Morristown’s ESO Artisanal Pasta competes on the small screen.
AJ Sankofa and his fiancée Christina Gambaryan have been running the homemade pasta business since 2020. Sankofa’s childhood friend Matt McFadden joined the ESO team earlier this year. ESO is now in Food Network’s The big food truck racewhose premiere was on June 5.
In the series, ESO competes with eight other food trucks across the country for the grand prize of $ 50,000. The wheeled restaurant is new territory for the ESO team, but that hasn’t stopped Sankofa from participating.
“When opportunities arise, we make sure we take advantage of them, no matter what,” he said New Jersey Monthly.
At the premiere of the season, Sankoff, Gambarian and McFadden made their fresh pasta in the truck and delighted the visitors. ESO moved on to the next round.
“I am 100 percent Italian. I know pasta and these things are amazing, “said one ESO customer on the show.
In connection with the show, ESO is preparing to launch a national online ordering service this month. Fans will be able to order ESO pasta, sauces and desserts from anywhere in the country.
With the online ordering service on the go, Food Network has already raised ESO’s profile. Now Sankofa dreams of the grand prize.
“I win The big food truck race it will change lives, “he said at the show’s premiere. “That way we can maximize our business.”
Viewers can watch the ESO team The big food truck race at the Food Network on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET. The final is scheduled for July 24.
Matt, what was it like joining the ESO team this year?
Matt McFadden: I entered the culinary scene at the end of 2019. At the end of last year, AJ asked me to join ESO. I have definitely settled in and I am comfortable! We are all family here. It was a great experience to be able to join and do The big food truck race.
Did you have an idea for ESO Food Truck before the show came out?
AJ Sankofa: The funny thing is that Christina came up with the idea of a food truck one day and we walked back and forth, weighing the pros and cons. I’m not kidding, when we finished the conversation, I received an email from Food Network. It was crazy.
Image of Christina: I always thought it would be so cool to have a food truck because you never see a food truck for pasta. You can make fresh pasta and show people that really good food can come from a food truck, not just a restaurant.
What was your biggest challenge?
AJS: I would say that the biggest challenge was realizing that making fresh pasta would be very difficult to make day after day. Especially in the short periods of time we had to prepare and start selling. We made a lot of adjustments over the course of the season.
KILOGRAM: Marketing was a bit difficult because we didn’t know where to go next. We had to meet a lot of people and tell them who we are, what we do and gain followers throughout the social network. I think we did pretty well in the end!
What were your biggest statements?
AJS: Personally, I learned that you need to bring more to the table than to be a great cook. It is definitely important for the food network to bring the person behind the food.
KILOGRAM: My favorite moment was probably meeting people and seeing their reactions when they eat our pasta. There was a lady who bought a bowl of pasta from us and came back later with all her friends.
MM: What I’ve learned is that it’s not just important to be good at what you do, it’s important to be able to advertise it. Being in California and seeing things on TV, like production and all that, was a truly unique experience.
Is ESO a food truck in the future of New Jersey?
KILOGRAM: Our idea would be to open a restaurant first and then have a food truck, because we think that’s the smartest way to do it. It is difficult to make fresh pasta on the food truck, so we will need a place to prepare the pasta, and then we will bring it to the truck. This is definitely our goal. In the future, I really hope to be known throughout New Jersey as one of the first pasta trucks!
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