Funk Seoul Brother
HEAD COOK: B.J. Lofback
COMPETITION: World Recipe Championship
Riffs Fine Street Food launched in April 2011, with original partners B.J. Lofback and Carlos Davis focusing on a wide variety of world cuisines. Dishes from countries Korea, Barbados, Japan, Germany, Mexico and Spain got their signature ‘riff,’ resulting in wildly popular dishes. The duo received accolades and awards, national TV exposure, and quickly grew a dedicated customer base. What made the truck popular also posed a challenge; the frequently rotating menu meant customers didn’t know what to expect. In 2015, Davis left the company and Lofback began to hone in on the flavors he knew best: Korean and Japanese.
The brand shifted to Funk Seoul Brother in late 2015, and was quickly named ‘best new food truck’ in Nashville Scene’s 2015 Best of Nashville issue and continued in 2016 as Best Food Truck. The menu focuses on street food dishes inspired by Japanese and Korean cuisine. The food truck was joined by a bricks & mortar location Funk Seoul Brother in the Factory at Franklin in early 2017.
B.J. Lofback, the owner/chef of Funk Seoul Brother, is a self-taught chef who runs the creative and conceptual focus of the brand. As cofounder of the Nashville Street Food Association, Lofback was instrumental in creating a presence and demand for food trucks in Nashville; the NFTA has grown from less than 10 to nearly 100 members in five years. His business has received national attention for his cuisine, having consistently been named among the 101 best food trucks in the country by The Daily Meal, 2012 through 2016. Locally, Riffs has been named best food truck by editorial staff and customers in various publications and events. His Korean BBQ Tacos were named one of the defining dishes of new Nashville in the Nashville Scene.
In addition to running Funk Seoul Brother, Lofback is responsible for the development of the street food scene in Nashville, leading the formation of the Nashville Food Truck Association, working with city officials, charities, corporations, and others to build jurisdiction and regulations that allowed for food trucks to thrive in Nashville. He also manages a number of large scale food truck events, including Nashville Street Food Awards, CMA Fest, New Year’s Eve, Live On The Green, and Musicians Corner.
Major awards & press
• Nashville Scene
o Best of Nashville (2011 Writers’ Choice, Best Food Truck; 2012 Readers’ Choice, Best Food Truck 3rd place and Writers’ Choice Best Pop-up Restaurant; 2013 Readers’ Choice Best Food Truck, 3rd place; 2014 Writers’ Choice, Best Sandwich; 2015 Writers’ Choice, Best New Food Truck; 2016 Writers’ Choice, Best Food Truck and Readers’ Choice Best Food Truck 3rd place)
o 12 Dishes That Define the New Nashville (Cover Story)
• The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Food Trucks in America (2012 #63, 2013 #57, 2014 #96, 2015 #16, 2016 #79)
• Cooking Channel (Eat Street, November 2012 and Unique Eats, October 2013)
• Battle of the Food Trucks winner (2011, 2012)
• Nashville Street Food Awards ‘Best of the Best’ winner (2013, 2015)
• Nashville Lifestyles (Savor 2012, Savor 2013 Third Place, Battle of the Burger 2013 3rd Place People’s Choice)
• Participation in major Nashville food events: Second Harvest Generous Helpings chefs’ dinner 2015 and People’s Choice winner 2016, Nuit Belge 2017
• Recent press coverage
• Our Kids Soup Sunday; 2017 Judge’s Choice Winner
• Second Harvest Food Bank Generous Helpings People’s Choice Winner 2016, 2017
• Chattanooga Motherclucker Fried Chicken Fest winner 2017