Tyler Florence Dishes on the New Season of The Great Food Truck Race

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, August 12th, 2011

tyler florence
This past Tuesday, Food Network fans had the chance to leave a question for Tyler Florence about his new season of The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network’s Facebook page.  We promised he’d answer a selection of them:

William Zoellick: How do you determine which food trucks are to compete?

Tyler: The casting process is handled by the production company in Los Angeles and they look for a good slice of an American story. This year we have trucks from New York, Miami and Cleveland — they’re all the best-of-the-best.

Tammy Sanner McCrae: How do you pick the cities you stop in?

Tyler: We didn’t want to double up on the cities we visited in the previous season, so this year we started out in Malibu, then we went to Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and so on. Every season, we’re going to plot a new course across the United States with new cities.

Michelle Nichols: What are the major differences from last season?

Tyler: This season is bigger: more contestants and the grand prize has been doubled to $100,000. It’s really exciting to watch these guys compete because after watching the first season, the show has raised the bar: The competitors are better, the food is better, how they play the game is better, their strategies are better — it’s really interesting.

Carmucha Rodríguez Ramos: Tyler, what do you think is the most challenging thing a food truck can face?

Tyler: I think it’s the unknown. When we travel across the country with the groups of teams, the trucks are stripped clean except for some salt, pepper and a few spices. They’re all given the same amount of seed money to level the playing field; other than that, they don’t know where to go. They don’t have their purveyors or their customers; they have to start from scratch. Throughout the competition, they have to learn the philosophy of the local customer. To me, the hardest thing is what they don’t know.

Trish Southern McFarland: What is the cost of a fully equipped food truck?

Tyler: The lease of a food truck is approximately $800 a month. Not that many people buy food trucks; they lease them because it’s more flexible. If the truck doesn’t work out, you don’t want to be stuck with it. On top of that lease, they have to wrap the truck and install the equipment. If you want to get into the food-truck business, you’re looking at an investment of $10,000 to $15,000.

food trucks pull quote
Shannon Bonner: Which city do you think has the best food trucks?

Tyler: Portland is on fire right now. Los Angeles is really exciting and Chicago is really great. It’s just become so popular — food trucks give people a sense of the work week. They start ritual trips which turn into a destination for them. I think it’s the new answer to American fast food — you know these guys just got back from the farmers’ market, you know the food is fresh, there’s a face behind the brand and they prepare it quickly. I enjoy supporting the local, hardworking entrepreneurial spirit.

Kamela Rubio-Raffin: What cuisine would you most like to see catch on in America and why?

Tyler: I really like the diversity of the whole thing because the limitations of a truck actually lend the operator some clarity on what they can produce because they can’t do a lot of things but they can do one thing really well. So it’s interesting to see how they spin off. There are a lot of great ice cream trucks coming out, Asian BBQ; exceptional grilled cheese sandwiches and tacos are great, too.

Michael Hall Tyler and Allan Ronquillo: If you could create your own food truck, what city would it be in and what would you sell?

Tyler: Well, I’m actually working on something right now — it’s a rotisserie chicken truck in California, more details to come.

Tune in to an all-new season: Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern/9 p.m. Central

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Comments (68)

  1. Sharron says:

    Tyler, in my opinion you are the most talented chef/cook on the Food Network,by accepting a show such as the great truck race, you are not working to your full potential. I really want to see you cooking again.

    PS. I learned how to make moist and delicious meatloaf with that catchup tomatoe base relish from you. GET COOKING!!!!!!

  2. T. Wallace-Lopez says:

    I already saw a comment but would like to reiterate an important point. I have a twelve year old boy scout who loves the food network and especially the Great Amer. Food Truck Race (and Chopped). Alex is really upset tonight that his favorite team was the one cheating. He is very involved in the show. I hope you can imagine my irritation when my son, who spends a lot of time in the woods here in the beautiful, moist Pacific NW, was foraging for mushrooms with his friend so that they could cook them this afternoon. This is a serious issue here and I would hope that you would do the right thing and strongly caution home viewers that a normal person does not pick wild mushrooms and cook them at home.

    • tootiredtothink says:

      Ah lots of people make the mistake of foraging for mushrooms they have no clue about. Quite a number of deaths occur each year. You cannot fix stupid.

      Also the contestant mentioned poisonous ones.

  3. stuffed4now says:

    I'm beginning to understand how much of an insult the Food Network is to real chefs and the greater world of the culinary arts. This show is just plain degrading.

    Anthony Bourdain understood that manufacturing drama and creating circus like atmospheres is an undignified approach to true culinary professionals.

    Congrats FN for exploring new lows, especially with this show.

    What's next FN? Having Bobby Flay sell corn dogs at a carnival while Mike Tyson boxes local brawlers for $$ and Cat Cora struts around in a bikini between rounds…

  4. Truman says:

    What a waste time for such a good chef, this show is just DUMB!! looks like about half of the FN 's new show are crap also.

  5. whiteley123 says:

    I love the show and watch it every week…………….although I wish you had another TV show on Food Network…………do you think you will come back to a basic cooking show? Miss not seeing you…loved Tylers Ultermate!

  6. Marvelle says:

    Tyler, I am so sure that a lot of people enjoy your new truck show, however, as for me, I love love your daytime show…PLEASE COME BACK!!!

  7. zee says:

    what the korilla guys did just goes to show how koreans actually do their business. my family, and i personally, have done business with koreans and they're the worst kind to work with, even worse than the chinese. they give you the roundabout before paying you for your service, and when they do pay you, they scrounge up any excuse to cut down their payments. now im not saying this because im racist. im asian myself and have witnessed my family dealing with japanese, chinese, korean and australian businesses. the best were the japanese–very honest, prompt and generous in their dealings (at least those from the older generations).

  8. zee says:

    everything about this second season feels fake and manufactured, nothing like the freshness and honesty of last year's first season–with the exception of the very unfair last challenge in the first season. even the animosity and bitchy attitude from the contestants feel forced, just to get the ratings. diversity, tyler? last season was more diverse! there were the vietnamese, the french, the bbq guys, the cajun guys and only ONE truck that consistently did grilled cheese. this season, it's either tacos or grilled cheese. that's diversity? tyler, way to go for you to tarnish your reputation on such a low development of a great show.

    • GoFish says:

      So agree with you zee. Enough with the manufactured hate speech and drama. What in the world are we teaching our kids? Bad mouthing and cut throating is the way to get ahead. Food Network has really gravitated away from it's original intentions of highlighting food and technique. I was tuning in to see what kind of eats they were going to offer and how they were going to prepare it. Obviously, that is not the focus of this show anymore. How sad. Jumpin on the Bravo bandwagon. I'm changing the channel.

      • tootiredtothink says:

        "Enough with the manufactured hate speech and drama."

        That occurs in the real world. Nothing is manufactured it all comes from the crews of the trucks and the first season had it as well.

        ". Food Network has really gravitated away from it's original intentions of highlighting food and technique."

        When did they ever do that? Food Network in it's various country affiliates is where people see Gordon Ramsay do Hell's Kitchen uncensored.

    • darbus says:

      Food Network ruined the show in only it's second season. I do no want to watch a grilled cheese truck sell crappy sandwiches for 99¢. last year felt genuine and fair, your format this year lead to cheating, take it back next season or this viewer will not be back.

      • tootiredtothink says:

        How does the format lead to cheating? The korilla guys if they were last season would likely have cheated too.

        There was an interview that has since been pulled from the webs that the lime truck had done in which they state they believe that Korilla had been cheating at every truck stop.

  9. Marsha says:

    Food Network. You should let Korilla address the cheating controversy now and not make them wait until the show is over.
    They are out already, after all. Let them talk.

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