‘The Great Food Truck Race’ currently filming in LC

Published 4:38 am Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The weather could not have been better. Hundreds showed up to be a part of the filming – and eating – of the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” on Monday, the first day of the two-day event.

Seven teams are rolling around America on a mission to take home the $50,000 prize as part of the Food Network show hosted by Tyler Florence. Monday those trucks lined up along Bord du Lac, getting ready to serve a crowd of about 700, not counting production crews.

Jillian Elliott was there, waiting to order empanadas from Argentina’s Empanadas Food Truck. (Think of an empanada as a fresh-made savory fried pie.) The food and culture writer is a Food Network fan who has followed the “Great Food Truck Race” episodes. It is now in its 17the season. She said the big turn out is the exception, rather than the norm compared to the episodes she has viewed. “I think this size crowd sends a positive message to Food Network and the rest of the country to send more,” the food and culture writer said, showing her just-autographed Tyler Florence cookbook.

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Visit Lake Charles just wrapped up Chuck Eats, the promotion of ten days of special menu pricing for local eateries.

Food Network brings a national spotlight to Southwest Louisiana, according to Matt Young, Visit Lake Charles. The audience is worldwide, and they’ve chosen Lake Charles as one of only a handful of stops. Their producers have fallen in love with our community’s natural beauty and our Southern hospitality, and they are excited to showcase it when the episode airs this summer, he said. Ultimately, the two top teams will face off for the prize money based on sales, customer feedback and certain challenges.

Food truck competitors are sure to face a tough crowd in Lake Charles, customers with high standards set by local restaurants, food trucks and the abundance of fresh seafood.

Argentina’s Empanadas is a Wichita, Kansas-based business owned by a husband and wife team, and it seemed to have the longest line. A 12-year-old who dreams of being a food truck chef talked his mother into bringing him to the event. His favorite celebrity chef is Gordon Ramsay. He and his mom chose the empanada truck because they wanted something a little out of the ordinary, and they liked the color of the truck.

Holly Doga wanted to see if the SoLA Poboys Food Truck met her standards for po-boys. The SoLA Poboys Food Truck was pronounced the National Association 2021-2022 food champs, according to its social media page. She didn’t know at the time, but the owner of that truck was originally from New Orleans and decided to open the food truck when he moved to Los Angeles and met someone who had never had a po-boy.

One of the first folks to place an order was Zach Crawford. He ordered two of everything, one for him and the other for his wife who was the one who suggested he order their lunch from the food trucks. Two catfish and shrimp pasta dishes, two egg rolls, two fried cornbreads and two iced teas came to $104 from Plates on Deck. Plates on Deck food truck husband-and-wife team are originally from Florida, and the truck got its start in Queens, New York.

The other food trucks were Fishnet, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Bao Bei, Rockville, Maryland offered their take on dumplings and pot stickers, and DTG Tacos, whose tagline is, “We believe the taco is a vehicle for flavor exploration.

The food trucks will be selling their food on Tuesday from roughly 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the Bord du Lac Marina, behind the Lake Charles Event Center.