If you watched the season 3 premiere of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race, you will have noticed one team with a distinctly down under theme. The Barbie Babes are three Aussie ladies who are currently competing on the show in hopes of winning a food truck of their own and kick-starting their business.
The ‘Babes’, Hayley Chapman, Jasmine (Jaz) De Main and Skye Boucaut, come from varied backgrounds but have all ultimately come together in Los Angeles: Hayley, who spent time working in Australia as a producer on various television shows, Jaz, whose family lived in the outback and ran a multi-ethnic restaurant and Skye, who’s traveled the world with her unique sense of adventure to now find herself in LA. We caught up with team member Hayley, who told us a little more about The Babes’ background and how they came to be on The Great Food Truck Race.
Tell us a bit more about Barbie Babes.
I came up with Barbie Babes six years ago when I moved to LA. I originally created it as a way to make cash in between producing gigs. We will come to your yard and take over your grill or bring one with us!
What gave you the idea?
As an ex-pat in LA the topic of things we miss most always comes up. Really good BBQs is one of them, and I’m not just talking about the food. Aussies just have a really relaxed vibe and I thought that was something LA needed and we could do it really well. What’s so crazy is that in 2000, I worked for Triple M, Sydney in their promotions department and once a month I’d have to cook BBQs! It’s funny how some things just do a full circle!
How did you meet?
I cast Jasmin for a pilot I was filming as she came out here to pursue her acting dreams, and Skye and I have been friends since she arrived. Aussies are everywhere in LA and as we tend to gravitate towards one another and meeting new people from home is pretty easy.
What made you decide to enter The Great Food Truck Race?
I had just come back from Australia after spending the summer there and working on Celebrity Apprentice, so I was looking online for my next producing gig when I stumbled upon the advertisement. It just seemed like a perfect opportunity to throw myself under a bus (so to speak) and really give my business a really good kick start. Barbie Babes is still very much in it’s infancy but I’m focusing more on catering these days than I am on producing.
What has The Great Food Truck Race experience been like so far?
Working a food truck is hard slog. I honestly have renewed respect for anyone who drives any kind of truck everyday. As Aussies we’re pretty tough and don’t mind getting our hands dirty, but learning how to operate a 29 year old truck on the fly is challenging for all of us. Jasmine has only been in LA a few months, so driving around the city and on the freeways has been quite stressful for her. However it hasn’t stopped her from getting behind the wheel and I love that!
This show is a lot of fun and I think not only is that because the producers care so much about the show but also because they cast the teams really well. The Seoul Sausage boys are adorable and damn good at what they do. The Pop-a-Waffle gang are all heart and radiate non stop love. We are so supportive of all the teams as they’re all super talented.
If you guys don’t make it through to the end, who do you hope to come in first?
Now that Under The Crust is out, we definitely have a soft spot for the waffle boys as it is their dream. Seoul Sausage have a ton of stuff already in the works and will be successful no matter what, but I think winning this race is a life changer for Pop-A Waffle.
Tell us more about the catering business that started it all.
I came to LA to continue pursuing my career in TV. I had finished working on Network Ten’s Totally Wild and didn’t really know what I wanted to do next. I always had LA in the back of my mind and when I realized I had a window of opportunity to bounce out of Sydney I did. However, as we all know moving to another country isn’t always smooth sailing. I didn’t know anyone when I first arrived and had to basically start from scratch. I guess that’s when the entrepreneur in me began to surface.
What do you miss most about Australia?
Perth is my official home, but whenever I’m back in Australia I tend to spend most my time on the east coast. I was just there over Christmas and drove from Sydney to Noosa. I love how laid back life is in Australia. I love our beaches, coffee, tall Aussie men (I feel like LA is filled with little people in comparison), and miss hanging at RSL’s and pubs, reading the Sunday papers over brekkie, simple pleasures like Bergen bread, wedges with sour cream, Sydney rock oysters, and insanely delicious Asian food on every street corner.
What do you love most about LA?
I love hiking the canyons and that there is always something fun happening around town. I love the feeling that anything is possible here and how cheap Aussie wine is.
If you have a message to anyone who wants to follow your path, what would it be?
There is no one way to get to wherever you’re going, you get there however you do. If the idea is big enough the facts don’t matter. Nike got it right – Just do it!
The Great Food Truck Race airs on Sunday nights, 10/9c. Part of this year’s competition includes a fan vote, which allows for up to 10 votes per day. Currently the Barbie Babes are sitting second on the list – you can vote for them here. As well as competing in the race, the babes still run a fully-fledged Aussie BBQ-style catering service in the LA area. Find out more about that, and the girls themselves, on their website.