On the Line: Renzo Macchiavello of Renzo's A Taste of Peru, Part One
Photo by Kevin Lara

On the Line: Renzo Macchiavello of Renzo's A Taste of Peru, Part One

Trying to sit down with Renzo is a sight to see. Shaking our hand, quipping with a customer, working with a vendor and responding to a text is a post-lunch breather for this social businessman. He runs both a catering company and Peruvian establishment, the latter hidden in the shadow of a food court down the street from John Wayne Airport. We ease into this week's On the Line learning about his chocoholic tendencies and being a family man (his tattoo is of the name of his 18-month-old daughter).

What are six words that describe your food?
Fresh, simple, different, bold, flavorful, tasty.

What are eight words that describe you?
Intense, hyper, friendly, outgoing, social, talkative, honest, fair.

You best recent food find:
Fried seaweed--from a customer who stopped by earlier today. I just ate some at lunch.

Most undervalued ingredient:

Rules of conduct in your kitchen:
Love, care, always taste the food.

One food you detest:
Root beer. It tastes like medicine. [Editor's Note: ?!?!]

One food you can't live without:

Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
Variety of foods.

What fast food do you admit to eating?
McDonalds. The Filet-O-Fish bun is warm, and I like eating chicken McNuggets with sweet-and-sour sauce.

Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Use your imagination when following recipes.

After-work hangout:
Home with my kids and wife.

Favorite celebrity chef:
Bobby Flay--I like his style.

Celebrity chef who should shut up:
Paula Deen. My wife is going to be mad at me.

Favorite music to cook by:
Salsa or Latin.

Best food city in America:
Miami because of its Latin fusion.

What you'd like to see more of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
New Latin cuisine.

What you'd like to see less of in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
Overpriced restaurants.

Favorite cookbooks:
Nuevo Latino by Douglas Rodriguez and 500 Anos De Fusion by Gaston Acurio.

When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
Surfing or with family.

Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
Snake. It didn't taste like much.

You're making breakfast. What are you having?
Chicken-fried steak.

You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Hershey's milk-chocolate bars because I like chocolate.

Weirdest customer request:
A lady wanted to order one-quarter of a portion to eat.

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