WHO DATZ food truck competes for $20,000 in ‘Hype the Havarti’ challenge, seeks community support

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:55 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Inflation is at an all-time high and a potential recession looms ahead, leaving many Americans weighed down by the current state of the economy.

Despite the added stress, a new business is trucking away but needs the community’s help to win a national competition that could ease the burden.

For Felix Irving, the natural progression of his cooking career was BeardBQ barbeque sauce, catering events, and creating a brick and mortar restaurant, or rather a wheel and steel restaurant.

Put into gear for the first time just months ago, WHO DATZ food truck is already catching national attention.

“I kind of put in a recipe for my Mac ‘n Cheese and my egg rolls didn’t think too much about it and then all of a sudden, literally like maybe a month or two later, get this email that I’m a finalist in this competition,” said Felix, the ‘Sauce Boss’ behind WHO DATZ and BeardBQ Sauce.

Felix is a finalist in the ‘Hype the Havarti’ challenge, a chance for 10 food trucks from across the country to show off their flavor in order to earn some dough.

“As you can see, we don’t have our wrap yet, because that’s all money,” said Felix. “So we will literally just pay bills, be able to buy more product and bigger quantities, bigger equipment like I have a bigger smoker on the way so I can do more at once. So I’ll be able to offer more.”

The grand prize for ‘Hype the Havarti’ is $20,000, a lump sum big enough to make a dent in start-up costs for WHO DATZ but also to ease the strain of the current economy.

“I feel it in the supply chain issues, food costs going up. It’s like in the sauce business, I’m not here to make millions, I’m here to give someone a good quality product for a good quality price so I really fight to keep my prices as low as I can for what I offer.”

So what is this good quality product, Felix is asking the community to support?

“Being from New Orleans, a big part of our culture is food and its creole, so all it means is that it’s a mix of cultures So that’s what I do with my egg rolls in the Havarti challenge. It’s brisket, natural Americana, smoked brisket. Kimchi, learned that from living in Korea, and then we have our Havarti cheese inside an egg roll. So it’s a combination of multiple cultures,” continued Felix. “Creole doesn’t always have to be something from downhome New Orleans because all it is is blending.”

Whether or not he wins, Felix is honored to represent South Dakota and his food background.

Voting for the ‘Hype the Havarti’ challenge continues through the end of the month, with the winner being announced in early August.

You can vote via this link, https://www.castellocheese.com/en-us/hype-the-havarti/voting/, as well as find recipes for Felix and the other competitors’ dishes.

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