Lay’s ‘Do Us a Flavor’ finalist Angie Fu is in the running to win $1 million as the first Asian American contestant.

By P.C. Staff

Lay's - Truffle Bag ImageOn the shelves in the potato chip aisles and in select Subway restaurants across the nation is Angie Fu’s ticket to reconnecting with her mother and a chance to win a $1 million grand prize. Out of millions of submissions, Fu was chosen as one of four finalists in Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” contest with her chip the West Coast Truffle Fries.

The trifecta of parmesan, garlic and truffle atop a Lay’s Wavy chip pays homage to Asian infusion cuisine synonymous to the West Coast, but also to Fu’s childhood.

Out of millions of submissions from snackers across America, Lay’s picked Fu’s concoction along with three other flavors: Southern Biscuits and Gravy, New York Reuben and Greektown Gyro.

Angie Fu holding her flavor West Coast Truffle Fries. The chips are currently available for purchase. Photo courtesy of Angie Fu

Past winners include Kettle Cooked Wasabi Ginger and Cheesy Garlic Bread, but this year, Lay’s chose its first-ever Asian American contestant.

“Some truffle flavors come from Asian cuisine, and I tried to mix that with something American like fries,” Fu said, admitting that also truffle fries on a menu is fair game and finds its way in front of her.

In addition to her love for the savory side dish, Fu “followed what my mom used to do, which is mix Asian flavors with American dishes.” Her mother, Joy Fu, passed away after a 10-year battle with breast cancer on July 27, 2009. The voting for Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” competition began July 27 — the parallels are hard to ignore.

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(From left) Singer Nick Lachay in an exclusive interview with Angie Fu during a surprise visit and taste test with Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor” tour.

With a million dollars on the shelves, Fu is making waves all over social media through her Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts, encouraging friends and family to vote for West Coast Truffle Fries.

When asked about the chance to win, Fu didn’t hesitate with an answer. “I would travel,” she said. During her mother’s battle with breast cancer, she along with brothers Jonathan and Victor and her mother would frequently talk about all the places they would love to go one day.

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(Center) Angie Fu at her brother Jonathan Fu’s wedding in 2008 with her mother Joy Fu (right) and her grandmother (left).

“It was hard to travel, so we never did growing up,” Fu said. “If I had the chance to travel now, I would fly to Europe and take in all of the experiences, living the life she would’ve wanted me to live. This would be a trip I’d take for her. This is what she would want.”

Even at home, Fu’s mother did the best she could to help her family through the numerous doctor’s visits and uncertain times — by cooking food.

“I always had a packed lunch,” Fu remembers of her mother. “When I came home, we would always make traditional dishes with unusual flavors.” For example, her mother’s sloppy joes were prepared with soy sauce and Asian spices in lieu of barbeque sauce, proving to be unexpectedly delicious.

As her mother was reaching her final years, Fu became inspired to enroll in an ROP class at a hotel restaurant. Hoping to continue her relationship with her mother through cooking, Fu loved her experience but decided to pursuit a business degree from the University of California, Irvine.

Today, she is a senior manager of production at Too Faced Cosmetics, but she still cooks and eats for love.

“She really taught me how to cook and create flavors,” Fu said. “And that’s what I did.”

From now until Oct. 18, voters can cast one vote per day per device and platform, making it a total of four votes per day. Options include visiting www.DoUsAFlavor.com; Instagram and Twitter with #VoteTruffleFries; text “VoteTruffleFries to 24477.

Visit Fu’s campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votetrufflefries; Instagram and Twitter @AngieFuFu; YouTube at Angie Fu (WestCoastTruffleFries).