ST. PETERSBURG — Two food trucks will battle this weekend in the Tampa Bay area, with $50,000 and a new food truck as the grand prize.
The contest may or may not be filmed for a popular culinary-themed TV network that has showcased a food truck series hosted by celebrity chef Tyler Florence since 2010. Competition rules and strict contract language prohibit the trucks from mentioning “The Great Food Truck Race” and “Food Network” during the filming of the show, according to an assistant producer from the show.
But if it was a secret, the trucks were doing a terrible job keeping quiet.
On Wednesday, The Middle Feast truck from Los Angeles and the Lone Star Chuck Wagon from Phoenix, Arizona, tweeted, Instagrammed and Facebooked to their followers and fans that they were headed to Tampa from their previous stop in Mobile, Alabama. The trucks outlasted six other rivals in cities such as St. Louis and Tucson, Arizona, to get to the finals.
The show’s format rewards the top-sellers at each city. Along the way, the truck operators and chefs are given a series of challenges that make their task more difficult. The trucks that bring the biggest totals move on to the next city.
Jeremy Gomez, operator of Tampa-based event organizer Generation Food Truck, said Wednesday he was contacted by Lone Star Chuck Wagon about hosting the truck at his rally from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday outside Georgie’s Alibi, 3100 Third Ave. N., in St. Petersburg.
To track the trucks’ exploits and see where they eventually set up to serve food, follow Middle Feast at @midfeasttruck and Lone Star at @lschuckwagon on Twitter. Both trucks also post updates on Facebook.