Luncher StephenDalton of the Mountain Lunch Zone (formerly of the Eastern Lunch Zone) has a very unique and special claim when it comes to lunch. And this distinct honor that he’s earned himself has nothing to do with his 16 National Lunch wins or 30 Regional Lunch wins. No. Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to introduce you to the first person to ever win lunch, StephenDalton. Here’s what he had to say when we caught up with him:

What does lunch mean to you?

Lunch is more than a meal, it's a state of mind. It's my much-needed rest stop on the interstate highway that is my daily life. But not one of those gross rest stops. No, I'm talking about a really nice one with clean bathrooms, a fully-stocked Roy Rogers Fixins Bar and one of those machines where you can flatten a penny. 

When did you first realize that you had a talent for lunch? 

I first started making my own lunch when I was in middle school. It usually consisted of a handful of stale potato chips smushed between two pieces of soggy white bread, paired with some brown grapes and a very warm Capri Sun missing its straw. Since those dark days, each lunch has been better than the last. 

What's your overall Luncher strategy?

I like to capture lunch in it's natural form. Not too much fussing around and set-up. I usually take an overhead shot of my plate, so you can view the whole meal at a glance. Visually sniff its full essence. It heightens the drama of the scene. This also increases my chances of dropping my phone on my food.

What's more important? The lunch or the photo?

Savoring the meal is paramount, but on the other hand, if a delicious lunch goes un-Lunchered, did it ever really lunch? 

What are some photo taking tips you could pass on?

Stand up and take a bird's eye snap of your whole plate. Or get in close and capture the little details of what makes your lunch special. Take advantage of the exposure and contrast filters, most lunches I see could use a little lightening.

What would you want lunch historians to write about you?

Just as we call Lewis and Clark heroes for braving the unknown to illuminate the masses on the beautiful wilds of the West, so too must we call Stephen Dalton for once eating a cheeseburger served on two glazed donuts.

How has Luncher affected your lunching?

Lunch, already one of my top 3 favorite meals, has skyrocketed to first place since Luncher. Where shall I eat? Where haven't I been in a while? What will be the most photogenic? Do I need to put on pants? I now must answer these questions every single day and I've become a stronger person because of it. 

Who are your lunch icons?

John Mantagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich and inventor of the "sandwich." That guy was an innovator. Due to his many political, military and gambling duties, he couldn't spare a moment from his desk. So he would have his servants bring him cooked pieces of meat between two thin slices of bread. His invention has been helping many of us #WinLunch ever since. 

If your life was depending on it, and you could only submit one lunch to win, what lunch would that be (from where)?

A truffle burger and parm fries from Larkburger in Boulder, CO would really hit the spot. With an ice cold beer to wash it all down.

If you could lunch with one person, past or present, who would that be, and what would you order?

I'd split a pizza with Frank Sinatra. 

What advice would you pass on to a Luncher who is really hungry for a win?

Go somewhere you feel comfortable, order your favorite meal, look for the best angle, hold your phone steady, adjust the lighting, make sure you have decent cell service, hold your breath, hit post and then take a nap. 

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