The latest episode of the Food Network’s “Family Food Showdown” will resonate with locals who frequent popular spots owned by Dalton Espaillat and Dairelyn Glunt, a brother-and-sister duo leaving their mark Charlotte’s culinary landscape.
Espaillat acts as the CEO of Raydal hospitality, which owns and operates 12 Sabor Latin Street Grill locations and Three Amigos Mexican Grill & Cantina. Glunt co-owns Salud Cerveceria and Salud Beer Shop in NoDa.
Together with their cousin Odette Espaillat, the trio competed on Food Network’s “Family Food Showdown,” a new series that pits two families against each other for the chance to win $10,000. During the “Military Food Truck Family vs. Tight-Knit Cousins” episode, the Espaillat family prepares hometown pork favorites, a 20-minute weeknight dinner and dishes for a children’s party and a cocktail party. Cheer them on tonight at 10 p.m., when the episode airs. Until then, check out the The Pre-Heat, where they gear up for the competition.
What’s it like to compete with family? Espaillat shared that the selection process included multiple interviews with the Food Network.
“I think they chose us due to our personality, our interaction with our family members, and our culture and history,” he said. “It was a lot of fun; we compliment each other a lot.”
The family’s success in Charlotte alludes to their ability to work together under pressure, which came in handy during filming in late 2018.
“Being on the show was more challenging than I expected,” Espaillat said. “We can all cook, and do so professionally, but being in a competition with a specific timeframe is much different.”
Aside from the cooking, in which the family excels, Espaillat gave us a little insight into the filming process.
“Everything is real and the unknown is real and the time constraint is real. The interviews while shooting were really long.”
No matter the winner (withheld until the air date due to nondisclosure agreements), the Espaillat family is championed in Charlotte and beyond. Raydal Hospitality recently entered into its first multi-unit franchise agreement to expand Sabor Latin Street Grill. A new South Carolina location will open in Columbia this summer, with plans for 10 more openings over the next three years.
Espaillat told The Charlotte Observer that they’re “running out of room in the Charlotte metro” and that the demographics in South Carolina “make sense for the brand to grow close to home.”
Their Charlotte locations will be open today, so we can grab a bite at Sabor Latin Street Grill before the 10 p.m. public viewing party at Salud Cerveceria to watch them compete.