The Ballard twins at the helm of Anchor End Pretzel Shoppe food truck have won a cooking show on the Food Network.
Amanda and Jessica Lewis, 27, opened Anchor End in 2015, and were cast on Guy’s Grocery Games after a casting agent saw them on Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list last year. The show was planning a “Twin it to Win It” episode, which included three twins from around the country to compete. The Lewis twins were the youngest, and the only women on the show. Their competition was a set of twins who own a restaurant in Virginia Beach, and a duo known as the Burgess Brothers, who own a barbecue restaurant in Sacramento.
“When we met the other twins, I think it was automatically assumed that we were the underdogs, because we were the youngest, and we had a food truck, and the least amount of experience,” Amanda Lewis said. “I don’t think anyone saw us as a threat, which I think that made it better for Jess and I, because we’re so used to that in our industry. Being women, and being young – there are so very few of us.”
The competition consisted of two challenges: the first was to include four mandatory items in a dish: milk, vanilla, chocolate and eggs. The Lewis twins made a pepper-crusted filet mignon with roasted asparagus, potatoes and herbs on top of a spicy chocolate pudding, seasoned with cayenne. They were the only team able to incorporate the four mandatory ingredients on the same plate; the other two teams made a separate dessert. The second challenge was to create a classic duo dish; the Lewis twins’ winning meal was shrimp and grits, beating out the Burgess Brothers’ chicken and waffles.
“It was really cool to see the looks on everyone’s faces, because I don’t think they anticipated how well we would do,” Lewis says. The Ballard twins won $16,000 from the show, which they plan to use towards opening a brick-and-mortar bakery. The details are still in the works, but Lewis says they’re crossing their fingers for a location in north Seattle, opening this winter.
In the meantime, business is booming; they’ve had to hire another baker and are fully booked for the summer. To get a taste of the twins’ winning culinary skills, check out Anchor End food truck every other Thursday at Stoup Brewing in Ballard. They have a busy summer schedule; click here to find them.