Korilla BBQ Booted From 'The Great Food Truck Race'

by David “Rek” Lee

If you’ve been following Korilla BBQ on the Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” these past few weeks, you saw them kicking ass and taking orders. Whatever the challenge, they exceeded expectations by utilizing community partnerships, out-of-the-box thinking, and plain good ol’ barbecue. While other teams struggled to stay in the competition, our guys always placed in the top three. It seemed like only a matter of time before host Tyler Florence handed them their oversized check and they brought the food truck crown back to NY.

And then it was over.

In the beginning of the Week 5 episode which takes place in Memphis, Tenn., the trucks must appease the taste buds of Interstate BBQ owner, Jim Neely in a Truck Stop Challenge. As other trucks scramble to put together their dish, Korilla BBQ is literally shown lounging. We’ve seen this seemingly over-confident attitude before and it was always justified. But this time, Judge Neely disapproves of their dish saying he “didn’t care for it.”

No worries, right? Korilla BBQ is the team who did in fact forfeit a challenge only to come out victorious for it in Week 2.

But when Tyler announces the speed bump, no meat allowed in the food, we begin to worry about whether the guys have any tricks left up their orange sleeves. They don’t. It’s disheartening to watch the customers walk away at the mention of “tofu only”, but what can you expect from a meat-based food truck in a town that loves its meat.

Finally, as the show winds down to a close, Tyler says he has some bad news. Instead of just rattling off the numbers each truck made, he reveals that one of the competitors had broken the rules. Apparently, when the show’s producers counted up the totals, Korilla BBQ had close to $3,000 that didn’t match up to food receipts. They had cheated!

The reaction on Twitter was overwhelming. Hundreds of fans tweeted the truck expressing their disappointment while others showed their support saying there was no reason to watch the show anymore. Others mocked the truck saying they had shamed Koreans and patrons should count their change more carefully. HodgePodge even started selling “Integrity… Learn It” shirts (probably because of last week’s scandalous revelations). All Korilla BBQ could offer in response (due to a six-month non-disclosure agreement which they were reminded of shortly before Sunday’s airing) was, “WE WOULD NEVER CHEAT ON YOU NEW YORK”.

Now, if you’ve been following Korilla BBQ on the Food Truck Race AND on KoreAm for our weekly discussions, you know not everything is what it seems on the show. It’s a shame we can’t have them for our weekly behind-the-scenes discussions when the people need it most, but we’ll be sure to catch up with them in a few months (“1st amendment rights went on a haiatus and won’t be back till Spring,” Korilla BBQ also tweeted).

So, until then, you can distance yourselves away from the shameful acts committed (because three Koreans don’t represent ALL Koreans), or rock the orange and black proudly (because it’s innocent-until-proven-guilty especially if they smell like Korean grill). But there’s no denying the fact, the Korean boys made reality TV really interesting for a while. And by the savory aroma in NYC, they’re still out there spreading their love for Korean cuisine.


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  • http://youtube DAEWOOPARTS

    i was greatly dissapointed at the outcome of this ,” the great foodtruck race” was more like “the great foodtruck disgrace” not on korilla’s part but on the food network for both cutting the meat from a BBQ truck then for embarrasing them on national telivision like that , they didn’t even get a chance to defend themselves? maybe the reciepts where just misplaced or lost , or just not written in? ,its the end of the season from me watching this series ,i will still continue to support korilla and will continue to eat right from there trucks in NYC , i always stood behind them even before the TV gig

  • jayz43

    Hmmm….you think they might have got some coaching from an experienced Hawaii Korean barmaid at a Honolulu hostess bar?!

  • jayz43

    “DAEWOOPARTS: ….i always stood behind them even before the TV gig”

    You can still stand behind them, just stand a little FARTHER behind them.

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  • John

    What happened, Rek? Would the boys not grant you an interview after week 5? Please tell!

  • barf

    When Korilla said the have a “gag order” they meant people gag at their food every time they order it. They are lying losers who embarrassed themselves. Why is everyone blaming they show? The show had no choice but to disqualify them. And my guess is, Korilla just lied to them about cheating, the way they lie to everyone. That’s why nothing aired in their defense. Nothing is their best defense. If they cared about the Koreans they represent, they should kill themselves.

  • watbq

    The $2700 figure was pretty comical to me.

    It doesn’t take an accountant to find a 50% padding of the till. I could have believed $270. There’s more to this story. I think I’d rather believe that the korilla guys are smarter than that (if they were that bad at counting it would have been an issue much sooner), and that the show’s writers think that anyone would believe that a business could think that sort of fraud would pass muster.

    The weirdness, NDAs, and leveraging of this “drama” weakens the Great Food-Truck Race as much as it does Korilla.

  • John

    I don’t get it. Korilla were happy to talk to KoreAm about past episodes after they aired (even divulging some inside info), but now that they’re accused of cheating, they claim they can’t talk? Seems suspicious to me. If they’re not guilty, surely, they’d talk.

    DAVID LEE: Please tell us why Korilla won’t give you an interview! What did they tell you?

  • Alex

    you peeps saying and alluding that the network is the cause of this fiasco have lost the point. these 3 losers are a shi-bballing disgrace. where there’s smoke there’s fire, and if the network had done something non-kosher, they would have been held for libel. even if the time period of the NDA expires and these idiots come up with some grandiose excuse, legit or not, or if we find out the amount was far less, WHY even give the network an excuse?!?!? why can’t one compete on an even keel? there are NO buts here.

    i am proud of my heritage, but these guys are an embarrassment and disgrace to the Taeguk Blood running through my veins.

    i can’t even believe people are making excuses for these guys saying that perhaps they were poor in arithmetic. what Korean do you know who can’t do basic bath? are you fucking kidding me???

    their truck can burn for all i care. they are an embarrassment, with absolutely NO CLASS whatsoever. who raised these fools? who are these people who are proud of these guys? proud of what? that one of them supposedly got busy with another competitor’s GF? and then had his ‘boys’ publicly chest beat about it on the net? these boys were never taught anything about class and dignity.

  • sunny B

    Im Glad Tyler announced that they cheated, they should be stoned for doing that (cheating). What a disgrace to any competition, i was rooting for yall too ……………. DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • miekel

    the show would not have accused korilla of cheating if they didn’t have proof. all this talk of innocent until proven guilty is BULL. the liability for branding them as cheaters on nationwide tv is huge and the network would not have exposed themselves to that unless it was real. Korilla guys are cheats. plain and simple. black and white. shameful. shameful. shameful.

  • tommyleeyyz

    If true, it’s unfortunate, but I’m not going bring race into this. If the cheaters were any of the other teams, no one would be saying, “As a white person, I’m really disappointed in them.” Anyone who brings up ethnicity into this issue is just being racist, ironically even the criticizers who are Korean.
    Bottom line: it’s just a freakin TV show, a piece of entertainment, there’s nothing more to it.

  • D

    So did you guys catch up?? or did they not tell their side, leaving them liars and cheats???

  • Edward

    The NDA is long over and they still don’t dispute. These guys are liars and cheats — they should be ashamed and ridiculed and I will never go back to them — classless, loser guys. Plain and simple…

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