PROVO, Utah — A pioneer in Utah’s thriving food truck scene will be going beyond state lines beginning Aug. 23 when Adam Terry’s Waffle Love competes on Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”
Entering its sixth season, “The Great Food Truck Race,” a reality competition show, has selected seven food trucks from around the country to travel Route 66 selling their fares and competing in challenges. The season will start in Santa Monica, California, and end in Chicago. The last team standing wins $50,000.
Terry said it was a “dream come true” to compete on the show, and he's had "The Great Food Truck Race" in his sights since Waffle Love was born. He started selling his unique Liege waffles out of a truck in 2012. Terry's was the first food truck in Provo.
When Terry began operating his first truck, customers would often tell him he should be on “The Great Food Truck Race.” However, Terry was busy keeping his business alive and hadn’t seen the series. When he got a chance to watch, he agreed with his customers.
“The first time I saw the show I thought, ‘Man, we have got to get on the show,’” he said.
In recent seasons, though, “The Great Food Truck Race” was using only hopeful food truck owners instead of professional owners like Terry who were already running trucks. So there was no time to spare when the team at Waffle Love learned that season six would be a competition between professional food trucks, making them eligible to apply.
“We found out about the whole thing and applied two weeks before their production started,” he said. “So it was really cool how we made it on, just in the nick of time.”
Though Waffle Love now has multiple trucks in Utah, one in Arizona, a store in Provo and a store set to open soon in Gilbert, Arizona, the Waffle Love story has been full of obstacles, according to Terry in a 2014 Deseret News article.
Terry made a somewhat unusual career change from banker to waffle chef, and it took a lot of work to start the first food truck in Utah County. Having grown up in a family of 14 children, Terry has used the skills of members of his family in varying aspects of the business.
His first task was to perfect his recipe for Belgian waffles, which required several attempts.
“The waffle recipe itself took a lot of trial and error, I think about a dozen experiments with my family,” Terry said. “They were kind of sick of my waffles by then, but then when I finally nailed it, I got it right.”
His wife created Waffle Love’s distinctive branding, and two of his brothers compete with him on “The Great Food Truck Race.”
“It’s fun to have family working side by side on a cool project like this,” he said.
Terry is confident in his product. He and the Waffle Love team welcomed the opportunity to share their waffle ideas with a new audience, and Terry said the general response was very positive.
“It was totally rad," he said. "It was just a lot of fun."
On the road, the food-truck entrepreneurs are given specific challenges and tasked to adapt their cuisine to fit different requirements in the cities they visit. For example, the first episode will have contestants creating unique versions of fish and chips, according to foodnetwork.com. Terry acknowledged that it sometimes became tough for a truck that normally sells only waffles.
“I think people will be excited to see the different kind of dishes that we were able to come up with, a specific, only-waffle truck,” Terry said. “We got creative. Let’s put it like that.”
Season six of “The Great Food Truck Race” features six episodes, the first of which premieres Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. MDT on Food Network. Waffle Love will compete against an Italian sandwich truck from New York, burger and Central American food trucks from California, a dumpling truck from North Carolina, an Arizona curry truck and a Texas truck serving Cuban-American food.
Terry is eager for the show to air and thankful for the experience of competing.
“Just getting on it is a huge blessing, something that was like a dream for us,” he said. “It will be super exciting to see how well we do — for everyone, I think — and I think it will bring us a lot of good exposure.”