Great Food Truck Race final 3 includes NJ pasta food truck

The Garden State loves its food trucks, but the biggest New Jersey food truck success story of 2022 is 3,000 miles away in California.

Six episodes into Season 15 of the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” three young entrepreneurs from ESO Artisanal Pasta in Morristown are among the final three teams hungry to claim the $50,000 grand prize going into Sunday’s penultimate episode.

“At this point, we found new life,” said Matt McFadden, who teams with his lifelong friend, AJ Sankofa, and Sankofa’s fiancée Kristin Gambarian on the ESO truck. “There was a little bit of exhaustion in the middle [of the season] because we were trying to figure out how to get over the hump. But once we finally started hitting our groove, it was exciting. We felt we were trending toward the top.”

Team ESO Artisanal Pasta - head chef AJ Sankofa, sous chef Kristina Gambarian and partner Matt McFadden - shop at the grocery store for their first day of selling, as seen on "The Great Food Truck Race," Season 15.

ESO is vying for the final prize against Maybe Cheese Born With It, a mac-and-cheese focused team from Toledo, Ohio, helmed by drag queen Sugar Vermonte, and SENOREATA, a Cuban cuisine catering company from Los Angeles. The second-to-last episode of “The Great Food Truck Race” will air on Sunday at 9 p.m. on the Food Network.

McFadden joined the company in January and “by late February I’m on a plane to California,” he said in an interview earlier this year. “Great Food Truck Race” producers learned about ESO’s story and invited the Morris restaurateurs to compete, even though the young makers and retailers of fresh, high-end pasta had never operated a food truck.

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