Last night marked the return of The Great Food Truck Race and if the the premiere of season 5 did anything else they showed that viewers have a lot of fun to look forward to.


The show starts in Santa Barbara, California with introductions of the eight teams that will participate in this cross country culinary contest.

The Great Food Truck Race season 5 teams are (with Twitter accounts):

Beach Cruiser (Venice, CA)
Chatty Chicken (Chattanooga)
Gourmet Graduates (Providence)
Let There Be Bacon (Cleveland)
Lone Star Chuck Wagon (Houston)
Madres Mexican Meals (Norwalk, CA)
Middle Feast (Los Angeles)
Military Moms (Fort Drum, NY)

Each of the teams has a fun and unique story and it’s hard to pick a favorite…so far. For the fifth season Tyler Florence hosts the program and welcomes the teams as they show up in their individually branded support vehicles.

With the same vigor as a child running to the ice cream truck, the contestants ran (some hug) to their newly branded food trucks (congrats to Mobi Munch for another season as food truck supplier for the program) that will be their mobile restaurant for the duration of their time on the show.

Each of the trucks was delivered with a box in it that said “Do Not Open.” So what is in it? Each of the kitchens are stocked with the basics, such as cutlery and cookware.

Chef Florence being the big spender he normally is handed out $200 to each team for them to use for the three signature dishes they will be serving while in Santa Barbara.

The teams scrambled to get to the store (which appeared to be COSTCO) to get their ingredients.

The Middle Feast – Runs into problems with a lack of Middle Eastern ingredients, so they pivot and switch up their menu with what they have available.

Chatty Chicken – Almost forgets to purchase cooking oil. They decide if they run out of oil, they’ll pan fry it. Unfortunately the pan fried chicken slows them down so much they get a customer asking for a refund because of the long wait.


Tyler calls the teams a few hours into service and announces it’s time to shut down and head out. Next stop Venice Beach, California!

The Beach Cruiser team gets to head to their home town and hope this helps them win the first head to head challenge.

Day 2 arrives and the teams start parking. Most of them teams park on famed food truck spot Abbot-Kinney, but Beach Cruiser had local friends save them a spot  by the beach Let There Be Bacon parks there as well. Chatty Chicken parks their truck and heads to the store to get more oil. On the way, they realize they don’t have their money and have to go back to the truck.

Meanwhile, the other teams start serving. Let There Be Bacon has difficulty selling bacon products…go figure, they’re at the beach in SoCal. Once Chatty Chicken finally get the oil into the fryer, they find out they can’t light the pilot and thus scrap the fryer and instead use the flat grill.

Lesson: Always learn to operate your equipment before heading out to the street.


Chef Florence calls in some local judges (the guys from Cousins Maine Lobster Truck in LA) to taste test the signature dishes and check out the concepts of each of the trucks.

The Gourmet Grads impress the judges. Beach Cruiser gets good review with some concerns. Lone Star, is told their dish is bland. The Military Moms don’t get rave reviews for the food, but get a star for their passion. Chatty Chicken is another truck with few positive comments on their food but get some points for their friendliness.

Madres Mexican Meals got kudos for using family and Middle Feast was told they had good food with a lot of potential for greatness. Unfortunately the Let There Be Bacon truck was told that the judges didn’t understand the coleslaw they served with the cheeseburger.


  • Winner ($500) – Madres Mexican Meals
  • Second ($200) – Beach Cruiser
  • Third ($100) – Gourmet Grads

This cash infusion will end up helping these trucks out a lot. So after the truck stop challenge the teams head back out to ring up as many sales as they can while in Venice. The team with the lowest overall 2 day total will turn in their keys and be eliminated.

In the final hours Let There Be Bacon runs out of fresh water and are forced to close up shop since they cannot operate their sinks to keep things up to health code.

With the teams lined up to get the results from Tyler Florence he announces their totals.

  • Lone Star Chuck Wagon: $1,511
  • Beach Cruise: $1,319 ($200 from truck stop contest)
  • Madres Mexican Meals: $1,221 ($500 from truck stop contest)
  • Middle Feast: $764
  • Military Moms: $591
  • Gourmet Grads: $517 ($100 from truck stop contest)
  • Let There Be Bacon: $337
  • Chatty Chicken: $277

Unfortunately because of the amount of time they spent shopping for oil (they never ended up using) Chatty Chicken had the lowest total and was eliminated.

Next week’s stop? Tucson, Arizona.

So what did you think of the first episode of The Great Food Truck Race? You can share your thoughts in the comment section below or share with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Join us next week on #FoodTruckChat as we live tweet during the show.