Korilla BBQ on ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ – Week 3

by David “Rek” Lee

Gawee Bawee Boh!

Yes, moments like these are why we’re following Korean American competitors, Korilla BBQ, on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. In week three, the teams are forced to make a tough decision: pick one team member to run the truck alone while the other two are forced to watch.

Some team leaders, such as those from HodgePodge and Seabirds, owned up to the task while others, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Lime Truck, assessed individual skills. Korilla BBQ exercised the only proper decision-making device there is: Rock, Paper, Scissors (Gawee Bawee Boh). Some might consider that taking the challenge lightly, but we Korean Americans know the sanctity of this ritual.

After the jump, read this week’s behind-the-scenes roundtable to find out what the guys thought about Denver, the untold legend of M-Mart’s Mr. Lee, and some other ways being a KA worked to their advantage.

Note: Third team member, Stephan Park, could not make it to the discussion this week.


Edward Song: Denver is actually a huge foodie town. It’s like a very clean and modern Brooklyn.
Paul Lee: Denver was when we first got hit with crazy lines. We didn’t work as long in Salt Lake or Vegas. Social media blew up the show, so it was like an event for the people in town.

This week’s truck stop challenge involved mushroom foraging with Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts and preparing a mushroom-based dish for Colorado restaurateur Frank Bonnano.

Paul: We got second place.
Edward: You saw how that dude reacted. ‘WOW,’ he said.
Paul: He loved it.
KoreAm: Who came up with that?
Edward: Paul’s mom, she’s a great cook.
Paul: Recipe via text.
Edward: Also, production planted mushrooms that they bought from Whole Foods in the forest. Denver does not have porcini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, etc.

Lime Truck won an interview with a local radio station to promote themselves being in town and Korilla foresaw the prize working against them.

Edward: There was no benefit to winning that Truck Stop challenge. When they announced the prize, we all knew it would eat away into their prep time.

This week host Tyler announced none of the trucks would be receiving any seed money, aside from Lime Truck who won the challenge. Korilla saw the other teams borrowing money but they never showed what Korilla did to solve this problem.

Paul: We got our product on credit from a Korean ajushi who hooked us up like crazy.
Edward: Mr. Lee at M-Mart a.k.a. H-Mart’s younger brother. H-mart’s got nothing on this O.G.
Paul: He samchoon‘ed us up. (Ed. note: Konglish = Looked out for us like an uncle)
Edward: Word, he took us to school. He taught us there are three things in business. 1. Working like a family, 2. Customer service and 3. High profit margin. This is what we live by now.
KoreAm: Wow, that’s a real ajushi. Did he have a toenail clipper on his keychain?
Edward: Nah bro, this dude would probably just use his sushi knife to cut his nails. This ajushi survived a liver and kidney transplant.
Paul: He was one of those hard-workers that got sh-t done but still got his golf in on the weekends. And drivin’ his Benz.

Retired quarterback John Elway issued this week’s Speed Bump Challenge requiring all teams to choose one member to operate the truck by themselves. Korilla BBQ played Rock Paper Scissors to pick their man.

KoreAm: Was it your first thought to do that?
Paul: Yeah.
Edward: Yeah, that was the realest moment on the show.
Paul: We also decided that whoever mans the truck will keep the revenue for that day.
Edward: Steve made gwap!
KoreAm: So you guys turned something that should’ve felt like a heavy burden into an incentive-based game?
Edward: Nah, not really. It was straight gawee bawee boh, then Steve being the hustler that he is made us give up all the money.

After breezing through their Speed Bump challenge, the Korilla truck packed up and headed to where Cafe Con Leche was set up.

Edward: They were our peoples.
KoreAm: How did you guys know to go there?
Edward: Gabe from Cafe Con Leche invited us.
Paul: Told us to come through.
Edward: Roxy (Grilled Cheese) just followed uninvited and Maria was drunk. Maria loves her tequila.
KoreAm: So the show created that rivalry.
Edward: Yeah, made it look like we were creeping up but Cafe Con Leche was our boys.
KoreAm: So you don’t feel a little responsible for them losing?
Paul: Nope.
Edward: Ooh that’s harsh. Thing is, before elimination, Cafe was confident they beat out the Seabirds. In fact, rumor was that Seabirds were out. We were all confident Cafe made it.

We learn Steuben’s is one of the best restaurants in Denver and they also have their own truck.

Edward: They were contacted by Hodge Podge and Lime Truck first but then we realized Steuben’s was run by a Korean American named Doc. So later that day, we got in contact with Doc and he was like, if my mom was to ever find out that I didn’t help out these cool Korean dudes, she would beat him.

Twitter/Facebook questions answered!
Next week, include @korillaBBQ and @KoreAm during the episode and get your questions answered. Also ask questions on Korilla’s Facebook here.

@xjennyoh: 가위바위보?? LOL seriously!!!??? @KorillaBBQ
Korilla BBQ: Yes Jenny. That’s how Koreans make decisions

@Soul4wheels: @KorillaBBQ is the weekend 3 or 2 days??
Korilla BBQ: Sales goes for 2 days and grinding whatever way possible on our off times.

@mobilefoodnews Have got to say that you guys have the best reactions during those interview sessions on GFTR!! So NY!
Korilla BBQ: Yay New York!