Who is Chef Marco Zapien?

Chef Marco Zapien

After working in the sports and entertainment industry for years, Marco C. Zapien decided in 2003 that it was time to build a reputation in the private sector by partnering with his father Jess in a family operated restaurant. Zapien’s Salsa Grill has been in operation for almost 19 years now and has been a community favorite for each and every one of those years. Marco has developed a unique style of cooking that incorporates two generations of his mothers and fathers family recipes with the passionate creativity he has developed throughout his culinary career. Since joining the partnership full time, the restaurant has exploded with much acclaim because of the tantalizing menu creations Marco has developed.

In 1997, after graduating with honors from The Los Angeles Culinary Institute, Marco began his professional culinary career at The Dal Rae Restaurant in Pico Rivera, California. This was a great place to learn and build a foundation for what was to come. He began in the sports and entertainment industry about a year later as a sous chef at Edison International Field of Anaheim. From there he made his name known in the industry by working in stadiums and arenas all over the country. Some of the stops included: The Portland Trailblazers, The Chicago Cubs, The Chicago White Sox, The Saint Louis Rams, The Oakland Raiders, The Oakland A’s, The Golden State Warriors, The Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, Clippers, Kings and The Anaheim Mighty Ducks. The last couple of stops were extra special in that Marco was able to cook and experience two Laker championships, an Angel World Series and a Mighty Duck trip to the Stanley Cup. One stop that was equally moving but not sports related was a visit from Pope John Paul II while working in Saint Louis.

Since leaving his Executive Chef post at The Pond of Anaheim in 2003, Marco has focused his attention on continuing to build a successful restaurant partnership with his father as well as opening Black Tie & Blue Jeans Catering which is a sister company to the existing restaurant. Chef Marco is also a corporate chef with Melissa’s World Variety Produce, Inc where he works with executive chefs in sports venues all over the country to help in creating new and exciting ways to use Melissa’s products on their game day menus. Marco was also selected to cook at the James Beard awards in 2005, and has taken on the Scott Boras Corporation, The Los Angeles Dodgers and The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as regular catering clients. Throughout his career, Marco’s imaginative dishes have allowed him to cross over many different styles of cooking while continuing to maintain an affinity for dishes that represent his Hispanic roots. Marco has and always will continue to pride himself on making the freshest, highest quality food and providing the best service that any restaurant and catering company should. Whether it is a catered event or dining in his restaurant, you will be sure to enjoy an amazing culinary experience.

Chef Marco Zapien's Recipes from the Live On Green Culinary Stage

Appearances at Live On Green

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