Springfield Rotary food truck competition gets national exposure

After just two years, the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition has gained national exposure.

Rotary’s signature fundraising event has a role in an upcoming episode of the popular cable series “Food Factory’s” spinoff show, “Food Factory: Night Shift.” A crew filmed eventual competition champion Mojo Tago in the days leading up to the competition and at its win on Aug. 15, 2015.

The half-hour episode featuring the competition will debut on the FYI Network at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 17.

The Food Truck Competition gathers food truck vendors offering a variety of foods and vying for a $10,000 grand prize and other prizes.

Competition marketing committee chair Eddie Bell has seen the episode and is excited for others to experience it.

“They’ve done a great job of representing the competition and Springfield,” he said. “It is really cool to see their take on this great event.”

Bell said the Food Factory producers sought out the Rotary organizers and pitched concepts, deciding to follow Mojo Tago, from Powell, Ohio.

Mojo Tago specializes in Mexian-inspired cuisine and finished runner-up in the first year of competition. The episode will follow the team as it prepares for the competition, including the challenges of getting ready to serve thousands of potential customers and being on top of their game to compete for the top prize.

Episode executive producer Philip Whelan confessed to be a little biased during the competition.

“It was such a great experience filming with the Mojo Tago team,” Whelan said. “After last year’s second-place finish at the Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition, we were genuinely cheering for Mojo Tago to take home first place. Their tacos are that good.”

There are two segments per “Night Shift” episode as the Mojo Tago/Rotary story will share the episode with another story that inspired the episode title.

The Food Truck Competition grew in its second year, and Bell said attendees can look forward to an even better experience when it returns for its third year on Aug. 13.

“Last year’s changes were well received, and we’ll continue to make enhancements and look forward to having everyone back to Veterans Park again this summer.”