Amarillo was the top stop for at least one competitor in Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”
“Let me tell you, while I can’t tell you if we made it past Amarillo or not, on our journey, Amarillo was by far our favorite city,” said Tiffany Seth, part of the Momma’s Grizzly Grub team on the reality competition show.
The episode, the third of the season, airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on Food Network, cable channel 65.
Teams hit Amarillo between May 18 and 21, setting up shop at Muttfest, an Amarillo Sox game, along Historic Route 66 and, briefly, Homer’s Backyard Ball, though the music proved to be too loud, Seth said.
But four of the teams spent most of their time in the parking lot of Market Street United, 2530 S. Georgia St., where they were locked down with wheel boots as part of a race challenge.
Seth was initially skeptical that the grocery store would be a good location, but she was soon eating her words.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better spot,” she said.
Chris Stevens, an assistant service manager at Market Street, and other staff members ran supplies to the trucks throughout the day, thanks to brisk sales.
“We ran out of food several times that weekend,” Seth said. “At some point, we went inside and did some shopping, too, but the support from him and the staff allowed us to keep going.”
It was a “team effort,” Stevens said. “We were taking (rotisserie chickens) out to them as fast as they could sell them.”
Food Network officials said the city was chosen after research showed a high interest in food among city residents, as well as location and the convergence of events happening that weekend.
In its third season, the race is focusing on cooks who don’t own their own food truck, forcing them to learn on the fly how to cook and serve crowds in the confines of a mobile kitchen.
Momma’s Grizzly Grub owner Angela Reynolds left her day job as a financial analyst in Wasilla, Alaska, to go on the race, taking along daughter Adriane Richey and best friend Seth, who lives in Missouri.
“It wasn’t that difficult to talk me into it,” Seth said. “I wanted to do it, but it was a hard decision for me to make because I do have two small kids, ages 6 and 10 … that I home-school. It was hard for me to think of leaving them for up to seven weeks for the competition, but I had the full support of my husband and family and friends to help take care of the kids and the animals.
“It was a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity. We couldn’t pass it up.”
Stevens, who got caught up in the race inadvertently, echoed Reynolds’ sentiments.
“I think it was a remarkable event for Amarillo … and United Supermarkets,” he said. “I have to work Sunday … but I’m excited to see it, so I may have to find a recorder.”