Show 340, September 7, 2019: Executive Chef Tom Kerpon, La Posada de Santa Fe & Julia, a Spirited Restaurant & Bar

Tom Kerpon of Julia A Spirited Restaurant and BarLa Posada de Santa Fe, a Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, NM, with a rich history features, Julia – A Spirited Restaurant & Bar, their destination restaurant. La Posada’s Executive Chef, Tom Kerpon, escapes his busy kitchen for a chat.

“In the spirit of the restaurant’s namesake, Julia’s menu is refined and adventurous. The woman who inspired these courses traveled the Santa Fe Trail and started a family in the harsh environs of the American Southwest. In her honor, we have crafted a collection of entrées, tapas, starters and sides that put a twist on tradition. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails, Julia’s menu features a wide variety of traditional entrées with a twist and new recipes that you’ll love.”

“The restaurant’s namesake and muse is Julia Staab, an elegant Santa Fe socialite and matriarch of the prominent Staab family. In 1882, Mrs. Staab and her family, including her husband Abraham Staab, built a three-story brick mansion – in the French Second Empire-style – just two blocks east of the Santa Fe Plaza. The couple and their children entertained Santa Fe’s well-heeled social circles in the grand residence, enjoying a life of opulence and local prestige. The grand residence was decorated with ornate European materials, creating an environment so enticing that the ghost of Mrs. Staab is said to have taken up permanent residence.”

“The dining room at the new Santa Fe restaurant retains touches of the 19th century flair for which the original Staab mansion was renowned. Menus pay tribute to the restaurant’s original resident with refined flavors and perfectly plated presentations, channeling Mrs. Staab’s inspired sense of occasion and style.”

“Over the past two decades, Executive Chef Tom Kerpon has sharpened his epicurean skills at some of the most prestigious resorts, hotels and restaurants in Santa Fe and across the country including Bishops Lodge Resort, Inn of the Anasazi, La Chama and Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas, Texas. An active participant in the Santa Fe culinary scene, Kerpon serves on several boards including the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, of which he is a past President. He received his B.A. from the University of Texas and is a Certified Sommelier.”

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Show 170, May 7, 2016: Proprietor / Executive Chef Arthur Gonzalez, Panxa Cocina, Long Beach

Arthur GonzalezPanxa Cocina in Long Beach recently celebrated its year anniversary. It’s located in the former Christy’s space on E. Broadway. Chef Arthur Gonzalez (ex-ROE Restaurant) is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner. It’s Santa Fe, New Mexico-style cuisine with rich, bold flavors and a lot of imagination. Chef Art is with us for the menu highlights.

Panxa Cocina was born out of a lifetime of love for Latin cuisine and a desire to support locally sourced foods. Growing up in Cerritos, California, Chef Arthur Gonzalez helped his German mother and his Oaxacan grandmother prepare meals growing up.

Chef Gonzalez wanted to be a firefighter and started as a paid call firefighter at age 26, but due to a back injury, he discovered his passion for cooking in the firehouse kitchen. He then went on to Seal Beach restaurant, Spaghettini, as a dishwasher. This humble beginning for Chef gave him the opportunity to train in the kitchen. Two years after starting at Spaghettini, Chef Gonzalez was the pastry/sous chef at local legend Mahé before moving to New Mexico.

After working in several restaurants in New Mexico, Chef Gonzalez was introduced to James Beard award-winning Chef Eric Distefano of Coyote Café and Geronimo, who became his mentor. While working at Señor Lucky’s in Santa Fé, Chef Gonzalez met Vanessa Auclair, his current business partner here in California.

Vanessa and Chef came back to Southern California to work at McKenna’s On The Bay in Long Beach as Manager and Head Chef, respectively, with the goal of creating delicious, clean and simple food. Their success at McKenna’s led to the opening of seafood focused Roe on Second Street in Belmont Shore.

Deciding to try something new, Vanessa and Chef opened Panxa, inspired by their Southwestern roots, together creating a menu authentic to New Mexico and influenced by his family’s cooking throughout his childhood.

At Panxa, pronounced pan-zah (the Catalan word for belly), Chef Gonzalez has created a place for flavorful unique dishes, craft cocktails, wine, and an extensive tequila menu.

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