“Double Downer” – The world loses two inventors of iconic foods.


by Alexander Quebec

This past week, the US lost two inventors behind iconic food items loved by many.

Peng Chang-kuei and Michael James Delligatti, inventors behind General Tso’s Chicken and The Big Mac respectively, have died, both at the age of 98.

Trained by Cao-Jing Chen, a leading Hunan chef at the time, Peng Chang-kuei, an immigrant from Changsha, Hunan by way of Taiwan, invented the iconic dish while being employed by  Admiral Arthur W. Radford while in Taiwan. In 1971, Peng would open up a restaurant in New York City, which featured the famous dish many Americans know and love today.

Meanwhile, Micheal James Delligatti, owner of Western Pennsylvania’s first McDonald’s chain, invented the Big Mac in 1957 in an effort to fight declining sales in his region. While hesitant to introduce the burger to the public, McDonald’s eventually brought the burger onto its menu, where it has enjoyed iconic status ever since.

CaliPlate salutes these two genius inventors and offers our condolences to their families. Do you have fond memories of either General Tso’s Chicken or The Big Mac? Let us know in the comments below.

H/T to Grubstreet and The New York Times

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