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Food truck hopefuls on coast-to-coast culinary trip of a lifetime in 'The Great Food Truck Race'

by jmaloni

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Thu, Jul 17th 2014 10:15 am
`The Chatty Chicken` (Food Network photo)
"The Chatty Chicken" (Food Network photo)

Tyler Florence returns as host

"The Great Food Truck Race" is back for a fifth season this summer, with a brand-new cast of food truck hopefuls on a high-stakes culinary road trip with a new route from sunny Southern California to the beaches of Key West, Florida.

These contenders are not current food truck operators - they are eight teams of rookies who have food skills, fresh concepts, an entrepreneurial spirit and the dream to one day own a food truck business. Each three-person team is provided a vehicle for the race, but only the grand-prize winner gets to keep the food truck and a $50,000 cash prize to start a business.

From Sonoran hot dogs in Tucson, Arizona, and Austin's turbo-charged food scene in Texas to Oklahoma City burgers, hand-rolled ravioli in St. Louis and Alabama's shrimpin' country in Mobile, each team's cooking and sales strategies are put to the test in city-specific challenges in every location.

Hosted by Tyler Florence, the seven-episode series premieres Sunday, Aug. 17, at 9 p.m.

This season's teams are: Beach Cruiser (Venice, California) Chatty Chicken Truck (Chattanooga, Tennessee), Gourmet Graduates (Providence, Road Island), Let There Be Bacon (Cleveland), Lone Star Chuck Wagon (Houston), Madres Mexican Meals (Norwalk, California), Middle Feast (Los Angeles) and Military Moms (Fort Drum).

In the first episode, the eight teams arrive in Santa Barbara, and Florence greets them each with their own customized food truck, but only the winning team will walk away with the keys and $50,000 in cash.

In the first challenge, the teams must define their brands and create a signature dish to sell in Santa Barbara. After an afternoon of sales, Florence sends them to Venice Beach where their dishes are tasted by Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis of Cousins Maine Lobster, a top Los Angeles food truck. The rookies quickly learn running a food truck is much harder than it looks, and the seven surviving teams realize they are in for the ride of their lives as they continue to battle it out for the ultimate prize.

From the west coast starting point, the route then takes the teams to Tucson, Austin, Oklahoma City, St. Louis and Mobile - leading up to a tri-city Florida finale in Tampa, Naples and Key West.

For even more food trucks, viewers can visit FoodNetwork.com/FoodTrucks for photo galleries, blogs and video clips.

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