Watch CBS News

Beloved Inland Empire food critics Allan Borgen and Izze Busse dead after car crash in Missouri

Beloved Inland Empire food critics die after car crash in Missouri
Beloved Inland Empire food critics die after car crash in Missouri 02:51

The Inland Empire is mourning the loss of two beloved food critics who tragically died in a car crash in Missouri over the weekend. 

Allan Borgen, who has written food reviews in the area for more than three decades and was well-known for his series of shows on KVCR, KTIE and KCAA, died at 75 years old. Memorable shows include "Table for Two" and "Let's Dine Out."

He was with his longtime co-host and girlfriend Isabel "Izzy" Busse, on a trip to Missouri when they were killed on Interstate 44, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

They say that a semi truck crossed into coming traffic and hit their car head on. 

Residents remember Borgen, always clad in his signature Hawaiian shirts, for his dedication to showcasing good food across the Inland Empire, especially with his signature — and not overly critical — manner of reviews as he looked to highlight food people as much as he did their delicacies.

"He will be missed," said Lillian Vasquez, a KCVR producer and host. "Our viewers will just start learning."

She says that she worked on numerous pledge shows with Borgen to help raise money for the public television station. 

"Our members would call in and pledge because they wanted to see Allan," Vasquez said. "They wanted to meet Allan. They wanted to know that he was the guy they saw, kind of goofy on camera. He was that guy, so our members were always so happy to be around him. 

Borgen's passion for food was fueled by his desire to promote small mom and pop shops across the IE, so much so that some people said he wasn't harsh enough as a critic. 

But Vasquez says that was because he cared more about finding the good than he did about pointing out the bad. 

"Thinking about the owners, they had someone that was their friend, that was gonna help them along and say, 'This is okay to eat here in the Inland Empire,'" Vasquez said. "We have some cool little spots and some great, beautiful restaurants and he tried to show it off."

One restaurant owner told KCAL News that Allan and Lizzy were deeply in love with each other and with their work, and that the only consolation they found in their death was knowing that they went together. 

"He was definitely an icon for KVCR," Vasquez said. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.