Why Bonnie's In Brooklyn's Calvin Eng Loves Fast Food - Exclusive

Except for perhaps Martha Stewart — who claims to have eaten McDonald's just twice in her life — famous chefs' fascination for fast food is incontrovertible proof that opposites attract. Julia Child, for example, once raved to Larry King about Burger King's french fries. Gordon Ramsay may have it out for Mickey D's, but he has a soft spot for In-N-Out, even though — as he copped to Taste of Home — he'll eat his hidden in a car, "in the back seat with tinted windows."

As for Bonnie's in Brooklyn's Calvin Eng? You can put him solidly in Child's corner. "I love fast food. It's delicious. It's smart," he told Mashed in an exclusive interview. "I grew up eating fast food, whether it was McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell, or Burger King. I ate it all after school, every day, pretty much." 

His McRib, which is a Cantonese American version of the McDonald's classic, pays homage to Eng's appreciation for the industry. "That's the nostalgic thing for me is the idea of it," Eng told Mashed. "Not necessarily the flavors, but bringing you back to certain memories and times eating fast food."

The McRib, Eng says, has been his number one menu item since opening Bonnie's in December 2021. But it's a fast food chain other than McDonald's that has captured the chef's heart.

Calvin Eng's favorite fast food order

Calvin Eng once told Bon Appétit that he likes the Brooklyn restaurant Bernie's chicken piccata because it's "like a perfect TGI Friday's [chicken piccata]." He thinks TGI Friday's is pretty on-point, but it isn't his favorite fast food joint, either. Actually, the brain behind Bonnie's doesn't need to think twice about his favorite fast food order. 

When the James Beard Award-nominated chef wants to indulge, he'll go to Taco Bell and order up a "Crunchwrap Supreme and Doritos Locos tacos." Let it be known: Eng was a fan before Taco Bell stuck a giant Cheez-It into it. He's unlikely to change his mind any time soon.

"That's the flavor, the texture, the speed, the consistency, the price," Eng explained of his love of the fast food chain. "It's literally the number one restaurant in New York or the world."

Eng's latest venture is a partnership with Vita Coco for the launch of its new juice line. This is the brand's first juice offering, conveniently canned for a quick on-the-go boost with tropical flavors that will transport your taste buds to the tropics. Coconut Juice is available in two flavors — Original with Pulp and Mango — at your favorite 7-Eleven store across the East Coast and Southeast.