Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

It’s a Wrap: Food Network crews finish taping episode of reality show in Jonesborough

Downtown Jonesborough looked like a Hollywood movie set this weekend, as crews from the Food Network filmed scenes for “Lunch Wagon Wars,” a reality show set to premiere on the cable channel in August.
In the show, contestants drive food trucks across the country, competing in challenges based on food and sales at each stop. So far, the trucks have traveled through San Diego, Santa Fe, Fort Worth and New Orleans. Exactly halfway to their next stop in New York was Jonesborough.
Chef Laurent Katgely, who owns San Francisco restaurant Chez Spencer and food truck ‘Spencer on the Go!,’ was one of three contestants remaining out of the original seven.
He began his food truck business in San Francisco about a year ago as a joke, but it turned out to be successful in getting business — and in getting some national publicity on a reality show. The Food Network called him in September to offer him a spot on the show.
The other two food trucks that competed in Jonesborough were ‘Grill ‘Em All,’ a heavy metal-themed burger truck, and ‘Nom Nom,’ a Vietnamese food truck.
Contestants had to shop locally on Friday for ingredients to make their cuisine.
Kategly gave Bistro 105 Chef Todd Dawn a call on Thursday to help strategize about local shopping, produce and cuisine.
Not only is the challenge about the food, but “it’s also about marketing in Jonesborough,” Kategly said. “We change our food in every city. In New Orleans, we served grits with a French twist.”
This weekend in Jonesborough, Kategly’s truck served fried green tomatoes with a remoulade sauce, a nod to Southern cooking.
Jonesborough resident Ren Allen made a stop at the Nom Nom truck on Sunday.
She had a banh mi sandwich with tofu, carrots, cucumbers and jalapenos.
“It’s so good,” she said. “Very Californian.”
Allen said she chose the Vietnamese-themed truck because it seemed the most original, the freshest, and had the most vegetarian options.
“They’re very much doing their own thing,” she said. “The line was a mile long. We were just happy to get some of their food.”
Wherever the food trucks went, crowds followed.
On Friday, film crews shot Food Network chef and host Tyler Florence welcoming the three teams of contestants to Jonesborough. The trucks sold food throughout the evening to Music on the Square-goers and other visitors to the Town.
The trucks were mysteriously absent during the day on Saturday, despite crowds of people having showed up in anticipation.
When two trucks showed up around 6 p.m., they were swarmed with customers, who later found out the trucks had spent the day in Elizabethon competing in a challenge.
Hungry visitors got another chance to sample the food trucks’ fare on Sunday, when all three trucks parked on Main Street for most of the day and into the evening.
Monday, the crews shot the elimination ceremony in downtown Jonesborough.
As a make-up artist worked to get Florence ready for more on-camera work Monday morning, he talked with H&T Executive Editor Kristen Swing about his visit to Tennessee’s Oldest Town.
“The location has been phenomenal,” said the Greenville, S.C. native. “This is like a real slice of American pie.”
Florence, who stayed at the Eureka Inn, said Jonesborough “really came out” to support the show.
While here, Florence said he dined at Bistro 105 one evening for dinner and enjoyed a cup of coffee from The Cranberry Thistle.
“I think this is a great place to live,” Florence said. “It’s the heartland of our country.”