NAMPA —Three Idaho residents, including a veteran, an electrician and a Nampa Chamber of Commerce official, are competing in the 10th season of “The Great Food Truck Race” on Food Network.
“The Great Food Truck Race” is a competition show where nine teams compete in a series of challenges to win $50,000. Every week, one team is eliminated. The first episode of season 10 aired Sunday, and it featured some familiar faces to Idaho.
Craig Smith, a veteran who works as a chef at Tower Grill in Nampa, said he and his wife have been talking about opening a food truck for a long time. He said she was the one who signed him up for the show.
Once he found out he was going on the show, he started contacting people who might be interested in being on his team. He reached out to electrician Kyle Mower, who he knew through mutual friends, and Nampa Chamber of Commerce director of community relations Steve Weston, who he knew through catering events. Both were excited by the opportunity.
Though the three men come from different backgrounds, they all share a passion for cooking. Weston and Mower said they started cooking when they were children, as the primary cooks for their families. Smith said his passion didn’t begin until after he left the military, when cooking became an escape.
“I don’t say now ‘I have to go to work,’” Smith said. “I get to go to work.”
On the show, the team ran a food truck called “Frank n Slides,” which was provided by Food Network. The truck specialized in gourmet hotdogs and sliders with specialty sauces. Smith said he is still considering whether or not he wants to keep the food truck running in Idaho.
Weston and Mower said they would support Smith in whatever he decided to do, but are not planning to work with him directly on it. Weston has published his own cookbook, “In the Wild Chef,” for cooking outdoors, and is working on a second.