Denver food trucks Mukja, El Taco Bron compete in new Food Network show

Julia Rivera, owner of Mukja food truck, was originally contacted to audition for Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” with chef Guy Fieri last year, but she never heard back.

Still, when one (food truck) door closes, another opens. And a month later, a casting company messaged Rivera on Instagram to see if she’d want to try out for a new Food Network show, “Food Truck Prize Fight,” hosted by celebrity chef Jet Tila. She auditioned with her kids, James (26) and Kayla (23) Makowski and in October last year, filmed the pilot episode, which airs tonight, Wednesday, April 19, at 8 p.m. MST on Food Network.

“I didn’t want to do it at first because I’m such an introvert, but as I mentioned, my children and I do the food truck together,” Rivera said. “And as I’ve always told them, when an opportunity comes, you always take it because you don’t know where it’s going to take you. So my kids convinced me because it took a month before they even told us we would be on the show.”

Rivera, who opened her Korean-fusion food truck, known for its cheesy Korean street cheese dogs, with her family in 2020, couldn’t reveal much about the episode. Food Network’s description of “Food Truck Prize Fight” describes it as a cooking competition amongst three of Denver’s best food trucks – Mukja, El Taco Bron and Kavi’s Hibachi – that “run a gauntlet of challenges to win a $10,000 cash prize and an opportunity to sell their food at a local sports and entertainment venue.”

Rivera said the challenges highlight different cultures around Denver, and the food trucks were tasked to create something based on that and serve it to the public. The competition was held near Union Station in October last year, and whoever had the most sales won, Rivera said.

“I think we did pretty good,” Rivera said. “But it was such a blur that I don’t remember a whole lot.”

Rivera said she was told two weeks ago that the episode was airing this week, so she has no idea what to expect. Whether or not Chef Tila will continue the competition in other cities around the country is dependent on ratings for the first pilot episode.

“None of us remember what happened, so we plan to watch the show with the family and soak it all in,” she said.

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