The Orange County (California) Register has a really cool feature online. It is a blog about fast food, fast food culture, and fast food trends. It is called FAST FOOD MAVEN and it is written by Nancy Luna.
We were e-introduced by a mutual friend (Jan-Willem, the prolific fast food blogger over at Fast Food Weblog - highly recommended) - THANKS, JW.
The McChronicles recently interviewed Nancy and this is how it went:
The McChronicles: a blog about, not affiliated with, McDonald's.
Q: How long have you been a fast food aficionado?
Maven: From the first moment I got my hands on a Taco Bell Taco Supreme in my teen years. Boy, I just loved the sour cream in those things. These days, I've definitely upgraded my tastes. I go for Fresh-Mex whenever I can.
Q: What is your first fast food memory?
Maven: Not sure if this is a "first" memory. But, this one has stuck with me forever. I remember hurling profusely after eating a 99-cent Double Bacon Cheeseburger at Jack in the Box -- forcing me to swear off that chain for years. I later asked my friend, Brian, a former Jack in the Box cook: "What happened to me?" He replied: "Nance, it was the mayo."
Q: What comments do you dread most when people become aware that you are a FAST FOOD MAVEN?
Maven: Aren't you worried you're going to get fat? (That's mostly from women, though.)
Q: "Maven" is a Yiddish term. Is there Jewish fast food?
Maven: Sorry. This Hispanic gal from sunny Southern California is unaware of most Yiddish lexicon. Interesting, though. I picked the "Maven" because I want people to know that I'm a trusted expert on this topic.
Q: As a FAST FOODIE, where do you fit in the OC Register pecking order?
Maven: I love fast food because it's convenient. And, it's not as bad to eat as some might think. My 7-year-old daughter loves Del Taco bean and cheese burritos, and McDonald's Happy Meals. I have no problem giving her those in moderation.
I love getting a load of El Pollo Loco chicken at the drive through that will feed my family over the course of three days.
Fast food is unavoidable in our fast paced world. I get paid to cover the industry. How sweet is that?
Q: You go to restaurant conferences. Is that purely for your blogging or do you have another connection?
Maven: I hit conferences because it helps me meet sources on my beat. I cover the Southern California food industry, which includes writing about fast food, as well as sit-down restaurants, food manufacturing and grocery stores.
Q: Any plans to expand your blog's scope beyond the OC?
Maven: Of course.
Southern California is the birthplace of America’s most enterprising
industry: Fast food. Yet, fast food -- culture, news, trends -- goes
beyond this region. Obviously I have to cover my bases here in Southern
California. That's my job. But don't be surprised if you see me writing
about Five Guys when I go to Virginia next month. (FYI: I'm told this
burger joint rivals my Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger. So bring it on.)
McChronicles note: Our In-N-Out Burger t-shirt is one of our most prized possessions - and a reminder of an awesome fast food road trip on the US west coast.I hope to engage people in conversation about trends. Just because I write about Angus burgers coming to McDonald's in Orange and Los Angeles counties, doesn't mean someone from Upstate New York wouldn't be interested in that. It could mean, one day, you get Angus burgers, right?
Q: Any advice for The McChronicles?
Maven: I love it. Keep up the good hustle. And, keep McDonald's on its toes.
Image: Fast Food Maven blog.