Mercado Food Truck To Be On 'Undercover Boss' With Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Mercado's Heather and Roy Riedl recently checked an item off their bucket list, as the husband-and-wife food truck owners from Glastonbury got to cook alongside one of their culinary heroes: celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

But when they first shook hands with the internationally acclaimed chef and restaurateur, he introduced himself as "Vijay."

Samuelsson and musician Darius Rucker are part of the newest season of "Undercover Boss" on CBS, in which they search for undiscovered talent in their own fields. The Riedls will appear on Friday's episode, as Samuelsson disguised himself with prosthetic makeup, a wig and fake mustache to discover "gifted aspiring chefs at a public cooking class, a culinary institute, a high-end food truck, and a soup kitchen," according to the episode description.

Heather Riedl said CBS got their name from the organizers of the Coventry Farmers' Market at Hale Homestead, who submitted Mercado's name as an up-and-coming food business. The episode was taped over the winter, "on the coldest day you could ever imagine," she said.

As "Vijay," Samuelsson pretends to be an insurance salesman from Mumbai, currently living in Ohio, with "big dreams to open a restaurant." In previews of the episode, Samuelsson walks up to the truck, clad in his disguise, and introduces himself to Roy Riedl, who welcomes him aboard to help with food prep.

"First impression, I didn't think he was prepared at all," Roy says in the clip. "He definitely wasn't dressed for the occasion, that's for sure. He looks like he just got out of his office job down the road."

Elements of the episode remain secret until airtime — including the celebrity reveal — but Heather says the experience was "absolutely incredible." "We didn't know what was happening, so it was as much of a surprise to us as it probably will be to everyone else as well," she says. "We're really grateful and happy to have gotten the guidance from Marcus and worked with him for the day. It's mind-blowing."

Mercado launched as a catering business three years ago and began vending at farmers markets and public events in the spring of 2015, with a trailer hitched to a pickup. In 2016, the business graduated to its current full-sized box truck, serving what the Riedls call "Span-ish" cuisine: tapas-style plates like duck fat fried potatoes, pork empanadas, queso frito with truffle honey and fennel pollen and arroz con pollo.

"I can't even believe it. It's been a whirlwind for sure," Heather said. "We're looking forward to year number four, being more efficient and having a larger team behind us so we can be in more places at once, and we can grow our business."

In February, the Riedls announced plans to open El Pollo Guapo at 1866 Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield, a restaurant specializing in rotisserie chicken, fresh sides, salads, sandwiches and grain bowls. El Pollo Guapo (or "the handsome chicken") will offer a variety of health-conscious takeout options with quick counter service.

Heather said the storefront is slated to open in early June.

"It'll be nice to give us the home base we've been looking for but also, people will be able to get our food more regularly, and not have to hunt us down in the truck. Every day we're getting closer, but [it'll be] a few more weeks."

"Undercover Boss" airs on CBS May 19 at 8 p.m. EST. Learn more about Mercado at

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