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Two popular California food critics were killed Saturday while traveling to Missouri when a tractor-trailer crashed head-on into their car, officials said.

“Let’s Dine Out” stars Allan Borgen and Isabel “Izzy” Busse, who were also in a long-term relationship, were driving on Interstate 44 east of Lebanon around 6:45 p.m. when the oncoming semi-truck veered into oncoming traffic.

Borgen, 75, who was driving her minivan, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Busse, 54, died at a local hospital.

“Let’s Dine Out” stars Allan Borgen and Isabel “Izzy” Busse were killed in Missouri on Saturday when a semi-trailer truck crashed head-on into their car. Facebook

KVCR Public Media, the Southern California media company where Borgen worked for 32 years, confirmed his death on Monday and said the restaurant critic would be remembered for “his easy smile and friendly demeanor.”

Borgen, a retired social worker, began working as a restaurant critic in the early 1990s, writing columns for local newspapers and appearing on television.

“He was very personable and had a very lively demeanor,” former Sun editor John Weeks told Redlands Daily Facts.

“He had a great sense of humor. He wrote enthusiastically about food. I discovered many restaurants through his reviews, and so did thousands of readers.”

Borgen was known for his bold Hawaiian shirts and bold personality—because he was so popular in the Inland Empire area, he couldn’t conduct his reviews incognito.

“His judging style was to throw a great party, take the temperature in the room and get lots of opinions on the food – including from the people at the tables around him. It was a democratic judging approach. He was a real personality,” Weeks recalled.

Borgen was known for his bold Hawaiian shirts and bold personality—because he was so popular in the Inland Empire area, he couldn’t conduct his reviews incognito. Facebook
Busse served as Borgen’s co-host of his program “Let’s Dine Out,” which focused on promoting mom-and-pop shops. Facebook

Borgen also hosted a dining club called the Grub Club – that’s how he met Busse.

The two started out as friends after meeting over dinner, but the relationship evolved into something both romantic and professional.

Busse served as Borgen’s co-host of his program “Let’s Dine Out,” which focused on promoting mom-and-pop shops.

“She always had a really funny laugh; she was always up for anything,” Jeanette Rodriguez, Busse’s friend for more than 20 years, told Redland Daily Facts.

“Allan was just a sweet man, he always adored her. He loved to spoil her,” she continued.

Borgen, a retired social worker, began working as a restaurant critic in the early 1990s, writing columns for local newspapers and appearing on television. Facebook

“There is no one who can say anything bad about either of them.”

It is unclear whether the driver of the semi-trailer will face charges in connection with the accident.




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