“When savory trucks are looking to expand their lot — or trying to bring more attention to certain menus — if you're a popular dessert truck, you add a different dimension,” says George Wu of Waffles de Liege. Want more insight on Liege waffles? We receive a history lesson tomorrow.
Read our interview with George Wu and Lawrence Tai of Waffles de Liege, Part One.
And now, on to Part Two . . . .
When you're not in the kitchen cooking, what are you doing?
George Wu: Reading, listening to music, catching up with old friends, and trying new restaurants. I also really like to organize things.
Lawrence Tai: Eating, watching movies, listening to music, playing with my cats, hanging with friends, and thinking of what's next.
Last song playing on your radio/smart phone/iPod:
Wu: “You Don't Know Me” by Michael Buble.
Tai: “Swimming In the Flood” by Passion Pit.
Where did you grow up? What brought you here?
Wu: I was born in Shanghai, China, and moved to El Monte when I was 3. Then to Hacienda Heights when I was 5. College brought me to OC, and I loved my time there. Obviously, pros and cons to both LA and OC, but I find that I rarely concern myself with the cons of either.
Tai: I've lived in Hacienda Heights all my life, except for a short stint in Riverside. It's great because I feel it's just between LA and OC. I always find myself in OC because of the more laid-back atmosphere . . . and, sometimes, the lower tax rate.
George, You graduated from UCI with a degree in biology. What changed your mind about medical school?
Wu: I'm actually still very much interested in pursuing a medical degree. It's just that during my time off, the opportunity to start a food truck presented itself to me, so medicine took a back seat.
When it comes to Waffles de Liege, we believe it can be something much greater than a singular food truck, and we're ready and willing to put in however much work is necessary to create something really special. We're looking forward to new and upcoming developments. Regardless of all that, I have not forgotten about medicine and what it means to me on a personal level.
Hardest lesson you've learned:
Wu: When it comes to life — whether it be school, business or relationships — you want to make sure you're aware of all the variables. Because a lack of preparation can really impede your progress and drain valuable time and resources. I find it ironic that most people don't have time to do things right the first time, but they always have time to do things twice.
Tai: What he said! [Laughs]
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Wu: Every time my parents came home from work, my sister and I would run to the garage and sit on the washer/dryer as they drove the car in. Not really sure why, but it puts a smile on my face every time I think about it. Great, now you got me all nostalgic!
Tai: My favorite childhood memory would be going to sleep on Christmas Eve and very faintly hearing jingle bells, as if from an approaching sleigh. Common sense tells me the sound was made by my parents, but I don't want to believe that.
Favorite Halloween costume:
Wu: I stopped dressing up when I got too old for trick-or-treating. But as a child, dressing up as the White Ranger [from Power Rangers] was pretty awesome.
Tai: I never really got to dress up more than a grim reaper, but I always wanted to wear a full Imperial Stormtrooper costume from Star Wars.
Are you superstitious; if so, about what?
Wu: Not at all [knocks on wood].
Tai: No, but I'm scared of aliens!
What were you up to five years ago?
Wu: I was an undergrad five years ago, so I was probably hitting the books or playing beer pong.
Tai: Going to school and watching how the Writers Guild Strike affected TV shows.
Wu: Definitely Christmas. There's a special feeling in the air around that time, you know? Decorations are up in homes and department stores, and everyone's in a good mood because they're giving or receiving gifts. The cold, crisp air is nice, too.
Tai: Christmas because of everyone getting closer with their families, the gifting and the massive amounts of food.
Last book you read or last movie watched; how was it?
Wu: I don't remember the title, but it was a book on understanding finances for finance-illiterate people. A lot of decisions in a company have to be made based on what's financially feasible because, otherwise, you risk losing everything. I felt that it could only help to learn a bit about what I'm not familiar with.
Tai: Prometheus. I'm a big sci-fi fan, and I think Ridley Scott was allowed a lot of freedom and did a great job with it.
Last thing you looked up/searched online:
Wu: Purchasing a much-needed weekender bag.
Tai: I was browsing through projects on Kickstarter.
Do you have any skills that are non-food-related?
Wu: I am funny and good at public speaking. And doing interviews very much like this one. After this, your readers will know more about me than some of my friends.
Tai: I am a Jack of many trades, but most of all, I like to fix or tinker with things, whether it be a wooden stool or a turbocharged car.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Wu: Probably enrolled in or finishing up medical school. Hard to say because I'd obviously have to get in, but I like to think I'm capable.
Tai: Traveling the world in an endless search for the perfect waffle.
How did you guys meet?
Both: We knew each other in middle school, but we didn't start hanging out together until high school.