Mystikka Masala brings its bold flavor back to The Great Food Truck Race, interview

Andrew Pettke of Mystikka Masala as seen on the Great Food Truck Race, Season 13. Photo provided by Food Network
Andrew Pettke of Mystikka Masala as seen on the Great Food Truck Race, Season 13. Photo provided by Food Network /

When Mystikka Masala earned its keys by winning The Great Food Truck Race Season 12, many people found the food truck’s fusion food as exciting as their flare for turning the food truck experience into an event. As the fan favorite food truck returns to Food Network competition, The Great Food Truck Race: All-Stars, the trio hopes to find victory yet again. In a recent conversation with FoodSided, the food truck explains why this return to the Food Network competition continues to fuel their mission.

Winners of The Great Food Truck Race have covered all types of food and personalities. While each team has earned their success, their uniqueness and their ability to connect with fans helped them earn the title. Similar to a great restaurant, the food on the plate is only part of the story.

For Mystikka Masala, there was always a nod to the flamboyant. From the brightly colored truck to the blend of Indian and Tex-Mex flavors, this food truck was always willing to shine brightly. It would never shrink into the corner.

What makes Mystikka Masala a successful food truck?

Viewers of the Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race remember that Mystikka Masala made a big statement in both flavor and personality. In some ways, that balance was part of their success.

They said, “Our flavors and our personality are both SPICY and BOLD! Our unique take on Indian-Tex-Mex fusion, combined with our message of inclusion, diversity, fabulousness, and our welcoming Texas-born spirit all played major roles in our success!”

Since this food truck team is all about blending cultures, it is important for the team to continue that story. They said, “Our food represents our team and our Drag Queen namesake, Mystikka Masala! We bring in Navin’s (aka Mystikka’s) traditional Indian cuisine, and combined with the authentic taste of Texas, Tex-Mex, we’ve created an extremely unique, and very tasty, cuisine that foodies flock to! It’s been a great way to introduce people to Indian food with more-familiar foods, creating menu hits like our Signature Tikkadillas or Tikka Nachos with our savory, spicy and creamy Tikka Queso!

Although some mainstream restaurants might not have adopted the Tikkadillas yet, the popularity of this fusion food is on the rise. As more foodies appreciate that there are more similarities versus differences on the plate, people are becoming more inclusive with their food choices. It is no longer just Mexican food Mondays. Now, those Tikka Nachos put the focus on great tasting food, not the food label.

In many ways, Mystikka Masala is all about showcasing food creativity. Bland and boring are two adjectives that are never part of the conversation.

Mystikka Masala serves love on a plate.

They said, “Just like a DRAG QUEEN performance, our cuisine likes to PUT ON A SHOW! Out of the gate, our food is anything but boring or predictable with our unique Indian-Tex-Mex fusion – but it’s the love, care and quality ingredients that we put into every dish that really makes our food a standout! We love hearing our customers rave about the food that comes off the truck, and they love getting a COMPLIMENTARY DRAG QUEEN NAME with every order – so there’s an added element of fun, even in the ordering process!”

While this food truck looks to continue to grow its following and business, the team appreciates that it has to adapt. From food delivery to other options, being able to pivot is key.

Candidly, Mystikka Masala shared, “We think smart operators embrace technology, like these delivery services, when applicable. There are ways food trucks can still benefit from food delivery services, but I think people will be ready to soon-return to dining out, at a truck, and enjoying the outdoors and fresh air.”

As the food truck continues to look ahead, returning to The Great Food Truck Race All Stars was a welcome invitation for the team. They shared, “Aside from the amazing promotion and exposure the show provides to any of the food trucks that have competed, the Great Food Truck Race gives all participants, winners or not, an amazing platform for them to show off their culinary skills, menus and personalities. For us, we had great exposure (unfortunately for us, our season aired during the start of the pandemic lock-down and closures), and although we had to close all of our operations due to Covid, the show undoubtedly reaches a ton of people, and exposed a lot people to a Gay/Drag Queen food truck. And, for us, showing positive LGBTQ diversity on any network, is a win. We were blessed with a great following of LGBTQAI+ fans, our amazing Texas supporters, and tons of other fabulous customers – and made lifelong friends & connections all throughout the amazing journey!”

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Whether Mystikka Masala earns victory again or not, the truth is that this food truck team will leave a lasting impression on the food world. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a complimentary Drag Queen Name to remember that food experience. Wonder what FoodSided’s name would be?

The Great Food Truck Race All Stars airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Episodes will be available on Discovery+ streaming services.