The Great Food Truck Race Season 9 winner went from worst to first


The Great Food Truck Race Season 9 winner was crowned in the finale. Did you predict this outcome when the season premiered?

Only one food truck earned The Great Food Truck Race Season 9 winner title. This Wild West season saw the teams have ups and downs. While some teams seemed to be favorites, nothing is ever predictable in these Food Network competitions. This season had an outcome that no one would have expected on episode one.

The finale opens with the two remaining food trucks, Just Wing It and New England Grill, heading back to Los Angeles. In the first week of competition, the teams had a dismal start to selling in Los Angeles. Hopefully, the two final teams have figured out the key to food truck profitability.

The first challenge had the food trucks create a dish with an uncommon ingredient, chayote. This ingredient is used in some Mexican dishes. Chayote has a flavor that is somewhat hard to describe. It has flavors of melon, but a little riper. Overall, the flavor is mild, but these dishes need to have that flavor stand out.

While New England Grill has an adaptable menu, Just Wild It struggled with this chayote challenge. It is doubtful that the Worst Cooks in America boot camp had chayote on the menu. Actually, Just Wing It had to google the proper prepping technique for this ingredient.

Host tyler Florene and guest host Bricia Lopez sample the Just Wing It Truck Chayote Fritters with Orange Crema and boysenberry jam, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, Season 9. (photo provided by Food Network)

The two chayote dishes were quite different. New England Grill used the chayote in two ways in their taco, which was a smart choice. The different components helped to add both flavor and texture to their taco. The size and filling ratio of the taco was a little off. While it wasn’t perfect, it was a good taco.

Just Wing It chose to make a fritter. The dish went more dessert like than savory. Tyler mentioned that this dish was like something that you would find at a fair. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t stellar. This idea wasn’t necessarily the best choice. A savory application would have been a better choice.

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  • The winning chayote dish was New England Grill’s taco. Their prize was an additional $350 added to their till. But, would this prize be enough to push them to the title?

    Overall, New England Grill seemed to struggle with selling. Their selling locations seemed to have less foot traffic. They kept moving their truck, too. Overall, the team seemed a little out of sorts.

    Just Wing It seemed to have a selling groove. The team knew the area and chose a great location. They have  definitely figured out the salesmanship component to a food truck.

    After the first day of selling, it was hard to tell which truck was in the lead. Just Wing It seemed to have more sales. But, New England Grill won the $350 prize. It could be slightly even going into day two.

    On the second day, there was an additional challenge and the prize was huge. For the team that wins this challenge, Tyler will double the total sales for that dish. At $10 a dish, the additional money could make the difference between winning and losing.

    On their last day of service in the competition, New England Grill team members, Ed Gallagher, Kevin Des Chenes, and Christine Hurley, create and serve fish and chips with roasted Habanero tarter sauce, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, Season 9. (photo provided by Food Network)

    The secret ingredient that the teams had to use was habanero. This secret ingredient works well with both food trucks. But, it probably worked better for Just Wing It. They already had a dish that could substitute habanero for sriracha. It seemed like a good advantage.

    This second challenge provided some great cooking tips. The notion that fire roasting the habanero tames some of the heat was a great tip. Also, Just Wing It used butter to tame the heat of their sauce. Home cooks should remember these cooking tips.

    Both teams seemed to sell well on the final day. Truthfully, Just Wing It seemed to have a little advantage to this challenge because chicken wings are just a little more approachable. Sure, a lobster fritter or a quesadilla is quite tasty, but people crave chicken wings.

    For the second challenge, the winning habanero dish was Just Wing It’s chicken wings. They sold $582 worth of habanero wings, which is a huge figure. Again, both the location and the product made this dish just more popular. It was a smart business choice.

    Just Wing It from The Great Food Truck Race, photo provided by Frank PR

    The Great Food Truck Race Season 9 winner was Just Wing It. The friends and former Worst Cooks in America contestants definitely went from worst to first. It was quite impressive that three guys could go from starting fires to a successful cooking operation. It shows that anyone can learn to cook well if they have the desires and right tools.

    Overall, The Great Food Truck Race Season 9 was a fun season. Watching at the beginning, I never would have guessed that Just Wing It would have won. It was interesting to see how the trucks progressed over this season.

    It will be curious to see if there are more chicken wing food trucks popping up after Just Wing It having a successful season. Chicken wings are popular and have a wide audience. While people might debate ranch or blue cheese, there is mass appeal for this type of food truck.

    One aspect that this season didn’t really show was the hard work that is required for running a food truck. From food prep to clean-up, the success of a great food truck isn’t just selling and tasty food. It is a mobile restaurant operation.

    Congratulations to Just Wing It, The Great Food Truck Season 9 winner, and all the teams who participated in this season.

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    What did you think of this season and its outcome? Should Food Network bring this show back for another season? What type food truck do you think should compete?