Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chris Hodgson Finishes Close Second in Great Food Truck Race

Cleveland chef Chris Hodgson, of Dim and Den Sum fame, and his newest truck, Hodge Podge Truck, made it to Sunday's finale of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”

Dishing out lunches and dinners in cities from Vegas to Miami, competing against trucks from all over the country, Hodgson came in second against the Lime Truck from Orange County, Calif. Hodgson represented Cleveland and its burgeoning food truck scene well. We caught up with him today to hear about his cross-country journey.

Cleveland Magazine: What was the experience like, outside of what made the air?

Chris Hodgson: A lot of us were actually friends. We were all hanging out together. Jason and Jesse from the Lime Truck were absolutely stand-out characters and phenomenal chefs. It was a lot of work.

CM: Show host Tyler Florence referred to you as a fierce competitor. What is it about being from Cleveland that made you such a fierce competitor?

CH: We’re Midwesterners; we don’t ever quit. Clevelanders never quit. When they asked me what would winning mean, I said I’d finally get to bring home a championship to Cleveland. It wasn’t “I want money.” I wanted to do something great for my city. Cleveland’s got unbelievable people with unbelievable drive who are going to do everything in their power and keep fighting to the end. I love this place.

CM: The way the show was edited, it looked like you guys lost by such a slim margin. Was that how it went down?

CH: We actually made the money faster. We just couldn’t get there before them. We were parked about 45 minutes away. They were parked about 10 minutes from the beach.

CM: The other trucks were run by people who were either friends, or business partners. A few of the trucks even had two chefs. You had your sister and your girlfriend. What made you decide to take them?

CH: Oh, I didn’t.

CM: Who did?

CH: The Food Network — I applied with my chefs, yo! (laughs)

CM: Are you glad they decided to send them along with you?

CH: Absolutely, because my girlfriend and my sister are huge supporters for me. Not just on the truck, but emotionally.

CM: Aside from not coming out on top, would you change anything?

CH: Nothing. I was a winner, baby. I was a winner. I went 3,500 miles with the two girls that I love the most.

Check out our story on Hodgson from the May 2011 issue here.

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