The Toledo truck heads to the Food Network finale

Maybe Cheese Born With It’s David Gedert (FOH) tries to get more customers in Laguna Beach as seen in The Great Food Truck Race Season 15. Photo Credit: Food Network.

Sugar Vermonte is outspoken. She didn’t expect her food truck to make it to the finals of The Great Food Truck Race when filming for its season began in March.

“In the very first episode, in the very first challenge, we couldn’t figure out how to light our burners. So I would say, no, we didn’t know we were going to go all the way,” Vermonte joked.

Sugar Vermonte (center) with fellow Maybe Cheese Born with It team members Mahogany Reign (l) and Keith Logue. Photo credit: Food Network.

Things have a funny way of working, though. Vermonte — Toledoan’s drag alter ego David Gedert — has opened his new food truck Maybe cheese was born with it just last summer. She never would have thought that after only a few months in business, she and her team would be on a reality show on national television. She never thought they would go far in the competition. And she absolutely never thought they would make it all the way to the final.

They did it. Last Sunday, during the penultimate episode of The Great Food Truck RaceIn the 15th season of , it was revealed that Maybe Cheese Born with It was one of two trucks that would take part in the show’s final episode, which aired Sunday, July 24 at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.

“It was absolutely overwhelming to hear Tyler [Florence, host of Great Food Truck Race] announce our names for the final,” Vermonte said. “We came into this competition with very little experience under our belt and we were definitely the underdogs. We were up against teams that had…decades of experience, Michelin cooking experience and awards. And we’re just a little macaroni and cheese drag queen truck that could, and we kept huffing. It really seemed to validate that all the incredibly hard work we put in as a team paid off.

Finishing line

Host Tyler Florence presents the first challenge of “The Hottest Season Ever” where teams would have to create a spicy dish using one of the peppers on the table next to him, as seen on The Great Food Truck Race, Season 15.

Maybe Cheese Born with It — “the FIRST food truck owned by a drag queen in the Midwest,” which serves specialty macaroni and cheese — will compete with Señoreata, a plant-based Cuban food truck based in Los Angeles. The winning truck will receive $50,000.

“I knew we had a great strategy going on, and I was confident in it and in our abilities and in our product,” Vermonte said. “But it was a big part of the imagination to think we were going to go all the way. But damn it, we made it!

Learning how to light the burners in their truck was just one of many challenges for Vermonte and her crew while filming last March. The week-long shoot for the show proved a grueling experience, with crews working “100 hours a week”, she said.

“The whole time we were there, we only had one day off, in total. I got up every morning at 4 a.m. to do my makeup. It was just very grueling and very exhausting , both mentally and physically, to be ‘on’ 100% of the time,” Vermonte said.

“It’s reality TV, and something like every 250 minutes they film, one minute goes on screen. So you never know what will be used. So the goal was to give 100% every minute, and that was really exhausting in every way. But we did, and it’s amazing.

READ OUR ORIGINAL INTERVIEW FROM JUNE: Drag Racing: Toledo’s Food Truck Appears on Food Network Series

Authentic

Tyler Florence, seen in The Great Food Truck Race, season 15.

With so much footage squeezed into a weekly television hour, there can be some uncertainty for a show’s cast members as to how they will be portrayed on screen. But Vermonte – who has watched the show since its debut – said she was happy with how it appeared to viewers.

“While we were there, we were all authentically ourselves. And everything we did or said, we did or said,” she said.

“Of course, there are some things you wish they would show, and then some things you’re surprised they would show. [have] show. But overall, super happy.”

One thing that might not be so clear from watching the show is the camaraderie that can form between contestants. Vermonte said the Maybe Cheese Born with It team became very close with the Señoreata team, as they were the two groups that were there from the very start of the competition until the very end.

“It’s great, we still talk to them today. Of course we wanted to win and we did everything we could to win, just like them. But the competition was still very friendly between us.

Local support

Since returning home from filming, the Maybe Cheese Born with It crew have taken care of numerous stops at local events and businesses. The crew was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and positive feedback they received from the Toledo community.

“It’s so humbling and rewarding,” Vermonte said. “People approach us at the grocery store and stop us at the bank and the post office. It’s amazing and humbling, and I promise you I’m still a trash fire, so don’t admire me too much!

The company isn’t slowing down until the grand finale of The Great Food Truck Race broadcast on Sundays. Maybe Cheese Born with It will be at the Wood County Museum Thursday, doll salon at Sylvania on Friday, and at Coffee Grindhrs on Adams St. on Saturdays. Then the team will be there for a Finale Viewing Party on Sunday at The brick bar on Madison Ave., 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Win or lose, what happens from there? Well, as Vermonte herself might say, the sky’s the limit, honey.

“There’s so much demand and so much love locally that maybe I see a second truck in our future,” she said. “I also see a brick and mortar [restaurant] Coming soon. What Chipotle did for the burrito, we want to do for the mac and cheese.

About Debra D. Johnson

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