Show 268, April 7, 2018: Nancy Luna, Senior Editor, Nation’s Restaurant News

Nancy LunaOrange County food fans know Nancy Luna as the Orange County Register’s long-time restaurant beat writer since 2005. Earlier in the year she moved on to the respected trade publication, Nation’s Restaurant News in the position of Senior Editor. Her new national beat is the restaurant industry’s largest and most talked about fast-food brands including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and Subway.

Luna is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton. When she’s not digging for news on her beat, you can find Nancy regaling her fans about her latest dining adventures on her Fast Food Maven social media channels. Follow her on Twitter @fastfoodmaven.

Nancy invites her followers to Subscribe to the daily e-newsletter from NRN.

We’ll meet her.


Show 193, October 15, 2016: Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, Slapfish Restaurant Group

Andrew Gruel at the AM830 KLAA StudiosOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, is a devotee of breakfast. Last week Chef Andrew shared his favorite hole-in-the-wall OC neighborhood spots for a hearty breakfast. We got such a good response to this segment that we’ll continue…

Every popular national fast food spot that serves breakfast has a signature a.m. menu item. Chef Andrew will highlight his favorites.

Our first breakfast bite comes courtesy of our regular contributor, Anita Lau, The Mad Hungry Woman Blogger. She has a certain fondness for Del Taco. Her thought for the a.m. is their bacon, egg & cheese taco.

Chef Andrew adds that Del Taco, unusually, is one of the only chain fast food establishments that freshly shreds/grates the cheese used in their menu items at each location. That’s extra labor…

Chef Andrew’s suggestions :

Grab that 2nd cup of strong, black Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and enjoy!


Show 110, February 14, 2015: Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America

 Chop Suey USA The Story of Chinese Food in AmericaAmerican diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-produced cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country’s most popular ethnic cuisine. Chop Suey, USA – The Story of Chinese Food in America by Professor Yong Chen offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption.

“Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food’s tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience. This explains why Americans preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald’s, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews.”

A nice extra included in the book are recipes for a number of Chinese dishes particularly popular in America.

Chop Suey, USA just received honorable mention in the 2015 PROSE Awards in the category of American History.

Our guest, Yong Chen, raised by his food-loving mother in China, is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.