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November 2011


Food I S S U E

Our five reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving Discover ideas for a dream kitchen Perfect sushi rolls 25 things you didn’t know about Cafe Med chef Meir Brown



local restaurants

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Turkey day traditions



Ethnic foods

Every family celebrates Thanksgiving in a different way, but for lots of local households, a combination of these five traditions is common: Basque food, the infamous Pie Run, throwing the pigskin around, serving food to the homeless or shopping the holiday sales.

Discover the diverse tastes and atmospheres of the eight local restaurants columnist Kelly Damian recently visited. Each eatery specializes in a different cuisine from a certain region of the world.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011


Local foodie

This new monthly feature identifies locals with a passion for fine food and drinks. The first food aficionado we chose to introduce is Martin Ferdinand, who has traveled the world and has developed a strong liking for Moroccan cuisine. His 40-plus dinner parties are quite the hit around town.


Dream kitchen

Former Dining Diva Katie Kirschenmann loves hosting dinner parties too, especially since she now has the kitchen of her dreams.

Photo by Greg Nichols

3615 Mount Vernon Ave.


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Photo by Michael Lopez

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12 Up Front 18 Happenings 20 It Manners A Lot 22 Kelly Damian 24 Our Town 26 Real People 28 Food Dudes 32 Food and Wine 42 Sports Legend

44 On the Road 48 Why I Serve 56 Ladies Who‌ 67 Why I Live Here 68 Education

94 Talk of the Town 96 Trip Planner 100 Get out of Town 116 Snap! 125 Inside Story

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo courtesy of BHS

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70 Pastimes 72 Hometown Hero 86 History 90 Personality

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Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine November 2011 / Vol. 6 / Issue 2

Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Advertising Director Bryan Fahsbender Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Editor Stefani Dias Features Associate Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo Henry A. Barrios Jaclyn Borowski Casey Christie Michael Fagans Jessica Frey Lois Henry John Harte Alex Horvath Greg Iger Jeremy Gonzalez Greg Nichols Tanya X. Leonzo Michael Lopez Mark Nessia Jan St. Pierre Sarah Reingewirtz Ashley Reyes Carla Rivas Rodney Thornburg Alan Urquhart Contributing writers Vicki Adame Allie Castro Kelly Damian Gene Garaygordobil Lois Henry Lisa Kimble Stephen Lynch Mark Nessia Jeff Nickell Gabriel Ramirez Advertising Lupe Carabajal, 395-7563 Reader inquiries Bakersfield Life Magazine P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302-0440, 395-7492 On the cover The kitchen of foodie Martin Ferdinand shows his interest for his favorite type of cuisine, Moroccan. Photographed by Jessica Frey


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

In love with food


Welcome to one delicious issue. Delicious because it is filled with so many stories about food. Some of us have a love-hate relationship with it. Others openly embrace it. And a few are still in denial. Although I love food, I’m not a cook. I admire cooks, they’re like food whisperers … food artists, food yogis. Grabbing a number of edible items, they can create a beautiful masterwork. While I may not cook, I am blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who do, and they are always willing to share their love. Like my loved ones, many people in our community connect to others through food, so we decided to showcase some of them. Inside we feature 25 things about Cafe Med owner Meir Brown. His answers are sure to surprise you. Love to bake? Meet four women who feel the same and turned their passion into a career, including Anamie Mahanke of Anamie’s Sweets and Heidi Key of HeidiCakes. Want a dream kitchen? Katie Kirschenmann, who fell in love with cooking thanks to her grandmother, offers plenty of tips on creating that special kitchen of your dreams. In this issue, we also introduce a new monthly feature: Foodie. This section will highlight local food aficionados. If you know someone who fits this bill, please tell us by emailing your nomination to and title your message “Foodie Nomination.” For those, like me, who don’t consider themselves cooking pros, don’t worry. There are tons of great restaurants that can provide what our little hearts and appetites desire. In fact, in this issue, we featured 45 of the coolest restaurants in town. Want more? Columnist Kelly Damian takes us on a tour of eight ethnic restaurants to try. Last but certainly not least, you must add this to your schedule to fully experi-

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo

Bakersfield Life™ magazine is published by The Bakersfield Californian. The magazine is inserted into The Bakersfield Californian on the last Saturday of every month. To subscribe, please call 392-5777.

ence the celebration of food, especially in honor of this issue and the Thanksgiving holiday: the Taste of Home Cooking School. Presented by Bakersfield Hyundai, the Taste of Home Cooking School at Rabobank Theater will feature nearly 30 booths of shopping, home improvement tips, food and more! The event ushers us into the holiday season, known for shopping, dressing up your home and picking up some new cooking tips. (I think this has my name written all over it). Get out and check out the fun. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 15 for the shopping bazaar, and the cooking demonstration, featuring culinary specialist Kristi Larson, begins at 6 p.m. General admission tickets are still available ( or 1-800-745-3000) for $15, which includes a goodie bag filled with samples from national vendors, a one-year subscription to Taste of Home Magazine and more. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487

UP FRONT Short Takes

On Nov. 2, the Bakersfield Museum of Art will host the third annual Altares de Familia – a cultural experience like no other! Following the ancient and revered customs of Día de los Muertos, the Altares de Familia event will feature beautifully designed altars created by local residents to honor the lives of their deceased loved ones. Attendees will also enjoy delicious food, dance troupes, musical acts and mariachis, arts and crafts projects for kids, vendor booths and educational presentations sure to entertain the entire family. “This event has been growing each year with popularity and participation,” said Jason Gutierrez, marketing director for BMoA. “It’s a visually and culturally powerful event. From the detailed altars to the traditional dancing and music, Altares de Familia is about bringing art to life and celebrating the diversity found within our community.” For those unfamiliar with the traditional Dia de los Muertos celebration, this event is an opportunity to learn and embrace a piece traditional heritage for the Hispanic community. “The food is delicious, the music and dancing are beautiful and the altars are inspiring. However, for those who know nothing about this cultural celebration, Altares de Familia will have an educational forum to explain why the event happens and why it’s important to the Hispanic community.” Gutierrez said.

Photo courtesy of Bakersfield Muesum of Art

Altares de Familia is a true cultural affair

The event goes from 5 to 8 p.m. Admission is $1, and all the proceeds go to the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s art education programs. Food will be available for purchase as well as nonalcoholic beverages. For a full listing of entertainment and activities visit — Bakersfield Museum of Art

Word on the Street By Ashley Reyes

What home-cooked food reminds you of your grandmother? Chicken mole, because she would always make it for my aunt’s birthdays. Courtney Grijalva

Tacos, because she makes them every Friday when I spend the night. Samantha Dominguez

Menudo, because she makes it every Sunday morning. Isabela Trevino Homemade tortillas. I remember her ring clicking on the rolling pin as she was making them. I could even hear it when I was outside playing.

Her homemade tortillas. We would gather around waiting for them. LaDean Mata

My grandma’s tamales. I remember her house always smelling like them. Sandy Gonzalez

David Hernandez Delicious chile rellenos. She had them every time I would go to her house. Angelica Sierra 12

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

My grandma Hope’s enchiladas. She would babysit us and I learned a lot from her. It is a family tradition now. Kristen Hernandez

Rice and beans; she made the best! Celina Cardona

Short Takes

Fall luncheon spotlights law enforcement Come out and join the Kern County Law Enforcement Foundation for its Fall Forum Luncheon and Administrator of the Year Award from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 at the Stockdale Country Club The luncheon will recognize the accomplishments of this year’s honoree and administrator of the year, Jeff Kermode, Tehachapi police chief. Chief Kermode was sworn in as Tehachapi’s chief on Nov. 27, 2006, and had the police department operational on July 1, 2007. Tehachapi began with 11 sworn and two civilian employees but has now grown to 14, including a drug K-9, a mounted patrol unit and an officer serving on the Kern County Narcotics Task Force. Chief Kermode has 32 years of law enforcement experience having served 26 years with the Irvine Police Department. While with Irvine PD, Chief Kermode served in almost all areas in the Department such as patrol, special operations, planning and research, training, communications and personnel. Chief Kermode was a long-term SWAT member and eventually served as SWAT commander. Chief Kermode earned a bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine and

a J.D. from Western State University. He has been a member of the California State Bar since 1985 and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and the Southwest Command College. Kermode also was a part-time instructor at Golden West College and an adjunct professor for Kaplan University. Chief Kermode is serving as the current president of the Kern County Chief Law Enforcement Officer’s Association. Chief Kermode enjoys horses and the outdoors, having served as a volunteer for the Cleveland National Forest and the Orange County Regional Parks, providing equestrian patrols of park wilderness areas. Chief Kermode is supported by his wife, Debi, and his parents, Ralph and Vicky, who live in Bear Valley. The luncheon’s keynote speaker will be Laurencio “Larry� Brito, FBI Unit Chief of the Criminal Investigative Division in El Paso, Texas. As a drug expert, Brito will discuss international drug cartels and challenges. Tickets are $25 per person or $300 per table. Please contact Pauly Wren at 861-7911 — Lynn Watkins



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UP FRONT It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Narducci’s Cafe in the teapot on the stove. Well known for her feisty personality, she was rumored to chase trouble makers away with a meat cleaver. She even raised two pet lambs in the basement. Their son Frank went on to establish Amestoy on the Hill on River Boulevard, and their daughter, Josephine, purchased the hotel from her family in 1953, operating it until 1964 when she sold it to Raymond Maitia. A few years later, the hotel changed hands again — from Basque proprietorship to Italian. Marino Narducci and his brother Leo bought the building and changed the name to Marino's. After a couple of years, the name was switched back to the more recognizable Amestoy. In 1977, Marino's son James took over and the following year renamed it Narducci's. Today Narducci and Julie Shine run the restaurant and residence hotel upstairs. The present brick building is a replacement of the original Cesmat destroyed by fire around the turn-of-the-century. Known for great steaks and authentic Basque fare, stepping inside Narducci's is like a walk back in time — old menu boards, Basque memorabilia and original photographs chronicling the hotel's history line the walls. Photo by Michael Fagans

Leafing through the savory pages of the early days of Basque culture in Old Town Kern, there is a brick building on East 21st Street with a past as storied as the food is delicious at the presentday cafe. It also boasts more name changes than most. In the late 1800s, east Bakersfield was the hub of Basque society. Sheepherders, mostly young and unmarried, with little command of the English language, needed a place to hang their hat, thus giving rise to the establishment of boarding houses like the Iberia Hotel and the Metropole. Another well-known hotel, the Cesmat was built in the late 1890s by French immigrant Marius Cesmat. President William McKinley visited the hotel in 1900 while on a railroad tour. Francisco (Frank) Amestoy and his wife, Anselma, purchased the Cesmat in 1927 while both were still working at the Noriega Hotel. They operated the Noriega until 1931, when they left to take over management of the Cesmat, changing its name to the Amestoy Hotel. Bakersfield Basques had a difficult time with prohibition. Anselma's friends called her "Txaparita," reportedly because she had developed clever ways of hiding alcohol, whether in her brassiere or

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UP FRONT 25 random things you didn’t know about ...

Meir Brown When he’s not teaching his cooking classes or running Cafe Med, his popular local restaurant, which celebrated 20 years this past June, Chef Meir Brown enjoys playing volleyball and spending time with his kids. Brown, 55, also supports local charities and is most active with the Wounded Heroes Fund because he feels it is extremely important to support those who have given so much for our country. Visit the local Costcos and various grocery stores to pick up a box of Brown’s fresh pita breads along with the red and green dips.

1 I have a temper. 2 I have an obsessive, compulsive personality.

3 I have absolutely no patience. 4 I talk to the TV and others who

13 I am a terrible driver. 14 I used to work at Wendy’s. 15 I served in the Israel Defense Force. 16 I love tacos. 17 I’m a New York Giants fan. 18 I’m crazy about volleyball.

19 I love wine. 20 I was born and raised in Israel.

21 I am a terrible speller.

22 I’m a great chef.

can’t hear me, including myself.

5 I’m an obsessive solitaire player.

6 I’m colorblind. 7 I’m dyslexic. 8 I started a restaurant

with no proper training or prior experience.

9 I have three children, two sons and a daughter, and a daughter-in-law.

23 I lose my glasses,

keys or phone several times a day.

10 I was a dairyman and showed cattle.

24 I have amazing friends.

11 I sold bull sperm for a dairy.

25 I speak three different languages: English, Hebrew and French.

12 I have a

Photo by Felix Adamo

soft spot for charity.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Signature Properties, Signature Service By the Numbers

Rankin Ranch 1863


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the age at which Walker Rankin passed away


the year family matriarch Lavinia Rankin turned 100

age of Walker Rankin when he left home and headed to California traveling through Panama to San Francisco


Mary Christenson


the number of generations who have operated the family ranch since 1863

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the year Walker Rankin married Lavinia Estelle Lightner

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Find more community events at or submit yours via e-mail:

Tue. 1

Wed. 2

Fri. 4

Fri. 4-5

Sat. 5

Sat. 5

Riverdance — The Farewell Tour Broadway in Bakersfield, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $30 to $60 plus fee. or call 800-745-3000.

First Wednesday, special events and refreshments, 9:30 to 11 a.m., Bakersfield Museum of Art, 1930 R St. $4 nonmembers. 323-7219.

First Friday, featuring live music, art openings, specialty shops, galleries and boutiques, 5 to 9 p.m., Downtown Arts District. or 634-9598.

Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Series, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $15 to $60 plus fee. or 800-745-3000.

CSUB Jazz Coffeehouse, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., CSUB, Student Union, Multipurpose Room, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $10; $5 students/seniors, free to students with ID. 654-6142.

Monster Truck Spectacular, gates open at 5 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m., Kern County Fairgrounds, Grandstand. $15 to $20, free under age 2. or 3225200.

Sun. 6

Fri. 11

Fri. 11

Fri. 11

Gordon Lightfoot, 8 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $30 to $55. vallitix. com or 322-5200.

92nd Veteran’s Day Parade, parade will begin at 10 a.m. at 21st and L St. 3249453.

CSUB Singers & Friends, 8 to 9 p.m., CSUB, Dore Theatre, 9001 Stockdale HIghway. $10; $5 seniors/ students, free for CSUB students w/ID. 654-2156.

Military Vehicle Show, 2 to 7 p.m., Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. Free.

Sun. 13

Tue. 15

Wed. 16

Sat. 19

2011 House Concert Series with Willson & McKee Duo, 4 p.m. $22; $20 for Arts Council of Kern members; $10 students. Venue details are released once a ticket has been purchased, 324-9000.

Taste of Home Cooking School, 3:30 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $15 to $35 plus fee. or 800-745-3000.

Monty Python’s Spamalot Broadway in Bakersfield, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $30 to $60 plus fee. or call 800-745-3000.

19th annual Olive Knolls Craft Fair, with more than 50 vendors, breakfast and lunch available for $5, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Olive Knolls Church, 6201 Fruitvale Ave. 399-3303.

Mon. 21

Tue. 22

Sat. 26

The Bakersfield Winds Concert, 7:30 p.m., Olive Drive Church, 5500 Olive Drive. $5. 204-0334.

Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! It’s Time to Dance!, 6 p.m., Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $28.50 to $40.50 plus fee. or call 800-745-3000.

BB King with Elvin Bishop, 6:30 p.m., Fox Theater, 2001 H St., $35 to $115 plus fee. or 322-5200.

Bakersfield Life

November 2011






Can’t-miss events in November


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Breaking bread, not good manners

R By Lisa Kimble

Remember when going out to dinner was a very big deal? I do. My sisters and I sat quietly in wonderment in the big, red leather booth at The Coachlight Inn, our parents did the ordering, and we were "seen" and not "heard." Everyone was on their best behavior. Of course, that was before cell phones, tweets and apps. Dining out, whether it is the rule in your house or the exception as it was in mine, should be a satisfying experience and a treat where the cooking and clean-up is left to someone else. Sadly, as any hostess or waiter will tell you, too many patrons are tossing common courtesy out the window before setting foot inside a dining establishment, serving up their own platter of incivility for those who will wait on them or be seated nearby. Here in tri-tip country, where social mores are as casual as attire when it comes to eating out, your dining experience may have been limited to a leather seat in front of a steering wheel, but breaking bread out in public with family and friends shouldn't smother social graces like biscuits under gravy. First, never take a reservation for granted. Whenever possible, make one and keep it. If you're held up by a tardy babysitter, restaurants around town will appreciate a call that you are running a few minutes late, but that doesn't mean you can roll in an hour later. Securing a reservation is not a license to show up whenever you want to. Dress for the occasion and location. If you're dining at some of Bakersfield's finer restaurants like the Belvedere at the Padre or Maxwell's, don't don jeans. You're not likely to see a 'no shirt, no shoes, no problem' sign anywhere either. And while you may be trying to impress your date, take the cowboy hat off. Remember, gentlemen are supposed to remove their hats indoors. Boots can stay on. Put the cell phone on silent, unless you are on call. It may be your special evening out, but restaurants are still public spaces. The group at the next table isn't interested in Lisa Kimble

hearing you say goodnight to your kids. Whatever you do, don't start texting or tweeting. If you are that bored and disinterested already, you might as well stand on the chair and announce it to the room. It really is that obvious to everyone and a slap in the face to your companion. Wait until everyone at the table has been served before you begin eating. If it is a formal dinner, wait until the host or hostess has raised their fork. So much of this defies common sense, but it has become so commonplace that it bears repeating: Don't rest elbows on the table or talk with your mouth full of food. Snapping your fingers at the staff won't make you look like a big shot, just a big boor. I guarantee it. Times are tough, but don't be a tightwad and forget to tip: 15 percent to 18 percent is the rate these days. Conversely, if you were less than pleased with the service, don't communicate it by leaving just a penny. Ouch. If you are unhappy with the food, it is okay to send it back to the kitchen, but after a bite or two, not after you've licked the plate clean. However, a difference in palates is not a reason to do so. Remember, the waiter brought it to you, he didn't make it, so there's no need to berate him about your beef with the steak. Parents often lose sight of the fact that a night out with the family for dinner is not a substitute for a babysitter. Keep an eye on your children. No host or waitress should have to play hopscotch around unattended children fiddling with the salt and pepper shakers while Mom and Dad are in the bar. If possible, bring something to occupy younger diners until the food arrives. Keeping them busy isn't the staff's responsibility. For older children, encourage them to ask the waiter questions, but unless you don't mind taking home $100 in leftovers, don't let them order with their stomachs. Avoid the temptation to table hop, reapply makeup in the powder room, and if other diners are turning to look your way, it's probably a good idea to turn the volume down on your own conversation. After all, it really does ‘manner a lot.’ Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to or visit

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The sidewalks of Bakersfield


Buck Owens, in that song we all know the words to, asked “How many of you who sit and judge me, ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?” I thought of that song the other evening when I walked to the Walgreen's around the corner from my house. A woman turning right came close to flattening me in the crosswalk, and then testily motioned for me to hurry up. After an animated exchange of sign language, I had to wonder, ‘How many of you who sit and drive here, ever walked the streets of Bakersfield?’ I walked a lot when I lived in Oakland: to the post office and to the store for the chicken bouillon I always forgot, to dinner and to Peet's for coffee. I liked checking out the urban ecosystems in my neighbors' unkempt lawns and I liked those moments in the evening, passing a house with the curtains pulled back and the lights on, when I could catch a little tableau of family life. Bakersfield is a tough town for a walker. The distances from residential to commercial areas are measured mostly in miles and drivers are just not accustomed to dealing with pedestrians. They blast through right turns and swerve around people in crosswalks. The general attitude seems to be, 'You put yourself out there, what else did you expect?' Walking in this town, you empathize with the clay pigeons at a shooting range. There are places here that make for a pretty enjoyable stroll. The walk along the bluffs can be very beautiful and I love the path along the river. I've walked through the restored Mill Creek area several times and it is very nicely done. Of course, I have to drive to get to any of those locations. In a town that is made for driving, people’s cars become extensions of themselves and they tell me all sorts of information I don't really care to know; making my drive to work a sort of involuntary journey through Face-

book. I learn that my fellow citizens are not of this world and that in the battle of the fishes, Christianity trumps Darwin (as if there is no way for the two to swim alongside one another). To show their dislike for a certain team, they post a picture of a small boy peeing on said team. (Straightforward and classy!) They tell me they are Disney fanatics, or wearers of flip-flops. They display the laundry list of their children's accomplishments: honor roll and outstanding citizen and cartoon figures brandishing soccer balls and baseball bats. Then there are those who have dedicated considerable time and money to winning the vehicular arms race with trucks lifted five feet off the ground, their chassis hovering over giant tires meant for charging through mud and over rocks, sporting stickers of machine guns and skeleton faces wearing skull helmets, and with the final (and inexplicable) flourish of metal testicles swaying from the trailer hitch. Our vehicles do not merely transport people. They proselytize, memorialize and terrorize. Bakersfield is in a sort of awkward adolescence, a state of in-between. Are we an agriculture and oil town? Are we a small city? Or are we a collection of tract-housing fiefdoms? I don’t want to forever be this adolescent town, sprawling recklessly over farmland, dropping thoughtless clumps of strip malls behind us. I hope that we mature into a thoughtful city, a place where we are not doomed to drive, but are welcomed to walk. On the streets of Bakersfield, Buck was able to be himself. I think if we were able to walk more, we could be ourselves too, and then our cars wouldn’t have to do so much of the talking for us.

Photo by Alex Horvath


Push your body. Find your beat.


661-589-8950 • 800-FIT-IS-IT 22

Bakersfield Life

November 2011



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Model trains Golden Empire Historical & Modeling Society Model Train Club Every Saturday morning, the Golden Empire Historical & Modeling Society Model Train Club meets on the second floor of a popular downtown restaurant to build and operate two of the largest model train layouts in California. For more information, call Don Seames at 871-8339, or visit

Santa and Mrs. Claus on the back of the caboose along with two polar bears.

Photos by Casey Christie

Pete Bonetti, left, and Doug Wagner, work on the large train track layout.

Doug Wagner is a small scale train fan and enjoys the model train club he participates in regularly. 24

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Josh Rodriguez keeps an eye on the long line of tracks on the small scale train setup



Oscar Enciso: It’s all in the cut Full high school class led to career


Similar to last month’s “Real Person,” Oscar Enciso’s career also began after a scheduling mishap at East Bakersfield High School. In 1978, Enciso went to his guidance counselor hoping to land a spot in an auto body class. However, his counselor soon informed him that the class was full, but there was a meat cutting class with an opening. “He called me and said ‘I can’t get you into the auto body and benders class, but I can get you in this (meat cutting) class. You get to leave school for three hours.’ And I said, ‘That sounds good!’” Enciso said. So for three hours a day for two years Enciso would leave school to attend class in a classroom/ meat locker, where the instructor would show them how to process the meat, how to cut it, at what angle, what the thickness should be, what it’s used in, and how to cook it. One of the highlights of the two-year program was a trip to Cal Poly for a sausage seminar. “It was two guys from steak companies up north, and one was wearing an $800 suit making sausage and just getting all dirty like it didn’t even bother him,” Enciso said. “We learned how salami is made, how sausages are twisted, and they gave us samples and cooked it for us while talking to us about how spices are combined so that one spice doesn’t dominate the others. It was pretty neat.” The program earned Enciso his first job at FoodLand and subsequently enough money to buy his first car. From there, he went on to work at Helm’s, Green Frog and at his current position at Wood-Dale’s Market which he said customers refer to as “Bakersfield’s best-kept secret.” Enciso agreed to share some insight on what he calls the art of meat cutting, along with some fun facts about his work place and some of the best tips he’s learned during his more than 30 years in the business.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Oscar Enciso, butcher at Wood-Dale Market.

Photo by Felix Adamo

By Allie Castro

Barbecue advice Ribs

I’ve noticed that when people cook ribs they dry them out. What you need to do is season them with crushed garlic, spices, and wrap in foil two times, put it on the grill over medium heat, and leave it there 30 minutes on each side. Then, take it out of the foil, put it back on the grill for 15 minutes on each side. As it’s cooking, start laying your sauce on it. Those ribs will just fall off the bone.

Steak Always use wood when you’re cooking/barbecu-

ing. That’s what will give you the most flavor. Charcoal will give you that charcoal burnt flavor. If you cook with wood, you’ll be amazed at how much better your steak will taste. I use white oak or red oak wood. I also cook a lot with pistachio wood; it gives it a really good mellow wood flavor that doesn’t overpower the meat.

Burgers If you want to make a really good hamburger

get your meat, get a red onion and some garlic cloves and dice them very finely. Then season the meat, throw the diced onions and garlic in the meat and mix it in, like you make a meatloaf. Make your patties, grill the patties with onion and garlic in the meat , right before they’re finished, then start laying your barbecue sauce on it and that will be the best hamburger you will ever eat.

How many kinds of meat does Wood-Dale sell? It’s more of a specialty store, so we carry items you can’t find anywhere else, including rabbit, bison, frog legs, organic chicken, and organic beef which is grass fed only. We also carry American lamb from Davis, which is less gamey than the other lamb you’ll find in Bakersfield that is typically from New Zealand. We carry about eight different kinds of meats and 30 different kinds of sausages. How many pounds of meat per week are you responsible for? At least 2,300 pounds per week and that’s not counting the deer the hunters bring in. What are your favorite knives to use? Forschner knives. What’s the most popular item? The No. 1 meat is tri-tip, at close to 400 pounds sold per week. The No.1 sausage is the Kicking Chicken, which is boneless chicken breast, jalapenos, garlic, black pepper, salt and crushed red pepper. What item is the best-kept secret? The sirloin ball tip. It’s leaner, cheaper and more tender than tritip, it’s just not as popular because not many people know about it. The texture is really fine like filet mignon, but it only takes about 45 minutes to cook where tri-tip would take an hour. The grain is really fine on it too, and we sell them seasoned with our house blend. What’s the most unusual item on the menu? The frog legs. Lots of people come in for those. It tastes like chicken and fish at the same time. What’s the most expensive cut of meat? Filet mignon is the most expensive at about $16.99 a pound. That seems to be the women’s favorite steak. How many meat cutting-related injuries? (Laughs) About 50 cuts. I’ve stabbed myself twice: once in the stomach, once in the leg. It just went in a couple of inches. When I stabbed my leg I missed my main artery by a quarter inch.






Medical Group, Inc.

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The Food Dudes — back row, from left: Kevin McCloskey, David Luter, Bill Trivitt and Chris Hanson — and their wives — from left: Tamara McCloskey, Martha Luter, Michelle Trivitt and Amy Hanson — prepare for a farewell review meal.

Food Dudes bid adieu Valentien wraps up the Food Dudes’ explorations of Bakersfield’s dining treasures Photos by Greg Nichols

Bill Trivitt This is the final article for the original Food Dudes, and we couldn't have picked a better place than Valentien Restaurant and Wine Bar. To top it off, we were able to bring our lovely wives. My wife and I have known the owners, Jennifer Sanderson and Jeramy Brown, for years, so we were excited for them to host the evening. Valentien serves French cuisine fused with California freshness. With Jeramy’s extensive management experience and Jennifer’s artistic flare, the restaurant has transformed into a huge success. Valentien is a cozy place and lends itself perfectly for a romantic night out. It is one of 28

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

A sweet ending for the Dudes. our favorite places for upscale dining. The Valentien menu changes five times a year and they are always adding new and exciting items, such as antelope, oxtail or elk. This includes the wine list. Jeramy is pursuing his Master Sommelier title and he never ceases to amaze me with the great wine selections, as well as a

nice assortment of craft brews, domestic and imported. Jennifer goes out of her way to make your dining experience perfect. She continually cooks up new ideas to make Valentien a hopping place, with works from local artist Brent Eviston and special events like summer movie screenings on the patio, including "Endless Summer" and "The Godfather." This is to complement your dinner and drinks, of course. As this is our last article I need to thank a few people. Dave and Kevin started our adventure, my hats off to you, Dudes. I would like to thank Dana Martin for helping us present our original article to Bakersfield Life, and to Olivia Garcia for sending us to some great Bakersfield spots. And most of all to my wife, Michelle, for helping me keep things on track and being my editor. This has been an experience that I will never forget. We had great times with great friends and great food.

Kevin McCloskey Our last Food Dude hurrah was also Tamara's first visit to Valentien, and I was very pleased and surprised when she agreed to try the his and hers paired menu. We began with the triple flight cheese plate and the Charles de Fere Cremant, a sparkling wine from France. This was a great way to start a truly fantastic meal, and I learned that even the French refuse to let their Champagne region grab all the sparkling wine glory. Next was an amuse bouche or bite-sized hors d'oeuvre (I looked it up) of a seafood risotto paired with an Oakville Ranch Chardonnay and a ceviche bite on herbed

Petite artichoke pancake

masa paired with Pyramid's Apricot Ale. I realize it is only supposed to be a morsel to tease your palette, but I wished I had more of both. I did spot these tasty dishes on the regular menu, so they have me covered for my next visit. The pairings were spot-on and reminded me that this is a skill I would really enjoy learning more about, but for now, I was happy to leave it to the experts. Luckily I didn't have too long to mourn the loss of the early amusements, as the appetizers were delivered. Tamara got the petite artichoke pancake along with a generous taste of Cave de Pomerols Picpoul de Pinet. On the "his" side, I was blessed with the rosemary garlic antelope topped with a mustard cream sauce paired with a Greenlakes Organic Ale. I didn't really know what to expect with this, having never tried antelope before, but on an adventure like this you have to put your trust in the chef. This spherical steak was perfectly prepared, delicious and well complimented with the ale. Our salad course consisted of a butter leaf treat with walnuts, Roquefort cheese and Gala apples, and a glass of Alban Viognier. Cool and crisp. For me it was braised oxtail over spinach with a warm onion dressing, and my absolute favorite wine of the evening, Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone. When I originally pitched the idea for the Food Dudes to David, our attitude was "What do we have to lose?" Since that day, it has been one fantastic culinary experience after another. I want to thank Olivia Garcia for the opportunity and awesome assignments; my fellow Food Dudes for the great Continued on page 80

Ceviche bite on herbed masa

Tea-smoked salmon


The Food Dudes, along with their wives, toast their final dining experience for Bakersfield Life.

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Continued from page 29

times; Dave DuBose, our backup Dude and first photographer; Greg Nichols, our fine photog and unofficial fifth Dude; and my beautiful wife, Tamara, for her love, support and encouragement.

Chris Hanson Continuing on through the marvelous food flight, we came to the heart of any night of fine dining; the entrees. The ladies were served tea-smoked salmon with a wild mushroom saute and lemon scented creme fraiche. My wife, Amy, loves salmon and often chooses a grilled or broiled preparation when dining out. She was a little apprehensive of the tea smoked, but knew she would not be disappointed. “Have you ever had salmon melt in your mouth?� was her first response. The warm smoke of the two tea varieties brought forth a flavorful and delicate salmon that was irresistible. The honey glazed carrots were a perfect accompaniment to satisfy my Food Dudette. The guys enjoyed filet mignon au poivre (with pepper). The chef, as he did with the antelope earlier, created a superb, medium rare steak that was not rushed to service, making it juicy and tender. Coupled with the spiciness of the pepper, this dish would have been perfect on its own. Adding a drizzle of the cognac cream sauce atop the steak made it unforgettable. I liked the cream sauce so much that I requested an additional side so I could dip my pommes frites (French fries). Ketchup or fry sauce be damned! The amount of food served was definitely on the mark, while allowing the entire evening to have a perfect pace to the meal. Valentien created just the right bites, paired with the right drinks at just the right time.


Sake braised short ribs Robert & Connie Taylor

This last Food Dudes article is apropos for both Amy and I as we have decided to move out of state. This is a very bittersweet decision as we truly love our family, friends and food in Bakersfield. Sharing meals, laughs and true friendship with the three other Food Dudes has been a blessing that I will hold dearly. Also, I want to send a special thank you to Dave DuBose who filled in for me for a few Food Dude articles. He started as my supervisor and became a great friend!

Thank you for 35 great years serving the Bakersfield Community. 2300 Eye Street (Across from Rite Aid)


Hoours: Mon. - Fri. 10-6 • Sat. 10-5 • Closed Sundays

David Luter Rounding out this incredible evening was a chocolate souffle paired with port and followed up with coffee. My wife, Martha, and I both enjoy this dessert and our expectations were high. I’m happy to say that the chefs at Valentien delivered. Light, airy, and paired with a serving of Koda Port, this souffle was outstanding. The port, with hints of chocolate mingled with the dessert and left me surprised at how good it tasted and how the pairing of the port enhanced the flavors of both. Not to be upstaged by dessert was the coffee. Now as Food Dudes, we are occasionally treated a little different than most guests at a restaurant. It isn’t something we brag about, but we get to see some cool things. Matt, our waiter, brought out the Yama Siphon brewer and a small butane burner to go under it. Next thing you know, we have fire! Of course the fire was contained under the brewer. In a few minutes the heated water rose into the top orb, saturated the coffee grounds and then filtered back to the bottom container. This method eliminates all the bitterness and odd flavors that a percolated cup of coffee can bring. The coffee served to us was robust, flavorful, and about the best cup anyone had ever had. This dinner was outstanding, my wife and I had a tremendously good time and we both look forward to our next visit. Add Valentien to your Bakersfield bucket list, and be sure to tell them the Food Dudes sent you. The Food Dudes started out as a lunch time discussion to pitch a story idea, then became a year plus food tour featuring some of the best places Bakersfield (and Keene) has to offer. I’d like to thank Olivia and the group at Bakersfield Life; Greg, for all those photos; Dana, for helping us get this started; and my best friend and wife, Martha, for her endless love and support.

8200 Stockdale (Stockdale & Gosford) 834-7467



Sensational sushi

Sushi Kato’s California Roll 32

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo by Michael Lopez

Seven rolls you have to taste

Photo by Casey Christie

Tuna tadaki from Ichiban Sushi


By Gabriel Ramirez

If you are looking for some tasty, light and refreshing food, then sushi should be on your plate. Bakersfield has several great places to order those creative presentations of spicy tuna or tasty tempura rolls. If you want to get your sushi fix or are feeling adventurous and want to try something new, then check out these local Japanese hot spots. Sushi Kato Goro Kato, owner 3631 Rosedale Highway

What makes great sushi? Fresh fish. You must have fresh fish. Quality is the most important followed by presentation. What is your most popular sushi? California roll. What is in it? Crab cake and avocado rolled in rice and seaweed. I prefer my sushi to be: Traditional style, which means raw fish, whether it is yellow tail, tuna, salmon or eel.

Why is your restaurant the place in town to have sushi? We have been here for 15 years and serve more than 400 pounds of fish every week.

Ichiban Sushi Heidi Choe, co-owner 2641 Oswell St., Suite D 3700 Gosford Road, Suite A What makes great sushi? Fresh fish. You have to have fresh fish and good rice; that is all it takes. What is your most popular sushi? Tuna tadaki. What is in it? Seared tuna sashimi. I prefer my sushi to be: Raw and fresh. Why is your restaurant the place in town to have sushi? A few reasons; we have fresh fish, good service, good atmosphere and it’s affordable. Continued on page 34


Photo by Michael Lopez

House #33 from Bento Express

Continued from page 33

Bento Express Cindy Ho, co-owner 1652 Oak St. What makes great sushi? Fresh ingredients, a talented chef and you have to have the touch. What is your most popular sushi? House #33. What is in it? Crab meat, spicy scallop, avocado, cucumber, deepfried shrimp and spicy tuna all wrapped in soy paper and topped with albacore tuna. Why is your restaurant the place in town to have sushi? We have quick service. While we do cater to the on-the-go lunch crowd, we also provide a great atmosphere for people to bring their family and friends and dine out.

Photo by Greg Nichols

Red Bull from Enso

Enso’s Ex-Girlfriend

Enso Japanese Bar Sam Son, representative 1419 19th St.

What is in it? The Red Bull has cucumber, avocado, shrimp tempura, spicy crabmeat and seared filet mignon, jalapeno and two house sauces on top. The Ex-Girlfriend has cucumber, avocado, shrimp tempura and spicy crab meat topped with raw salmon, tuna and two house sauces. I prefer my sushi to be: Fresh. Why is your restaurant the place in town to have sushi? We have the best quality food and great atmosphere.

Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant Sean Park, manager 8200 Stockdale Highway

What makes great sushi? Quality and good presentation.

What makes great sushi? Good ingredients and good fish.

What is your most popular sushi? Red Bull and Ex-Girlfriend

What is your most popular sushi? Yellow Submarine.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo by Greg Nichols

I prefer my sushi to be: Simple. I don’t like too much sauces.

Photo by Michael Lopez

Miyoshi’s Yellow Submarine

Use the Best ….

to capture your memories!

What is in it? Shrimp tempura and avocado wrapped in soybean paper with spicy tuna and special sauce. I prefer my sushi to be: The freshest in town. Why is your restaurant the place in town to have sushi? We have the freshest sushi in town and good service.

Akira’s Japanese Restaurant Yong In, owner 4154 California Ave. What makes great sushi? The mood of customer dictates a lot of the taste. High quality fish is good, but the atmosphere dictates a lot. What is your most popular sushi? Flying tiger roll. What is in it? Crab, cucumber, avocado, topped with shrimp and avocado. I prefer my sushi to be: Fresh. Why is your restaurant the place in town to have sushi? We use higher quality ingredients and put out consistent quality and service.

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Quick eats Local eateries giving new meaning to the term fast food By Allie Castro


Great food, excellent customer service, reasonable prices and convenience are a few of the reasons customers keep coming back to the Grill Hut. 36

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo by Greg Nichols

Photo by Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx

The old standby chain fast food restaurants are the places most people turn to when pressed for time, whether during the 30-minute lunch break or when rushing to gets the kids off the soccer practice or ballet. But some new local hotspots are redefining fast food as we know it.

Culinary Creations Names and positions: Miranda and Theo Morris, chefs/ owners What kind of food are you known for? Healthy and fresh food on-the-go! It’s made in the New American style combining flavors from America's melting pot with traditional techniques and ethnic twists. Customer favorites: Crisscut sweet potato fries with ancho citrus ketchup, sage pesto chicken sandwich, Southwest turkey burger, spicy pulled pork po boy and the Thanksgiving sandwich. Photo by Greg Nichols

Your personal favorite: Miranda’s favorite is clam chowder in the winter, and Theo’s is the McMurphy’s burger. What keeps customers coming back? We change our menu seasonally (about every three months), and cook everything to order. Price range of the items on your menu: $4 to $18 Hours of operation: Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, hours vary on Sunday at McMurphy's Any “secret” menu items? Over easy eggs and sweet potato fries in the breakfast burrito … DELISH! Locations: We are serving lunch at McMurphy's Irish Pub at 14 Monterey St. Check Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the location of our “Gourmet Food Trailer.”

The Grill Hut Names and titles: Ernie Waldo and Randy Blunt, co-owners What kind of food are you known for? We offer barbecue tri-tip, chicken, pulled pork, and baby back ribs. All of our food is made fresh daily from homemade recipes.

The Filling Station serves quality organic coffee, tea and whole-fruit smoothies. service, reasonable pricing, convenient, and because there's a drive thru it's like fast food but healthier.” Price range of the items on your menu: $4.99 to $12.99. Hours of operation: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; Continued on page 38

Customer favorites: Our customers can’t decide what they like the best. The tri-tip sandwich has been our top seller since we've opened. The flavor of the meat stands on its own merit and doesn't really need any barbecue sauce or salsa. Chipasta described simply as barbecue meets Italian. It’s a bed of angel hair pasta with a smoked chicken breast served over it and a garlic roll. Combo #5: when our customers can’t decide between the tri-tip or chicken they order this combo.

What keeps customers coming back? This answer was taken by an actual customer whom we call Regular Dave. “Great food, excellent customer

Photo by Greg Nichols

Your personal favorite: Our tri tip sandwiches will always be our classic. Our second favorite is what we personally call the tri-chipasta. It’s basically the chipasta but we throw on a few slices of tri-tip.

Culinary Creations is known for its fresh food on the go, such as oysters on the half shell with mignonette sauce.


Items available at participating Brighton Retailers only. Limited quantities, while supplies last.

El Taco Loco offers traditional “street style” Mexican food and convenient drive thru service.

Photo by Alan Urquhart

For each Power of Pink item sold Brighton will make a donation to support Breast Cancer research and Awareness.

Continued from page 37

10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday.

4915 Stockdale Highway • 661-834-3068 Monday - Friday: 10-6 • Saturday: 10-5

Any “secret” menu items you might have? All created by customers: The Big Wes: tri-tip sandwich loaded with tri tip, beans and cheese. Tammy Special is pepper jack cheese between two chicken breasts... No bread. Locations: 4120 Ming Ave. And a downtown location coming soon.

The Filling Station Name and position: William Taylor, owner What kind of food are you known for? High quality organic coffee, tea and whole-fruit smoothies Customer favorites: Fresh organic ice tea-we only make a gallon at a time so it is always fresh. 2. Sonoma Roast House coffee-why add milk to perfection? 3. Doctor Double Dare Frappe-come on double fudge with espresso! Does it get any better? Coffee and chocolate! Your personal favorite: Kahlua White Russian FrappeKahlua: white chocolate and Irish cream with espresso! Just saying it makes me want to have one, and no there is no alcohol! What keeps customers coming back? Quality and flavor with an amazing selection at an affordable price! Price range: $1.20 to $5.95 Hours of operation: 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday; 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday Any “secret” menu items? Chocolate or caramel whipped cream. Who needs the drink when the whip is so good? Location: 1830 24th St. 38

Bakersfield Life

November 2011


Lugo’s Catering Truck’s has been serving fresh, simple Mexican food for 30 years.

Photo by Felix Adamo

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El Taco Loco Name and position: Oscar Escobar, CEO/owner What kind of food are you known for? Tacos, burritos, tortas, sopes, and quesadillas--Traditional “Street Style” Mexican food. In business for more than 30 years. Customer favorites: Tacos, burritos and breakfast burritos — the three most common items ordered on the menu. All of our meats are hand-cut, hand-trimmed and marinated, then grilled to perfection. Your personal favorite: Tacos de Carne Asada, with cilantro, onions and red salsa, right off the grill hot. And a chicken sope alongside a few tacos de carne asada. What keeps customers coming back? The fresh, authentic flavor of our simple menu. Fresh food, fresh salsa and a selection of delicious meats: carne asada, al pastor (spicy pork), cabeza (beef cheeks), lengua (beef tongue), pollo (chicken), chorizo (Mexican beef sausage). Nothing has changed in those 30 years. Price range of the items on your menu: $2.00 to $8.00

T A E GR INGS SAV Floor Model

Hours of operation: Weekdays 6 a.m. to midnight; Drivethru open till 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.


Locations: 4150 Stine Road and 2301 Panama Lane.

Lugo’s Catering Truck

Continued on page 40

t4UFFMDBTFt5VSOTUPOF t%.*t0GmDF4UBS Limited To Stock

Any “secret” menu items? The Lettuce Tacos: perfect with chicken or carne asada. A 50/50 breakfast burrito: a combo of carne asada and a breakfast meat (like Ham or Pastrami) and egg.

Name and position: Magdalena and Salvador Lugo, and Flavio and Luz Imelda Bedolla, owners

Selected Models Only

5300 District Blvd.

661.397.5300 Mon-Fri 9am to 6pm


Continued from page 39

What kind of food are you known for? Mexican and American fast food, and the variety on the menu (Burger varieties include the pastrami, California, jalapeno, mushroom, Frisco, and chili burgers). Customer favorites: Breakfast burritos, the California Burger (which is a cheeseburger with bacon, avocado, plus condiments), and the taco plate (three soft tacos with the customer’s choice of meat, rice, beans, green salad) because the food is good and at a low price. We also serve fresh fruit plates. Your personal favorite: The chicken wrap is my personal favorite. What keeps customers coming back? The variety, good food, good prices, and good customer service. We also have daily specials. Price range of the items on your menu: $1.25 to $6.00 Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday

Locations: Most of our customers know our route so they call ahead to place their order. We blow the (La Cucaracha) horn when we arrive at the stop. Route includes stops by the Rosedale Costco, Sillect Avenue, San Joaquin Oil Refinery, Baker Street, and Pegasus Drive by Seventh Standard.

Photo by Greg Nichols

Any “secret” menu items? Taco Salad: flour tostada with rice, beans, lettuce, cheese, tomato, sour cream, avocado, and the customer’s choice of meat. Benny Juarez grilling ribs at The Q Rib Hut



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Bakersfield Life

November 2011


Contact us!

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The Q Rib Hut Name and position: Osvaldo Hernandez, manager What kind of food are you known for? All authentic BBQ: smoked beef and pork ribs, pulled-pork, tri-tip, smoked chicken, hot links and the famous Q Burger. Customer favorites: The Q Burger, an all Angus patty with smoked tri-tip and cheese on sourdough bread; our smoked, fall-off-the-bone 1/2 chicken’ and the smoked beef and pork ribs. Your personal favorite: the whole menu and a large diet Coke.

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Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post

k and in trac d e l l e c S. t ex ll at BH a Wrigh b t o o nd f field a

Louis Wright Former BHS Driller ranks as one of the greatest athletes to come out of Bakersfield In an era in which NFL defenses played primarily man-to-man pass coverage, Louis Wright was the ultimate shutdown cornerback. Assigned to the opponent’s top receiver every week, Wright was so spectacular at pass coverage and in stopping the run that he earned the nickname “Lou-Dini.” Both a football and track and field star at Bakersfield High, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Wright was a supremely gifted athlete that could out-run and out-jump nearly everyone he ever faced in either sport. Those attributes would eventually lead him to a Hall of Fame caliber career in the NFL. Wright played a dozen seasons for the Denver Broncos in which he was consistently rated among the top defensive backs in the league. He was a key part of the “Orange Crush” defense that carried the Broncos to a pair of Super Bowls. Wright retired following the second one. But by that time, he had racked up a list of accomplishments so great that it’s easy to 42

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Louis Wright sits in the stands and looks out over the field as he reminisces about his days playing at Mile High Stadium.

see why he’s considered one of the greatest athletes to ever come out of Bakersfield.

Had 26 interceptions and four touchdowns during 12-year (1975-1986), 166-game NFL career; all with Denver.

Louis Wright facts Born Jan. 31, 1953 in Gilmer, Texas.

Was chosen as a First Team All-Pro twice (1978 and 1979) and selected to five Pro Bowls (1977-79, 1983, 1985).

Was a football and track & field standout at Bakersfield High.

Football Digest’s 1977 NFL Defensive Back of the Year.

Won the “valley” long jump title with a mark of 24 feet, 4 inches in 1970.

Played in Super Bowl XII and XXI.

Began college career at Arizona State before transferring to Bakersfield College for one year. After rarely playing for the Renegades football team, accepted a track and field scholarship to San Jose State. Started at cornerback and excelled at track during two years at San Jose State. Posted a school all-time top-five mark of 25 feet, 7 inches in the long jump and recording a time of 9.6 seconds in the 100-yard dash. Following senior season at San Jose State played in both the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. In 1975 was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

Selected for NFL 1970s All-Decade team. Has been inducted into the San Jose State University Sports Hall of Fame, Bob Elias Hall of Fame (1981), Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (1992), Denver Broncos Ring of Fame (1993) and Driller Football Hall of Fame (2007). Was named to the Broncos 50th Anniversary Team in 2009. Has three grown children, two daughters and a son. Is the uncle of former BHS and current BC star defensive back Mercy Maston. Currently works as a Physical Education teacher and assistant football coach at Rangeview High School in Aurora, Colorado. Also serves as the defensive coordinator for the Metropolitan State College club football team.

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It’s the Mercedes way Mercedes Benz C250 combines the perfect features for the perfect experience

The Mercedes-Benz C250 five-passenger sedan comes with plenty of bells and whistles.

By Olivia Garcia


Photos by Michael Lopez

For a couple of days, I lived what Jim Wheldon would describe as the “Mercedes way”: I test drove one of MercedesBenz’s popular brands, the C250. He wasn’t kidding. I’ve always liked the Mercedes-Benz family, and the C250 did not fail to deliver even on first impression. On the day of checking out the car, Wheldon, a delivery specialist for the Sangera Automotive Group, accompanied me toward the C250, which I found wrapped up in a pretty red bow. A big red bow, that is. Turns out that every car purchased from the SAG’s MercedesBenz location at 5600 Gasoline Alley Drive in the Auto Mall comes with a nice pretty bow. “It’s the Mercedes way,” Wheldon said. I heard this phrase a few times during my visit with Wheldon, and I could understand why.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Not only is Sirius Radio offered but drivers can also access live traffic and weather updates, courtesy of Sirius as well.

The C250 brings safety, comfort and convenience to a new level.

In 1886, both Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler invented automobiles, with Benz receiving the earliest patent. Forty years later, their companies merged to form DaimlerBenz, which remains the world's oldest automotive brand still in existence. The 2012, C250, is the result of 125 years of technological and safety innovations that continue to set the standards for the automotive industry, explains Whelden.

It’s all about safety The Mercedes C250 comes with a 24-hour roadside assistance program and a maintenance system to keep you in check. And that’s not counting its strength. Featuring a 201 horsepower, 1.8 liter turbocharged inline four engine, the Mercedes C250 comes with a high-strength steel reinforced cabin to handle protection from impact. Even then, airbags abound to protect you: front dual stage airbags, front and rear side window air bags, front side airbags, driver and front passenger pelvic airbags, and the driver knee airbag. The standard electronic stability program also helps motorists handle any type of driving situation, such as tough corners. The system will watch out for red flags, such as fishtailing or wheel spin, to put your car back under control.

Feeling a little drowsy there? The Mercedes C250 comes with a builtin system that tracks the behavior of the motorist in case he or she becomes drowsy after, say, a long drive on the road. If drowsi-

ness is detected, the system will then send out a signal to alert the motorist. This is such a huge feat and puts safety at a new level. Each year, we read about tons of motorists who have unfortunately lost their lives due to falling asleep at the wheel. I know, as a former newspaper reporter, I’ve had my share of covering many of these tragic accidents on the freeway that unfortunately involved more than one family member. Mercedes-Benz deserves five stars on this, and it comes standard! Of course, this speaks of Mercedes philosophy as Wheldon noted that many of the motor safety devices today were invented by the Mercedes-Benz.

Riding in style Many Mercedes aficionados love the style of the car, and how can you argue with that? The engineering is pretty snazzy. The sporty one I test-drove came with auto-dimming mirrors that reduce glare when oncoming lights are directed at you. And if it begins to drizzle, don’t be surprised if the C250's intermittent wipers pop up. They are designed to sense rain and will clean it up for you. The C250 is nice, inside and out. On the interior, it features a Burl Walnut wood trim and leather seating. My husband was impressed with the Mercedes as we drove it to attend the annual Mendiburu Magic Foundation’s Pyrenees Continued on page 46

It’s all in the details: Five best features of the Mercedes-Benz C250: The exciting engine response. The quality of the engineering and construction. The "State of the Art" communications and entertainment systems. The philosophy of "Safety without Compromise." The connection between the driver and the car.

City and highway mileage and price tag: 21 MPG city; 31 MPG highway; base price: $34,800

Finish this sentence: The Mercedes Benz C-250 is perfect for indulging yourself in the Mercedes-Benz experience.

Who’s the target consumer for this model? Those seeking the most affordable of all the Mercedes' imported to the United States.

Three words that define the car? Engineering, quality, prestige.

What do you like the most about the car? It is every inch, a MercedesBenz. Source: Jim Whelden, Delivery Specialist Sangera Automotive Group, Mercedes-Benz


Continued from page 45

Fiesta in southwest Bakersfield. This engine may be small, but it can sure pick up speed in a matter of a seconds. Don’t let the size fool you. Another neat feature is the ability to access weather, traffic and restaurant reviews. In fact, using the Nav system, you can access real-time traffic along major highways and freeways, alerting you to any roadwork in progress or bottlenecks or accidents. Wheldon also showed me how you can look up restaurants, hotels or golf courses in your car, and it will not only give you directions, but also provide you with some reviews about the place, thanks to Zagat Survey. And if you want to check out the weather system for not only your city, but in another state way the heck on the East Coast, not a problem. The Mercedes has you covered. In fact, the weather radar system looks like that used by a meteorologist. Nice! “A lot of these things will spoil you,” Wheldon said. I don’t mind being spoiled.


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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

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Yvette Pryor U.S. Navy

School, responsible to the commanding officer for all functions of the command and the primary adviser on all enlisted issues, morale and mission readiness; leading and mentoring a staff of more than 170 military and civilians; responsible for the delivery of apprenticeship level hospital corpsman training of more than 4,200 sailors annually. Stationed: Great Lakes, Ill. I have been in the military for: 22 1/2 years. Why I joined: I spent two years after high school at Bakersfield College and was losing focus and direction. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, but I wasn’t disciplined enough to pick a path and stay on it. I drove by a Navy recruiting billboard on my way to work every day and finally got up the guts to stop in and talk about my options. The college opportunities were great and I qualified for an assignment in the medical field as a hospital corpsman. A few short weeks later, I shipped off to Orlando, Fla. for boot camp and here I am 22 years later. Why I continue to serve: I love the Navy and love the people I serve. It helps me stay young, active and fit, and I am incredibly grateful for the education and leadership opportunities the Navy has bestowed on me. I have been deployed to: Kenya; Somalia; Indonesia: Sumatra, Banda Aceh, Nias, Alor; East Timor; Papua New Guinea. My favorite activity to do in Bakersfield is: I love to take my niece on a drive to look at the Christmas lights. We do it every year! Bakersfield has so much Christmas spirit — it makes me feel at home. What I miss most about Bakersfield: The list is long,

but it starts with my family. I was blessed to be raised by the most fantastic parents on the planet — all that I am and all that I have achieved is because of the work ethic and values they instilled in me. My niece and nephew are growing so fast, and I have missed most of their “firsts” — first steps, first words, first 48

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo courtesy of Yvette Pryor

Age: 43 Assignment: Command Master Chief of Naval Hospital Corps

day of school. I miss my amazing sister Eva — without a doubt, she is the backbone of the family — her strength, selflessness and ability to take care of the family has helped me stay focused on my job. I couldn’t make it without her. I also miss the wonderful community of Garces Memorial High School. And of course, I miss all of the Bakersfield originals: Wool Growers, Luigi’s, Caesar’s Deli, Dewar’s and Mexicali. How I stay connected to family and friends back home:

I have been using Facebook quite a bit. I can instantly share an update, picture, event or story with hundreds of friends and family with a click of a mouse. But nothing beats a good old-fashioned phone call with my dad and my niece. I never get tired of hearing, “Hi Auntie!” My best military accomplishment or memory so far is:

Promoted to master chief and being selected to mentor and train the hospital corpsman of the future. I am confident that because of the lifesaving aid that these young men and women will some day perform, there will be soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen who will live to dance at their children’s weddings.

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo by Felix Adamo

The dinner put on by Mill Creek Christian Church and the Salvation Army is one of many holiday meals served to the needy during the week of Thanksgiving.

Photo by Felix Adamo

The annual Pie Run draws up to 400 participants to Hart Park on Thanksgiving morning.

& Giving Our traditions of

Thanks By Lisa Kimble

Thanksgiving, the last Thursday in November, is about more than just feasting with family and friends. Oh sure, it is the junior varsity version of Christmas, sans all the expense and gifts. And who doesn’t relish a day off devoted to gastronomic excess? But the holiday that began as a three day harvest celebration by the Pilgrim colony in 1621, and landed on our calendars thanks to Presidents Washington and Lincoln, is anchored like Plymouth Rock to our hearts and in our memory banks because of the sense of community we share and the traditions we carry out, giving us holiday warmth and togetherness no roaring fire can match. If our community is distinct for anything, it is about the traditions we keep alive year after year, in the kitchen, in front of the hearth and outdoors. Bakersfield Life carves up some local holiday-time rituals that have become staples of Thanksgiving week here. Continued on page 52


Photo by Jeremy Gonzalez

College students, home for the holiday, hit the bars on Thanksgiving eve, including Fishlips’ Night Before Thanksgiving Jam.

Continued from page 51

Homecoming ’Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the town, college kids home on break were making the rounds. Thanksgiving may be the public holiday, but the day before might as well be too. Let’s face it, non-essential business will wait until the following Monday. Offices empty by noon. People are traveling and doing last minute grocery shopping. And for the newly minted college students who attend schools of higher learning outside of Bakersfield, the night before Thanksgiving is their Homecoming. Try to work your way up to the bar at Pyrenees, Wool Growers or Noriega’s and you’ll be lost in a sea of college students home from school on holiday and eager to reconnect with friends and former classmates. They look and act smarter, behave cooler, but beneath their collegiate bravado, they know there’s no place like home. Some may have just rolled into town, but on this night, the watering holes of the Basque restaurants attract college kids like magnets, making Thanksgiving eve one of the biggest for these establishments. It wasn't that many years ago that, when these kids were babies, it was the annual television broadcast of The Wizard of Oz that held their parents’ attention the night before Thanksgiving.

Pie Run For more than two decades, hundreds of bundled up locals, many with their four-legged friends have braved the early morning chill for the annual Thanksgiving Day Pie Run below the Bluffs at Hart 52

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Park. Runners, walkers and outdoor enthusiasts set out for a brisk jog or walk through the hills at dawn. Last year close to 400 people showed up, with pies, cakes, muffins, cookies and breads in hand. The gathering was the brainchild of John Rous as a way of getting in a workout Thanksgiving morning before the food grazing began. It has evolved into a potluck of sorts. Admission is something edible. What isn't consumed, along with hot dogs that are grilled, is all donated to the homeless shelter. Your only excuse for missing this ritual is getting the turkey in the oven!

Rituals many and varied Thanksgiving is not a Holy Day of Obligation, although Mass is still held at most Catholic churches. At St. Francis of Assisi, the celebration includes a blessing of food and wine. Many families will begin their day perched in front of the television for the annual Macy’s Parade, rivaling New Year’s Day as a must-see. For others, a must-do is the ritual of a good game of football or soccer at area parks like Beach Park. Throwing on an extra layer of warmth, hiking the pigskin and making the tackle on a turf of falling leaves is synonymous with the big day.

Giving Not everyone will enjoy a hearty meal in the warm confines of someone's home. Mindful of that, many in Bakersfield this week will be serving up food to the needy at various shelters around town. So as not to overlap, distribution is staggered. Volunteers will assist

the Knights of Columbus the day before Thanksgiving at St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter, serving hundreds. The scene will be repeated the following day at other facilities catering to the needs of the homeless around town. For those who take part in this Thanksgiving ritual, under the radar, paying it forward is their way of giving thanks.

Photo by Casey Christie

Shopping and more food

The Turkey Bowl flag football game, which has been played every Thanksgiving for the past 30 years, is just one of the local rituals that takes place berfore sitting down to the holiday dinner.

The day after Thanksgiving in Bakersfield is as significant as the 48 hours before: Step and repeat: Mingle, eat, watch football, and repeat. A popular custom in the Hispanic community involves the making of mole and tamales with all the leftover turkey. Into the freezer it will go, to be pulled out and defrosted in a few weeks for Christmas. Others will join the first-day-of-Christmas-shopping brigade only hours after the last Thanksgiving plate is washed and dried. They will wait in the predawn darkness for a chance to nab incredible savings, sales and deals. The rest of us will wish them well from the comfort of our bed.

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Salmon with mango salsa from Mama Roomba.

Ethnic FOOD A trip around the world without leaving Bakersfield


By Kelly Damian

ver the past few weeks, my appetite guided me through Bakersfield. It took me to new neighborhoods. I met new people and — because of a language barrier or two — had to think of new ways to explain myself. It would be great to have the means and the time to hop on an airplane and go to the South, or South America, but let's face it, most of us are stuck in the grind of work, home, sleep, do it all again. Having an adventurous meal can shake you out of a rut, and can turn something as basic as satisfying a hunger into a memorable experience. There are plenty of restaurants in this town that will transport you to a different part of the world. You just have to get yourself to their doorstep. Continued on page 56


Continued from page 55

Schnitzel and an Array of Wursts Brighten a Dreary Winter

Bit of Germany, 1901 Flower St. Bakersfield, Calif. 93305 (661) 325-8874

Photo by Felix Adamo

Soon that iron lid of tule fog will clamp down on the Valley and we will be socked in for the winter. Don’t despair, there is hope: get yourself to Bit of Germany. If there is any group of people who know how to make a long, muted winter feel cheerful and cozy, it is the Germans. Cuckoo clocks, castles and country sides decorate the wood-paneled walls of the restaurant and the background music is very accordioncentric with occasional cymbal clashes. The menu is a survey of classic German dishes that begs to be read aloud: schnitzel, weisswurst, knackwurst, schinken nudeln. As fun as the words sound, the food tastes even better. The knackwurst has a nice, tight skin that cracks in your mouth and the pork schnitzel is fried without being greasy. The potato salad tastes very much like scalloped potatoes sans piles of cheese. The sweet red cabbage and sauerkraut are delicious when eaten with the meat and potatoes. Bring the kids my three-year- old powered through the wieners and potatoes and refused to share. You won’t want to either.

Bit of Germany’s menu is a survey of classic German dishes.

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November 2011

A well cared for Buddha occupies the front entrance to Saigon. The night I went, his plate was piled high with pears. For those who have never had Vietnamese food, think of it like this, every dish has a little bit of everything. There is no boring segmentation of food groups here, no regimented sections for starch or meat or vegetable, instead, every dish is a joyful pile of textures and flavors. The vermicelli bowl with beef and egg rolls has a base of white rice noodles topped with bean sprouts, thin slices of smoky beef, bite size egg roll pieces and nice, crunchy shredded cabbage. But wait, on the table is this mysterious pot of red stuff. The red stuff is your friend. It is called sriracha sauce and it is a spicy mix of chili peppers, garlic and vinegar. A few spoonfuls of sriracha on your noodles or in your soup give everything a good kick. Speaking of soup, the egg noodle soup is a huge, delicious treasure hunt. One moment you are enjoying the clear broth, then up pops a wonton, then slices of pork with bright red edging, then crunchy bean sprouts. By the time you leave this restaurant, you too will feel well taken care of, and you might even be a little Continued on page 58

Photo by Greg Nichols

Mouth-watering delights in every bite

Top, Special Combination with vermicelli; bottom, Vietnamese Crepe from Saigon Restaurant.

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Photo by Felix Adamo

Lunchtime at Noriega’s on Sumner Street

Continued from page 57

more in touch with your satisfied inner Buddha.

Saigon Restaurant, 3113 Chester Lane, Bakersfield, Calif. 93304. 661-327-8810

Noriega's old wooden bar with its oval mirrors and sepia toned photographs looks like it has stories to tell, and the woman who tends the bar knows how to pour a tasty Moscow Mule. This Bakersfield landmark remains European in its respect for the two hour meal and the set menu. Since you sit family style, you will serve food to people who are strangers to you, but throughout the meal, if you follow the tangled lines of your acquaintances, you will find that you know people in common. I went to Noriega’s on a Sunday evening and the number of courses was dizzying. The meal followed the standard Basque backbone, but Noriega’s soup is fideo, not cabbage soup and the dinner also includes a light, airy potato salad, and tangy cottage cheese. I was lucky enough to go on beef stew night. The stew’s beef is tender, while the carrots and potatoes still hold onto their consistencies. During the evening, I spoke to a second generation Basque shepherd and learned a little bit about his business and the struggle of balancing the specific appetites of grazing sheep against the greedy appetite of suburban sprawl. Likewise, Noriega’s is a portrait of this balance of the old and the new. You can see it in the many generations of diners who are there on any given night. And you can taste it, the memories of a homeland mixed in with the food they have found in this new place that has become home too. Noriega Hotel, 525 Sumner St. Bakersfield, Calif. (661) 322-8419


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

The beef version of lomo saltado from Mi Peru.

Photo by Casey Christie

History blends with the present for a great meal

A Hidden South American Gem Mi Peru is in what looks to be a renovated house on the corner of California and Q. There are all of seven tables in this restaurant, and the atmosphere is familiar and relaxed. The sounds of frying and banging pots and laughter from the kitchen along with the Latin music and the banter of Spanish make the place feel like you have been invited into somebody’s home to eat. And that somebody cooks really well... and likes llamas. I tried the arroz chaufa de carne (fried rice) and lomo saltado de pollo (fried tomaotes, onions, potatoes and chicken). On the table was soy sauce along with a squeeze bottle of a green, spicy sauce called aji. If you are a bit too liberal with

Chef’s Choice Chicken Salad at Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar.

Photo by Felix Adamo

Oodles of Noodles

the aji you can always put out the fire with one of their specialty juices: a passion fruit juice called maracuya which is very light and refreshing or a beautiful purple juice called chicha morada, which is sweeter with the flavor of cinnamon and a slight corn aftertaste. Maybe you can't go wander the streets of old Lima, but after a meal at Mi Peru will feel that you have gone on a journey, tried something different and expanded your world just a bit. Mi Peru, 731 California Ave., Bakersfield, Calif. 93304 661-631-1952

The corner of 19th and Eye has gone through several incarnations in the past five years. My prediction is that Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar is here to stay. Its décor is sleek with ochre and red walls, a row of red pendant lamps and unified artwork. The restaurant is split into two large rooms and is big enough to accommodate large groups - there were several the night I was there- and the place buzzes with all the energy and conversation of a lively, downtown hot spot. Even on a busy night the service was quick and snappy. The curries, stir fry and soups on the menu offer you a tour through Asia with dishes from Thailand, Japan and Vietnam. I ordered the Udon, a soup served in a bowl the size of a mixing bowl. It is earthy and rich and the mushrooms float through the broth like little black boats. The yellow curry is also a good dish, a little spicy with the sweetness of coconut milk and a beautiful yellow color besides. It’s time to dust off your fancy jeans and head downtown. But if you’re going on Saturday night, make a reservation. You’ll need it. Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar, 1534 19th St., Bakersfield, Calif. 93301 (661) 325-1234

Southern Comfort Food I dare you to try to eat at Chicken and Cakes only once. This food is the stuff cravings are made of: fried chicken that lets out a sigh of steam when you pull it open, mac and cheese that is buttery and cheddary at the same time, sweet baked beans with chunks of meat and no sloppy piles of mushy greens here; these greens are Continued on page 60


Continued from page 59

well-seasoned and cooked until they are softened but still maintain their texture. The ribs are smoky, the potato salad is tangy and everything I ordered came out piping hot. Chicken and Cakes is a family business and Mom is in charge of making the desserts. Mom does not mess around. We ordered a banana pudding that makes all other banana puddings hang their heads in shame. The crust is a nice, solid base to hold up the yellow pudding sweetened with the taste of fresh bananas. The kicker though is that this pudding comes topped with lightly toasted meringue. What’s that? You want to know about the peach cobbler? I think you had better go find out for yourself. Chicken and Cakes, 4501 Stine Road, #304, Bakersfield, Calif. 93313 (661) 834-7602

They pack a lot of flavor into the small plates at Mama Roomba. The salt and pepper shrimp is a new item on the menu and they are warm and spicy without a heavy jacket of breading. The tri-tip chimichurri is a popular item and comes out of the kitchen

Photo by Felix Adamo

Sailing through the flavors of the Caribbean

The ribs are smokey at Chicken and Cakes.

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

still sizzling. But the best thing about eating here is the variety of sauces. There is garlic ketchup and habanero ketchup, chimmichurri sauce and spicy green salsa. When you mix and match and dip and dab you get into the communal, tapas spirit of the place. Don’t ignore the bottom of the menu. The sweet potato fries are delicious and the black beans with plantains is one of the weirder, more satisfying things I’ve eaten. I can’t imagine how one goes about frying a plantain, but the end result is a sweet, thinly caramelized crust and a fruity tasting flesh, served on a bed of earthy black beans. Mama Roomba's bar is small and intimate and the red walls and gentle lighting give everyone a beautiful glow, making it a great place for a date. Mama Roomba, 1814 Eye St., Bakersfield, Calif. 93301 661-322-6262

Shawerma pork cooking at Flame and Skewers.

Photo by Greg Nichols

Opa! A Mediterranean Feast Life is short. Eat baklava first. For those who do not know what baklava is, sit down and let me tell you the tale of a dessert made of layer upon thin layer of philo dough, soaked in honey, rolled around a center of

nuts and spices. It is sweet and crispy and the perfect start to your meal at Flame and Skewers. I developed a taste for Mediterranean food while living in Spain for a year in college. After a night on the town, my friends and I would inevitably end up at one of the late night shawerma places, eating falafel at three in the morning. Falafel, a ball of ground chickpeas mixed with herbs and spices and then deep fried, is a very filling vegetarian entrée. Of course, when you are an omnivore like me, it’s hard to pass up meat rotating on a spit so for this meal I ordered the shawerma plate. This comes with a little bit of everything: seasoned chicken and beef, thin pickles (delicious with the beef), marinated onions, hummus, rice and flatbread. I recommend ripping the flatbread into pieces and piecing together little mouthfuls of ingredients. However you choose to eat this food- on a stick, wrapped in flatbread, or even with a fork- you won’t be disappointed.

Flame and Skewers, 1201 24th St. Bakersfield, Calif. 93301 (661)325-1500 Flame and Skewers, 5482 California Ave., Bakersfield, Calif. 93309 (661) 328-1400


661.834.3333 Actual Completed Remodel Call for your free in-home deisign appointment: 661.834.3333.

~ SHOWROOM ~ 4500 SHEPARD CT., STE. B-2 General Contractor #940909




Stephanie Caughell-Fisher

Heidi Key

32, cake artist at HeidiCakes

35, owner and executive pastry chef of Gimmee Some Sugar

Photos by Jessica Frey

These cakes are works of art meant to be eaten These ladies share the passion and use their artistic abilities to bake decadent cakes, cupcakes and candies. Read how they each got their start and some of the crazy cake creations requested. 62

Bakersfield Life

November 2011


Mary Sue Beaulieu

63, owner of Cookie’s Couture Designer Bakery & Gifts

Anamie Mahanke

32, owner and cake decorator of Anamie’s Sweets

When did you develop an interest in baking?

Mahanke: I didn’t develop an interest until 2000. It was the first Christmas my husband and I were married, and we were both still in college and living on nothing, so for Christmas gifts for our close friends, I made Christmas-themed sugar cookies and deco-

Stephanie Caughell-Fisher rated them. I enjoyed it way too much!

Key: I always remember baking with my mother as a child. She stayed home with us when I was a kid and used to bake bread and everything else. Beaulieu: I became interested in baking while growing up in Wyoming. The ranch hands, sheep shearers and hunters would come to our place throughout the year, and my mother and grandmother would cook and bake for them on a wood-burning stove. The biscuits, pies and cakes would go into the oven when the temperature “felt right,” and would be taken out when they “just knew it was time.” Even with the modern appliances, temperature gauges and times, I still find myself relying on instincts rather than the devices when baking. Caughell-Fisher: I really think that I inherited it! When I was little, I would bake with my mom, grandma and sister. Everything was done with our hands, using flour, sugar, butter and rolling pins with the fabric sleeve on them. I always looked forward to licking the beaters! I fell in love with making edible memories from that point and have been doing it ever since. I did not, however, inherit the ability to bake without getting anything on my apron. Grandma always had a clean apron when we were done, and mine always had various handprints of different colors and textures!


Where did you learn to bake professionally?

Mahanke: I have zero professional training. I am completely self-taught.

Heidi Key

Key: All of my decorating techniques are self-taught. I come up with ideas and then try to formulate a plan to make them come to life. If there is a certain technique that I want to employ, I will do research and figure it out. There is always more than one way to do things. Beaulieu: I worked for corporate entities for nearly 40 years before owning my own business. I am self-taught; however, I would love the opportunity to work in a European patisserie at some point. There is so much to learn from the Old World baking techniques. Caughell-Fisher: I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, in Pasadena. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to train after graduation with Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York City, and with Ewald Notter in Orlando. Each of these pastry chefs is a leader in this industry and gave me priceless tools with which to start my bakery.


What kinds of sweet treats do you create?

Mahanke: Most of my business is focused on wedding cakes or larger events, but depending on my schedule I will take on other smaller events. Along with cakes, I have many other items on my menu: cupcakes, cake pops and cake truffles, coconut macaroons, mini sugar cookies and a few other items. Key: We do cakes of all sorts, custom designs, from just plain delicious, to “Is that really cake?” I want someone to look at one of

Continued on page 64


Mary Sue Beaulieu

Anamie Mahanke

Continued from page 63

my cakes and think, “Oh man, I really want to eat that cake!” We specialize in cakes for customers with dietary restrictions, from dairy-free to gluten-free. One of our best-selling cakes is a glutenfree chocolate cake. We also make cupcakes.

Beaulieu: We make cakes for all occasions, cupcakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, candy buffets and dessert stations. Depending on the time of year, and our mood, you might even see chocolatecovered strawberries, popcorn balls, caramel apples, pies and sweet bread in our shop. Caughell-Fisher: We used to make anything and everything and found that our niche would end up being amazing cake works of art! We decided that we would focus on making cakes, cupcakes and some candies. This way we are able to focus our energy on keeping up our quality standards and really having fun with our cakes!


What is your most interesting cupcake flavor?

Mahanke: I created a spiced pumpkin mousse-filled cupcake with cream cheese frosting, and a cinnamon and sugar sprinkle last year around Thanksgiving. It is ridiculously good! Key: Rainbow, definitely the most fun! Beaulieu: The favorite cupcake is a tie between our white chocolate cupcake infused with raspberry mousse and our new lemoncello cupcake. 64

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Caughell-Fisher: It’s a triple tie between tiramisu, caramel s’mores and the salted caramel!


What is the most unusual request you have received for cakes?

Mahanke: Without going into too much detail, the bachelor/ bachelorette cakes have been the most unusual requests. Key: I would have to say the chocolate-covered bacon cupcakes we made for the Garces High School reunion last year. Beaulieu: We have done so many custom cakes that it is hard to choose the most unusual. For flavor, I would say the eggless cake. For a 3-D carved cake, it would be the elephant. For a wedding cake, it has to be the six-tiered, fondant cake that was covered with hand-piped henna patterns in rich jewel tones with gold and silver beading. Caughell-Fisher: Besides the “adult-theme” cakes, the most unusual would be the sinking Titanic ship cake. We had to make it sinking backwards and have all the pieces accurate since the birthday boy was a collector. When I delivered the cake, he was blown away with the details and showed me his collection room. Let’s just say I thought I was in a state room on the boat — serious collector! The food cakes for April Fools’ were pretty unique too. Meant to fool their employees, we did PB & J sandwiches, mashed potato cupcakes, spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, cheeseburger and fries, combination pizzas — all cakes!


What artistic creation are you most proud of baking?

Mahanke: To this point, I am most proud of one of my very first carved cakes. It was commissioned by a good friend for a Mad Hatter non-birthday party, and when I was finished with it, I was blown away that the picture I had in my head of what I wanted the cake to look like was sitting in front of me. That was when I realized I could do amazingly cool things with cake. Key: I am proud of all of the work we do. I’m not sure I could choose a favorite. It’s kind of like asking a mother which child is her favorite. Beaulieu: My answer is a stacked fondant wedding cake that had a center tier that we carved to look like a silver urn. Above the urn was another tier. The entire cake had handcrafted sugar flowers cascading from the top and from the urn. I love making the handcrafted flowers, and am always excited when we have a chance to design cakes that incorporate art and craftsmanship for our customers. Caughell-Fisher: I must say that I am most proud of our 3-D cakes, there isn’t just one. We really pride ourselves on creating realistic looking three-dimensional cakes. They become centerpieces to special events that no one wants to cut and everyone remembers!



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How long have you been operating your own bakery/catering business?

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Mahanke: I have been doing cakes for about three years now. Key: I have been selling cakes now for about three years. Beaulieu: I have been in business since 2003. Originally, the store was a franchise, selling only cookies. We challenged ourselves, left the franchise and expanded our product line to include designed cakes and cupcakes.

Jared Thompson

Kyle Humphrey 327-1360

Caughell-Fisher: In business for 10 years, but the bakery is coming up on its five-year anniversary! Time flies!


When traveling from Bakersfield to Morro Bay stop by August Ridge Vineyards! We specialize in robust Italian varietals available nowhere else.


Hours: Friday - Sunday 12 - 5 8790 E. Hwy 41 Creston, CA 93432

805-239-2455 •

V chocolate soufflés and other delectable dishes available 66

Bakersfield Life

November 2011


Dining Guide 45

local restaurant profiles

Ceviche on Herbed Masa Strip from Valentien Restaurant

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


Cook up some fun in our

November cooking classes! November 10th 6-8pm Everything but the turkey. Ok, we’ll serve the turkey too. By guest chefs Annette & Michelle of

Sponsored by

November 12th 1-3pm

Soups on! Savoury recipes for cold weather. By guest chef Mario Cantu

Sponsored by Exp. 12/31/11

November 16th 6-8pm

How to master the perfect Prime Rib. By guest chef Leonard Gentieu of the Papagallo II

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Classes are free, but seating is limited.

Call & Reserve Your Seat Today! White Lane and Wible Road rXXXVSOFSTDPN Get more details from the Events tab at Urner’s Facebook page and call our operator to reserve your spot today.

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


DINING GUIDE Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt

Located in the Town and Country Shopping Center, Tutti Frutti is home to 16 different flavors of frozen yogurt made fresh daily and over 45 toppings. Flavors range from chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, to red velvet, pumpkin pie, and green tea. Toppings include sprinkles, nuts, and fresh fruit. Tutti Frutti is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. A list of flavors can be found at Call 661-396-8000 for more information or stop on by at 8200 Stockdale Highway.

Shake ’N Buns

Despite being around for only four months, Shake ’N Buns has already developed a reputation for providing a well-rounded menu made with fresh ingredients served in generous portions. The family-owned establishment is headed by owner Ali Gazali and serves a wide variety of burgers, sandwiches and frozen treats. Shake ’N Buns offers 19 different types of Frosty Swirls, 13 flavors of shakes and eight parfait creations, in addition to their floats and ice cream sundaes. Shake ’N Buns is located at 2517 White Lane open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, 835-1717.

Wool Growers

Family-owned for three generations, Wool Growers brings the flavors of Basque Country to Bakersfield. Founded in 1954 by J.B. and Mayie Maitia, Wool Growers provides a hearty, family-style dining experience. Open for lunch and dinner, Wool Growers offers burgers and steaks, but what it’s really famous for is lamb. Wool Growers also houses a variety of homemade soups. Wool Growers is located at 620 East 19th St. Open for lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner, from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 327-9584. For more information, go to

Bakersfield RV Resort

The Bakersfield RV Resort houses one of Bakersfield’s best-kept secrets: The Crest Bar & Grill. An upscale, casual restaurant it provides a relaxing, warm and inviting atmosphere. The Grill serves a variety of foods from hamburgers, to pastas, to certified Angus beef. Steaks are hand-cut and soups are made from scratch daily. The Crest Bar & Grill is located at 5025 Wible Road and is open Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Happy hour is every day from 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, or 833-9998. 6

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

24th Street Cafe

Started in 1987 by Mark Huggs, the Cafe is the place for breakfast or lunch. From chicken fried steak ’n’ eggs, to omelets, to burgers, it’s all here. Consistency and quality keeps folks coming back. “I’ve had the same cooks for over 20 years, a lot of the waitresses have been there for 15 years and my manager has been with me a long time,” Huggs said. “People know what they’re going to get.” Located at 1415 24th Street, and open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, or 323-8801.

KC Steakhouse

Combining delicious food and impeccable service, KC Steakhouse has been providing the perfect getaway from the hassles of everyday life since 1939. Customers can enjoy a great dining experience, plus enjoy live music and dancing (starting at 6 p.m.). With chicken, seafood and a selection of USDA choice grade beef items on the menu, everyone’s appetites are bound to be satisfied. Don’t forget the full bar. Try the Butterfinger pie for dessert! KC Steakhouse is located at 2515 F St., and is open Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fridays from 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturdays from 5 p.m. to midnight; and Mondays from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more info., call 322-9910 or go to www.

Cupcakes ’N’ Crema

Cupcakes ’N’ Crema offers traditional cupcake flavors along with those not found elsewhere. These include maple bacon cupcakes, strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes and Nutter Butter cupcakes, along with the traditional cupcake flavors. Cupcakes are baked fresh daily. Any leftovers at the end of the day are donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Cupcakes ’N’ Crema is located at 4715 Coffee Road and is open Tuesday, through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or 588-1800. Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



Milt’s Coffee Shop

What began as a truck stop 46 years ago is now a family restaurant serving real homemade food. Milt’s is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and serves everything from omelets, breakfast sandwiches, burgers, barbecue sandwiches, New York steaks and spaghetti. Everything is done in house, from the cutting of chickens and grinding of sausage. The full menu can be viewed at, or stop on by at 6112 Knudsen Drive. Milt’s is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, 399-4975.




Banquets Available • Catering Available


With purchase of combination plate of equal or lesser value up to $10.00. Excludes go orders. 1 coupon per table. Offer valid on dine-in only. Expires 11/28/11.

323-3855 • 1809 Potomac Ave.

(Between Washington & Mt. Vernon) Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am - 8:30pm, Sun 8:30am - 2:00pm


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Los Aguacates

Los Aguacates is one of the best kept secrets in Bakersfield. It’s no wonder why Pete Tittl awarded Los Aguacates 5 stars. From their sizzling fajitas, to their award-winning margaritas, this familyowned bar and grill has been serving up delicious food and friendly smiles since 2002. Stop in for breakfast lunch and dinner, and you will walk out with a full stomach and a smile on your face. Having a holiday party? They also cater.

Bonnie’s Best

Fresh sandwiches, homemade casseroles, and fast, friendly service is the goal of Bonnie’s Best Cafe. Bonnie’s sandwiches are available in three sizes — whole, three-quarter and half. Fresh fruit, homemade pasta and fresh salads are also available. Casseroles are prepared to heat and serve at home. Bonnie’s has two locations to choose from: the original location at 1900 21st St. and the second location at 1002 19th St. For more information, go to

Not valid on Appetizers or Lunch Specials. Exp. 12/31/11

Best Curry! Hours: 11:00am to 3:00pm Great Spicy Dishes! Dinner 5:00pm to 9:00pm Authentic Thai Cuisine Closed Sundays 5432 California Avenue Wonderful Selection of Vegetarian Dishes Available! 631-2631 • FAX 325-1928 Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


DINING GUIDE Jimano’s Pizzeria

Jimano's Pizzeria serves the finest Chicago style pizza in Bakersfield, with four styles of crust: thin, double dough, deep dish and our traditional style Chicago “stuffed.” Jimano's traditional family recipes, including homemade Italian sauces make this pizza and pasta a true Chicago experience! At Jimano's Pizzeria, “We share your passion for great pizza.” Jimano's also has fall-off –thebone baby back ribs, satisfying pastas, sandwiches, fresh salads and mouth-watering famous breadsticks. Located at 9510 Hageman come by or call 587-6555 for delivery.

Mama Tosca’s

Mama Tosca’s began as a deli in 1982, but has become one of Bakersfield’s finest Italian restaurants. Family-owned and operated, Mama Tosca’s provides a fine-dining experience showcasing the diversity of Italian cuisine, offering everything from pasta, to lamb, to seafood, to steak. Mama Tosca’s is located at 9000 K2-K3 Ming Ave., and is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and dinner from Monday through Saturday for 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mama Tosca’s is closed on Sundays, but is available for parties of 80 people or more.


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Sweet Surrender

Sweet Surrender is truly a one-of-a-kind experience with its wide assortment of candy, chocolate and cakes. Sweet Surrender is currently serving several pumpkin-based items for the holiday season, including pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Sweet Surrender is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with Sunday hours beginning in November. Call 835-8530 for more information, or stop on by at 6439 Ming Avenue. A full menu can be found at


Proudly serving Bakersfield for the past 40 years!

Order your

Holiday Platters today!

2828 Niles St. (661) 873-0270 9500 Brimhall Rd. (661) 588-7004

Taste the difference in our custom made dishes. 5600 AUBURN STREET, #K BAKERSFIELD, CA 93306 (661) 872-9686

Buy Any Item Over $9.95 Get 2nd One 50% OFF (Equal or lesser value) Present this coupon when you order. Not combined with any other discounts. Coupon or special, one coupon per table. Exp. 12/31/2011

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


DINING GUIDE Buffalo Wild Wings

Don’t let the name fool you. The name implies that wings are our specialty, but you can get a whole lot more. Some of the other food items on the menu include mozzarella sticks, soft pretzels, burgers, nachos — to name just a few. As for sides to go with the wings, among the several you can choose from are French fries, potato wedges, onion rings or coleslaw. And of course, we can’t forget the sauce to go with the wings. Some of the sauces you can choose from include: sweet BBQ, mango habanero, Asian zing, Thai curry or Wild, which is described as big flavor, blisterin’ heat. Stop by at 5677 Gosford Village in Bakersfield or visit

La Colonia

For 35 years, La Colonia Mexican Restaurant has been serving authentic Mexican food. Nothing is rushed at La Colonia. Chicken is marinated days before cooking, menudo is cooked overnight, and rice and salsa are made fresh every day. La Colonia’s customers have come to expect it, and keeps them coming back. Located at 1809 Potomac Ave., La Colonia is open Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 661-323-3855.

of great food and service in Bakersfield

For Daily Specials visit


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Visit Us on facebook

Sequoia Sandwich

Painting by Charlotte White

Jeff Simpson and Gary Blackburn had one basic philosophy when they opened the Sequoia Sandwich Company in downtown Bakersfield in 1999: use fresh quality ingredients, serve generous portions and be consistent. The product spoke for itself. Sequoia Sandwich Company now has four locations — three in Bakersfield and one in Clovis. Sequoia offers local favorites, like the AllAmerican and pastrami, and seasonal items like the Gobbler, described as “Thanksgiving dinner on a French roll.” Sequoia Sandwich Company has Bakersfield locations at 1231 18th St., 9160 Rosedale Highway and 9500 Ming Ave. For more information, go to


333 UNION AVENUE, #201 BAKERSFIELD, CA 93307 (661) 631-2538

Buy Any Two Main Dishes Get 3rd Dish FREE Present this coupon when you order. Not combined with any other discounts. Coupon or special, one coupon per table.

Exp. 12/31/2011

a o l a Sin RANT U A T S E R MEXICAN 910 20th St. Downtown 327-5231 Open Tues. - Sun. at 11:15 am • CLOSED MONDAYS Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



RJ’s Bar & Grill

Opened in 2002, RJ’s offers everything from burgers to sandwiches to salads to steaks. The freshness, quality and consistency keep people coming back. RJ’s provides a comfortable environment where customers can spend the afternoon with their families while enjoying high-quality service and high-quality food. RJ’s also features a full bar. Located at 9440 Hageman Road and open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 to 2 a.m. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. For more information, 587-4723 or


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

La Cabaña

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, La Cabana is a casual sit-down restaurant, serving authentic Mexican food. With two locations to choose from, La Cabana offers fajitas, chili verde, menudo and aracherra. The menu is the same at both locations. The service and quality of food is what keeps locals coming back. La Cabana also caters to events big or small. La Cabana has locations at 1219 Golden State Ave. and 6725 White Lane. Both locations are open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information,

• Lunches • Business Catering Christmas Parties, Sandwich Platters, or Custom BBQ We will customize your order to fit your needs

18th & G

Monday-Friday 10:30am to 3:00pm

Call or Fax orders in 322-9090 • 322-9091 fax


(Across from Post Office)

11:00am to 2:30pm Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



Casa Munoz

Food is in the Munoz family’s blood. The family has been in the restaurant business since 1948 and opened Casa Munoz in 1990. Serving up dishes from carnitas, to chili verde, to a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail, Casa Munoz’s food is high-quality and consistent. “We don’t mess with my mom and my grandmother’s recipes,” Joe Munoz said. “They work, and you don’t fix something that’s not broken.” Casa Munoz offers a wide variety of soups in the winter. Casa Munoz is located at 1736 Union Ave. For more information, call 861-1625.

Where the past meets the present to delight all ages! Looking for a deal, find daily Sweet Specials on your favorite candies and sodas. Sweeten up that special day with a candy buffet table or customized baskets to fit all occasions.

The Sweetest Spot in Town! At The Marketplace

9000 Ming Ave., Suite H4 • 661.665.8500 16

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Mom n Dems

This relative newcomer is quickly becoming a hit among the locals. With its made-from-scratch Southern cooking, there is something for everyone. Mom, yes there really is a mom, does all the cooking, making everything from scratch. Favorites include the fried chicken, mac and cheese and jambalaya. Desserts include coconut cream pecan cream cheese pie and peach cobbler. Located at 1230 H. St., Ste. A, it is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays. For more information, 368-1619.

Catering Affairs

Catering Affairs is Bakersfield’s premier catering service. From two people to 5,000, no event is too big or too small. Catering Affairs is perfect for your corporate lunch or wedding dinner. The food is customized, using top-quality products. Catering Affairs works around budgets to ensure quality is not sacrificed. Owner Brenda Wright ensures customers only get the best from Catering Affairs, attending week-long training classes from Cater Source — the largest catering association — to learn new trends and modify them for the residents of Bakersfield. Catering Affairs is located at 916 18th St. For more information, or 661-326-4800.



Ta v e r n & G r i l l


IN TOWN ” – Pete Tittl


816 18TH STREET, DOWNTOWN BAKERSFIELD (661) 631-1242 | GOOSELOONIESTAVERN.COM Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



With two locations to serve, Mauricio’s offers a wide variety of traditional favorites. Besides its combination plates, customers rave about the specialties, which include: steak and shrimp, carnitas, chili verde and arroz con pollo. Catering and banquet facilities are also available. Mauricio’s Grill is located at 10700 Rosedale Highway and 6410 White Lane. For more information, call 598-5292 (Rosedale location) or 837-9570 (White Lane) or visit

La Rosa Fruit Bars & Ice Cream Co.

With the holidays fast-approaching, what better way to wow guests at your holiday party than with “Mini Bolis.” These special two-ounce frozen treats will be available throughout the holiday season and are available in pumpkin pie, chocolate peppermint and eggnog. Orders must be placed seven to 10 days before your special event. And don’t forget La Rosa’s 27 flavors of fruit bars which are always available. The shop is located at 1317 Niles St, but please note, winter hours are by appointment. Call, 619-9359 or 323-6877 to place your order, or visit

OPEN FOR DINNER TUESDAY-SATURDAY 5-10 P.M. SUNDAY BRUNCH 9:30-2 P.M. Call For Concert & Entertainment Information


661.328.7560 18

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Tony’s Pizza

With a passion for serving a traditional pizza with the finest ingredients, Tony Martinez knew he had the makings of a success when he opened Tony’s Pizza in 1979. Serving up the same great tasting pizza that the Martinez family had been making for more than 30 years, Tony’s Pizza has expanded from just one pizzeria in Delano to now five locations, including its newest location across from Bakersfield College. So when you have a hankering for a slice of “Bubba’s BBQ Chicken,” a “Toni’s Vegetarian” or the classic “Tony’s Combo,” you’ll know why a visit to Tony’s Pizza has become a tradition for Bakersfield families for generations. Visit

Chef Meirʼs Fresh Baked Pita, along with our delicious red and green dips, is now available at Costco! A place to find handmade Toffee and Confections

Place your holiday orders now! Call Today to Order 834-3160

Made with no additives or preservatives

Located In The Frozen Section

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


Sweet Sherree’s

Welcome to Sweet Sherree’s Sweets created for you by Bakersfield’s own, Sherree Paggi. Sherree started by making her handmade confections for family and friends and as a “thank you” gift for her clients. Now it is available for everyone to enjoy. Choose from our selection of almond toffee, almond toffee Popcorn, peanut brittle, spicy pistachio brittle, spiced pecans and smart chocolate truffles. And don’t forget to order for the holidays, our popular peppermint bark. All confections are handmade with the finest ingredients. Available at these local merchants, Olcott’s, Lil B’s in the Marketplace, Mercy Gift Store, KMC Gift Store, June Bugs or California Fruit Depot. Or order direct by calling 834-3160 or email info@ or visit website

Fine Foods of Mexico and Traditional Dishes Holiday Parties Catering Covered Outdoor Patio Private Parties – Available Year Round

Bringing a little bit of Puerto Vallarta to Bakersfield

716 21st Street (661) 322-2655 Open Everyday 11:00am to 9:00pm

Cafe Med

While its casual elegance makes it a perfect spot for a romantic evening, it is also perfect for that business lunch. In business for 20 years, it is known for its steak and French fries. Make sure you leave room for dessert; popular among diners the cream delight special is a flourless chocolate cake with a crème Brule layer with chocolate gnocchi. Live entertainment Thursday through Saturday. Stop by, 4809 Stockdale Hwy or for more information, 834-4433 or visit www. Open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Parrish Family Vineyard

The Parrish Family’s mission is to grow and make wines that are truly a joy to drink. Parrish Family Vineyard makes seven special wines, from their signature cabernet sauvignon to their P.O. Box 1 wines. Family-owned and operated, Parrish Family Vineyard has been making wine since 2005. They offer a blend of cabernet sauvignonandpetite sirah called Silken; sauvignon blanc; chardonnay; Pinot Noir; a GSM, which consists of grenache, syrah and mourvedre; and a petite sirah. Parrish Family Vineyard is located at 1220 Park St. in Paso Robles, Ca. For more information, 805-286-4028 or


Choose from Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Peppermint and Eggnog! Place your special orders today!

Call 661-323-6877 Happy Holidays from the Diaz Family

5"$04t#633*504t5035"4t401&4t/"$)04 Visit us on

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


DINING GUIDE Pyrenees Cafe

Pyrenees Cafe boasts its the second oldest Basque restaurant in the county opening in 1935. Garlic fried chicken, ox tail stew and rack of lamb are favorites. And while most people head to the coast to get a bowl of clam chowder, Pyrenees devotees from the coast travel to Bakersfield to have the Pyrenees clam chowder available only on Friday. Located at 601 Sumner, it is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, Monday through Friday; and for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday though Saturday; closed for dinner Sundays and Mondays.

Lil B’s Sweet Tooth

Life is sweet at Lil B’s Sweet Tooth. Family-owned and managed since 2009, Lil B’s has thousands of candies to choose from to delight all ages. Whether it’s chocolate, gummi, sour or sweet, Lil B’s has something for your sweet tooth. From today’s favorites to those hard to find nostalgic candies, you’ll discover what you’re looking for at Lil B’s. Sweeten up that special day with a candy buffet table or a customized basket. From our family to yours. Have a sweet day! At The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave., Ste. H4, 665-8500.

Dinner For Two

$35.99 Happy Hour Monday - Friday 2:00 - 6:00 pm 1/2 Price Appetizers and Drinks


3580 ROSEDALE HIGHWAY (661) 328-0580 Locally Owned & Operated


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Choice of: • 1/2 Lb. Prime Rib • New York Steak • Full Rack Baby Back Ribs • Salmon • Swordfish Each meal includes salad, bread, a choice of two sides and a slice of Mudd pie to share. Please present offer before ordering. Valid for up to six guests. Not valid for banquets, or with any other coupon or offer. Valid until 12/18/10

Crystal Palace

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace focus is on the rich history and sounds of West Coast country music. Famous for their chicken-fried steak, the Crystal Palace also offers burgers, sandwiches and pizza. The Crystal Palace features a full bar and live music starting at 8 p.m. on weeknights and 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Located at 2800 Buck Owens Blvd., it is open Tuesday through Thursday, from 5 to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays, from 5 p.m. to midnight. Brunch is offered Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, 328-7560 or

Da Grub

• Fresh off the pit BBQ Chicken with Homemade Sauce • Catfish • Ribs


• Gumbo • Chicken N Dumplings


• Homemade Sweet Potato Pie & Peach Cobbler

House Specialities • Jambalaya • Shrimp & Grits

We Do Catering, call today!

661.368.1619 1230 H STREET #A, BAKERSFIELD CA

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



Since opening its doors in 1977, El Taco Loco has become a favorite among local residents who keep coming back for fast, affordable and delicious food. The burritos are a meal in themselves. And be sure to bring a huge appetite if ordering the Nachos Locos, many attempted but few have been able to finish the Nachos Locos alone. El Taco Loco is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal without skimping on quality. Located at 4809 Stockdale Highway and is open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hope Family Vineyard

The Hope family moved to Paso Robles from Bakersfield in 1978 and began planting vineyards in 1980. They have been growing grapes and making wine ever since. Among the many wines they produce are a cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and cuvee. All wines are available for tasting in the winery’s tasting room. The Hope Family Vineyard is also certified sustainable by the Central Coast Vineyard Team’s Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Program. The tasting room is located at 1585 Live Oak Road., Paso Robles and is open Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Or for more information visit


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Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Goose Loonies

What began more than 20 years ago as a beer and wine spot, quickly expanded to include a full menu. Meals are made in the Greek family tradition using recipes that have been handed down. Goose Loonies offers 25 different types of beers and a full bar. With 15 televisions throughout the restaurant, it is the perfect spot to catch the game. Located at 816 18th St., Goose Loonies is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight and Sundays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, 631-1242 or

oin us on November 20th for a Mama Tosca’s event of fine wine and Gourmet food. 5pm to Close. Call for reservations and menu.

Free Appetizer or Dessert with purchase of two entrees.

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326-4800 Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


Big Daddy’s Pizza

Pizza and football, what better combination? With five flat screens TVs, Big Daddy’s Pizza opens at 9 a.m. on Sundays during football season and offers a special breakfast pizza. Among the crowd favorites: the chile verde pizza and the meat lover’s pizza. Other dishes include homemade lasagna, cheeseburgers, fried chicken, hot wings and calzones. So head over, get a pizza and watch the game. Located at 6417 Ming Ave., it is open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and until 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, 396-1500. And “like” them on Facebook:

Serving Bakersfield over 20 years!

Best Quality. Best Prices. Best Service. Traditional Mexican Food

We ’re Family CASA MUNOZ 1726 Union Ave.



Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Open 10:30am to 9:00pm Daily

Union Station Deli

For three years, Union Station Deli has focused on qualityoriented food. The menu includes a variety of cold and grilled sandwiches. Among the favorites are the turkey, Italian, pastrami and tri-tip sandwiches. The half-pound burger, added earlier this year, has quickly become a hit. Union Station Deli also offers a variety of soups including a chicken pot pie soup. Located at 1723-A 18th St., Union Station Deli is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information call 322-9090 or

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9510 Hageman, #A Hageman & Calloway


Open Daily 6 am to 10:30 pm 6112 Knudsen Dr, Bakersfield, CA 661.399.4975

Check out our Daily Specials at Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



Padre Hotel

The Padre Hotel offers several dining options. For your morning caffeine hit and the best eggs in town, stop by the Farmacy CafĂŠ. The Brimstone offers burgers, salads and sandwiches for lunch. After 4 p.m., appetizers are available along with some heartier fare. The Belvedere offers an elegant setting. Entrees include ricotta ravioli, Pacific halibut or Osso Bucco. Located at 1702 18th St., hours: The Farmacy CafĂŠ: 6 to 11 a.m. The Brimstone: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. lunch daily and an appetizer/evening menu after 4 p.m. The Belvedere: 5 to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Information, 427-4900 or


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

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4715 Coffee Road Coffee & Hageman

72 Years

La Costa Mariscos

If it’s the seafood dishes from your vacation in Puerto Vallarta you’ve been craving, then head to La Costa Mariscos. For 19 years, this family owned and operated restaurant’s focus has been on seafood dishes prepared the way they are in Puerto Vallarta. With an eye on quality products, customers keep coming back for excellent food that is affordable. And once you’ve eaten at La Costa Mariscos, you’re not just a customer, you’re family. Located at 716 21st St., La Costa Mariscos is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, 322-2655.

Est. 1939

Be Ready for Great Food & Much More

2515 F Street • (661) 322-9910 Family Owned & Operated Monday: 11:00am - 10:30pm Friday: 11:00am - 12:00am Tuesday - Thursday: 11:00am - 11:00pm Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Happy Hour: Weekdays 3:00pm - 6:00pm

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


DINING GUIDE Peking Palace

For more than 21 years, Peking Palace has been serving up some of the best Chinese food in the area. In 2008, it was named Best Chinese Restaurant by The Californian. With its traditional Chinese dĂŠcor, Peking Palace has its share of regulars who have been eating here for years. Local favorites include the walnut shrimp, barbecue duck and orange chicken. Stop in and see why Peking Palace has such a loyal following, 5600 Auburn St., Unit K. Open Tuesday through Sunday, lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served from 4 to 9 p.m. For more information, 872-9686.


When dining at Sinaloa, be warned — you won’t automatically be getting chips and salsa. Instead, diners get French bread. It’s a tradition that began when a regular customer, who just happened to be Basque would ask for bread. Chips and salsa are served on request. Family-owned and operated by the Munoz family since 1948, it’s a mainstay among locals. The food and family-friendly atmosphere have kept generations of Bakersfield residents coming back. Located at 910 20th St., it’s open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11:15 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Mondays. For more information, 327-5231.

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Mon-Fri, 10am–7pm, Sat & Sun, 10am–6pm Pero le atendemos en espaùol.


Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

Juicy Burger

Although it has only been in business for one year, Juicy Burger has quickly become known for the best burger in town. With its fresh ingredients and large selection of toppings, it is hard to beat. All burgers are made using Harris Ranch beef and trimmed and prepared by Juicy Burger’s own butcher. But don’t expect to pull into the drive-thru to get your burger; this burger stand doesn’t have one. With the philosophy that each customer is unique, customers use a clipboard to customize their burger. And don’t forget to add a milkshake made using 100 percent handscooped ice cream. Located at 1201 24th St., #D130, Juicy Burger is open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more info, 325-8429 or visit

Now with Two Locations

1002 19th St.

5025 Wible Road • Bakersfield, CA 93313

(661) 833-9998 *Voted in Pete Tittl’s Top 10 Burgers in Bakersfield.

1900 21st St.

(Corner of 19th & O Street)

(Corner of 21st & F Street)

Hours: Monday - Friday: 10am-4pm

Hours: Monday - Friday: 10am-4pm

Find us on facebook and yelp to receive updates, coupons and more. Get your free sandwich coupon: Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



Tahoe Joe’s

Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse is located in the Marketplace. We are open for lunch daily at 11 a.m. with 20 entrée’s under $10. Join us for happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close daily, and all day on Sundays. We offering $2.99 appetizers and drink specials. We have an open fireplace and patio, full bar, five flat screen televisions and space for large parties. Open: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 9000 Ming Ave. Call 664-7750 or, for take out, 8728646. Become a Friend of Joe at www.TahoeJoes.

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Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

New Saigon

This popular Vietnamese restaurant is undergoing a name change and will soon be Tan Saigon and have a new owner, but the quality will remain. The new owner was born into the restaurant business and knows how to prepare authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Pho, or noodle soup is the specialty here. The dish is not only filling, but healthy, as it comes full of vegetables. You can also choose from other authentic Vietnamese dishes. Located at 333 Union Ave., Ste. 201, it is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is closed Mondays. For more information, 631-2538.

Caesar’s Deli

A Bakersfield tradition since 1971, Caesar’s Italian Delicatessen has been serving fine Italian foods for 40 years. The family-owned delis serve quality sandwiches, pastas, soups and salads. Stop in and try the famous pickled tongue. Pastas are prepared in-house using Nonna’s (Grandma’s) old Italian recipes. Catering is also available. Caesar’s has two locations, 2828 Niles St. and 9500 Brimhall Road., #304, both locations are open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, 873-0270 (Niles Street) or 588-7004 (Brimhall Road) or visit them on Facebook: facebook. com/caesarsdeli

We can accommodate parties of 60-80 people in our banquet rooms. We are also available for catering at your choice of banquet hall. Wedding Rehearsal Parties Wedding Receptions Bridal Showers Baby Showers

Anniversary Parties Graduation Parties Christmas Parties Company Parties

Staff Meetings Quinceañeras Birthday Parties

Call today for more information!

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide



Singha Thai

When you think of Thai food, curry and spicy likely come to mind. But if spicy food is not to your taste, Singha Thai offers a curry that is non-spicy but still delicious. Also offered is a vegetarian curry as well as the traditional red, yellow and green currys. Another customer favorite is the pad Thai noodles. Thai iced tea or a Boba tea made with tapioca that will tantalize your taste buds. Located at 5432 California Ave., Singha Thai is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner. Closed Mondays.





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Thank you Bakersfield for 57 years of patronage!








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620 East Nineteenth Street Closed Sundays 34

Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide

2517 White Lane (99 & White Lane) 661-835-1717

Expires November 30, 2011. One coupon per person. Cannot be combined with other offers.

Hungry Hunter

If you have your heart set on steak, then Hungry Hunter is the place to go. Serving only the finest, hand-selected Midwestern corn-fed beef and aged for a minimum of 21 days. The prime rib is caramelized at a very high temperature and then slow-roasted for more than 12 hours. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 3 to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. Open Saturday from 4:30 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. It is located at 3580 Rosedale Highway. For more information, 328-0580 or

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Bakersfield Life 2011 Dining Guide


Jewelle Scales Contract Systems Supervisor, County of Kern

Age: 44 I have lived in Bakersfield for: 17 years, I am originally from Hampton, Virginia I wasn’t born in Bakersfield, but I ended up here because: Upon being honorably discharged from the United States Navy after 4 years of active duty service, I moved here to complete my Naval Reserve duty and to be close to some life-long friends that I made while serving in the Navy. What part of town do you live in? Southwest Bakersfield near California State University Bakersfield Three words that describe my neighborhood: Yard Sale Friendly, family-focused, and active social hub Favorite Saturday activity: Sitting on the patio with my 80-year-old mother and listening to family stories. I learned things about history that are not written in books and have a better sense of who I am.

Jewelle Scales, left, enjoys spending time on her patio listening to her mother’s family stories.

Photo by Alex Horvath


Favorite community event: CSUB Hall of Fame Awards, it is a constant reminder to me that people from small towns can have great ambitions and make a significant mark in this world beyond their community.

bubble bath with scented candles, soft lights, and Luther Vandross playing in the background.

Favorite local restaurant: J’s Place…the cooking reminds of my Southern Roots and the Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s home.

Best place for a family outing: John’s Incredible Pizza – I have a blast there with my grandkids.

If I could learn to cook one dish to perfection it would be: My aunt's Southern Fried Chicken. She has said for years it is truly the way to a man’s heart and being single I can use all the help that I can get! If I won a cooking lesson by the chef of my choice it would be: Paula Deen, because she specializes in Southern Style cooking and it reminds me of Sunday dinner after church with my family in Virginia. I relax in Bakersfield by: Warm

I keep cool during the summer by: By going to Rosemary’s Creamy…a lot!

Best-kept secret in Bakersfield: The Lounge at the Downtown Bakersfield Marriott – I love the relaxing social atmosphere. When I want to get out of town I always go to: Disneyland…it really is the happiest place on Earth! What I like most about Bakersfield: Traditional family values and conservative views. The perfect place for date night in Bakersfield is: Café Med…it’s fine dining at its best.


A healthy way to fundraise California Fresh offers an alternative to chocolate bars and cookie dough

C By Gabriel Ramirez

Chocolate bars, cookies and cheesecakes might be moneymakers but how good are they for your health? With schools back in session, bands, academic groups and sports teams are out on the hunt for your spare change to sponsor their many events and commitments. But are their fundraising techniques outdated in a health conscious era? Roger and Linda Griess with California Fresh Fundraisers, LLC are out to bring local fundraising endeavors up to speed with the times. With 18 years of experience in the produce industry company 68

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo by Felix Adamo


Roger and Linda Griess in the California Fresh offices.

president Roger and vice president Linda started a business in March 2010 that puts a focus on fundraising with locally grown healthy items such as fruit. We sat down with Roger to talk about his business and his hopes for it in the years to come. It worked in the East Coast and now it has come west I learned about the concept of fruit fundraising when I worked for Dole Foods back in the early '90s. Fresh-citrus fundraisers are very popular on the East Coast, and I always thought it was a great idea. This idea stayed with me as my business career continued (after Dole, I worked in business development for Sun World Inter-

national). Several years ago, I began pursuing this idea further as I still saw this unmet need. I always thought fruit fundraising was a great idea and wondered why no one had developed this concept on a larger scale out here on the West Coast — after all, we grow worldrenowned citrus in California. I also knew that to be successful in this business, you’d need to have well-established contacts with growers and shippers, as well as a firm knowledge of transportation/logistics. You’d also need access to credit or sources of capital (or very strong relationships with these companies to make it work), as transporting this amount of product can be expensive. With my many years of experience in the industry, I was able to put together all of the pieces of this puzzle. What message are we sending to our children? I’d been successful in business working for Dole Foods and Sun World International, yet had always had the dream of starting my own business. I come from a family of both farmers and entrepreneurs, so I guess I have this combination in my blood. I wanted to fill this unmet fundraising need, and after so many years in the corporate world, I also wanted to start giving back to society in a way that can help people live better, healthier lives. With many of the fundraisers I see being offered today, we’re sending our kids a conflicting message by telling them to eat healthy foods, yet asking them to sell cookie dough or candy to their supporters. Kids are our future, and I want them to grow up understanding the lifelong benefits of healthy eating and good nutrition. We need to send the right message as adults. Why not sell something people actually want? We’ve purchased a lot of fundraising products over the years from our nieces/nephews, as well as from many children of friends and neighbors. We always felt an obligation to buy, not only because we knew them, but also we wanted to help their cause. We know it’s not easy for a young person to approach adults to buy something. Many times we were purchasing items we neither wanted nor needed – unhealthy food products or useless items for the house. These would just get thrown away. We always thought, “Why can’t someone come up with a fundraising product people will actually want to use and enjoy?” The color of the cause is orange We offer Navel Oranges and Mandarins (the easy-to-peel variety you see in grocery stores). We currently offer three different-sized cartons of citrus, ranging in price (for the supporters) from $15-$30. The small 10-pound box is great for one to two people, and the $30 40-pound box is ideal for a larger family. It can provide you with orange juice for the entire week! Again, something you want and need to purchase, while at the same time, helping raise funds for the school or organization. It’s not just the oranges that are growing here Yes our business has tripled since last year. We now operate in seven states, and this year we’ll begin offering our program in New York and New Jersey. We’ve also garnered some impressive endorsements — The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (endorsed by first lady Michelle Obama) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (developed by The Bill Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association) have both endorsed our company

and have allowed us to use their logos on our website. We were also approached this spring by HealthCorps, a nonprofit organization started by Dr. Mehmet Oz to promote fitness and nutrition in inner-city schools. They really liked our concept and are offering our fundraisers in their partnering schools. All of these endorsements have been great testimonials for us as we expand our business. Sometimes it’s hard to let go We’re just starting to see the growth here in our local schools. It’s interesting — people are slow to make a switch from something that’s been working for them, even if they don’t like the current fundraising product they’re offering. We were at the California PTA convention this year, and many attendees told us, “Our supporters want something new — they’re tired of buying the same old thing.” It’s a matter of getting someone involved that wants to make a positive change. If we connect with a school, Scout troop, church or sports team that needs money and also wants to offer something new and fresh, they are always very interested in talking with us. For instance, we’re working locally with Faith Unity Nurture Sports, a sports ministry with more than 850 participating kids developed by founder and CEO John Bagala. They’ll be using our fundraisers this winter and spring. Our fundraiser is not only healthy, but it can be very profitable – it’s a great way to earn thousands of dollars in one shot. And people never get tired of California-grown citrus. It’s no lie — local is best Yes, it’s all California grown. We offer Naval and Mandarin Oranges from growers located in the area from Ventura all the way to Fresno. And of course, that includes Bakersfield and our San Joaquin Valley. We source the highest-quality fruit once it’s time to ship out the product. We only work with the best, most reputable growers and shippers to ensure we provide the best quality product and service to our customers. And we love showing off our spectacular California citrus to the other states we service! Easy, fun and healthy From a health perspective, it’s frightening to read that the mortality rate for today’s youth has actually decreased due to poor eating habits and inactivity. At California Fresh Fundraisers, we believe teaching our children a better way to both eat and raise funds is crucial to developing a healthy nation in the future. From a business perspective, a school or organization can offer just one to two fundraisers a year with us and make enough money so they don’t have to sell anything else. And their supporters are buying something they both want and need. We make it easy and fun for everyone involved. There is a school in Southern California that raises over $25,000 each year from just one citrus fundraiser. Big goals for the future Our goal is two-fold – we want to change the way organizations fundraise (by offering better, healthier products). We also strive to be the first nationwide citrus-fundraising company. Interested? Visit our website at or give us a call at 800-779-0031.



Tailgating At Bakersfield College, game day begins in the parking lot


Story and photos by Mark Nessia At every home BC football game, food, fun and camaraderie fill the Memorial Stadium parking lot – long before the lights go on and the players step onto the field. Tailgating became “official” in the early ’80s and has “evolved more and more” each year, said Barbie Hobbs, former BC athletic secretary. Lee Fox, 78, has had BC football tickets since 1954 and has been tailgating at BC football games since 1981. “We just love it,” Fox said of the tailgating experience. “We’ll go out there and barbecue tri-tip, steaks, chicken … and we invite people to come out at halftime and eat. We don’t charge anything. We love to barbecue, and we love the camaraderie.” For some, tailgating is synonymous with college football, but for others, it’s tradition.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

“If you look around, it’s the same groups in the same places every year,” said Hobbs, 59. Dave Manning, 60, played for BC from 1969 to 1970 and has been tailgating for 25 years. His father’s company, Tumblin, built Memorial Stadium in 1955. He is part of two generations of Renegade athletes, with a third generation in the works. “Tailgating keeps us going,” Manning said. “All we ask is people bring a plate. There are a lot of little Renegades here, and it’s going to be a long-running tradition.” Tailgating themes were implemented in 1998 when Jan Stuebbe took over as athletic director, according to Hobbs. The group that executes the theme best receives a $500 prize. But the food, the games and the music are only a means to bring people together. Anyone can go up to a station full of strangers with an empty plate, be served with a smile, and leave with good food and close friends. “I’m like a father to some and a brother to others,” Lee said.

Carl Leech tries to maintain control of his bike as he rides between tailgaters and the BC drum line outside Memorial Stadium. Leech has been tailgating for 25 years and is one of the "original tailgaters" that followed BC to home and away games.

From left: Mark Habberfield, Steve Franetovich II and Marty Espinoza tend to their grills outside Memorial Stadium. The group gets together one month before the first home game, and their wives determine the menu for the season. Each grill had a different chicken recipe in it.

Paul Cantu serves Sally Hill a “Bahama Mama.� The drink was free of charge, despite Hill’s repeated attempts to pay.

Catch one of the remaining BC football games this season Gades vs. El Camino at El Camino 6 p.m. Oct. 29 Gades vs. Cerritos Homecoming at BC 7 p.m. Nov. 5 Gades vs. Canyons at Canyons 7 p.m. Nov. 12

Members of the BC drumline perform for tailgaters on the parking lot outside Memorial Stadium.

For more information, call the football office: (661) 395-4353



Cody Kessler

Centennial High School grad Cody Kessler throws a pass during warmups Oct. 1 at the LA Coliseum. 72

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Cody Kessler stands under center during practice at USC's Howard Jones-Brian Kennedy Field.

Heart of a winner lands Bakersfield native No. 2 quarterback role for USC

W Story and photos by Mark Nessia

Winner. That was the word that stood out to USC football coach Lane Kiffin when Cody Kessler first stepped onto the field. So much so, that the Centennial High School alumnus, who registered a semester early to participate in spring practice, was named the Trojans’ No. 2 quarterback behind three-year starter Matt Barkley. Not bad for the young man only seven months removed from his high school playing days. Kessler, 18, beat out fellow freshman Max Wittek and redshirt freshman Jesse Scroggins for the job. “The guy just finds a way to win,” Kiffin said. “He’s so competitive. You can just tell people play better around him, and that’s why he’s been so successful in everything he’s done, including academics. “The thing that sets him apart from most young guys is his command in the huddle. He wasn’t nervous in there; he didn’t have to repeat the plays – he came in like a veteran.” While Kessler stepped on the football field like a veteran, he entered college life a true freshman. Tuesdays, which are Kessler’s toughest days, consist of waking up at 5 a.m. and watching film from 6-7:45 a.m. Practice runs from 7:45 to 10:30 a.m., which is followed by class from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Kessler then has another class from 12:30-1:45 p.m., followed by tutoring from 2-3 p.m. He has a workout from 3-3:30 p.m. before taking on three more tutoring sessions – 4-5 p.m., 6:30-7:30 p.m. and one more at 8 p.m. “It’s definitely a lot different than high school,” Kessler said. “(In high school), you’ll have seven classes in a day … and have homework in two or three of those, but in college you might only Continued on page 74

Kessler stands on the sidelines during USC's game against Pac-12 rival Arizona.


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Kessler, left, and teammate Andre Heidari, a Stockdale alumnus, following USC’s 48-41 win over Arizona Oct. 1 at the LA Coliseum. Continued from page 73

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

have two classes a day, but you’ll be in that class for four hours, and the homework takes another four hours. You just have to manage.” On the field, Kessler has another tutor in Barkley. In 2009, Barkley became the first true freshman to start a season opener for the Trojans and the first true freshman to start an opener for a preseason Top-5 team since 1975. “He’s the guy to learn from, because he’s been in this offense for three years,” Kessler said. “He knows the ins and outs of it.” Kessler’s path is similar to Barkley’s in that both enrolled a semester early to learn the offense, and both impressed coaches early. “We do have similar stories, and I think

it’s unique,” Barkley said. “I never had someone to look up to like he has to me. Knowing that I didn’t have someone like that, and knowing that he does, I’m trying to help them out the best I can.” Barkley said Kessler came in wanting to know more. Barkley not only has taught Kessler the offense, but things that can’t be taught from a playbook, such as handling the crowd at away games and leadership. As roommates, the two also spend time together off the field. “Just getting that extra time in, so if he has to take over it will be a sweet transition,” Barkley said. With Barkley listed at No. 10 on ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper’s “Big Board” as of Sept. 29, that transition may be coming sooner rather than later.


Martin Ferdinand

Local engineer Martin Ferdinand prepares a Moroccan dish, one of his favorite cuisines.


By Hillary Haenes

foodie: a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads Source: Merriam-Webster

With this month’s issue being dedicated to food, we thought we’d introduce a new feature about local aficionados with a passion for food and drinks. While the word was first coined in the 1980s, foodie has recently resurfaced. It describes people who enjoy knowing the finest ingredients in dishes and how to properly prepare foods for their guests. And now we introduce you to Bakersfield Life’s first foodie:


Bakersfield Life

Photos by Jessica Frey

You may know Martin Ferdinand from working in the local construction industry for 40 years (he owns Abacus Surveying, which is currently working on the West Side Parkway project). Or perhaps you remember seeing his face at Martin’s Reptile House that he owned near the East Hills Mall in the early '90s. When he’s not busy traveling the world, running his construction company or experimenting with furniture and photography as an artist, Ferdinand is in his newly remodeled kitchen (that he completed with his own two hands), preparing cuisine from the numerous countries he’s visited. “I love to travel. It is so nice to experience different cultures and new foods,” he said. Ferdinand has been to more than 20 different countries, including France, Belgium, Egypt, Cambodia, Spain and Japan. But his favorite and most frequently visited holiday spot is Amsterdam. It’s a comfortable city,

November 2011

which he’s felt at home at since his very first visit. With friendly people and a beautiful city, what’s not to like? “I enjoy traditional Dutch food, which is for the most part meat, potatoes and cabbage. Amsterdam is home to an incredible array of ‘foreign’ restaurants, including a large number of Surinamese and Indonesian eateries,” he said. Coming from quite a large family, Ferdinand has always cooked for a crowd, especially for Sunday night dinners, where preparing food for six to 10 people is considered the norm. Over the past few years, he and Jane, his wife of 38 years, have opened up their home to friends for large dinner parties, in which Ferdinand braves cooking for 40 or more guests. At these parties, Italian, Moroccan and Spanish (tapas-style) have been served. Ferdinand tries to keep the meal as authentic as possible, and will often make trips to Los Angeles or research online to gather all the

Ferdinand’s kitchen, which he built himself, features over one hundred square feet of granite countertop.

On cooking How did you develop an interest in food and cooking? I was always amazed how a certain combination of simple ingredients can be turned into the most incredible tasting dish. Living in California is a wonderful place to expand the ever-growing list of available foods. Traveling has opened many new worlds of taste.

proper dinner components. Even the beer and wines are from the appropriate countries. “I have reached a comfort level with my cooking where I’m not afraid to cook for large crowds,” he said. “I like the planning and the prep, even though it is a huge chore. The planning takes about a month, the cooking takes about three days.” The dinners are usually held outdoors and the food is served buffet style; dishes and serving utensils are rented. And he enlists the help of his best friend as a sous chef. “My friends and family are always happy to partake in my culinary creations, often asking for recipes and take out boxes,” Ferdinand said. He enjoys sharing his food experiences with others, and people are pretty pleased with how the meals turn out. To him, the best compliment is a request for seconds.

You recently renovated your kitchen: describe the decor. What is your favorite feature in your new kitchen? Tile floor, simple cabinet faces (matching the original 1952 cabinets) and granite countertops. My favorite feature is the over one hundred square feet of countertop. How often do you cook? Normally, I cook five days a week. Cooking for Sunday dinner can be an all-day event. What is one spice you love to use in your recipes? Garlic would be the spice that is in most dishes I cook, just because it makes almost anything taste better. But the spice I love to use is one that I’ve brought back from a foreign land. I love the fact that a taste can evoke a memory. What are those other spices? While on vacation, I hunt for locally produced spices: paprika from

Hungary, cinnamon from Vietnam, saffron from Spain and chervil (a French parsley) — I love the sweet, subtle taste it adds to food. What is your favorite piece of cooking equipment? My KitchenAid stand mixer. It saves so much time and arm work. The grinder attachment is great for fresh salmon patties. The sausage stuffer and dough hook help shorten prep time. What is your first memory of cooking? When I was about 8, I baked a cake from scratch. It didn’t cook correctly because I had added mashed banana — adding my own touch from the start. What is your favorite meal to cook? One I haven’t cooked yet. I enjoy trying new things and try not to do too many repeats. We heard you make your own Limoncello liqueur. Tell us how you got into making that: The first time I had Limoncello, it was on a hot, summer night after a great Italian dinner in Siena, Italy. Ristorante Malborghetto made the liquor on the premise and the chef told me how they did it. I couldn’t help from trying to recreate that memorable lemon liquor, and found that mine tasted more like Siena than the bottled versions.

Continued on page 78


“I have reached a comfort level with my cooking where I’m not afraid to cook for large crowds.”

Continued from page 77

What is this process like? How long does it take to make? Lemon rind is hand scraped from a dozen lemons and added to a neutral alcohol. After two weeks, a lot of sugar and a little lemon juice are added. Wait another month, filter and it’s ready. Why is food/cooking so important to you? I think it is important to eat good tasting, healthy foods whenever possible. Creating and sharing a meal is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I have found that the quickest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. (That’s a take from the cover of the 1940 “The Settlement Cookbook: The Way to a Man’s Heart” — the book I learned to cook with.) If you could spend a day with a famous chef or fellow foodie, who would it be? What advice would you ask them? Mario Batali. Italian food is one of my favorite cuisines, and Mario does it right. And it wouldn’t so much be the advice, but more the opportunity to learn just by cooking with him. Is there a dish your family loves that evokes a favorite memory? My grandmother came out from Chicago once a year and always made Swedish potato sausage. I’ve carried on the family tradition and turn out about 20 pounds every once in a while. Pork, beef, potatoes, salt and pepper stuffed into natural casing and boiled. So bland it needs mustard, but great! 78

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November 2011

On eating You traveled to Morocco to learn how to master their cuisine, tell us about eating the food in Morocco. The motivation for the trip was certainly the food, as it often is. But seeing Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods” fame eating his way through Morocco was what finally made us go. We had a wonderful 20-something course meal in Fez, and the food stalls in Marrakesh were everything Zimmern had promised. What was your favorite meal in Morocco? Moroccan dishes are combinations of ingredients you don’t often expect. Sweet dates and bitter green olives, tomatoes and cinnamon. The favorite meal was at a local fish market/restaurant in the old city center in Essaouira on the Moroccan coast. We rather stumbled upon it during a shopping foray. It was totally local and we had the “kitchen table.” What is your favorite local restaurant and what do you order? Wool Growers. I usually order fried chicken with garlic. The set-up is enough great food for anyone, but fried chicken is something I never mastered. What is your most memorable meal? It’s tough to narrow it down to a favorite. Food, drink, company and surroundings make a meal. Amplify the quality of one or more elements, and you’ve made a meal memorable. Bobby Flay’s Bolo in New York City. During dinner, my wife and I were comparing Bolo to Mario Baltai’s ESCA where we’d eaten the night before, and in walked the chef himself. Bobby sat with us and we had a nice food chat.

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A couple of Ferdinand’s 200 cookbooks. How many cookbooks do you own? What’s the title of your favorite one? I have about 200. There are about 20 I wouldn’t want to be without, but it would have to be my 25-yearold Betty Crocker’s cookbook. When it comes to basic recipes and instructions, you just have to trust Betty. Do you watch the Food Network? If so, what is your favorite show? My current favorite cooking/eating show is “Unique Eats” on the Cooking Channel. What has been your most expensive meal? I wasn’t sure till I did some checking, but ESCA in New York was over $1,000 for four (included the bar tab). ESCA is Mario Batali’s Italian seafood restaurant. I particularly enjoyed the salt-encrusted sea bass. The restaurant was simple, yet formal. The wait staff was incredible and very attentive. It was a special Valentine’s Day celebration and a great New York City dining experience.

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Dream kitchen Patience, planning needed to maintain unique 1920s feel


By Gabriel Ramirez

Photos by Greg Nichols

Katie Kirschenmann has been cooking ever since the first time her grandmother let her help in the kitchen. Now when she isn’t busy with her other hobbies of running, photography and gardening she enjoys hosting dinner parties as often as she can. “Dinner parties are a great way to connect with friends and family,” said the 36-year-old Kirschenmann. Even though her kitchen was charming it wasn’t well suited for the entertaining or ambitious cooking she wanted to do, so the president-elect of the Junior League of Bakersfield and mother of a 3-year-old pursued her goal of having her dream kitchen. “We wanted to open the kitchen up to the rest of our home


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

and our lifestyle,” she said. “Simply put I love to cook. We wanted to create a kitchen that was able to keep up with the needs of our family.”

The importance of a kitchen My day begins and ends inside our kitchen. From the first cup of coffee in the morning to the last dish put away at night, my family’s life circulates in and out of our kitchen. For us, the kitchen is literally the heart of our home.

Inspired by the greats I have three “go-to” cookbooks: “Chez Panisse Café Cookbook” by Alice Waters (one of my personal heroes), “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Alukins and “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” by Ina Garten. If I am making

Katie Kirschenmann's day begins and ends inside her kitchen.

dishes from one of these three books I’m certain to enjoy cooking and guaranteed to serve a dinner to impress.

to cook and eat together helps us to better appreciate our lives together.

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A painful yet worthwhile process

My favorite part of hosting any gathering is the conversation. Our family, like most, is too busy. Taking the time create a dinner forces your family and friends to take the time to enjoy. Slowing down to cook means slowing down to talk.

I think I may have mentally blocked the actual number of days it took us to renovate. Similar to how I don’t remember how long I was in labor. Frankly, it took a while. Part of the reason for our process taking longer than most was the fact that we live in an adobe that was built in 1928. I had to find a contractor with ample experience working with adobe homes and that was no small task. I especially wanted to take care in all my decisions in order to honor the character and age of our home. Without a doubt the best part of the renovation process was

Dinners for two I love to cook for my family. Unfortunately we have a picky three old son who does not seem to enjoy my menus as much as my husband does. More often than not I end up cooking two dinners, one for my husband and one for my son. Admittedly, I wish we could sit down to dinner more often. Slowing down

Continued on page 82


I took what I loved about my older home and celebrated that in all of my choices.

Katie Kirschenmann chose weathered copper faucets in the style of the period in which her house was built.

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when it was over and I roasted a chicken in my brand new oven for the first time. Let me tell you, it was the best roast chicken I’ve ever tasted.

My research experience I preplanned maybe, a little too much. To be honest, I overwhelmed myself with books and magazines and catalogues. But in the end I designed a modern kitchen that easily merged inside the bones of an older home. My research, overwhelming as it may have been, was well worth the time and effort.

The old Our old kitchen was charming and cute but very small and extremely compartmentalized. I liked the character but disliked how cramped and inefficient the layout was. The previous flooring was mustard yellow linoleum sheeting from the 30’s and the lighting was fluorescent tubing. The whole of the house felt disconnected from the kitchen. When the house was built in 1928, houses were styled to hide the action in the kitchen from the rest of the household. Back then it was fashionable to hide the work in the kitchen from your guests. Today, we want to share our cooking with our family and friends rather than hiding out in the kitchen toiling away in solitude.

The new I took what I loved about my older home and celebrated that in all of my choices. We took off the doors, opened up a wall and reconfigured the appliance layout. One of the major changes we

A Wolf gas range and oven made a devotee of Kirschenmann.

made was to recreate the exposed beam ceilings in our living room to the ceilings in the kitchen and dining room. This was the most dramatic and worthwhile changes we made. All of the finishes and hardware were chosen keeping in mind what would have been available in 1928. I wanted to renovate with a historic perspective. I chose weathered copper faucets in the style of the period in which the house was built. My sink is a very wide ceramic apron-front that is a centerpiece unto itself. The color palate I chose is neutral white and weathered creams. Again I made my choices with the history of the house in mind.

Mixing the old with the new What I love most about our kitchen is the fact that we were able to merge a modernized kitchen into an older home without compromising on character or convenience. The last thing I wanted was to create a time

warp from one room to another. I love my kitchen. Our kitchen renovation transformed our house from a diamond in the rough into a crown jewel.

Granite not so great for this home I labored over choosing my countertops. One choice that was automatically ruled out was granite. Granite countertops were definitely not available in the 1920s. Choosing granite would have time-stamped the kitchen in a different era than the rest of the house. I ultimately chose an acid brushed marble countertop with a chipped edge. This gave me the vintage feel I wanted with the ease of a solid surface.

When it comes to cabinets keep it simple Keep it simple, I always say. I chose Continued on page 84

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clean shaker style cabinets that were again an available choice in the 20’s. The cabinets are made from alder wood and painted in light cream. I painted, distressed and “antiqued” the cabinets myself. The upper cabinets have hand-blown glass panels that I found from an historical preservation glass artisan in Vermont. The same artisan made the three Moravian star glass pendants that hang in my kitchen, dining room and entranceway.

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We ended up choosing a Wolf gas range and oven as well as a Sub-Zero fridge. I am now a Wolf devotee. Though my range is small it cooks beautifully and makes cooking that much more of a pleasure.

There is more to the floor we walk on I chose a concrete tile that mimics terra cotta and wood. Again, I made my choice in flooring looking back to the 1920s. The concrete was a sustainable option that also offered ease in care. When our floors were being installed, my grandfather was visiting from Alabama. He did not believe that the faux wood tiles were not actually wood. I had to show him a tile to prove to him that they were in fact concrete. BLINDS Faux Wood Vertical

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

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Feeling at home My kitchen makes me feel at home. When I put my dishes away at night I feel happy about the simple tasks that come with taking care of a family. I feel rewarded by the work and time I poured into the renovation because in the end I framed the window into my family’s life. It was hard and exhausting process but totally worth the effort.

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More than 40 military vehicles will be on display on Nov. 11 at the Kern County Museum in recognition of Veterans Day.

Out in full force Veterans Day celebration at the Kern County Museum showcases military vehicles Story and photos by Jeff Nickell Veterans Day in Kern County will be jammed packed with events and activities including the Veterans Celebration and Vehicle Show at the Kern County Museum. Presented by Bakersfield Chrysler-Jeep, the event will be from 2-7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. The event is free and open to the public. Area residents who attend the morning parade will be able to head over the museum in the afternoon to see more than 40 military vehicles that will be on display. In addition to the vehicles, there will be a variety of displays and booths paying tribute to those who served in the military. Among the vehicles on display will be a Huey helicopter used during the Vietnam War and is currently owned by the Kern County Fire Department. Personally, I can’t wait for it to land in back of the museum’s historic Howell House. And not to mention the fact everyone 86

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Command car will get to see it as they drive down Chester Avenue. I hope everyone who catches a glimpse of it will want to come out and see what else we have on display. The idea for the Veterans Celebration and Vehicle Show came from Jim Calanchini, whose own family traces its roots back to one of Bakersfield’s earliest settlers, Christian Bohna. And interesting side note, Bohn sold his property in what was known as Kern Island to Col. Thomas Baker. It’s amazing we have descendants in our city with such a rich history. But actu-

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Willys Jeep

ally, it really doesn’t surprise me because I have met so many people whose families helped make Bakersfield and Kern County what it is today. The Veterans Celebration and Vehicle Show started as a small event to help raise money for both the Kern County Museum and Minter Air Field. But once people heard what was going on, it has grown bigger and bigger. The Olive Drab Drivers, a group of Jeep owners, have been a driving force behind the event. They will have several Jeeps both military and non-military Jeeps at the event. This is perfect since this year is the 70th anniversary of the Jeep as I wrote about in last How to participate month’s issue. The event If anyone else wants to be part would also not be posof our salute to our military sible without the dedicayou can contact Jeff Nickell at tion of the volunteers 868-8415, or go to either www. or www.mintfrom the Minter Field Again, Air Museum, especially this event is free, so come to Dean Craun, Jeffrey Al the Kern County Museum on Goins, and Gen. Jim 11-11-11 and join us in saluting Whitehead. Jacob Banour military. ducci has also worked very hard to prepare for the event. As I said, Kern County is an awesome place to live, with such generous and giving people. There will be heavy trucks, light trucks, a half track, command cars, staff cars, Willys Jeeps, Ford Jeeps, post World War II Jeeps, Amphibians (Studebaker Weasels), tugs, cargo trailers, and two new armored Humvees being brought in by the Army 422nd Company, and of course the brand new 70th Edition Jeep from Bakersfield Chrysler-Jeep. I would love to go give you more information about each of the vehicles, but I simply do have the space to do so (and even if I did I would still need to leave some of it for you to see first-hand – can’t show you our full hand). However, I will tell you about two of the vehicles on display. The Continued on page 88

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first is a 1940 Plymouth Sedan that served as a staff car at Gardner Field in Taft. The car is owned by Marc Macaslin. The second is a WWI four-wheel drive Model B transport truck made in Clintonville, Wis. donated to the Kern County Museum by former Bakersfield Mayor Don Hart. I have to admit, I as well as my son, will be like kids in a candy store. The event will also have entertainment and food so you should be prepared to have hours of fun exploring Pioneer Village. Other sponsors who have generously donated to the event are the Rotary Clubs of Bakersfield, the University of Phoenix, and Halliburton Energy Services. Media sponsors who jumped on board are KGET-TV17 and Buckley Radio Group along with the Bakersfield Californian. In fact, leading up to Veteran’s Day, the Californian is planning to invite veterans and their friends and family to write stories about our heroes’ service to our country and also some stories of how families were affected on the home front. These stories should be fascinating and will

Studebaker Weasel

shed light on things that many of us have never seen, heard about, or been through. The South High School ROTC will conduct the presentation of colors at 3 p.m. This should give attendees plenty of time to make it from the parade to the museum. Entertainment will begin after the colors are presented. We are still nailing down some of the final details, but I cannot sign off

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

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without mentioning that both the Sea Cadets and Young Marines will be participants. If anyone else wants to be part of our Salute to our Military you can contact Jeff Nickell at 868-8415, or go to either www. or Again, this event is free, so come to the Kern County Museum on 11-11-11 and join us in saluting our military.


Jack Pandol Carrying on the family tradition

A By Lisa Kimble

Photos by Greg Iger

A third generation grape grower, Jack Pandol’s family name is world renown in the agriculture industry for their innovations and the inroads made in importing and exporting the succulent table grapes of the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Now, the son of farming icon Jack Pandol Sr. is turning the tables on the table grape, revolutionizing the way the classic fruit of the vine is grown and having some fun with consumers in the produce section.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

From left, Jack Pandol, Craig Stoller, David Cain and Glen Stoller joined forces to form International Fruit Genetics.

If it is possible to take the grape – that tasty staple of school lunch- ing partnership IFG formed in 2000 between Grapery and Sunridge es and make it the coolest snack on the cafeteria, then third-generation Nursery. Kern County grape grower Jack Pandol is the one to do it. By thinking Sweet Surrender, an early black seedless grape boasts plum-like outside the crate and having fun with the tiny fruit, his innovations, flavors; Sweet Sunshine is an elongated green fruit. The goal is to he hopes, might change consumer perceptions in the process. “Today, achieve memorable taste and flavor, enhanced by christening them when you go to the grocery store, you with memorable names as well. see red grapes, green grapes, and it is But breeding new table grape varieta little boring,” Pandol said. “We now ies is a tricky dance. Cotton Candy, for have the opportunity to revolutionize that example, was developed and patented Table grape nutrition facts whole category and make it exciting.” by IFG in Delano over the course of a Serving Size 3/4 cup (126 g/4.5 oz.) His company, Grapery, and its breeddecade. It was created under an exclusive Amount Per Serving ing partner International Fruit Genetics, contract with an unlikely dance partner: Calories 90 is developing never-before seen and the University of Arkansas. “At the time tasted varieties, upping their cool factor [Arkansas] were breeding table grapes Calories from Fat 0 with fun names like Cotton Candy in the in an area you would never think could,” % Daily Value* hopes of having the grapes available to Pandol said. “We brought some of their Total Fat 0.3g 0% consumers year ‘round as well. plant material and incorporated it with Saturated Fat 0.1g 1% He learned the family business from our advanced table grape, and the result his grandfather Stjepe who emigrated was Cotton Candy.” He added that it Cholesterol 0mg 0% from Croatia at the turn of the century actually took 40 years of traditional Sodium 15mg 1% and farmed his first vineyard in the breeding at the University of Arkansas to Potassium 240mg 8% fertile San Joaquin Valley and helped combine the flavors of native eastern US Total Carbohydrates 23g 8% his father, Jack Sr., and uncles, grow the grapes with the quality traits of seedlessbusiness into a worldwide producer of ness, crisp texture and thin skins of those Dietary Fiber 1g 4% table grapes and an international industry grown here. By using traditional breeding Sugars 20g leader. He left the family business when methods to cross the very best CaliforProtein 0g Gov. Wilson appointed him to serve on nia grape varieties with only the most the California Environmental Protection flavorful parent material of those bred in Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 2% Agency. In 1996 following the threeArkansas, the endeavor is adding a new Calcium 2% Iron 0% year term, Pandol branched out on his chapter to the history of the table grape. * Based on a 2,000 calorie diet own and founded the Grapery, while “It took the unique flavors and incorpomaintaining ties to his family’s busirated with good shipping techniques to ness, Pandol Brothers Inc., and working maintain firmness.” closely with them. Cotton Candy was their first commercial trial and the first harvest Together with partner Jim Beagle, Grapery grows and develops is still three years out, he says. And it really does taste like the carnival classic varieties like Crimson Seedless and Red Globe and develops favorite. Other cultivars are still in the pipeline undergoing rigorous new varieties, three of which are currently in trials. Sweet Sunshine, testing and have yet to be named, like Raspberry Lemonade with a Sweet Surrender and Sweet Celebration are the result of the breedContinued on page 92


Continued from page 91

hint of citrus. “I think what we are doing is unique genetically,” he added, “Our focus is on flavor.” The breeding block is in Delano. Pandol’s grandparents home has been converted to a state-of-the-art lab. “I think he (Stjepe) would have been really excited about this.” For now, the varieties are shipped to Asia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and across the United States. The hope is to one day license the varieties all over the world to ensure an endless supply. “Our idea is by having it produced in these areas around the world the grapes can always be available to consumers,” Pandol said. “We are giving the consumers an outstanding eating experience.” The naming of the varietals is not complicated, he says. “We literally thought we were eating cotton candy.” A grape has already been named the Jack Salute, in honor of his late father, ever proud of his military salute. “He would be jumping up and down. It definitely makes grape growing fun.”

Jack Pandol, with his late father, Jack Pandol Sr.

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Grapery's varieties

Witch Fingers

Cotton Candy

Sweet Jubilee

The unusual skinny shape always prompts a marvelous reaction from everyone. Kids go crazy for it and have a lot of fun eating it and using their imaginations to conjure up stories about the unique shape. It also is very sweet and has a surprisingly good flavor that keeps them coming back for more.

This mid-season seedless green grape is totally unique. There is no other grape like Cotton Candy®. It really tastes just like Cotton Candy.

This mid-season seeded grape is jet black, firm, huge and tasty. It makes a very good combination with Red Globe with its overlapping harvest timing.

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Robert E. Smith Founder/president, Bike Bakersfield Compiled by Vicki Adame The history on Bike Bakersfield We started Bike Bakersfield about six years ago. Having been a bicycle commuter for my entire life, I have a personal understanding of the physical and mental benefits of daily exercise via bicycling. Being involved in the planning and engineering of communities I am keenly aware of the importance of the effects of our built environment has on the way we live our daily lives. Throughout the 1990s, planners and engineers began to look more and more at the negative effects of an automobile as the only choice in transportation. During the same period, bicycle advocacy groups began to have more influence all across the country and positive changes began to become quite visible. Seeing success elsewhere and my personal and career experience prompted me to try and make a positive change in Bakersfield. My main motivation is I would like for more people to experience the daily joy of living life more fully. Bike Bakersfield's goals We would like Bakersfield to become a community where bicycling is a safe and convenient alternative to everyday transportation. One 94

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

where trips to work, school, shopping and play are made by bicycle. What will it take to make Bakersfield a more bikefriendly city? Many things: Education. Both drivers and bicyclists need to understand how to interact on roadways. We are working in schools, businesses and with community groups to teach skills and techniques and show how one rides a bicycle in traffic. Planning and Engineering. We are working with the city and county to develop a Bicycle Master Plan that would address needed infrastructure and future development of trails, bikeways, bicycle parking and other end of route facilities. Encouragement. We promote bicycling at events throughout the year at schools, businesses and different community groups. These promotions culminate in May when we celebrate Bike Month when we have commuter stands, commuter competitions between companies, many different rides and a Bicycle Festival. Not long ago, Los Angeles had CicLAvia, and Mexico City also closes some of its major streets on certain days to vehicle traffic so bicyclists can ride freely. What would it take to get something similar started here? I participated in the most recent CicLAvia in Los Angeles with about 130,000 other bicycle riders. It was great fun to be able to explore 10 miles of downtown LA streets while they were car free. Events, such as this, need to be supported by the governmental agencies. There needs to

be a desire to improve the livability of Bakersfield by its staff and leaders. Bike Bakersfield hopes to work towards such events in the future since they help promote the understanding of the fun that can be experienced when we get out of our automobiles. Biggest change you've seen toward bicyclists since the start of Bike Bakersfield? Many changes are beginning to take place. We have been able get the attention of staff and leaders in the city and county governments and begin the change, which comes from proper planning and engineering standards. We have also seen dramatic changes in the elementary schools where we have participated in Safe Routes to Schools programs. Where there were no bicycles before, we have helped get bicycle racks and have seen those racks filled up. Many high schools have begun bike clubs and have started bicycling to school together. In our work with health care professionals and the air district it is understood that a bicycle friendly city can not only help improve the health of the community by getting people to exercise it also improves its health by reducing the amount of air pollutants that we breathe. How often do you commute by bike? Every day How can someone get involved with Bike Bakersfield? Just email us at

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Carriage rides are a good way to get a quick overview of the sights in Old Sacramento. They also take visitors to the Capitol and back.

Old Town Sacramento State’s capitol offers much for the history buff, families and shoppers


Story and photos by Lois Henry I had forgotten how fun Old Sacramento was. In case you’ve never been, this is the original part of the city tucked up against the Sacramento River where all the scallywags, brigands and fortune seekers first landed shortly after gold was discovered in 1848. Interstate 5 cuts Old Sac off from the rest of downtown, and it had become pretty seedy years ago. Thankfully, a renovation begun in the 1960s has made it a great place to visit. The restored buildings, most dating back to the 1850s, house tons of shops and restaurants. The docks are busy with family boaters and fresh, new hotels are in easy walking distance. And it’s not just packed with cheesy


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Conductors who operate a train that takes visitors along an historic route out of Old Sacramento take a break on a recent fall day.

novelty shops (though there’s no shortage of those, plus lots of tattoo and piercing opportunities). You can also go on a river tour, take an old fashioned train ride, get a peak under Old Sac’s streets, and much more. In fact a full Saturday and Sunday barely covered it all. OK, while Old Sac is an easily walkable 10-block area, I highly recommend

starting off with a carriage tour for a quick overview. It’s only $10 and the drivers give you lots of helpful info. You’ll definitely want to visit the California State Railroad Museum ($9 admission for adults; $4 for kids). Trust me, even if you’re not “into” trains (and I’m not), this is a really cool museum that gives you a good idea of how and why California developed the way we did.

The tower bridge in Old Sacramento rises as a river boat takes sightseers on a cruise down the Sacramento river.

There are lots of free tours given by enthusiastic volunteers who dress up in period costumes. The museum is wonderfully designed and easy to navigate on your own if you’re not a tour person. And, yes, there are a couple of train cars you can walk through. One, an old-style sleeper car, is rigged to give you the experience of crossing the Great Plains at night. The Sacramento History Museum ($5 for adults) is also worth a visit. This is where you absolutely should get a tour of “underground Sacramento.” Locating the city at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers might have been great for commerce, but not such a good idea when it came to flooding. After the fledgling town was nearly destroyed in 1862, residents determined to raise the streets by 12 feet. They got it done by the late 1870s. There are still some places where the sidewalks are hollow and you can walk beneath the streets to see original doorways and windows Continued on page 98

A guide from the Sacramento Museum takes visitors on tour of Old Sacramento where people.


An old paddle boat that is now the Delta King hotel and restaurant rests in the busy harbor at Old Sacramento.

Continued from page 97

I don’t want to overload you with museums but you should really make a little time to poke around in the California State Military Museum. It’s free for service members past and present and family. It covers California’s military history from the Spanish-American war on. I was particularly interested in our state’s involvement in the Civil War (we were on the Union side). All that museum-ing will likely make you hungry. There are lots of good restaurants in Old Sac, but I really liked Rio City Café, right on the river. The food was fresh, they even make their

rolls in house, and they had a great wine list! I didn’t get a chance to try Delta King, a restaurant and hotel housed in a paddleboat permanently moored in the river. Next time. I know this sounds goofy, but you can’t leave Old Sac without a visit to Evangalines Costume Mansion. It’s housed in the oldest building, the Lady Adams, and is three or four floors (I got kinda lost) of nothing but costumes, costumes, costumes. You really can’t help but have fun. And I can’t forget the Hornblower river cruise! It’s $20 a person for about an hour but so worth it.

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Bakersfield Life

November 2011

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Sites to visit for more info: California Railroad Museum Sacramento History Museum California State Military Museum Hornblower Cruises and Events

For some reason I’ve never thought of Sacramento as a real river town. I usually go up there for work and to me, it’s all government, blah, blah blah. But how great to see the city from the wide open river! Hornblower has two boats. The larger one offers dinner and brunch cruises. See? So much to do, I guess I have to go back!




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The OC Plenty of shopping, sun and fun make Orange County a great winter getaway


As the Tule fog and cold air start to roll into the valley during the upcoming winter months, make Southern California your destination spot to soak up the sun. Orange County provides a nice romantic weekend getaway for couples or is a great place for the entire family because of the beautiful beach scenery and various attractions. Take that short drive out of town and escape to the OC where you will discover lots of leisure activities, fun entertainment, excellent shopping spots and good food.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

This year, the festive Christmas tree at Fashion Island, a premier shopping destination in Orange County, will be lit on Nov. 18.

Photo courtesy of Fashion Island

By Hillaery Haenes

Photo by Felix Adamo

Knott’s Berry Farm Knott’s Berry Farm Home to the popular boysenberry jams and fried chicken dinners that founders Walter and Cordelia Knott started serving in the 1930s, Knott’s Berry Farm is also well known because it was one of America’s first theme parks. This 160-acre amusement park offers fun for everyone. There are several exhilarating roller coasters for thrill-seekers, and plenty of Wild West adventures in Ghost Town, such as a journey aboard the Calico Steam Train. A more laid-back section of the park is the Boardwalk area, filled with carnival games, bumper cars and water rides. For the youngsters, Camp Snoopy is a six-acre amusement “land” designed specifically for kids that has shows, kiddy rides and photo opportunities with the Peanuts characters. And in December, Knott’s is transformed into a Christmas winter wonderland with lots of holiday cheer. The park is decorated with wreaths, strands of garland and twinkling lights, giving it that cozy, old-fashioned Christmas feel. Carolers dressed in authentic 1800s costumes, stroll through the park singing classic a cappella holiday songs. Small children enjoy visiting Santa’s Headquarters in Ghost Town. Here, you’ll also find personalized gifts, ornaments and decorations for your home. Medieval Times If you’re planning to go to Knott’s Berry Farm, make sure to put this on your itinerary since it’s just down the street. Prepare to be taken on an epic adventure as you are transported back in time to 11th century Spain on your visit to the Medieval Times castle. This family-friendly dinner and tournament attraction combines a banquet-style fare fit for royalty with an exciting competition between knights. The four-course feast consists of garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, oven-roasted chicken, a spare rib, herb-basted potatoes and a pastry that all must be eaten without utensils. So dig in and don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty. Cheer on one of six knights as you witness the up-close jousting matches and swordsmanship in your ringside seats. With the costumes, weapons and talented horse performers, this captivating

The Block at Orange

two-hour dinner show will have your imagination till the very end. Because seating is limited, reservations are highly recommended. The Block at Orange Nestled near the Los Angeles Angels stadium and around the corner from the Crystal Cathedral, a fun outlet shopping mall awaits you. The Block at Orange has a long directory of retailers. With more than 80 stores, this outdoor plaza has something for the entire family. Besides great clothing stores like Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Nike Factory Store, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, H&M and the new DKNY Company Store, there are also cool attractions. The Vans Skate Park has 6,000 square feet of space to watch skateboarders grind on rails, drop into concrete bowls and land tricks after launching off ramps. Dave & Buster’s, Lucky Strike Bowling and AMC Theatres (that shows 30 movies) and Burke Williams Day Spa are all good places to end your day after a shopping Continued on page 102


Photo by John Harte

Medieval Times

Continued from page 101 Knott’s Berry Farm 8039 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, 90620 714-220-5200 Medieval Times 7662 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, 90620 866-543-9637 The Block at Orange 20 City Boulevard West Orange, 92868 714-769-4001 San Juan Hills Golf Club 32120 San Juan Creek Road San Juan Capistrano, 92675 949-493-1167 Mission San Juan Capistrano 26801 Ortega Highway San Juan Capistrano, 92675 949-234-1300 Fashion Island 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, 92660 949-721-2000 or toll free 855-658-8527 Irvine Spectrum Center 71 Fortune Drive, Irvine, 92618 949-753-5180


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

spree. For lunch or dinner, you must try Cafe Tu Tu Tango, which offers an array of delicious tapas dishes from around the globe. This cafe has a bohemian vibe of a Spanish artist’s loft. Unique pieces of art are hung on the walls and canvas paintings are displayed on easels. Other eateries include Market Broiler, where you can feast on fresh seafood and Alcatraz Brewing Co., a place that serves samples of different foods from famous San Francisco neighborhoods like Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach. San Juan Hills Golf Club For more than 40 years, San Juan Hills has been the ideal golf course for both the serious golfers and the vacationing players, too. Surrounded by the San Juan Capistrano hills, this Par 71 Championship public course offers some of the best greens and fairways in Orange County. Enjoy an affordable round of golf with beautiful scenery and a great ocean breeze. Other amenities consist of a full bar, grill and outdoors patio as well as a full service golf shop and driving range. It’s located relatively close to Mission San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point Harbor and OC beaches. Mission San Juan Capistrano With more than 230 years of history, Mission San Juan Capistrano is an inspiring landmark and educational museum that is definitely worth a tour. This budget-friendly

trip is an experience the entire family will find fun while visiting. Take one of the several guided audio tours or watch historical re-enactments throughout 10 acres of gardens, fountains and adobe preserved architecture. Also, be sure to check out the Mission Treasures Exhibit where rare paintings, religious artifacts and documents of the mission’s history will be on display. Fashion Island Overlooking Newport Beach’s coast, Fashion Island is a premier shopping destination for luxury, designer and specialty fashion boutiques including: 7 For All Mankind, BCBG Max Azria, Betsey Johnson, Ella Moss and Trina Turk. Anchoring the shopping center are department stores Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s. For a fine dining experience, try Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar or Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine. Be sure to take a glance at the center’s event listings because the boutiques and restaurants host a number of fashion shows, designer appearances, trunk shows and culinary demonstrations throughout each month. In mid-November, the annual tree lighting along with musical performances and a visit from Santa kicks off the holiday season. Outside of Bloomingdale’s Courtyard, the lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in the United States takes place. Usually, a white fir tree from Northern California that stands more than 100 feet tall is selected. This tree weighs about

Photo courtesy of Irvine Spectrum Center

20,000 pounds and requires a 10-man crew about two weeks to adorn it with 17,000 lights and ornaments. When it’s all lit up, it is quite a magnificent site to see.

Irvine Spectrum Center

Irvine Spectrum Center With 130 stores, its no wonder the Irvine Spectrum Center draws 15 million people to Orange County each year. Along with shopping options to fit everyone’s budget, the center boasts a plethora of restaurants like the popular Yard House, offering one of the largest selections of draft beer, a menu of varied American foods and classic rock tunes. Besides shopping and food, another main features is the custom-built Giant Wheel crafted in Italy and the carousel made in San Francisco. — When I lived in Orange County, these were some of the places I enjoyed going to with friends and family. For more information on these locations or to find other OC hot spots, check out

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Address: 1701 G St. Phone number: 324-2424 Email: Website: Greg Hash, semi pro golfer John Fallgatter, photographer Greg Sceales, bodybuilder Rolly Rhodes, woodworker and avid fisherman What are you grateful for this season? Hash: Without question, I am most grateful for Betty, Gregory and Karah. (My wife and children.) Without them and Jesus, my life would not be complete. Fallgatter: We have a wonderful Staff and I feel very blessed that we have been able to keep them during these tough economic times. Sceales: My wife Joni, son Zach, dogs Bear and Sara, friends, health, working with my sister Melinda again, my partners and our great office staff and working environment. Maybe the question should have been, “What I am not grateful for?” Rhodes: My 8-month-old grandson, Beau, and my new role as grandpa. What do you know now that you didn’t know 10 years ago? Hash: Ten years ago, I started my life without alcohol. I did not know how rewarding and fulfilling that would be. Fallgatter: I didn’t know that I would still be enjoying my career now as much as I did back then. I love going out and seeing clients and solving some of their problems. Sceales: That I am not going to live forever and to quote Ghandi: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 104

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November 2011

Rhodes: That being a grandfather is a lot more fun than I had ever imagined. I love this new role. What is your outlook on the current economic situation? Hash: Bakersfield and Kern County is resilient. We have oil, agriculture and construction that blend well together. I truly believe this cycle will be behind us in the near future. Fallgatter: I believe the local economy is stabilizing with the exception of the construction industry. On a national level, we are heading in the wrong direction. To correct that, we need a change in the White House. Sceales: I like to think I am the half glass full kind of guy in spite of the glass being half empty in today’s economy. My belief is that the situation will improve with time and effort. Rhodes: Concerned, but hopeful. When the federal government recognizes that it is the private sector that creates jobs and that government often impedes job growth with restrictive legislation, the sooner we will recover — providing they enact laws to relieve us from regulatory constraints and burdensome taxes. Tell us about your best childhood memory: Hash: Fortunately for me, my childhood is continuing on into my adult life, but I have to say vacations to Carpinteria with my family. They started when I was 5 and I have not missed one summer in the last 53 years. Fallgatter: I grew up in East Kern County on the China Lake Navel base. We lived in a great neighborhood with tons of kids and there was always something going on. Sceales: Riding motorcycles in the mountains and driving dune buggies at the beach. Still do! Rhodes: Road trips with my family. It is still my favorite. It is the only cure for an eternal disease I contracted as a child — wanderlust.


Thompson Fitness Personal Training John Thompson, CPT, PES, CES Address: 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B-10 Phone number: 588-5030 Website:

What type of results should someone expect to get from your boot camp? We offer the only boot camp that burns 1,000 calories from one 30-minute workout. Many people are seeing 12 to 20 pounds lost in their first four weeks. But the main benefit of our program is that our clients never stop seeing results. No one ever seems to hit a plateau. They keep getting stronger, leaner and firmer because our workouts are never the same, so they are all constantly improving. Basically, muscle confusion at its best. What type of exercise activities do you perform that achieves such dramatic results so quickly? We utilize what is called MRT or Metabolic Resistance Training. This type of training uses strength training exercises in a cardio style workout, so that you blast calories while sculpting lean muscle and toning your body all at once. That is why 106

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

John Thompson and Elaine Thompson of Thompson Fitness.

Photo by Felix Adamo

What makes Thompson Fitness Bootcamp different than other fitness boot camps? To me, our boot camp is in the middle of a boot camp and one-on-one personal training. You get the attention, accountability, encouragement and coaching of a one-on-one trainer, but in a group environment, so it is about a third of the cost of hiring a one-on-one trainer. It is a much more affordable option.

we are able to achieve such a high rate of calories burned in only 30 minutes. It cuts the workout time in half, but also doubles the results at the same time

get in shape, they will. I always tell them a paraphrase of a quote by Henry Ford — Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you are probably right.

That sounds like a pretty intense workout. Is this type of training just for advance fitness clients, or beginners as well? It is intense. But it is not just for the advanced trainee. We have beginners who have never seen the inside of a gym before, come in and do great. It is more about the mindset of the person rather than their physical condition. If they believe they can do it and are willing to work hard to

Briefly describe the atmosphere of the boot camp? We have developed kind of a “night club-like” atmosphere. We aren’t running around listening to boring music counting out reps to clients. We are always striving to find new ways to make it an even cooler place to be, and to workout. It’s super high energy and full of awesome people all wanting the same thing — faster results, not boring, no wasted effort.

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A-C Solar Address: 315 30th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301 Phone number: 661/633-5368 Website: What sets A-C Solar apart from other solar energy companies? A-C Solar is a division of A-C Electric Company, one of the largest electrical contractors in Central California. Since 1945 we have prided ourselves on employing the best individuals and providing the highest quality service to our customers, long after the project is completed. Our large installation department of state certified electricians will ensure that your project is installed properly and completed in a timely and efficient manner. It is our diversified business model, company experience, and roots in the community that sets A-C Solar apart and insures that we will be here for years to come. After all, what good is a warranty if the company that installed your system is no longer in business? We’re here to stay! Describe the homeowner that would benefit most from a solar installation. Homeowners that are using large 108

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Shanna Petrini, left, Dave Morton, Jeff Petrini, and Damon Silva, right, at A-C Solar.

amounts of electricity and paying high utility bills will benefit most. Specifically, homeowners who are paying over $400 per month during the summer and over $200 per month in the winter have the greatest advantage. The higher the utility bills, the quicker the return on investment. How long does it take the typical homeowner to see a return on the investment? An average solar electric system pays for itself in five to seven years. An evaluation by an A-C Solar professional is the best way to determine how soon you will recoup your investment. What finance options and rebates are available? A-C Solar has numerous financing options to choose from. For homeowners, one of the best options is the Sunpower lease. This lease is very flexible with options from a Zero Down lease to a Full Pre-paid lease. For those who choose to own their system, A-C Solar also offers 12 month same as cash financing as well as other traditional financing options. Regarding rebates, the Federal Government is currently offering a 30% tax credit for

Photo by Casey Christie


commercial and residential systems installed through 2016. The California Solar Initiative (CSI) is also offering rebates to residential customers in existing homes. New homeowners receive the most benefit as the incentive for solar on new home construction could be as much as 25% of the system cost. The CSI rebates are being depleted quickly however so the sooner you act, the more money you will save. How much maintenance do solar panels require? Very little. The panels should be rinsed off regularly to maximize system performance but other than that, there is nothing else to do. With a 10 year complete warranty in place, if anything were to go wrong, a call to A-C Solar will solve the problem. Are there situations where solar does not make sense? Homes covered by shade trees or North-facing roof areas may reduce the system production. Also, homeowners with lower electric bills will see a longer return on investment. All of that being said, a solar electric system installed by A-C Solar will always make sense for your wallet and for the environment.

Air Conditioners Humming Away

4 TVs, 3 Computers, 2 Gaming Consoles

3 Daughters Plus Accessories

Pool & Spa All Summer Long

Actual Electric Bill for the month of August 2011 in Bakersfield, California:

$ AWhopping 12.15! Actual bill of home owner David Morton

Financing Options Available - Zero Down Lease - 12 Months Same as Cash

CA Lic. #99849


Thompson Fitness Yoga John Thompson, CPT, PES, CES

What are some of the benefits of yoga? Yoga heals, detoxifies, exhilarates the body and mind, relieves stress and torches calories. Other benefits also include weight loss, muscle toning, stress reduction, increased vitality, flexibility, strength and balance. So at your facility, you perform a unique type of yoga called Power Sculpt. What separates Power Sculpt yoga from other more traditional types of yoga exercise? Sculpt is a total body workout designed to build and sculpt all of your muscle groups. Sculpt is yoga combined with strength training. We increase the intensity by utilizing dumbbell weights as you move through yoga flows and other yoga postures and easy to follow strength sets. Vinyasa flow yoga is already an amazing aerobic workout burning tons of calories. By adding strength training to yoga, you’ll create an even greater, long-term impact on your metabolism increasing calorie burn and sculpting long lean muscle. 110

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Thompson Fitness yoga instructor Olivia Guggemos.

So would Power Sculpt yoga be a better choice for someone who loves yoga but wants something more challenging for weight loss and body sculpting? Yes, definitely. Power Sculpt yoga is much more effective at targeting and toning specific body parts, and is a great way to increase the intensity of an already amazing yoga workout. But sculpt is not just for the advance yogi either, it can be used by the beginner as well as someone who wants to tone, sculpt, and increase strength and endurance.

Photo by Felix Adamo

Address: 7737 Meany Ave., Suite B-10 Phone number: 588-5030 Website:

Do you offer traditional type yoga as well? Yes, we offer a morning Energy Flow. It is a Vinyasa flow emphasizing energizing and stress-relieving postures to get your day going with tons of energy, and a calm and focused mind. We also offer a relaxing night Vinyasa flow, done by only the light of candles to erase the stress of your day and promote a good night’s sleep. Both are still a full-body workout sure to work up a sweat and burn a ton of calories, great for all levels of yoga practice.


Money Back Guarantee


Al Bensusen, owner Address: 2030 Truxtun Ave. (across from Mercy Hospital downtown) Phone number: 395-0471 Website: E-mail: Consider this – Americans will spend one third of their lifetime asleep. The quality of those hours affects the remaining twothirds of their day. Some 70 million people in this country suffer from a sleep problem, 40 million of them with a chronic disorder such as Sleep Apnea. The Centers for Disease Control considers insufficient sleep a health epidemic, yet it remains seriously misdiagnosed, which worries local sleep disorder expert Al Bensusen. BakersfieldLife asked Bensusen, owner of Sandman Technologies, about the sleep disorder that is responsible for so many restless nights. What is sleep apnea? The word “Apnea” means the cessation of breath. Sleep Apnea is the cessation of breath during sleep and the deprivation of oxygen to the internal organs which is very harmful to the body’s systems because blood oxygen becomes very low and 112

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Photo by Casey Christie

Sandman Technologies Inc. sleep cycles become abnormal and disrupted. All of this can create serious complications, and even lead to death. What are the two most common symptoms of sleep apnea? Snoring and feeling tired during the day are the most common. Additional symptoms like high blood pressure, depression, poor concentration, memory loss, impotence, heart failure, atherosclerosis, morning headaches, frequent nighttime urination, stroke, abnormal heart rhythms, increase insulin resistance, obesity and dementia may also signal this disorder. How were you introduced to sleep disorder medicine? In 1969 at Stanford I studied the efficacy of a new sleeping medication by testing medicated patients in the lab. This was the first large study of a sleeping medication in a sleep lab in the United States. At the conclusion of the study, I became

involved in introducing physicians to sleep disorder medicine and the significance of the results of the Stanford lab testing. How long have you been in the practice of testing and treating sleep disorders? Sandman started in Bakersfield 23 years ago with both home and lab studies for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). I was born and raised in Bakersfield, a graduate of Bakersfield High School and proud Driller. We are locally owned, and as a native, I am invested in the betterment of our community. How is sandman different from other ‘sleep’ labs in town? We provide a distinct advantage over other labs, most of which are actually based in other cities like Los Angeles or on the East Coast. We are local in the way others aren’t because we are active partners in the community where our patients live. Most other labs are not open during the day, however, we are in order to offer our patients assistance. Sandman features the latest state-of-the-art digital data acquisition technology directed by a Board Certified sleep physician. Our sleep lab manager, a registered sleep technologist, trained at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Be Yourself...Only Better!


• Bio-Identical Hormones • Hyperbaric Oxygen Rx • Detoxification • Autism / ADHD • IV Chelation, Myers, C • Weight Loss & Nutrition • Ozone Infrared Sauna • Chronic Fatigue • PMS / Menopause • Cancer Support • Reverse Aging & more

The Gables • 903 Spirit Lake


The Meadows • 10702 Four Bears Dr.


Spruce Gardens • 2400 Spruce St.


RCFE No. 155801279

Nutrition Detoxification Hormonal Optimization

661.325.7452 4000 Stockdale Hwy, Ste D

RCFE No. 157204176

Diplomate, Am. Board of Anti-Aging Medicine

RCFE No. 157204177

When living at home is no longer the best option for your loved one, visit the private homes of Gables Residential Care.


182 Quantico Ave., #3, Bakersfield, CA 93306 Lic. #867069

We now Sell and Install Energy Saving Windows and HVAC units! *Call for details

PROTECTIVE ROOFING SYSTEMS Up to 2,000 sq. ft. of 30 year roofing $4,290 - $5,700. $0.20 per sq. ft. for each additional layer removal

In these elegant, family-style homes, you will find: • Comforts of home in a beautiful surrounding • Caring and competent staff on duty 24 hours a day • Only six residents in each home – companionship with others • Personal assistance with activities of daily living – bathing, dressing, grooming, meals, medication supervision, transportation – whatever is needed. • Delicious, home-cooked meals and snacks • Lovely patios and secure walking paths • Planned activities

HONESTY • DEPENDABILITY • LIKEABILITY AND SERVICE! Energy Efficient Roofs Solar Powered Attic Vents

Tubular Skylights Blown-In Attic Insulation




Mouth-watering toffee

Fine handmade English toffee made by Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth. Available at Luigi’s, Olcotts, Sweet Surrender and San Joaquin Hospital Gift Shop. Call 725-5200 or visit

Precise Holistic Complete dog food

Contains DHA, Omega-3 and probiotics. Mini, Small, Large & Giant Breed blends available! Visit Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa for all your dog's needs at 1617 19th St., 321-9602.

Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

“Hand” painted for your Thanksgiving table! Use your little ones’ handprints to decorate this adorable (and practical) server! Just $40 including supplies, studio time and firing. Color Me Mine at The Marketplace, 664-7366.www.bakersfield.

Color Me Mine

Black and white diamond ring

Give her something her friends will envy. Ladies half-carat of black and white diamonds set in 14K white gold. $625, Christmas sale $469. Robson-Eilers at The Marketplace, 665-0411,

High fashion for kids

Lil’ Rock Starz Children’s Boutique offers designer clothing for boys and girls, baby to 14. “Backstage Parties” are also available for any occasion. 600 Coffee Road, Suite Q.

Lil’ Rock Starz 114

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Robson-Eilers Jewelers

Sweater weather gets even better

Lattice Cardy, a wool blend made to look like your favorite chunky, knit sweater with three wooden buttons. $140. Tularosa Route, three-styles-inone silhouette. Cable-knit wool cuff can extend above the knee, detach, or fold down. $250

Guarantee Shoes

Fiesta apron Morning After Bag The Morning After Bag mini is roomy enough to hold your everyday essentials and includes a shoulder strap for a comfortable fit. $495 exclusively at Tangerine in The Marketplace.

What better way to impress your holiday guests than with this hostess, chili pepper fiesta apron! only at Kuka’s, 1809 19th St. 325-0000



Anyway you want it

Creating custom cabinets made to fit customer needs with pull-out shelves, spice racks, bread drawer, cookie sheet rack, and more custom details. Call 836-8747 or visit

Munoz Cabinets

Hot feet

A nice selection of "Betty Page" and "Iron Fist" shoes are now available at Divaz Desirez 4560 Coffee Road, Suite C (on the corner of Coffee and Hageman in the Vons Shopping Center) 679-7278

Divaz Desirez


“Lethal Beauty� opening Sept. 15 Held at Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Brian Spath and Evelyn Young

Ann Gallon and Cynthia Blankenship

Shakira and Clay McCombs

Shari Butler and Tim Hochhalter

Dixie Fornasero and Chalita Brossett-Robinson

Linda Hyatt, Art Sherwyn and Tony Comstock


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Jonathan Allen, Eva Ramirez, Kim Aviles, Jason Gutierrez and Michelle Ramos

(855) 393-2840

Taft College Foundation Casino Night Sept. 17 Held at Jam Events Facility Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more online at Sheri Horn-Bunk and Tiffani and Adam Alvidrez

Dawn Demos, Robyn White and Margie Corriea

Pete and Denise Bradbury Rachel Fowler and Melanie Brassfield

Stacy Crooks, Ed Rodriguez and Robin Cooper

Shelley Klein, Susan Vaughn and Kathy Evarts

Jenna Heimiller, Carissa Griffith and Amber Gonzales

Ruth and Tom Jared


First Friday Oct. 7 Held at Metro Galleries Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at

Bill, Jamael and Latasha Dana-Dean

David Gordon and Robert Carbone

Daniel E. Weddle, Thomas Hoenshell and Holly Miller

Maggie Cushine and Jason Gutierrez

Andrea Medina, Lydia Rowles and Teresa Adamo

Avital Anders, Don Martin and Bridget Blackburn

Call Me Today

(661) 246-6565 Tiare Ferguson Loan Officer NMLS Id# CA-DOC 267738


Bakersfield Life

Information subject to change without notice. All Loans subject to credit approval and certain restricts may apply. NMLS ID #13589. Licensed by the Dept. of Corp. under the CA. Residential Mortgage Lending Act.

November 2011

Jack Hernandez, Ruthann and Richard Marquez and Sabine Westmoreland

(855) 393-2840

Annual Garces BBQ Oct. 7 Held at Garces Memorial High School Photos by Ashley Reyes View these photos and more online at Gertie O’Neil, Janice Handel, Mary Brown, Barbara Fanucchi, Susan Berry and Charlotte Brandt

Casey Hogg, Cami Hogg, Alicia Gargan and Joe Antongiovanni

Izzy Ruiz, Aaron and Michelle Neira

Sylvia and Marc Guzman

Kathleen and Dean Bears

Stuart Annable and Samy Abiaoui

Shaun Hylton, Ashley Smith, Kathie, Cory and Rick Boyer

When you need the best compassionate care for your loved one!

We’re Family! We can place your loved one in our caring facility.

Call Today!

Lic. # 157202436



Alliance Against Family Violence Fundraiser Oct. 7 Held at Belladagio Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more online at Melissa Hutton, Barbara Louden and Sherrie Hess

Richard and Barbara Mervan

Diana and Bob Dietz

Tammy and Carol Dobbs

Bree and Ivan Bogacki

Linda Crawford, and Kristi and Tyler Windtberg

Toppy Bogacki and Linda Torigiani

Stephanie Gibbons and Santosh Munger

Quality custom products at wholesale prices

FREE In-Home Estimates

Free professional installation with minimum purchase


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

10% OFF Your window covering purchase!

LIC. #950484


(855) 393-2840

Via Arte Oct 8 and 9 Held at The Markertplace Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at Christina and Audrey Sweet

Peggy Hartmann and Jennifer Soleno

Jeff and Cherie Payne

Robyn Lace and Becky Osterdock

Maya, Javier, Teresa, Xavier, and Camila Arambula

Serving Bakersfield

Pam and Kevin Bell

Seth, Sheri, Daniel and Logan Newton

WATSON Realty #1 Sales Team in 2010


Is your home value up side down? Short Sale -vs- Foreclosure CALL FOR FREE ADVICE Local Owner, Abby Bryski

• Part time • Full time • Occasional • Frequent • Last Minute •

Sheeza Gordon 661-472-2761


William Gordon 661-431-5534



Ronald McDonald House Donor Appreciation Night Oct. 12 Held at Imbibe Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at Heather Lindstrom, Harry Starkey and Roger Fessler

Dana Phares, Jeremy Helper and Ginny Gaines

Liz and Jan Smith

Ron Johns and Tim Statezni

Gary and Ayanna Frazier

Gabriel Noboa, Maryann Paciullo, Maureen Recalde and Bryan Banford

Don McMurtrey, Carla Andreatta, Kristy and Mike Allen

Music School

Become a Foster Parent

to provide a safe and stable home environment. A TREATMENT FOSTER FAMILY AGENCY Monthly stipend $717-$2850

5300 Lennox Avenue, Suite 103, Bakersfield, CA 93309 122

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

Voted Best Music Lessons by 97.7 The Breeze Radio Station In The Mom’s Choice Awards! • Music & Movement Classes (Ages 16m-4) • Group Piano Classes (PreK-12 Years)

Enroll Online or Call Us Today! (661) 665-8228

5381 Truxtun Ave. (1 block East of Mohawk St.)

(855) 393-2840

Girl Scouts Women Inspiring Girls Luncheon Oct. 7 Held at Valley Baptist Church Photos by Casey Christie View these photos and more online at Nona and Jim Darling

Laura Reinke and Lucy Trakimas

Iris Doyle and Debbie Rodriguez

Ashlyn and Philena

Phoeneicia, Irma Carson and Grecia

Southwest Eye Care & Laser


Gregory A. Stainer, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Fall Special

We are now offering a special on the following:

Microdermabrasion with Glycolic Peel

Stella McMurtrey and Cathy Ferguson


Home Of The World’s Finest Pianos

Gift Certificates Available

Factory Authorized Dealer: Proudly made in America since 1853

New 88 Note Pianos

Call us today about the $125.00 Botox and Juvederm savings.

Grands • Baby-Grands • Upright $699-$1,799

(661) 871-0088

(MSRP $1,495-$3,995)

50%-62% OFF

www. 6200 Lake Ming Road, Ste. A-7



Mon - Fri 10am - 5pm Sat 12am - 5pm Sun by Appt.

Rt. 178 12 miles east of 99, then left on Alfred Harrell Hwy. 1 1/2 miles to signs.

4649 Planz Road (661) 833-4040


Sickle Cell Run/Walk and Blood Drive Sept. 17 Held at The Park at River Walk View these photos and more online at

Grant Garrison

Barrett Wade and Kimberly Gonzalez

Prachi Mehta, Shetal Mehta and Arsh Mehta

Modita Doshi, Mina Patel, Vishnu Patel and Harshad Patel

Devon Desai, Chase Hicks and Satish Desai

Bhavana Patel and Sanjay Patel

Jessica Harris

Harshad Patel and Pritesh Patel

- Rosemary Abarca Attorney at Law

Special Services Include:

Specializing in Social Security Disability Law (661) 322-1761 901 Tower Way Suite #202 Bakersfield CA 93309 124

Bakersfield Life

November 2011

• Colonoscopy • Endoscopy • Video Capsule Endoscopy • ERCP • Cancer Screening Esophageal pH & Motility Study • Treatment fo Liver Diseases • Ambulatory Endoscopy Center 9870 Brimhall Rd. #100 Bakersfield, CA 93312 (661)588-8725 Fax (661)588-8749

20041 Hwy 202, Valley Blvd., Unit 3, Tehachapi, Ca 93561 (661) 822-0377 Fax (661) 588-8749


Cupcake mania

Cupcakes and Crema also features cupcake bouquets, which feature half a dozen cupcakes of the customer’s choice in a decorated flower pot that Brandon will customize upon request.

Brandon uses commercial equipment to make between 175 and 300 cupcakes a day. Each mixer holds 20 quarts and is capable of producing enough batter for 200 cupcakes per batch.

Brandon’s daughter Leah is the other half of her staff. “We bake together every morning.”

Dark chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting are just one of 11 to 13 flavors made daily, and 30 total cupcake flavors made at Cupcakes and Crema. The last flavor introduced was a margarita cupcake.

Photo by Casey Christie


It was January 2007 when a declining job market, a skilled hand at baking, and the Queen of Daytime talk shows led to the idea that would — four years later — become Cupcakes and Crema. Owner Sharon Brandon said that after watching an episode of Oprah that featured the famed Sprinkles cupcakes, she decided that instead of risking another one-year contract as a counselor with Bakersfield City Schools, she would try her hand at the cupcake craze. Brandon was inspired by Sprinkles owner Candice Nelson, who started out as an investment banker before she changed career paths. Said Brandon, “I researched the phenomenon, and lots of owners were professionals who were looking for something a little more hands-on. And there’s something good about being your own boss. I thought long and hard about this; it wasn’t a decision I made overnight.” So after years of planning and waiting patiently for signs of an upswing in the economy, Brandon said, “I decided, ‘Well, I can’t wait forever,’” and this April, Cupcakes and Crema opened its doors for business.

Prices for the cupcakes are $2.85 each, $32 for a dozen, and $30 a dozen for three dozen or more.


Thank you Cornforth Family for your generous donation to The Cancer Center at SJCH.


CANCER CARE IS CLOSE TO HOME. YES! I want to be a part of the “When You Give” Campaign! Please accept my gift of: $ _________________ I am interested in giving by credit card – please contact me. I am interested in receiving more information about the “When You Give” Capital Campaign for The Cancer Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital.

Please circle one: Mr. | Mrs. | Ms.

Name: ___________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________ City: ________________________________ State: _________ Zip: _________ Phone: _____________________________________________________ Email: ___________________________________________________________________________________ I wish to remain anonymous and I do not give permission to be listed by name as a donor.

Please make your check payable to SJCH Foundation and mail to: SJCH Foundation, P.O. Box 2615, Bakersfield, CA


Thank you for your generous support of the San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization. If you have any questions, please contact the SJCH Foundation at 661-869-6570, email: or visit us at Tax ID#: 95-2294234 All donations are tax-deductible.


Bakersfield Life

November 2011

New McCafé® Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Mocha made to order at your locally owned and operated Bakersfield McDonald’s.®

Limited time offer. At participating McDonald’s. ©2011 McDonald’s.

NOW SHOWING         Â?Â?  †‡ˆ†



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�    �  �­  ­€�‚  ƒ „ …�  4500 Wible Road



834-6632 Se Habla EspaĂąol


Years of Serving Kern County

Bakersfield Life Magazine November 2011  

Bakersfield Life Magazine November 2011

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