After catering BBQ for years, it wasn’t until last September that I learned that my Grandfather on my Father’s side owned a BBQ Restaurant in Texas. Pic is from Longview High School 1956 Yearbook.


Growing up, my family was always serious about great food. Even now, my sister Marcia is a walking encyclopedia of where to get the best of the best in Chicago. As a BBQ Catering Chef, it is my job to learn all about the food resources in Los Angeles. I also like to travel the country and around the world to experience both traditional and new takes on What’s Cooking.

I plan to write a book about my Culinary Journey, once I get caught up on current projects. My food training started at six years old, when my Grandfather would get me up at 5:00 am on BBQ Holidays. We would go shopping for a case of fresh Ribs, Wood, Charcoal and a couple of Blocks of Ice. Yes, back then the Ice Pick was an important go-to tool. I grew up knowing that my Great Grandfather on my Mother’s side was the first man of color to open a BBQ stand in Ennis, TX.  It was just this past year that I learned that both my Grandfather and Grandmother on my Father’s side both owned BBQ Restaurants in Longview, TX. Somehow I knew BBQ was in the blood.

Growing up in Chicago, you didn’t have to pass city limits to experience an International line up of flavors. Italian and Chinese foods were most popular, but there was also fine French, Middle Eastern, Greek and Thai restaurants as well. I began working in finer dining places as a Busboy in High School and up to Waiter in college. Along the way I was always obsessed with what went on in the kitchen.

I had to learn how to cook commercially and manage a Kitchen in “trail by fire” when I agreed to invest in a Chicago Pizza restaurant in the Los Angeles area, back in 2000. The menu was well received and celebrated by Food Critics. But dissolving of the partnership and grueling 24/7 low pay work schedule made it an easy decision to sell when interested buyers came along.

Since then I have worked in and helped consult with small Pizza Restaurants. In 2011, I started the Tastee BQ Grilling Co. to cater a heather gourmet take on BBQ. We have catered events from a 2 year old’s Birthday in the Park to pre-Red Carpet Los Angeles Film Fest Party with Presidents of AAMPAS. We have grilled everything from the Hot Dogs, to Lamb Kebabs. From there was born the brand California Gold BBQ Rubs, which will be a year old in May 2014.

December 2013 returned to New Orleans School of Cooking to help teach Gumbo Class with Chef Michael Devidts.

BBQ Catering Confidential is my chance to keep it real about food, travel and running a small business. Some of my earlier (near) true stories have been told through The Adventures of Tastee BQ. Many of my Recipes are being added to California Gold BBQ Rubs Recipes website. It is my endeavor to Make the World a Better Place to Eat, whether Blogging, Catering or developing Superfood BBQ Rubs.

#chefoctavio #casamagnamarriotpuertovallarta
February 2014 with Chef Octavio of the Casamagna Marriot Resort Catering Staff in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

I hope to travel for more positive culinary interactions in as many places as possible.  If I don’t see you in the real world, I will always come back here to share the experiences with you. Eat and Be Well.


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