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L.A. pastry chef Waylynn Lucas talks Bravo's 'Eat Drink Love'

September 05, 2013|By Yvonne Villarreal
  • Waylynn Lucas, co-founder of L.A.-based doughnut shop Fonuts, stars in Bravo's newest reality series "Eat Drink Love."
Waylynn Lucas, co-founder of L.A.-based doughnut shop Fonuts, stars in… (Tommy Garcia / Bravo )

The gourmet doughnut has finally gotten the Bravo treatment -- or, at least, its maker has.

Waylynn Lucas is the co-owner of West Hollywood-based Fonuts, the 3rd Street doughnut shop she and Nancy Truman opened in 2011. The curly-haired pastry chef, who has worked for several big name Los Angeles restaurants and served as the executive pastry chef under Jose Andres at Bazaar, is in the midst of adding "Bravo-lebrity" to her resume as one of the stars of "Eat Drink Love."

Already finding success in the food competition genre, the network is now mixing foodie culture with its bread-and-butter formula: personal drama. The show follows five single women in the food industry -- including Lucas, a personal chef, a restaurant marketer, a publicist and a food writer.  [In recipe terms, the show is ½  cup of "Top Chef" + 2 cups of  "Real Housewives" (early seasons) + 2 tablespoons of "Sex and the City." It certainly has the foodie world talking.

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We caught up with Lucas at Fonuts -- post-morning dance party -- to talk about the show, which now airs Thursdays. Read on to find out how her peers have responded to the show and her response to those who say it's giving a bad name to L.A.'s food scene.

Why do a Bravo show? I assume you're familiar with their stuff.

No, I'm not. I don't watch a lot of TV. And I watch zero reality TV. I was approached by Brownstone Productions, which makes the show, and I had done work in the past and knew a lot of people at Magical Elves who does "Top Chef," which is obviously a Bravo thing. So, you know, my name had been floating around. And I thought about for a second about competing on "Top Chef Just Desserts" -- I’ve done a lot of stuff on TV. I was a judge on "Hell's Kitchen," I’ve done some Cooking Channel stuff and Food Network stuff when I was over at Bazaar, so a lot of people would approach me to do TV -- cooking things, competition things, judging things. I was always very picky and very selective about it just cause, for me, TV was never something that I ever wanted. And I didn't want to do anything if it would take away from my integrity as a chef because I worked really hard to get my experience.

When they approached me -- I’m the type of person who will say yes, I’ll go along with it, and have the conversations,  because you only live once. I thought we would get ball rolling and see what it’s about and then I’ll make my decision. And I ended up just saying yes, and they came to film a bit here at Fonuts -- me cooking, hanging out with Nancy -- to get me on camera. It was about a year of convincing that it took me to make my decision. I was very, very, very hesitant. Very hesitant. I really wanted to know who else was going to be on the show, what it was really going to be about....

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And what did they tell you?

They let me know that it was going to be everything in my life. I really, really struggled with it. I don't think I slept for that entire year trying to make the decision. Only because (a) as a business owner -- and my business is reflective of myself and as a chef in this town -- I knew that I really had everything to lose, and I also had everything to gain. So I really thought long and hard about it and I sort of came to the cliche decision that you only live once. I do have this new business, which I am so proud of, and what an amazing way to get that out into the world and have people see that.

What about Nancy -- did you consult with her about the decision, and did she have any concerns?

Nancy has to be the best business partner and friend ever known to man. She was beyond supportive. And she knows and trusts that if I believe in something, and if I decide to do something, she will no matter what support me 100%. She played devil's advocate with me and we weighed the pros and cons of everything. But ultimately she said if this is something you want to do, I’ll support you. I was beyond lucky.

Seeing how it's played out thus far, are you happy with the decision?

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