Show 166, April 2, 2016: The James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Awards Continues…

Alison Tozzi IiuWe resume with Alison Tozzi Liu, Editorial Director, JBF Media and Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza (America’s Classics Award-Winner, 2015.)

Here’s Guelaguetza’s official video shown at The Beard Awards ceremony in Chicago in 2015 as part of the presentation of their America’s Classics Award:

Every town has one: a humble restaurant serving up soul-satisfying food, a place that joins the whole community together. Since 1998, the James Beard Foundation has recognized nearly one hundred such establishments – local eateries distinguished as timeless institutions within their communities – by honoring them with their America’s Classic Awards.

Guelaguetza is the most recent Los Angeles area recipient (2015) of The James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics Award. Other area recipients are Langer’s Delicatessen, Philippe the Original and Yuca’s Hut.

Guelaguetza is well represented in the newly published James Beard’s All-American Eats: Recipes and Stories from Our Best-Loved Local Restaurants from the James Beard Foundation and Rizzoli. Bricia contributes an oral history of Guelaguetza along with their signature recipe for Estofado de Pollo (Chicken Estofado.)

“Guelaguetza first opened its doors in 1994 by immigrant husband and wife Fernando Lopez and Maria Monterrubio. Since then, our goal at Guelaguetza has been to showcase the best of our family recipes and stay true to authentic Oaxacan ingredients. Guelaguetza’s mission is for all of its patrons to live and experience Oaxaca through all of its dishes.

Today, Mr. and Mrs. Lopez are retired and have paved the way for their children, Paulina, Fernando Jr, Elizabeth and Bricia Lopez. This new generation of Oaxaqueños has taken upon themselves the responsibility of not only continuing their family’s restaurant success but also expanding its legacy. The Lopez’s have undoubtedly become ambassadors to Oaxacan cuisine in Los Angeles.

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Show 124, May 30, 2015: C-CAP Los Angeles’ Eric Boardman & Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza

Eric BoardmanEric Boardman continues his coverage of C-CAP’s 2015 Scholarship Awards for L.A. County.

“Hard work, good grades, and a lot of broken eggs paid off for Hannah Chang of Hoover High School and Jose Gordillo of Manual Arts High School, who both received full-tuition scholarships in Culinary Arts. Jose will attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, NY and Hannah Chang will study at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI come fall. Isabel Castro of Carson High School received the Art Institute National Scholarship.

Bricia LopezBricia Lopez, the engaging co-owner (with her brother and sister) of Guelaguetza in Koreatown is back with us. On May 4th she was in Chicago at The James Beard Foundation Awards at the Lyric Opera to receive the America’s Classics Award. This is an especially noteworthy honor as the Award for Guelaguetza was the only Beard Award received by a Southern California chef or restaurant this year.

The America’s Classic Award is an honor given to regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.

Guelaguetza, founded by Fernando Lopez in 1994, is the center of Oaxacan life in Los Angeles, and the setting for countless quinceaneras, weddings, and anniversaries. A sprawling restaurant located in Koreatown, it features live music on a bandstand every night. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant attracts both homesick Oaxacans and foodies in search of honest Oaxacan foods.

We’ll hear about her once-in-a-lifetime adventures in Chicago with her Family (including dinner at Paul Kahan’s The Publican) and alongside the true luminaries of the food world. Perhaps a bit of Champagne enjoyed along the way…

 

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Show 119, April 25, 2015: Bricia Lopez, Guelaguetza, Los Angeles

Bricia LopezOne of the most exciting series of Awards presented by the James Beard Foundation annually is the America’s Classics. This honor is given to regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. One of the five recipients for 2015 is Los Angeles’ Guelaguetza located in Koreatown and founded in 1994. This year’s honorees will be celebrated at the 25th anniversary James Beard Foundation Awards taking place on Monday, May 4th at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Guelaguetza, founded by Fernando Lopez in 1994, is the center of Oaxacan life in Los Angeles, and the setting for countless quinceaneras, weddings, and anniversaries. A sprawling restaurant located in Koreatown, it features live music on a bandstand every night. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant draws both homesick Oaxacans and outlanders in search of honest Oaxacan foods.

It’s also famous for its vast collection of premium tequilas and mescals.

They are also known for their lauded variations of mole. The signature mole paste is available at the restaurant and via their on-line store. Bricia even has prepared a lively “how-to” video that makes preparing mole at home a snap.

Representing the proud second generation of family ownership is our in-studio guest, Bricia Lopez.

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Show 119, April 25, 2015: Bricia Lopez and Fernando Lopez, Jr, Guelaguetza

Bricia LopezOne of the most exciting series of Awards presented by the James Beard Foundation annually is the America’s Classics. This honor is given to regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. One of the five recipients for 2015 is Los Angeles’ Guelaguetza located in Koreatown and founded in 1994. This year’s honorees will be celebrated at the 25th anniversary James Beard Foundation Awards taking place on Monday, May 4th at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Bricia Lopez, one of the four children of Fernando Lopez and Maria de Jesus, now runs the restaurant along with her brother, Fernando Lopez, Jr., and her sister, Paulina Lopez. They have added a mescal bar and often bring in top producers from Mexico for seminars. The real star, however, remains the soulful Oaxacan food, including enfrijolados, tamales steamed in banana leaves with mole, bowls of goat stew, and big rounds of tiayudas, baked corn tortillas topped with semi-dried beef, Oaxacan cheese, and sometimes even grasshoppers.

Bricia and Fernando talk about how they all work together at Guelaguetza and what restaurants are on the dining list for the time they will be in Chicago for The Beard Awards. Their sister, Paulina, also is in the business keeping the books. Fernando explains the mystery of how Guelaguetza, a Oaxacan restaurant, came to be located in Koreatown.

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