The Great Food Truck Race, Season 3: Behind the Scenes of the Premiere

Get an inside look at the truckers' challenges and relive the most memorable moments from "3,559 Miles to a Dream," the premiere of Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race.
Save Collection

Photo By: Michael Yarish ©2010, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Michael Yarish ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Michael Yarish ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Michael Yarish ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Jeremiah Alley ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Michael Yarish ©2010, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

An Unprecedented Season

Unlike past seasons that recruited industry professionals, this year's eight teams of contestants are brand-new to the world of food trucks, never having owned or worked on a truck before. Competing in the race this season are (L-R) Pop-A-Waffle, Barbie Babes, Coast of Atlanta, Momma's Grizzly Grub, Pizza Mike's, Under the Crust, Nonna's Kitchenette and Seoul Sausage.

High-Stakes Trucking

On the first day of the competition, the contestants arrive in Long Beach, Calif., to meet host Tyler Florence, who reveals this season's ultimate grand prize: $50,000 and permanent ownership of the winning team's truck. Though each team is confident in its plans to win, Tyler warns, "This is going to be the hardest thing you have ever done."

Off to the Race

Before the competition begins, the teams take off running to see their food trucks for the first time. For some this truck is the realization of a years-long dream, while for others it's the chance to leave dead-end jobs and pursue their passion.

Pizza Mike's On-the-Go

After his award-winning Italian restaurant suffered a devastating fire, Mike Evans was forced to close its doors after years in the business. This truck gives him and his friends Pat Snyder and Carlo Borgia a second chance at success. "We're rocking and rolling," Mike says. "We're back in the game."

Brand-New Wheels

For the first time, the teams step inside their very own food trucks and are overcome with excitement and thoughts of their potential futures. Despite their enthusiasm, however, the teams notice that a few key elements are missing from the trucks: supplies and food.

Competitive Shopping

Since the trucks aren't stocked with any food, pans or utensils, the teams visit warehouse stores to pick up crucial supplies, including must-haves required by the Health Department. When Under the Crust loses its list of essentials, Mike of Coast of Atlanta volunteers to share his, much to the dismay of his teammates. "If they don't have their health code information, that's not our problem," Lena says. "This is a game that you play, and you do not assist the opponents."

Destination: Koreatown

For their premiere challenge, the teams race to Los Angeles and attempt to break into the city's vast food truck market. Given their Asian-inspired menu, the guys of Seoul Sausage set their sights on Los Angeles' Koreatown. In no time they are serving burgers and cheese-topped tots to lines of customers. "We're in K-Town," Chris says. "Look at the love we get."

Better Together

Barbie Babes and Pop-A-Waffle choose to park next to one another in the hopes of increasing visibility and attracting more customers. "We wanted to share some Los Angeles love with those ladies," Pop-A-Waffle's Bobaloo says. "You see one truck, that's great, but if you see two trucks, it may boost some business."

Appliance Woes

Unable to light their flattop's pilot light, Barbie Babes resigns to selling only cold vegetable salads, instead of their signature snags — Australian sausages — and burgers. Lucky for them, one of their customers is a chef and able to fix the problem in a flash. "We don't even know why the pilot started. I don't care, though," Hayley says. "It works. Hallelujah."

The First Speed Bump

Just when the teams are settling into a prep-cook-sell routine, each receives a call from Tyler revealing the first Speed Bump: all trucks are to relocate to Hollywood Boulevard, where they will compete against one another for business in a "bumper-to-bumper salesmanship showdown." With a high volume of trucks in such a small vicinity, the teams will have to rely on inventive marketing and top-tier food to attract customers.

Right Place, Right Time

Since Nonna's Kitchenette is already parked on Hollywood Boulevard before Tyler calls, the ladies think they are at an advantage. "We're getting a head start. This is awesome," exclaims Jaclyn.

Free Entertainment

Scott Stanley of Pop-A-Waffle relies on eye-catching dance to woo customers to his team's truck. With fierce food truck rivals on both sides of him, he is willing to do whatever it takes to bring in business.

On-the-Street Advertising

While Pop-A-Waffle uses a live performance to attract customers, Pizza Mike's namesake tells passers-by of his prizewinning food. "Voted number one in the United States," he shouts.

A Buyer's Market

Nearing the end of the challenge, Momma's Grizzly Grub eliminates their menu prices and lets purchasers choose how much to pay. Trying to earn even the most nominal amounts, Angela tells a final customer, "Make me an offer. Give me 50 cents, a dollar — it's yours."

Seoul Sausage Success

In the first elimination of the season, Tyler reveals that despite two days of demanding food-trucking, all but one team has lost money. Seoul Sausage is this week's winning team, earning a whopping $1,896, an almost $400 profit. "I can't believe we won!" Yong says. "I think Mamma Kim's going to be proud."

The Bottom Two

Barbie Babes and Under the Crust make the least amount of money this week, which puts them at risk for early elimination. "It's really a horrible, horrible feeling," Barbie Babes' Hayley says. "I am not ready to go home yet."

Goodbye to Pies

Bringing in earnings of only $195, Under the Crust is sent home after just two days of competition. As an expression of consolation, however, Tyler announces that a $5,000 donation will be made to the American Cancer Society in the name of Keith, Hannah's late fiancé and for whom she has competed. "That would have been a really big deal to Keith," Hannah says. "I think it softens the blow a little bit."