This Sunday at 9pm/8c, The Great Food Truck Race, Season 4 premieres with all-new trucks, cities and challenges. It’s going to be the longest route yet for the food truck rookies, who will learn to operate a mobile business right on the road. But if that wasn’t enough, host Tyler Florence will be throwing Speed Bumps and Truck Stop challenges at them to see how they do: It could be anything from completely making over the menu to selling at a breakneck pace in order to be the first to win a cash prize. At the end of the race only one team will be left standing with $50,000 and the keys to their truck.
The first 25 years of my life, I ate fresh corn just one way: It was shucked, boiled until tender and slathered with butter. And while that’s a delicious way to handle the sweet corn of summer, I’ve learned during the last decade that there are many other ways to do it justice.
It was a batch of grilled corn that first opened my eyes to corn’s flexibility. I was at a cookout and a friend set shucked and lightly oiled cobs on a hot barbecue and kept turning them until the kernels were speckled and golden. Topped with mayonnaise and a little grated cheese, it was transcendentally good.
Once the corn floodgates were open, it was a quick trip to corn salads, salsas and chowders. Really, the only thing I’ve not done with corn is make jelly from the corncobs (a traditional Southern preserve).
This summer, the corn has been particularly abundant, and we’ve been getting a dozen or more ears each week at our farm share pickup. I’ve done every one of my regular preparations, and still, there’s more. Happily, I’ve recently discovered another recipe to add to my repertoire. It’s Bobby Flay’s Creamed Corn Succotash with Cotija, and I can’t stop eating it.
Jed Sanford, the owner of Abigaile, a gastrobrewery in Hermosa Beach, Calif., needed a chef de cuisine for the restaurant while he and his executive chef Tin Vuong open a sister restaurant. They were looking for someone who could keep pushing the restaurant’s edge. Anne Burrell and the Chef Wanted team had four candidates: Chefs Juan Pedrosa, Ben Diaz, Chris Mack and Jamil Peden. Two initial tests would narrow down the chefs to two finalists, who would each get to run the restaurant’s dinner service on separate nights. In the end, both Jed and Tin were clear in their decision, which was a surprise for both chefs.
The start of the fourth season of The Great Food Truck Race is just a few days away. Leading up to the premiere on Sunday, August 18 at 9pm/8c, FN Dish has been introducing a new food truck team every day. With $50,000 in prize money and a free food truck on the line, it’s a high-stakes race to the finish line.
Food Truck: Tikka Tikka Taco
Team Members: Shaun, Sam, Michael (pictured above)
Home Base: St. Louis
Food Concept: Indian tacos
I took my girls shopping for boogie boards the other day. I walked into the store and discovered that summer was over. Too bad I wasn’t shopping for dorm supplies: twin bed sheets, color-coordinated towel sets and bright plastic baskets for lugging toiletries down the hall were everywhere. I was immediately taken back to my own freshman year of college. I remember exactly what I was wearing (a blue sweater and flowy skirt that projected confidence in my 17-year-old mind) when we pulled up to my assigned dorm, Hamilton Hall. Mom took pictures of me making up my bed with my new twin sheets (extra long), and I placed unused pens, pencils and erasers neatly along the top of my desk. I set up a gift from my mom: a manual typewriter (the kind where the “k” and “b” keys would get stuck and I’d have to pop them back into ready position), a few spare ink ribbons and a tiny box of white out sheets. (No, this wasn’t a vintage objet d’art; this was the actual typewriter I would use all freshman year. I am that old.)
What followed was four years of studying, but also friendships made, laughter shared, milestones achieved (and others, missed) and lots of cooking. I cooked from the minute I landed in Hamilton Hall and made my first stroganoff in a hotpot. Later, in my sorority house, I hung out in the kitchen with Linda, the cook, and even signed up for KP duty once a week, my first pro gig in the kitchen I suppose. When I lived in an apartment junior year, I cooked so much that my roommates and I couldn’t eat all the food, so I would deliver random care packages to friends all around campus.
Before the new season of The Great Food Truck Race begins this Sunday (Aug. 18 at 9pm/8c), FN Dish decided to catch up with last season’s winners — Ted, Yong and Chris from Seoul Sausage — for a quick look back and to find out what they’re up to now.
Since winning The Great Food Truck Race, the team has taken the truck’s concept and turned it into a widely talked about and successful brick and mortar restaurant, also called Seoul Sausage Co. (take a photo tour here). “The food truck scene in L.A. is very competitive, so we’ve primarily put our focus on our brick and-mortar restaurant,” says Ted. “The truck is still on the street two to three times a week. It’s not going anywhere.”
When asked where they see themselves in the future, Yong responded by saying, “We don’t like those questions because we go day by day. All the good things that have happened to us are nothing we’ve planned, even since our inception — our very first event, that wasn’t even planned. We want to have more locations. We want our sausages in stores. We’re enjoying the ride, the journey. We’re just growing the brand and staying true to ourselves at the same time. We can’t thank our fans enough — it means the world to us.”
There’s no doubt about it: Rodney Henry is the Pie Man. What pie style is might still be out for debate, but this runner-up has proved to Food Network fans that whatever it is, it seems like a pretty good time. Through all the “suckers,” “cool cats” and “it’s pie style, jack,” he’s taken this season of Star and turned it upside down. Committed to staying true to himself, Rodney survived 10 weeks of competition to earn a spot among the final three competitors. While he ultimately came up short behind winner Damaris Phillips, there’s no doubt that Rodney has star power.
Star Talk caught up with Rodney to chat about his time on Star, what he thought of the mentors and what fans can expect in the future.
You’ve seen it overflowing the farmers market tables and piling high in the grocery store produce section: Corn is officially in season, with its sweet, bright-yellow cobs at their peak of freshness from now through the end of the summer. While shucking and boiling corn, then dousing it with butter and salt is a deliciously traditional way to prepare this family-friendly vegetable, there are indeed dressed-up versions of the classic that are every bit as simple and quick to prepare. Grilling fresh cobs will deliver a smoky note, while experimenting with ingredient butters or baking the kernels into a sweet casserole will offer next-level tastes and textures that highlight corn’s natural flavor. Check out Food Network’s top-five corn dishes below from the Neelys, Guy, Bobby and more Food Network chefs for easy recipe inspiration.
5. Smoky Corn on the Cob — Thanks to a low and slow grilling technique, these slightly charred cobs have time to become tender without burning.
4. Sweet Corn Pudding — A creamy, cheesy casserole that will round out your backyard barbecue, the Neelys’ fresh-corn bake is spiked with a pinch of cayenne pepper for subtle heat.