On the Line: Anne Eng of Panfiniti, Part Two
|Photo by Mary Pastrana|
Before heading to the commissary for supplies, Anne Eng found the time to meet outside one of her favorite places, Diamond Jamboree's Lollicup. She quips about her adventures in driving the Panfiniti lonchera and how she prefers to spend her free time. While part one's answers may have a lot to chew on, today's continuation gets to the meat of things.
To bungee-cord down the POG [Passion Orange Guava] juice in the refrigerator. I forgot to tie it down one day, and 5 gallons of POG came spilling out of the refrigerator -- and out of the truck. Since I was on the freeway, there was nothing I could do but watch it slosh around in the truck. I don't know if it's the hardest lesson I've learned, but it's the funniest I've learned.
What would your last meal on Earth be?
A huge lobster tail cooked Asian-style.
I would say Jesus Christ because without Him, I am nothing.
Tell us about your food-service-industry background.
I am not a chef, just a self-taught home cook who is very passionate about food.
Where did you grow up? What brought you here?
I was born in Taiwan and moved to Seattle when I was 9. I met my husband at the University of Washington, and we moved to OC after we got married, when my husband received a job offer.
Favorite places to eat (besides your own):
AnQi, Marche Moderne and, of course for us Asians, Sam Woo in Irvine.
Last book you read and movie watched:
I am way behind in my reading or watching any movies.
Any luxe loncheras you like or want to try?
The Liege Truck, or a new one called Bite Me that does organic food.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like meeting up with friends.
Biggest challenge to operating a luxe lonchera:
In the beginning, it was learning to drive the 16-foot truck, making sure I didn't back up into anyone or anything. The first time I backed up, I almost took out an entire tree. Nowadays, it's the daily physical activities to get the truck ready that's challenging.
What dish would you tell newcomers to Panfiniti to try first?
The Hawaiian steak panini because we have a lot of followers who come back just for that one. We even got booed one time when we ran out in the middle of service.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Being an accountant behind a desk.
What advice do you have for those who might be thinking about a career in food?
Do lots of research to see if it's feasible, and be unique in what you do. Your customers are always No. 1. Try to develop a relationship with them, and by doing so, they are more likely to come back.
What do you see yourself doing in five years? Ten years?
In five years, I will hopefully be financially secure enough so that I won't have to work any longer. In 10 years, I hope to be traveling the world with friends.
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