The Great Food Truck Race is back for a fifth season this summer, with a brand-new cast of food truck hopefuls on a high-stakes culinary road trip with a new route from sunny Southern California to the beaches of Key West, Fla.
These contenders are not current food truck operators – they are eight teams of rookies who have food skills, fresh concepts, an entrepreneurial spirit and the dream to one day own a food truck business.
Each three-person team is provided a vehicle for the race, but only the grand-prize winner gets to keep their food truck and a $50,000 cash prize to start their business.
From Sonoran hot dogs in Tucson, Ariz. and Austin’s turbo-charged food scene in Texas to Oklahoma City burgers, hand-rolled ravioli in St. Louis and Alabama’s shrimpin’ country in Mobile, each team’s cooking and sales strategies are put to the test in city-specific challenges in every location. Hosted by Tyler Florence, the seven-episode series premieres on Sunday, August 17(th) at 9pm ET/PT.
“Watching these young entrepreneurs hit the road to test their cooking skills and marketing savvy against the backdrop of different cities and food cultures is inspiring and entertaining,” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. “The food truck industry has become a very viable way to enter the culinary world, and we love giving the winner the keys to their new career.”
This season’s teams are:
- Beach Cruiser (Venice, Calif.)
- Chatty Chicken Truck (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
- Gourmet Graduates (Providence, R.I.)
- Let There Be Bacon (Cleveland)
- Lone Star Chuck Wagon (Houston)
- Madres Mexican Meals (Norwalk, Calif.)
- Middle Feast (Los Angeles)
- Military Moms (Fort Drum, N.Y.)
In the first episode, the eight teams arrive in Santa Barbara, Calif. and Tyler greets them each with their own customized food truck, but only the winning team will walk away with the keys and $50,000 in cash. In the first challenge, the teams must define their brands and create a signature dish to sell in Santa Barbara.
After an afternoon of sales, Tyler sends them to Venice Beach where their dishes are tasted by Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis of Cousins Maine Lobster, a top Los Angeles food truck.
The rookies quickly learn running a food truck is much harder than it looks, and the seven surviving teams realize they are in for the ride of their lives as they continue to battle it out for the ultimate prize.
From the west coast starting point, the route then takes the teams to Tucson, Ariz.; Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City; St. Louis and Mobile, Ala. — leading up to a tri-city Florida finale in Tampa, Naples and Key West.