Sikeston native in TV food competition

Friday, September 7, 2012

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Southeast Missouri residents have the opportunity to root for Sikeston native Tiffany Seth as she and her two friends compete in a national reality TV food competition.

Seth and friends -- operating under the team name Momma's Grizzly Grub -- are among eight teams who will compete in the third season of "The Great Food Truck Race," which premiered Aug. 19 on The Food Network.

It was Seth's best friend, Angela Reynolds of Wasilla, Alaska, who enlisted Seth and Reynold's daughter, Adriane Richey, to help with the competition.

"I had seen 'The Great Food Truck Race' before," Seth said. "I wasn't a religious follower of it. Angela had watched the [previous two] seasons numerous times, and it was her dream to do this."

According to The Food Network, no longer a competition between current food truck operators as in prior seasons, this high-stakes battle is between the eight teams who want to be in the food truck business. Each three-person team is provided a vehicle for the race, but only the grand prize winner gets to keep their food truck and a $50,000 cash prize to start their dream business.

Seth pointed out prior to this season, her best friend's dream of being on the show wasn't an option.

"So when they did the casting call for people who had never owned or a operated a food truck before, she told her husband: 'I'm going to be on that show,'" Seth said. "And fate allowed us to go."

Video and photos were part of the application process. In order to have video to submit, the friends -- who lived 4,000 miles apart -- had to film their Skype sessions in their kitchens, Seth said.

Seth, who currently lives with her husband, Don, and two children in a community west of St. Louis, met years ago while Seth was living in Fairbanks, Alaska.

"My husband and Angela's husbands are both air traffic controllers," Seth said.

Reynolds' husband, Joe, performed Seth and her husband's wedding ceremony. Reynolds served as Seth's matron of Honor, and Richey as her flower girl.

Seth recalled a phone call she received from her best friend, saying she'd been selected to be on the next season of "The Great Food Truck Race" and wanted to know if Seth could go.

"I told her there's no way I could go because we could have to commit for quite a while. I homeschool my kids and teach a lot of classes at my gym and just basic mom stuff that you have to take care of -- kids in sports, and of course, my husband needs me. I told her I didn't think I could do it," Seth said.

A week later Reynolds phoned her friend again, and this time she needed a definite answer.

"She said: 'This is your last chance. Do you think you can go?'" Seth recalled. "I told my husband, and he didn't say anything. About five minutes later, he came to where I was and said: 'You'd be crazy not to do this.'"

Her 6-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were also supportive of her decision to join the competition -- which had the potential of her being away from her family for a maximum of seven weeks, Seth said.

"We're big fans of The Food Network," Seth said. "One of our favorite shows we watch as a family is 'Chopped.'"

From that point on, it's been a whirlwind, Seth said.

Each team's inspired cuisine and road strategy is put to the test in city-specific challenges that begin at a Long Beach, Calif., lighthouse and continue through the finale at the West Quoddy Lighthouse in Maine, the easternmost point of the United States.

"At the end of each competition weekend, whichever team has the least amount of money in their till is eliminated. The remaining teams are told they're going on to the next city," Seth explained about how the competition works.

Seth, a 1989 graduate of Sikeston High School, is the daughter of Gary and Sherri Noisworthy of Sikeston. She is also the granddaughter of Van and Lucy Noisworthy of Charleston, June DeLay of Sikeston and the late Hubert DeLay.

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