Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Great Food Truck Race rolled into the Old Port Saturday night as the final two teams in the Food Network show went head-to-head in the finale competition, hoping to win $50,000 and their own food truck.
Nonna’s Kitchenette, which specializes in Italian food, was parked outside Joseph’s on Fore Street earler tonight selling meatballs, fried ravioli, Italian sweet balls, and other foods that were specialties of the contestants’ grandmother.
Jaclyn Kolsby, one of three women running the truck, stood outside drumming up business like a carnival barker. She said they planned to be there until around 9 tonight, and might be back on Sunday.
“I don’t know whether we’re going to be here tomorrow or not,” she said. “It’s always up in the air. It’s part of the competition. We may be here tomorrow, or we may go to a different city.”
Here's Jaclyn talking to the camera:
Working inside the truck were Lisa Nativo and Jessica Stambach.
Their competition, Seoul Sausage, a Korean BBQ truck from Los Angeles, was expected to arrive outside Gritty McDuff’s between 8 and 9 p.m. They were three hours behind Nonna’s because the ladies – who are apparently the first all-female team to make it to the finals – beat them in a food truck challenge in Boston yesterday.
“We were working with lobster,” Kolsby said. “We had to come up with a traditional lobster dish from Boston. We won the challenge, so we were able to come up here three hours earlier than the other team.”
As Kolsby and I talked, a bachelorrette party marched by and Kolsby went into barker mode.
“Hold on a minute,” she said to me. “‘Hi guys, we’re in a major food truck competition. We’re one of the top two teams left. We came all the way from Los Angeles. I can see you’re celebrating something wonderful, can we get you soooomethiiinnnng?”
“A shot!” one of the bridesmaids yelled back, making the crowd break into laughter.
Here’s their menu:
Italian Waffle Cookie Ice Cream $6
Italian Sweet Balls $5
Nonna’s Meatball Madness $9
East Coast Ice Cream Float $5
Fried Raviolis, Nonna’s Sauce $7
Kolsby said the competitors see the judges three times in a city – when they arrive, in the middle of their stay, and when they leave – and they see host Tyler Florence twice. She said the winner of the season they’re filming will be chosen this weekend, whether it’s in Portland or elsewhere.
“It’s very stressful,” she said. “We are exhausted, but it is extremely worth it. This is our dream to have a food truck. We’re here to fulfill it, and we’ll do whatever it takes to get there, which is probably why we’re in the top two. Because we’ve worked really hard.”
Then she went back to drumming up customers.
“Hi! We’re in a food truck competition! We’re from New Jersey! We’d really love your support!”
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod