She’s half, he’s full. But together, their food is 100% Filipino.
The Manila Machine is Southern California’s FIRST Filipino food truck. Launched by food bloggers Marvin Gapultos (Burnt Lumpia) and Nastassia Johnson (Let Me Eat Cake), The Manila Machine is also the first food truck to be owned and operated by food bloggers.
Debuting in June 2010, The Manila Machine opened its windows to an already waiting crowd eager for a taste of Filipino cuisine. With its contemporary take on traditional Filipino recipes, The Manila Machine quickly established itself as an eating destination in Los Angeles’ already competitive mobile food culture. In addition to its huge following of fans, The Manila Machine has also garnered critical acclaim. In fact, The Manila Machine’s Pork Belly and Pineapple Adobo was selected as runner-up for “Best Noveau Street Food” at the 2010 L.A. Street Food Fest as judged by a panel of professional chefs, food writers, and restaurant critics.
Nastassia Johnson is a native Angeleno. Her journey with food has been proverbially long and winding, beginning with lumpias and pancit in Echo Park’s Filipino restaurants. Soon she became absorbed with knowing all of the possibilities of consumption and developed a voracious appetite for food and the history behind it.
Nastassia formerly managed foodie mecca, Joan’s on Third, and was also the Director of Social Media for Joan’s on Third. Nastassia is also the author of the food blog Let Me Eat Cake.
As the writer of the Filipino food blog, Burnt Lumpia, Marvin Gapultos has fostered a unique approach to Filipino food based on his own research, interactions with his blog readers from around the world, and yes, a few visits to the kitchens of his grandmother, mother, and aunties. While developing recipes of his own, Gapultos has also worked as a recipe tester for a number of cookbook authors.
In addition to being featured on major culinary Internet destinations such as Epicurious.com and SeriousEats.com, Marvin was also a contributing writer to Mutineer Magazine –a national publication that focuses on fine drink and beverage.
Marvin’s first cookbook, “The Adobo Road Cookbook: A Filipino Food Journey“, will be released by Tuttle Publishing in May 2013.