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Nancy and Waylynn

Nancy Truman and Waylynn Lucas
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANNA SCHULTE AND MIKE TABOLSKY for LA Confidential Magazine

The brainchild of L.A.’s most celebrated pastry chef, Waylynn Lucas, and gluten-free baking wiz Nancy Truman, fōnuts debuted in August ’11 with a mission to elevate the coffee and donut experience into loftier and tastier realms. Baked and/or steamed and never fried, fōnuts replicate the donut taste you know and love, but give it a modern spin, featuring gluten-free and vegan options alongside traditional varieties.  With an aversion to fryer oil and a focus on natural ingredients, Lucas and Truman accentuate the deliciousness of every fōnut bite.

Nancy Truman
Baker / Owner

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nancy Truman has cultivated a 15-year career as a voice actor, while currently a regular in the hit television show “Handy Mandy” on the Disney Channel. With the recent discovery of her passion for self-expression through baking, Truman, who is gluten-intolerant, began reworking traditional dessert recipes to suit her dietary needs. Using all natural ingredients, without the wheat and gluten, Truman made it her mission to create gluten-free desserts that are as decadent and flavorful as the original. A few years ago, with the growing awareness of gluten allergies nationwide, Truman began selling her aptly titled Banancy Bread at the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market. Instead of a traditional whole loaf, she baked the bread in doughnut pans and renamed it “fonuts.” In 2011, Truman partnered with friend and acclaimed pastry chef Waylynn Lucas to open Fōnuts, their modern doughnut & coffee shop, where she will focus on elevating the shop’s wheat- and gluten-free products while baking alongside Lucas in the kitchen.

Waylynn Lucas
Pastry Chef/Owner

Waylynn Lucas, a self-described perfectionist, takes joy in marrying the nostalgia of classic sweets with modern and exciting flavor profiles. Laced throughout the fabric of her eclectic background, from young gastronome to fashion ingénue to pastry wunderkind, Lucas’ culinary style maintains a fresh philosophy of desserts that are delicate, refined and well-balanced. Her latest project, Fōnuts, a new spin on the traditional coffee and doughnut shop, stays true to her diverse and prestigious culinary pedigree, with offerings that run the gamut from indulgent to gluten-free to vegan, sweet to savory and traditional to avant-garde.

Within the realm of the avant-garde, an influential turn in Lucas’ portfolio was her role as Executive Pastry Chef of SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills and the Patisserie at the four-star Bazaar by José Andrés. Heading up the sweet side of the menu as part of the opening team, Lucas worked closely with Culinary Director José Andrés to develop the award winning pastry program from the ground up. Here, Lucas refined her creative vision and artistic sensibilities, perfecting each plate and every bonbon to be a miniature work of art. Inspired by the modern techniques of The Bazaar’s savory offerings, Lucas experimented with liquid nitrogen and spherification methods to develop the elegant yet playful desserts that became her hallmark.

Between two stints at The Bazaar, Lucas further refined her trademark style as the Executive Pastry Chef of Patina, Joachim Splichal’s fabled restaurant that also received a Los Angeles Times four star review shortly after her arrival. Prior to working at Patina, Lucas revamped the dessert menu of the Penthouse Restaurant at the Huntley Hotel where she worked as Executive Pastry Chef.

With Fōnuts, which debuted in the hip, design-driven corridor of West Third Street in August 2011, Lucas embarks on a new chapter and a mission to reinvent the classic doughnut. The shop’s inventive menu features more than a dozen unique varieties of fōnuts that are made using different methods of steaming and baking at high heat to replicate the texture of a doughnut, without the use of a fryer.