Press and Media

Empanada Guy In The News

New Jersey's Self-Made Empanada Guy to Tackle Food Network's 'Beat Bobby Flay'

Latin Post - August 28, 2014

By Scharon Harding ([email protected])

On Thursday, Carlos Serrano, also known as the Empanada Guy, will get a chance to show what he's made of on an episode of Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay."

"It was just an amazing experience just to be next to Bobby Flay," Serrano told "I was always in the moment. I was having a good time and enjoyed just being there."

Serrano lives in Freehold, New Jersey and is a native of Newark. The chef was nervous to appear on the show because there's no way of knowing exactly what will happen. On the show, Serrano was expected to out-cook Rina Younan, a California chef, with a mystery dish picked by celebrity chef Flay.

"I don't like the element of surprise, he told "I want to know what I'm going into."

The winner of the competition was determined by Alton Brown, a Food Network star, and Daphne Oz, host of ABC's "The Chew."

Serrano's episode was already filmed. It was shot in New York City in front of a live studio audience.

"The audience was so supportive of me," he said. "I was so happy."

Lucky for Serrano, he had many fans in the audience thanks to his YouTube show "Food Truck Heroes," which premieres new videos on the site weekly.

"It says a lot about what I've been doing for the last six years on social media," Serrano said. "Even my competitor knew who I was so that was pretty cool."

It has yet to be determined whether or not Serrano will become a regular face on the Food Network. In fact, it took Serrano two weeks to decide to be on "Beat Bobby Flay," and he even turned down the show's first offer.

"I really don't want to do competition food. Why? Because technically I'm not a trained chef," he explained. "I pick and choose my battles and I know where I belong. ... I had to take a business approach to the offer. The reality is I am a brand now. I'm not just Carlos Serrano. I am Empanada Guy."

Serrano hopes that appearing on the network will help with his brand and franchisees.

"It's not about me anymore," he said.

Serrano's opened his first food truck in 2012. He now owns three food trucks, a restaurant and also sells empanadas to restaurants (he makes 40,000 empanadas a month). The Empanada Guy hopes to soon franchise four more trucks and add another Empanada Guy company truck.

Serrano also plans on getting his empanadas USDA-certified so he can sell them in different states and in grocery stores.

The Empanada Guy's appearance on "Beat Bobby Flay" airs on Thursday at 10 p.m. on Food Network.

Read The Original Post: