Mouthful

Raleigh food truck wins The Great Food Truck Race

Sophia Woo, Sunny Lin and Becca Ruffin on The Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck, which won season six of the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”
Sophia Woo, Sunny Lin and Becca Ruffin on The Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck, which won season six of the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” Courtesy of the Food Network

A Raleigh food truck, Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck, took home the $50,000 cash prize as season six winner of the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.”

One of the food truck owners, Sunny Lin, woke up Monday morning, relieved to not have to keep the secret anymore.

The trucks wrapped up filming this summer, but the owners were unable disclose how they did until the season finished airing Sept. 27. Lin and truck co-owner, Sophia Woo, finally got to outwardly enjoy the win at a viewing party Sunday night at Blackjack Brewing Co. in Raleigh. “It’s a huge relief,” Lin said. “All I wanted to do was to celebrate.”

So what are they going to do with that $50,000? “We’re looking at how we can grow the business,” Lin said. She later added: “We hope to use the momentum and keep going. If that’s into a [brick-and-mortar] space, that’s awesome.”

Woo and Lin, who met at the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, started the truck in April 2014. The truck, initially called Dump Pho King, serves pho, a Vietnamese soup, and dumplings. The truck rebranded itself as Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck earlier this year before appearing on the show.

When Woo and Lin needed extra help on the truck during food truck rodeos, they often called their high school friend, Becca Ruffin. So when they got cast to do food truck competition show, Ruffin agreed to help.

The threesome’s road to the win had some bumps. In the first episode, their truck had engine trouble, broke down on the side of a highway and had to be towed to the competition site. After the truck was fixed, the challenges didn’t stop there.

In the Triangle, the women know where to park, know their customers and have relationships with breweries and other businesses. During the show, they had to start over in each city where the competition was held, including Sedona, Ariz., Tulsa, Okla. and St. Louis, Mo. The competition routinely pushed the women outside their comfort zone.

“It’s the best business class I could take,” Lin said Monday morning.

The challenges didn’t let up even in the finale. The two finalists – Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck and Waffle Love – had to sell 50 servings in Chicago’s Greektown. Pho Nomenal seemed to have tidily won, quickly selling 50 dishes. Then host Tyler Florence informed them that they had not parked inside Greektown and had to go back and do it again.

The ladies still pulled off the win and made it to the finish line first. To see a clip from the finale, go HERE.

From noon-4:30 p.m. Oct. 4, the truck will be at the Chatham Street Chowdown in Cary. Go HERE to read that story.

For details on where else to find the truck, go to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PhoNomenalDumplings?fref=ts

Weigl: 919-829-4848;

Twitter: @andreaweigl

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