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. Kathy Allgreen says:

    Tyler & FN–The Great Food Truck Race is awsome!! I cannot believe the negative comments. You have made this season different, but that's good, not bad. I wouldn't want every one to be the same. Keep up with The Great Food Truck Race–IT IS FUN!!!

  2. Miamirey says:

    How can we find out what city is being visited real time? We'd like to go to the trucks while they are taping.

  3. peg says:

    Are the contestants given the truck before the race or do they provide their own new truck? If they are given the truck, do they get to keep it after the race? I also want to know what happens to the money they earn on each show.

    • tootiredtothink says:

      Why wouldn't it be their trucks?

      Kinda defeats the purpose of finding local food trucks and having them do a gameshow competition if you have to give people a food truck, deck it out, customize logos etc.

  4. darbus says:

    last season I watch if next season is as fake and unappealing as this one. last year was genuine and rewarding. too much bs from most of the trucks has been distracting and basic "survivor" type cutthroat tv – bah humbug FTN.

  5. Michael says:

    Tyler, please get off the truck and back in the kitchen where you belong. Let someone with less talent than you do that job. No one can handle a kitchen and the palate the way that you can.

  6. JanQ says:

    Tyler on the next Food Truck Race please do not promote driving and talking on the cell phone. The driver of the food truck is seen in many episodes driving and talking on the cell phone. If the driver needs to communicate with the car with other team members make them use hands free. I would hate to hear of an accident while taping your show caused by hand held cell phone. Also in many states it is illegal to hold a cell phone and talk. Please make this part of the rules for the next season.

  7. If the purpose of leaving a comment — no matter how robust and informative — is to obtain a link, then the purpose of the comment is to spam the blog. If the purpose of the comment is to participate in the discussion and the link doesn’t matter, then it’s a good blog comment.

  8. @GloriaSpeak says:

    I really do love all of the FoodNetWork Shows and the Chefs, my favorite is Boddy Fla, Tyle Florance and Paula Deen, and of course New Orleans Chef the big EL. Love one day to be on the show i can burn a little bit and not burnt food, but good cook foods. glo-baby,

  9. Eli's luvr says:

    I love Tyler,he rocks!I miss that show, FOOD 911,that was a good show!And Tyler's Ultimate!

  10. food freak says:

    when is season 3 starting ???

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