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Aloha Plate wins Food Network’s ‘Great Food Truck Race’

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    The Aloha Plate team hopes its “thin to win” strategy will lead them to victory.

Using a “coconut wireless” network of former Hawaii residents and a side of aloha with their food, the Lanai boys driving the Aloha Plate food  truck won popular reality television show, “The Great Food Truck Race.”

The finale of the show aired Sunday on the Food Network.

The Aloha Plate team featured brothers Lanai and chef Adam Tabura and buddy Shaun Felipe.

The trio traveled across the country cooking food and competing against seven other teams to make the best food and the most money each week.

In Sunday’s finale, the Aloha Plate truck operators won $50,000 and a new food truck.

In the final competition Sunday, Aloha Plate beat out the Tikka Tikka Taco truck by cooking the other truck’s specialty.

In an interview posted on the Food Network website, Lanai Tabura attributed the team’s success to his brother’s cooking ability and the Aloha Spirit.

“Everyone wants something from Hawaii,” Lanai Tabura said. “Being in the front of the truck meeting the people, one of the common comments we got was “mahalo for bringing us together.” That’s what aloha and our culture is about. We share our food to bring people together. When you come to Hawaii, the first thing we do is cook for you or bring you to eat. We can’t thank everyone who shared their time with us enough.”

Tabura said the food truck the trio won will stay on the mainland. They hope to use the publicity and the win to  expand their business in the continental U.S.

“We are planning on opening a brick and mortar. Our goal is to keep sharing aloha with the rest of America, spreading aloha through our food,” he said.

Lanai Tabura, 42, is a longtime friend of Hawaii-born comedian Felipe, who now resides in Los Angeles. Felipe, 38, signed up for an audition before even giving the Tabura brothers a call.

Their partnership isn’t based solely on friendship. Adam Tabura, 37, is a chef who spent his early career in Portland before returning to Hawaii in 1997 to cook at the Four Seasons’ Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay on Lanai, Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas on Maui, Kona Village Resort on Hawaii island and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. In 2011, he started the Spice Rack, which supplies fine spices to restaurants.

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