Seattle: Where Ya At Matt Intent on Winning Food Network Contest

By Hanna Raskin | Seattle Weekly

Popular Creole food truck Where Ya At Matt is running a relentless social media campaign to claim first prize in a Food Network contest, but it’s still not entirely clear what the mobile operation needs to do to win.

The online contest is a promotion for The Great Food Truck Race, a Tyler Florence-hosted reality competition that this weekend returned for its second season. Seth Hyman, a spokesman for the show, has spent four days trying to clarify contest procedure without success.

“Unfortunately, I was not able to get the info,” Hyman e-mailed yesterday in response to an inquiry sent Monday. “As soon as I have it, I will send your way, just to be safe, but I am not sure when it will come my way.”

Among the things Hyman still doesn’t know is how a winner will be chosen.

“The rules are a bit vague,” says Lorraine Goldberg, who’s running Where Ya At Matt’s campaign.

According to the contest website’s fine print, the truck which collects the most online and text votes by Sept. 12 will win $10,000 (although serial supporters who file more than 10 votes in one day can be barred from voting for the duration of the contest.) In the event of a tie, a judge will score contenders on a 100-point creativity scale, and the top-rated truck will be named the winner. Trucks can be declared ineligible if operators attempt to obtain “votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including, without limitation, offering prizes or other inducements to members of the public.”

Where Ya At Matt is offering free beignets for a week if it wins the contest.

“Why are we so vested in the race?,” Goldberg asks rhetorically by e-mail. “Obviously it helps give attention on a national and local level to the truck, plus the cash prize would be nice. Matt is already plotting ways to re-invest that money into the truck.”

Where Ya At Matt, the only Seattle truck actively campaigning for a win, is currently ranked fourteenth out of more than 200 trucks; Where’s Lloyd, a burrito truck from Buffalo, N.Y., has amassed the most votes thus far.

The Where Ya At Matt crew is confident it can crack the top ten.

“We have a very strong following in Seattle,” Goldberg says. “We offer the best Creole food in Seattle, hands down.”