But that's not the case this time around for Food Network GM Bob Tuschman. He says that for years, writers have been pitching different types of shows that involve the rising pop-culture phenomenon of food trucks. “Food trucks echo a lot of the themes that we as a network believe in: accessibility, affordability, and a diversity of food voices. We definitely wanted to jump on the trend.”

Thus, the Food Network's newest series, “The Great Food Truck Race,” was born.

This new reality show concept involves seven food truck teams that "basically rebuild their business from scratch every episode,” says Food Network director of programming Brian Lando. Each week, the trucks and chefs arrive in a different city and must acquire health department permits, parking spaces, fresh ingredients, and a local marketing strategy that rules out social media sites like Facebook & Twitter. Then, it's up to the public to determine which food truck truly delivers.

The culinary smorgasbord is impressive as well. Contestants include "Food & Wine Magazine" Best New Chef Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ, Matt Chernus of the heavy-metal-themed Grill 'Em All hamburger stand, and the Vietnamese fusion Nom Nom Truck run by Misa Chien, Jennifer Green, and David Kien. The show is hosted by celebrity chef Tyler Florence, and the winner receives a grand prize of $50,000.

Interestingly, this season's contestants are competing by invitation only. No open auditions were announced. Some might say that a few of the chefs, having operated a food truck successfully for years, have an unfair advantage because other food truck owners are just getting their business started. But in the end, Tuschman is hoping to use the concept to inspire a new generation of chefs, no matter their culinary background. He imagines viewers that have "a great food idea" yet may lack the funds to open their own restaurant. “Maybe they’ll think: ‘You know what? Maybe I could open a food truck.’ ”

Source: The New York Times

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