5 Questions for Waylynn Lucas
Waylynn Lucas is the co-owner of Fonuts, the Third Street doughnut shop she and Nancy Truman opened earlier this year. She's the mastermind behind Fonuts' baked doughnuts -- some are vegan and gluten-free, too, in flavors such as olive oil and rosemary, chorizo cheddar, salted caramel, strawberry buttermilk and more. Lucas was formerly pastry chef at Jose Andres Bazaar at the SLS Hotel and Patina at Disney Concert Hall, both of which received four stars from Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila.
What's coming up next on your menu? I wish I could say, I always have so many ideas in my head sometimes it’s hard to make sense of any one thing. Especially since we just added six new flavors in the past couple weeks, for holidays and some new staple flavors for the menu! I’m thinking of creating my version of a classic donut combination, perhaps a classic cream-filled. Though I love any sweet and salty combination, or unique and fun combinations with chocolate.
What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? If I had to pick a restaurant I repeatedly visit, it would be Son of a Gun, and not just because it is conveniently located a couple blocks from Fonuts, but because I enjoy it that much. I cannot go there without ordering the linguine with clams, they know it right when I walk in the door, and the pina colada, not my typical choice of cocktail, but it is fun and tasty. Just like the theme in both of their restaurants. It’s relaxed, good service, and great food, not pretentious. I also love their shrimp toast, the smoked mahi dip, and, yes, the fried chicken sandwich. It might be the only time I eat fried food, since we all know I go to great lengths to avoid frying.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? There are so many great kitchen gadgets these days. A Vitaprep and a food processor are lifesavers in the kitchen. However, if it was one simple thing I am never without, and obsess over, it is my spoon. I always have one on me -- I use it to taste, to stir. I am constantly searching for the perfect spoon, the one that fits perfectly in your hand and can give you the perfect quenelle!
What chef has most influenced you? I really wish I had one particular chef who has influenced me, however it is always changing. I continue to look for new innovative chefs for inspiration and styles that parallel my own. Jose Andres has been a huge influence, I respect his approach to food, and his care in the entire guest experience. There are so many great chefs and pastry chefs who have left their mark, though. Keeping it local, the chefs who have been influential to me are definitely Sherry Yard, even before I became a pastry chef, as well as Adrian Vasquez.
What’s your favorite breakfast? I love breakfast; it might be my favorite meal! Though I rarely eat it, it's usually coffee and a Fonut! Which is not a bad thing, but I love a croque madame, anything with eggs (one of my favorite foods). I also have a weak spot for pancakes. They serve these ridiculously good blue corn pancakes at Playa for brunch that I love!
-- Betty Hallock
Photo credit: Tina Norton