BY LEEANNE GRIFFIN | CTNow.com
How would you like to see your favorite local food truck journey across the country – on television? Your votes can make that happen.
The Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race” Season 2 premieres Aug. 14, with host Tyler Florence. In the meantime, producers are searching for future food trucks to traverse the United States, competing in weekly challenges to “convince Americans to step outside their culinary comfort zones.” The last truck standing at the end of the competition wins $100,000.
So far, six Connecticut trucks have been nominated: Caseus Cheese Truck, Cupcake Truck and Firedog of New Haven; Torrington-based Rocket Fine Street Food; Fairfield County-based Skinny Pines Brick-Oven Catering and Gmonkey Mobile of Durham and Hartford. (If you don’t see your favorite truck here, nominations are still open until Aug. 5.)
Despite the daunting concept, nominated food truck owners say they’re ready to go.
“I actually think we’d do fine [in the competitions],” said Skinny Pines owner Jeff Borofsky, whose wood-fired mobile oven turns out pizzas with local, seasonal ingredients. Their specialty dough is made with flour sourced from Wild Hive Farm and Bakery in Clinton Corners, N.Y. “It would be fun to travel the country bringing our pizza to several different states. I see it being a challenge as we wouldn’t necessarily be able to use our flour!”
“We’re excited about being nominated,” said Ami Beach Shadle of Gmonkey, who said she and her husband/co-owner, Mark, have been fans of the show since its first season. Gmonkey debuted in May, serving healthy, organic vegetarian and vegan fare at stops like Bushnell Park, the Billings Forge Farmers Market and the Durham Farmers’ Market.
“We are the underdogs, being that we’re so new, but we feel like our clientele is so passionate about the vegetarian movement that a lot of people would vote for us.”
Beach Shadle recognizes that the truck’s mission would require extra efforts on the show, which she described as “a combination of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Amazing Race.'”
“We’d want to stay true to what [Gmonkey] is; we wouldn’t want to compromise that to be on the show,” she said. “But it would make for good television. I don’t think there’s been a vegetarian truck on there to date.”
Once nominations close, voting begins Aug. 14 and continues through Sept. 12. Users are allowed to vote once daily. The food truck receiving the most votes at that time will be named “America’s Favorite,” winning $10,000 and the opportunity to appear on the show’s third season. Learn more about the “Great Food Truck Race” at foodnetwork.com.