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October 2012

Food T H E


Healthy goodness at farmers markets Guide to local Basque eateries Dining Divas at La Colonia Four local chefs talk food

Four ladies who are bartenders Best places to watch NFL games Links for Life’s Wall of Hope

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Dining Divas

This month, the Divas were greeted by the friendly staff at La Colonia Restaurant, where they feasted on delicious authentic Mexican fare. Learn a little about the history of this eatery and the tasty dishes they sampled.

NFL Fan Clubs


Football season is back! Here’s a look at a few restaurants and bars that pack the house with extreme fans.

The Food Issue


For all you foodies, there’s an abundance of food-related stories packed in this issue! From 34 mini restaurant profiles and reader recipes, to a piece on Basque dining and a short feature on local chefs, it’s all here … enjoy!

Photo by April Massirio

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Bakersfield Life

October 2012

For the record: Laurie Weir is the president-elect of the Guild House. A quote attributed to her in the “It’s Named After” section of the September issue of Bakersfield Life was incorrect.


Favorite Deli!



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D E PA RT M E N TS Up Front It Manners a Lot Kelly Damian Food and Wine Foodie All-Star Athlete


1231 18th Street (18th and L Streets) 10:30am - 2:15pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 323-2500


9160 Rosedale Highway (Target Shopping Ctr.) 11:00am - 8:00pm Daily

Phone: (661) 587-1600


9500 Ming Avenue (Just West of The Marketplace) 7:00am - 3:00pm Closed Sundays

Phone: (661) 665-9990


765 West Herndon Avenue

(Corner of Herndon and Willow - Target Shopping Ctr.) 11:00am - 8:00pm

Phone: (559) 323-0330 See our full menu and order online at

Thank you, Kern County for your continued support!


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

48 On the Road 50 Talk of the Town 52 Hometown Hero 54 Entertainment 64 Charity Calendar 120 For a Cause 128 Pastimes 130 History 132 Why I Live Here 134 Community 138 Ladies Who … 142 Personality 146 Our Town 150 Real People 152 Fit and Fresh 156 Trip Planner 158 Business Profile 162 SNAP! 170 Inside Story

Page 138 Photo by Jessica Frey

Page 48

Photo by Michael Lopez

13 30 32 38 42 46

Page 46

Feedback Staff Shares

Bakersfield’s Premier City Magazine October 2012 / Vol. 7 / Issue 1

What is your favorite food indulgence? “While I love all things burger, my biggest food indulgence would have to be ice cream. No matter what the weather, I can always go for a bowl or two. Did I mention I’m lactose intolerant?” — Mark Nessia, contributing photographer and writer

“This Texan misses Blue Bell Ice Cream’s homemade vanilla, which thankfully, I can get by the scoopful at any Outback Steakhouse! I am that girl who goes in and gets two scoops of ice cream to go! It’s amazing!” — Jessica Frey, contributing photographer

“There’s nothing like a bowl of spumoni gelato! Hits the spot every time.” — April Massirio, photographer/ designer “Nachos! I’ll eat all types: theater nachos, homemade or restaurant style. My favorite are from BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. I just ignore the nutritional facts on the menu and go at it.” — Jorge Barrientos, assistant managing editor “I don’t drink sodas and haven’t for years, but on a really hot day I will ice down a Coca-Cola (only in a bottle, thank you) to get it good and cold. Then I will drink about half and pour in a handful or two of heavily salted peanuts. It’s a south Georgia thing.” — Richard Beene, President/CEO “I’ve been trying to eat healthy for a while, but one food I seem to be addicted to is Lay’s kettle chips. We now refer to them as ‘crack’ chips. I can eat an entire bag at one time if I allow myself. Bad, very bad.” — Dana Martin, contributing writer “Oyster dressing, a Kimble family tradition at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. My sister inherited our mother’s mouthwatering recipe, and our holiday meals aren’t complete without it! The priceless recipe is available upon request.” — Lisa Kimble, contributing writer “My food indulgence is definitely a black and tan from Dewar’s! They just opened a new location near me, so it’s dangerously accessible.” — Alyssa Morones, contributing writer 10

Bakersfield Life

“I love The Garden Spot’s red velvet cupcakes. They always seem to have freshly baked cupcakes ready and, they’re always warm and sweet — the perfect fall treat! — Myriam Valdez, intern “Nothing hits the spot after a long bike ride like a peanut butter and applesauce sandwich. I will eat three or four of them after a four-hour ride.” — Glenn Hammett, art director “Sweet indulgences from Dewar’s ... where do I begin? Too many to decide! Darn them for moving conveniently close to me. Apparently, this is a test of my willpower!” — Chris Thornburgh, contributing writer “Tacos. Tacos. Tacos. As a picky kid, tacos were my first foray into Mexican food and they remain my favorite today. Soft or crispy; homemade or street; beef, fish, chicken or pork — I’ll try them all. But no pre-made shells, please, I’ve got principles. — Kevin McCloskey, contributing writer “Lobster and hot, melted butter! Fugget about it!” — Roger Fessler, director of display advertising “My favorite sweet indulgence is a scoop of Oreo ice cream from Dewar’s topped with fudge and almonds.” — Breanna Fields, contributing writer “I know we’re not supposed to eat this, but raw chocolate chip cookie dough. Delicious by the spoonful.” — Kelly Damian, contributing writer

October 2012


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. Publisher Ginger Moorhouse President/CEO Richard Beene Senior Vice President Revenue and Marketing John Wells Vice President, Administration and Operations Nancy Chaffin Director of Display Advertising Roger Fessler Interactive Advertising Director Sally Ellis Interactive Sales Manager Lisa Whitten Advertising Sales Manager Lupe Carabajal Advertising Traffic Manager Shauna Rockwell Marketing Manager Mira Patel Distribution and Marketing Representative Patrick Wells Editor Olivia Garcia Assistant Managing Editor Jorge Barrientos Specialty Publications Coordinator Hillary Haenes Editorial Assistant Marisol Sorto Art Director Glenn Hammett Photography Felix Adamo, Crystal Alvarez, Sally Baker, Henry A. Barrios, Christopher Bessette, Casey Christie, Gregory D. Cook, Jessica Frey, Hillary Haenes, Lois Henry, Alex Horvath, Carla Jadwin, Katie Kirschenmann, Tanya X. Leonzo, Michael Lopez, Shelby Mack, April Massirio, Greg Nichols, Mark Nessia, Dan Ocampo, Prarinya Praditthaweesuk, Carla Rivas, Jan St Pierre, Michael Wafford, Brian N. Willhite Contributing writers Vicki Adame, Katie Avery, Sally Baker, Sylvia Cariker, Allie Castro, Gregory D. Cook, Kelly Damian, Breanna Fields, Jason Gutierrez, Lois Henry, Lisa Kimble, Katie Kirschenmann, James Licea, Stephen Lynch, Alyssa Morones, Dana Martin, Kevin McCloskey, Jeff Nickell, Mark Nessia, Omar Osegura, Gabriel Ramirez, Michael Russo, Chris Thornburgh, Bill Trivitt, Michael Wafford, Brian N. Willhite, Litalia Yoakum Interns Emily Claffy, Myriam Valdez For Advertising,, 395-7563 On the cover: Produce from local farmers markets. Photo by April Massirio

Like us on Facebook Dr. K Plastic Surgery

Find us on Yelp Ryan Khosravi, MD

Editor’s Note

All about food

Photo by Tanya X. Leonzo


ome of the favorite memories in my life have centered around food. It brings us together, whether it’s two friends catching up at lunch, your spouse dishing up your favorite meal, or gathering at a barbecue or charity dinner. Food is a language understood by everyone and helps us better understand and appreciate other people’s history. For those reasons, and more, Bakersfield Life is proud to devote this issue to food, including a series where we introduce you to some of the most popular and tastiest dishes in town. I hope you enjoy this issue, and I encourage you to check us out online at Our Bakersfield Life website recently underwent a major upgrade, and it looks fabulous! Not only can you access complete past editions, each of our recent stories and photos are easier to find. And for those who love the SNAP section, we will continue to post those photographs on our website. Please take a look, and let us know what you think. Also, be sure to enter the contest on our

website. Tell us what your favorite thing about November is for your chance to win $100 to dine at Eagle Mountain Casino.

Olivia Garcia Editor 395-7487 •

This month I’m loving ... Shrimp tostadas

‘The Walking Dead’

Since we are talking about food in this issue, I have to say one of my all-time favorite dishes on the lunch menu has to be the shrimp tostadas at La Costa Mariscos downtown. Yummy, healthy and filling.

While I don’t like scary movies, zombie movies are the best. Check out this comic book series, turned into a wildly popular television drama series, that’s based on a zombie apocalypse. It’s definitely a TV show for the grown ups, appearing on AMC.

iPhone 5

I’m a Mac loyalist, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the iPhone 5 tops my list this month. Cost: $199 to 399, 16 to 64 GB. 12

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Up Front Word on the Street Compiled by Brian N. Willhite

What are you looking forward to this fall? Jordan Reese

Kathy Juarez

Jesse Mendoza

“Going out to football games and playing volleyball.”

“The holiday season. I like all the decorations and spending time with my grandkids.”

“Watching my kids play fall sports because it’s a special time in their lives, and I want to be there to share it with them.”

Jose Ramirez

Annie Badilla

Annie Mendoza

“The leaves changing colors because it makes me think of change, and change is good.”

“Definitely the cooler weather because it’s been so hot.”

“Getting everything ready for Christmas. I love all the holidays and decorating for them.”

Andres Ramirez

Luis Badilla

Marvin Johnson

“Football season because I like watching the games and seeing the tackles.”

“I’m looking forward to the World Series and watching all the football games.”

“Spending the holidays with my new church family at Valley Faith Fellowship.”

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Up Front Money Matters

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Changes coming: Plan taxes now for 2013 If you would rather visit the in-laws than deal with taxes, you’re probably not alone. But facing your taxes now may be worth it. The coming year promises big tax changes. Taking control of your 2012 tax situation before year end may save you money. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Accelerate income

Most tax experts will tell you to “pay no tax before it’s time.” However, impending tax hikes likely make 2012 the exception. Many businesses and individuals may find themselves paying higher income tax rates in 2013. Consider accelerating income into 2012 and pay taxes at the lower rate. Cash in the winners

Sell appreciated stock and property this year while the maximum long-term capital gain rate is at only 15 percent. You must hold it for at least a year and one day before selling to get the preferred long-term capital gain rate.

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Higher-income earners always have a few more tax considerations. In 2013, a new 3.8 percent Medicare tax is imposed on capital gains, dividends, interest income, net rental income and passive income. If you are a high-income taxpayer, seek a tax adviser for expert planning strategies. Businesses: Save on equipment purchases

In 2012, businesses can write-off equipment purchases up to $139,000. It drops to a measly $25,000 next year. 14

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Businesses: Take advantage of 50 percent bonus depreciation

Businesses can claim first-year bonus depreciation equal to 50 percent of the cost of most new equipment placed in service during 2012. This tax break expires at year end. Don’t overlook estate planning

The current $5.12 million estate exclusion is scheduled to fall to $1 million, and the maximum estate tax rate will rise to 55 percent. Given the current generous tax exemption and lower tax rate, re-evaluate your estate and gift planning to take advantage of these breaks before 2013. Effective tax planning should not focus solely on the current year. Consideration should be given to events that may impact your taxes in years to come. Plan accordingly. — Chris Thornburgh is a CPA and partner at Brown Armstrong Accountancy Corp. Contact her at cthornburgh@ or 324-4971.

Short Take

Annual expo a boon for local businesses The 22nd annual Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Business Expo — from 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25 at Rabobank Arena — will feature up to 140 business booths, and expects to see as many as 1,600 guests from throughout Kern County. The popular event is aimed to make it easier for businesses, both big and small, to network locally and beyond. The event features several sponsors and local businesses including Bright House Networks, Jim Burke Ford, KERN Radio, San Joaquin Community Hospital, Wells Fargo and others. Business booths will be featured as well as various food vendors including Que Pasa Mexican Restaurant, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Just Wing It, HoneyBaked Ham, J’s Place, The Garden Spot, Little Caesars and more. Caterers will provide snacks and appetizers during the show, while food expo hosts will serve during an evening mixer. Debbie Moreno, former president and CEO of Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, said the more businesses that are involved, the better the opportunity they’ll have. “Polls show that companies are more likely to do business

with someone they’ve met in person,� she said. The event also helps stimulate the local economy by making resources available to local companies, which makes up 97 percent of business expo participants. “It creates an awareness of products and services,� said Moreno. Giveaways and drawings will take place throughout the show. Tickets for the expo cost $5, and can be purchased in advance. For more information, go to — James Licea

Fertility night


Join us at Advanced Women’s Health Center for an informative evening on fertility. Learn about the latest options available for you and your family.           


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Big Picture


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

The red sea Story and photo by Gregory D. Cook A tough Bakersfield College defense swallows up Santa Ana College running back Areseo Lakey during the the team’s home opener at Memorial Stadium. The Renegades cruised to a 36-19 victory over the Dons. BC encourages fans to come out to home games on Sept. 29, Oct. 27 and Nov. 10, enjoy some pre-game tailgating and celebrate the 90-year tradition that is Renegade sports. For more information, schedules or ticket information visit


Up Front Short Takes

Skip into the past and experience a murder mystery while helping the foster youth of Kern County. For Aspiranet’s Foster and Family Service’s fourth murder mystery dinner Oct. 13, at 1001 Tower Way, attendees can grab a poodle skirt, leather jacket or any other ’50s-era clothing and take part in “A Murder Mystery at the Fontaine City ‘Friendship Sock Hop.’” All money raised will go toward buying materials and to support services for Aspiranet — a nonprofit that serves foster children. Funds will support activities like a group roller-skating event and family dinners. “There are siblings that are separated in foster care so we'’ve made it a point — and we really pride ourselves on doing events throughout the year — to bring them together outside of the environment of the visitation center,” said Marina Hernandez, an event organizer and Aspiranet employee. “Something more fun.” Kristin Kyle, program manager at Aspiranet, said “People always get contentment out of something that’s entertaining, but also that gives back to the community.” Those who would rather be a spectator than participate can still enjoy the dinner, silent auction and open bar while the murder is solved in the courtyard. Tickets can be purchased by calling 323-1233. Tickets are $35 each, or $60 per couple. — Michael Wafford 18

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

College culinary competition to benefit program, Christmas parade

Part of the proceeds from “Toast and Taste the Holidays” will help pay for the Downtown Christmas Parade.

Competition will be heating up inside Urner’s Appliance Center this October as students in Bakersfield College’s Culinary Arts Department command the kitchen in a contest of skill. Presented by Jenn-Air, the Toast and Taste the Holidays cook-off competition is organized by Pamela Carlock, the coordinator of the Bakersfield Christmas Parade. The proceeds from the event will go toward the Bakersfield Christmas Parade and the Bakersfield College Culinary Arts Department. Chefs will be preparing meals featured in holiday celebrations from around the world. To complement the meals, Imbibe Wine and Spirits Merchant will be providing beverages from around the world to pair with the meals. A wine tasting will begin at 6 p.m., and continue through the night. John McFee, executive chef of The Bell Tower Club, will be overseeing the judging for the event. “The emphasis of the evening is to provide the atmosphere for the upcoming holidays and, of course, wonderful food and wine pairing — and definitely watching these students in action,” said Carlock. “I’m always amazed, and last year I don’t think I

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

Solve a ’50s-era murder mystery in Aspiranet fundraiser

“I’m always amazed, and last year I don’t think I could quit smiling while watching them.” Pamela Carlock on the BC Culinary Arts students

could quit smiling while watching them.” Urner’s showcase floor will be cleared to provide room for more than 300 guests to sit comfortably. While the chefs show off their chops, Diane Wilson will be creating fully edible food sculptures. While attendees won’t be able to taste the dishes prepared by the competitors, Bakersfield College’s Culinary Arts Department will be providing a buffet. Guests will also be treated to a fashion show with styles from Sugardaddy’s Ladies Fashions. The event takes place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Urner’s, 4110 Wible Road. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $50 at Urner’s or Imbibe, 4140 Truxtun Ave. — Michael Wafford

Short Take

Nonprofit soccer league offers women some friendly competition The Bakersfield Organization of Women’s Soccer, or BOWS, was created to allow women to embrace their competitive edge and further themselves in the sport within a friendly environment. BOWS is a nonprofit organization that offers women the chance to join all-female teams and co-ed teams as well. Organizers have recently announced the postponement of the current fall league. Though the league has continuously featured one of the cheapest soccer venues in Kern County, the league has been unable to attract enough players to continue with the fall games. Players and organizers remain hopeful the fall league can continue. Valerie Hamey, a BOWS veteran who has played on several teams, said the level of play differs slightly in both skill level and physical play. BOWS players can play two seasons throughout the year — one in the fall, from September to November, and in the spring, from March to May. Teams practice on a regular basis throughout the season, which Hamey said is a “great way for individuals who have never played before to get a feel for the game.” Typically, a practice consists of “drills to aide you in improving your agility, footwork, passing, shooting.” Practices end with a scrimmage game. Weekly games are generally held Sunday afternoons. Hamey said the games are “always fun and competitive, with sportsmanship being emphasized and enforced.” The league also attracts statewide attention with its annual Moonlight Madness Tournament, bringing in teams from throughout California. Tournament games start at night and go into the early morning, and half of the proceeds from the tournament — and other BOWS tournaments — are donated to local high school and college soccer programs. “It’s a good, healthy way to stay in shape, have a lot of fun and meet new people,” Hamey said. “I love playing soccer and the organization is a great opportunity for any adult to be involved.” For information on how to join the league, visit — Litalia Yoakum

19th & N Street, Downtown Bakersfield

(661) 325-8476


Up Front It’s Named After

By Lisa Kimble

Smith’s Bakeries, a Bakersfield tradition for iconic pastries — like the smiley face cookie and maple bar — is named after its co-founder Howard Smith, who started the business with partner Roy Balmain in 1945. Dubbed the “bakers of Bakersfield,” their business relationship began six years earlier in 1939 in Porterville where Howard opened Smith’s Grocery Store. Roy Balmain was an employee. In 1945, Smith moved the supermarket to Bakersfield at the corner of McCray Street and Chester Avenue. He opened a second store at Chester Avenue and 3rd Street, which at the time was one of the largest markets in town featuring an open-air storefront. That same year, the men became partners, with Balmain concentrating on baked goods, said his son Jim Balmain, who began working at the 3rd and Chester store when he was 8 years old. “My dad paid me a penny for every fly I Jim Balmain could swat,” Jim recalled. “I was eventually fired when my dad discovered I was leaving the door and windows open.” Howard Smith was a very astute businessman who became cofounder of Bank of the Sierra, Jim said. “The supermarket was his love,” he said. Roy was a self-made man, known in the industry as Dr. Balmain because of his appetite for knowledge. The senior Smith was selfschooled after the eighth grade and was a voracious reader.

Photo by Dan Ocampo

Smith’s Bakeries

“He was a wonderful man who took to baking like a scientist,” Jim said. Roy also did development work for General Mills in exchange for free flour. Many of the desserts sold today are his original recipes, including the champagne cake and maple bars. The Union Avenue bakery opened in 1956, and in 1985, Jim Balmain and wife Jacque bought the popular business from Howard and Roy. From cookies and doughnuts, to brownies and wedding cakes, everything at Smith’s is still made by hand. Roy’s widow, Jeanne, still lives in Bakersfield. And today, the Smiths confections can be found at four locations around town.

Short Take

Basque, Latin cultures join for children’s fundraiser Elements from Kern County’s Basque and Latin cultures are coming together Oct. 6 for an event that takes the best of both to support local children. The Pyrenees-Fiesta began eight years ago by the Mendiburu Magic Foundation. It takes aspects of both cultures for a fundraiser featuring music and, of course, food. “You have bread and cheese from the Basque side on your table, you have chips and salsa form the Mexican side … it’s a little bit of both cultures,” said Brian Mendiburu, founder and CEO of the Mendiburu Magic Foundation. 20

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

A dinner will include dishes from Jacalito Grill and Wool Growers. A live auction will also take place. All proceeds from the event Mendiburu will go toward the Mendiburu Magic Foundation’s pediatric patient assistance and cancer care support funds, which assist local children in need of medical care and also their families to help pay for unexpected costs not covered by insurance.

Mendiburu encourages everyone to take part in the event. “It’s a great big party for a great cause,” said Mendiburu. “You get good people and good food together for a good cause — those are the three big goods — you can’t go wrong there.” The event starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Bakersfield City Firefighters Hall, 7320 Wible Road. Tickets can be purchased by calling or emailing Emily Poole at 2051063 or, or by contacting Valerie Mendiburu at 3190355 or — Michael Wafford






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Up Front 25 random things you didn’t know about …

Jennifer Sanderson Compiled by Hillary Haenes You may have seen her pouring wine at a Bakersfield Museum of Art exhibit or attending various fundraisers, but most recognize Jennifer Sanderson as the co-owner of Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar. Sanderson, 39, has always had a passion for food, which she said probably began when she became a vegetarian during her teen years. Her stepfather suffered from high cholesterol, so her family decided to cut red

meat from their diet. Eventually, over a five-year period, she cut out all meats. And because her mother wasn’t too keen on her choice, Sanderson learned to cook. When she’s not working long 12-hour days, Sanderson enjoys practicing yoga at Inner Bodyworks, taking her dogs to the park and spending time with her partner Jeramy’s children. Find out a little more about Sanderson, including her obsessions like winning an Oscar.

1 A naked photograph of me graces a book


2 I was born in Santa Barbara. 3 Once while visiting Prague, I was detained

I haven’t had a Thanksgiving meal at home in six years. Instead, Jeramy (my partner), our fabulous staff, some amazing volunteers and I work with a different charity every year to feed some deserving people at Valentien.


While working as a prop stylist on a film, I had to make Forest Whitaker a vegan substitute for ice cream. It couldn’t melt under the hot set lights. I whipped up some vegan mashed potatoes and shaped them into scoops. He ate bowl after bowl, even between takes.


I have been to the World Series, more than once.


I met Pete Rose and Willie Mays at a World Series after party. I found Willie to be much more inspiring.

by the Czech authorities for a crime I accidentally committed.


Every October since my mother passed away from breast cancer, I’ve dyed my hair pink. As silly as I may look, it’s a great conversation starter, and I use the opportunity to remind people to take care of themselves.


Growing up, my biggest dream was to be on Broadway. However, I can’t act and have a terrible voice.


I used to sing and dance for a living … sort of. I was a corporate trainer for Johnny Rockets. A far cry from Broadway, but I did get to travel all over the United States.


I wrote an Oscar acceptance speech when I was 14. You know, just in case. I still update the speech annually.

I worked on a documentary about Noise Pop, an alternative music festival, and got to interview many of my music heroes.


I love all kinds of music. With my favorites being indie rock, Bill Withers and Michael Jackson.

7 8 9

I lived in San Francisco for more than 10 years. However, three years were spent in Oakland because the rent was cheaper.

I worked in advertising. The agency I worked at in San Francisco created the original Yahoo! yodel.


I have never wanted biological children. I have always wanted to be a stepmother, in large part because I had an incredible one — thanks Melissa!


As a child, I was in several local TV and radio ads. This might have had something to do with my stepmom working at Channel 23 and my mom working in radio.


I sometimes leave work and sneak to Singha Thai on California Avenue. Eggplant with basil and tofu. Yum!


When I was 19, I wrote a list of five things I wanted to accomplish in my life: Work in the movie industry, publish a novel, win an Oscar, do something charitable and own a restaurant. I only have two more items to go for a completed list!


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

20 I used to dance at the drop of a hat. Now it takes two or three hats to drop.

21 Some of my biggest

influences have been teachers — my mother, Mrs. Noel, Mr. Martin and Martha Knight.

22 One of my passions,

and something I wish I could devote more time to, is educating our youth about healthy eating and cooking.

23 I’m sort of obsessed with interior design magazines and blogs.


I love science fiction — “Doctor Who,” “Star Trek” and yes, even “Star Wars.” And especially stories by Philip K. Dick.


I have a secret desire to appear on “Jeopardy” … I guess it’s not a secret anymore.

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

cover. I was 3 at the time the picture was taken. I’m thankful the book is now out of print!

Russo’s Read

‘The Dreamer’

by Pam Munoz Ryan

The lush artistry of the written word in Pam Munoz Ryan’s newest novel “The Dreamer” is on full display for young readers in fifth through eighth grades. Munoz Ryan brilliantly captures the heart and spirit of a young boy who, although destined for greatness, is deemed a slacker and a do-nothing by his overbearing father. As with any great work of art, mastery lies beyond technical expertise and exposes an inner-truth. It is here that “The Dreamer” soars. The lyrical prose has amazing depth and is rich with empathy and compassion for our young protagonist. As a somewhat overbearing father of “a dreamer” myself, I found this novel profoundly personal and compelling. Bakersfield native Munoz Ryan has become an international icon of children’s literature for her bestselling

novels and picture books. With more than 20 awards and honors for this title alone, including this year’s Latino Book Award, “The Dreamer” is the latest in her widely acclaimed canon of work. This is the ideal book to have your child explore not only different cultures, but also similar human emotions of a child determined to break free from familial and societal constraints — Michael Russo, co-owner of Russo’s Books in The Marketplace

“The Dreamer” by Pam Munoz Ryan is available for $8.99, paperback; $6.99, Spanish paperback; $17.99, hardcover at Russo’s Books at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.


Up Front

Facebook Twitter Since this is our Food Issue, we thought it would be fun to ask a foodrelated question for a chance to win a pair of Village Fest tickets. If you really are what you eat (and drink), what would you look like and why? Winner of a pair of Village Fest tickets: Orlando S.

@Elrod38: I’m tall and sweet, and I know I’m your favorite treat. I’m really nice and got a bit of spice ... I’m a churro! BLife was feeling generous, so we thought it would be appropriate to also give away a $25 gift card to Garden Spot. Runner-up winner of a $25 gift card to Garden Spot: Jena Owens

@JtotheLO: I’m soft, sweet, hard to resist and I look great in any color. I’m good for any time — day or night. Everyone loves me cause I’m a doughnut!

Tell us about the best live music performance you’ve ever been to, and why it was so great. Other contributors Winner Colleen Wright, winner of two tickets to the Sept. 15 performance of the Bakersfield Symphony. L.A. Master Chorale performing “Lux Aeterna” by Morten Lauridsen at Disney Hall. The most amazing experience! The music was amazing! We got to meet Lauridsen, and get tips on how to perform the piece. Also made me realize how amazing our accompanist Liz Cervantes is! (She is much better than the organist that played the concert!) The concert was in October of last year I believe. Truly inspirational!

Michael Vitale: The Who, It’s Hard U.S.-Canada Tour at the L.A. Coliseum, October 29, 1982. Why was it the best? Because it was The Who! Incredible show… Kelly Dunn Price: Tim McGraw in Portland, Maine. It was a great show, and Tim came in right behind where I was sitting — very exciting! Samantha Bailey Ramos: Jack White from the White Stripes at Outside Lands Music Festival. He surprised everyone with a mini set by his Third Man Records truck. We were so close and it was awesome. I love music! It would be great to win tickets! Adriana West: Harry Connick Jr. because he’s so dreamy.

Other submissions:

@Drtywhtboy666: I’m a big, fat redhead and my two best friends are pickles and mustard because I’m a pastrami sandwich. @pandaterrorist: I’m sweet, smoky and great with everything. Your dogs love me. Night or day you always want me around. I’m bacon! @mookie1423: I’m a tall brunette with a sweet and bubbly personality. I’m a Coke. @ofacekillah: People think I’m square and can’t cut the mustard. I’m full of surprises and ready to go anywhere. I’m a sandwich! Follow us on Twitter: @bakersfieldlife 24

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Letter to the Editor Dear Editor, I would like to share a story idea with you. My daughter attends Liberty High School and is starting a new club this year: Operation: Hope — Helping, Others, Prevail, Everyday. This club idea came to her after my battle with stage-four breast cancer last year. I was diagnosed shortly before summer ended and had a bilateral mastectomy two days after school started. My daughter, Crysta, then a freshman in high school, experienced firsthand how difficult this was for her and her siblings and wanted to do something about it. This club is getting underway and should prove to be a great asset to our community. I’m proud of Crysta’s desire to not only “get

involved” but to start something from the ground up! Her hope is that Operation: HOPE is not only successful at Liberty High School, but to see this club grow to high schools all over because there is such a need for it in all communities. All of the girls starting this club have been directly affected by cancer in their families. Crysta saw a need across her campus, and campuses everywhere, and took action. I want to support this action by these young ladies any way I can. My daughter and the other girls starting this are remarkable and I would like to help them spread the word! — Natalie Barrick


Short Take

From Bakersfield to Harvard Like many of her peers, Brooke Dickens, a 2012 Stockdale High School graduate, is away from home for the first time and transitioning into a new phase of life. Unlike others, however, she’s making that transition more than 3,000 miles away from Bakersfield — on the campus of Harvard University. Moving from Bakersfield to Cambridge, Mass., has been a smooth transition for Dickens. Not only does she attend school there, but she also plays for their women’s soccer team. Although she is enjoying the transition, the Ivy League student is a little homesick, she said. But getting into Harvard wasn’t an easy task for Dickens, who said it took diligence, focus and discipline. The Stockdale High valedictorian also invested her time into community service, athletics, and became Miss Teen Bakersfield. Playing for Stockdale High and the Real So Cal soccer club in Los Angeles, she performed well to earn a spot on Harvard’s women’s soccer team. Dickens advises others interested in attending Harvard, or similar universities, to become involved in community service activities they feel passionate about and to always focus on academics and extracurricular activities. While her time at Harvard University has just started, Dickens said she already feels engrossed by the history and culture of

Letter to the editor

The Bakersfield Californian publishes Bakersfield Life magazine monthly. If you have any questions or comments regarding our magazine, write to us at Bakersfield Life, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302, or email us at bakersfieldlife@bakersfield. com. We’d love to hear from you.

To submit material Letters to the Editor: We publish all letters that are signed and deemed appropriate for our readership. Letters must be signed to be considered for a publication. Please type or print your name, as well as an address and a daytime phone number. Email should include the writer’s full name and city. We reserve




SOCIAL NETWORK Brooke Dickens Harvard. “Just being here in itself is the best experience,” she said. “Meeting so many incredibly intelligent people from across the globe, interacting with distinguished faculty and listening to them tell you about conversations they’ve had with the president, and even simply putting on my Harvard soccer practice jersey with my teammates every day at practice and feeling an overwhelming sense of pride and community.” She added: “Oh, and the fact that President John F. Kennedy lived in my exact dorm room is pretty awesome.” — Michael Wafford

the right to edit letters for clarity and space. Please submit letters to Olivia Garcia, Editor, Bakersfield Life, P.O. Bin 440, Bakersfield, CA 93302. For email, send letters to the editor to

VOICE YOUR OPINIONS in periodic web-based surveys and polls




Calendar events: Please submit information in writing to Marisol Sorto, no later than the first of the month, two months prior to the month in which the event will take place. Contact her at

To advertise

Please call Lupe Carabajal, advertising sales manager, at 395-7563 or


Up Front My Mobile Life

Nick Ortiz

Story and photos by Michael Wafford At work, Nick Ortiz is likely to be seen with a Blackberry in hand, but when it’s time to unwind and be entertained, he’ll use a different phone. “My iPhone is my personal phone, which I can’t live without,” said Ortiz, production regions and property tax issues manager at the Western State Petroleum Association. While this new father likes to stay connected at work and at home, you won’t find him tweeting or updating his Facebook in the office. “I don’t do a lot of Facebooking. I have a Twitter account, which I rarely use and a LinkedIn account, which I rarely use. So I call myself a social media dinosaur. But I love my iPhone. I’m on the road a lot, so I use it for entertainment.” Since the birth of their daughter, now 10 months old, Ortiz and his wife have taken on a no-electronics policy while their baby is awake. However, Ortiz still uses his personal cell on a daily basis to keep updated with what’s going on in the world. Here are several apps Ortiz can’t live without: 26

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

SiriusXM I listen to news and some of the music channels like Alt Nation and the ’90s channel because I’m a child of the ’90s. I got it because I’d listen to Howard Stern every day on FM radio and then when he made the move, I got a Sirius radio in the car. I’ve just been very pleased by how the technology has advanced. My phone serves as the radio now, you just stream it. I can listen to it in my headphones or I can plug it in to it into my home stereo.

HBO GO I’m a huge Soprano’s fan, and I love Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I love almost all of the HBO dramas, but I prefer to watch the new episodes On Demand or live. So I will generally use it for historical things, shows that are off the air like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Sopranos” and “The Wire.” Netflix Anything and everything is on Netflix. There’s a wide range of stuff from TV shows to movies to PBS “Frontline” episodes. I’ll queue up anything that might pique my interest. If it’s a “Frontline” episode, my wife will say, “Keep going; find something else.” Or I’ll get into a kick where I’ll start to watch a show and want to watch the full season. That drives my wife crazy because I’ll keep watching episode after episode until I’m done with the series.

ESPN ScoreCenter I’m a big Lakers, Dodgers and Niners fan. When it gets close to playoff time, I’ll get interested in standings. I use it to catch-up, especially when I’m traveling and can’t watch things live. Pandora I probably have 20 stations. I go back and forth between genres. I use Pandora in the car because you can create a station that’s unique to you. I prefer that than listening to Sirius or terrestrial radio.

Wells Fargo I absolutely love it. It can help me out or keep me out of trouble depending on what the circumstances are. I had a situation where I was in Washington, D.C. and had been traveling all month. I needed to pay my credit card bill to check into my hotel, and I was able to do that in Dulles International Airport with my iPhone.

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Up Front

Find more community events at or submit yours via email:





Happenings: Can’t-miss events in October Wed. 3

Thur. 4

Sat. 6

Sat. 6

Sat. 6

Kern Shakespeare Festival, featuring “Much Ado About Nothing,” Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; and “Romeo & Juliet,” Thursday and Saturday. All shows at 8 p.m., Bakersfield College, Renegade Park. $5. 859-8395.

Law Enforcement Fall Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Stockdale Country Club. Honoring local law enforcement leaders. Kern County law Enforcement Foundation. $25 per person. 861-7911.

“Make a Difference Day,” electronic waste recycling, document shredding, health and education fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., presented by Lassen’s, 4308 California Ave. Free. 324-6990.

Ninth annual Walk to Defeat ALS, 8 a.m. to noon, The Park at Riverwalk, 11200 Stockdale Highway. or 664-1226, 636-4879.

Wine, Women & Shoes, food, fashion show, shopping, 2 to 6 p.m., Westchester Estate of Kyle and Kim Carter. $125; benefits CASA of Kern County. 631-2272.

Sun. 7

Thur. 11

Thur. 11

Sat. 13

Sat. 13-14

Fourth annual GospelFest, featuring band Sanctus Real, begins at 3 p.m., Bright House Networks Amphitheatre, 11200 Stockdale Highway. Free. or 869-6567.

CSUB Athletics Fall BBQ, 5:30 to 10 p.m., CSUB, Icardo Center, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $30. gorunners. com or 654-3473.

Latina Panel Discus- Bakersfield LGBTQ sion, “Latina Leaders Gay Pride Festival, Success Stories: vendors, food, raffles, Why This is Now the entertainment, 3 to 9 Norm,” with local p.m., Stramler Park, leaders Olivia Garcia, 3805 Chester Ave. Irma Cervantes, Ida $10. bakersfieldpride. Tagliente and Maria org. Mercado, 6 p.m., Russo’s Books, 9000 Ming Ave. 665-1643.

Sun. 14

Thur. 18

Fri. 19

Sat. 20

Sat. 20

Guelaguetza Cultural Festival, celebrating Oaxacan indigenous culture, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., CSUB Amphitheatre, 9001 Stockdale Highway. $7; free for children under 12 and parking. 778-9159.

Carrie Underwood, 7:30 p.m., Rabobank Arena, 1001 Truxtun Ave. $41.50 to $61.50 plus fee. ticketmaster. com or 800-7453000.

13th annual Sporting Clays Tournament, check-in 7:15 to 7:45 a.m., tournament begins 8 a.m. Five Dogs Shooting Range, 20238 Woody Road. $100. sscbsa. org or 325-9036.

Yahtzee tournament, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Amestoy’s on the Hill, 2303 River Blvd. $10 buy in, proceeds benefit Links for Life. 378-2569.

Fall Fiesta Time, food catered by El Pueblo Restaurant, doors open at 4:30 p.m., show from 5 to 10 p.m., M.A.R.E. Facility, 18200 Johnson Road. $50 adults; $15 children under 12. 589-1877.

Sun. 21

Sat. 27

Sat. 27

Josh Turner, 7:30 p.m., Bakersfield Fox Theater, 2001 H St. $30 to $65. vallitix. com or 322-5200.

MS Walk, live entertainment, drawing, costume contest, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Yokuts Park, 4200 Empire Drive. Free. or 321-9512.

Medieval Faire, at Mill Creek Park between 19th and 21st streets, just east of R Street. Entertainment and music, medieval battle, crafts and food. or 852-8259.

19th annual Old Time Peddler’s Faire, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Kern County Museum. $15 early bird; $10 general, children under 10 are free w/ paid adult. oldtimepeddlersfaire. com or 496-3962.


Safe Halloween, with trick-or-treat stations, costume contest and haunted house, 5 to 9 p.m., Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. $6; $8 for children ages 3 to 12 who are trick-ortreating. or 868-8410.

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Photo by Casey Christie


Tue. 30-31

By the Numbers

Breast Cancer Awareness Compiled by Emily Claffy


Kern County’s Links for Life services provided in the 2011-2012 fiscal year

Number of women who attended the support group

37,040 Individuals educated on

Breast cancer stats from the American Cancer Society

5,740 Phone calls fielded by the

Number of women living in the United States with a history of invasive breast cancer as of Jan. 1, 2012

breast health and Links for Life services


2.9 million

168 Walk-ins were assisted 226,870 Additional cases of 212 Mammograms funded women diagnosed with breast cancer Median age of women at the time 558 Ultrasounds funded 61 of breast cancer diagnosis 241 Women fitted 20 Percent of breast cancers that ocfor wigs and head cur among women younger than age 50


35 Needle biopsies


Number of women who received bras/prosthesis

40 Percent of breast cancers that occur among women older than age 65

60 Percentage of breast cancers are diagnosed at the localized stage

Sources: Jennifer Henry, executive director for Links for Life; Cancer Treatment and American Cancer Society

It ‘Manners’ a Lot

Fine dining, good manners should go hand in hand


By Lisa Kimble

ine Dining is making a comeback in Bakersfield, making it hip once again to head downtown to dine. Thanks to a restaurant scene that has changed dramatically in recent years, Bakersfield beckons with fabulous fare for fine dining, drinks and appetizers. Breaking bread with family and friends should be a memorable experience flavored with good manners, whether you’re bar-side at TL Maxwell’s or in an oversized booth at The Mark. In honor of our annual Food Issue, It Manners a Lot turns the tables on fine dining and dishes on some oft-overlooked mores. Who invited whom? Unless the suggestion of getting together has been made with couples agreeing to go “Dutch,” if you extended the invitation — whether by mail, the web or phone — plan on footing the bill. Really, there is nothing more awkward than being invited out only to discover the host has no intention of treating. Splitting the check is a practice that has fans and critics. When the check arrives, don’t let it sit there gathering dust, but don’t arm-wrestle it either.

Reservations Having a selection of restaurants to choose from doesn’t guarantee it will be any easier to get in and be served. Don’t take reservations for granted. Like food, they too have a shelf life and will expire. If you are the first to arrive and your hosts haven’t yet — though they should arrive first — wait. You can ask to be seated. But if you are, don’t start ordering drinks and appetizers. If there are place cards, don’t switch them and flip the seating chart someone spent time to create.

Say, “Yes,” to the dress Always ask about the attire. Ask the person extending the invitation, or call the restaurant. Bakersfieldians prefer jean casual, but fine dining really calls for something finer than a pair of denims and flip-flops.

Lisa Kimble 30

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Waiters Help the wait staff help you. One of my favorite blogs,, hosted by Bostonian Patrick Maguire, tackles this touchy topic head-on by providing a voice for service industry workers. Their job is to make your dining experience as enjoyable as possible, not slave over your every whim or craving. Exchange brief pleasantries; don’t engage in a lengthy conversation that will slow everything down. By moving aside the car keys, eyeglass cases and purses, you’ll make it easier for the waiter to place the dishes where they belong.

Ordering Always let the host order first, which will also serve as your cue to their price range. If they order a salad, rethink the steak and lobster. And speak up — wait staff have a pace they need to maintain. There will be less of a chance to have an order mix-up if you speak clearly the first time.

Lose the gadget Unless you are “on call,” ignore your mobile devices, and even then, turn your phone ringer to vibrate. The same should go for younger diners. The adults are in charge, and should insist that the gadgets be put away. How else will young people learn to engage with one another and learn the fine art of conversation if they are constantly updating their Twitter status?

Keep up with other diners 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 his or her fork. If serving bowls are set out on the table, offer one to the guest on your left, then to your right, and finally help yourself. Napkins belong on the lap, not as a bib or handkerchief, and never use the bread or rolls to soak up the leftover juices on your plate. When you are finished, refrain from picking your teeth with toothpicks or fork tines. Re-apply your makeup in the powder room, not over the dessert plate. Unless you are out with family, skip the to-go containers, especially at a business lunch.

Complaints Don’t complain. Let the host or hostess deal with any problems. Remember Jack Nicholson’s cranky character in “As Good As It Gets,” who sent waitresses climbing for cover just to avoid having to wait on him? Don’t be that person. Agree, disagree? Send your questions, comments or topics you’d like to read about to me at itmannersalot@ or visit

Kelly Damian

Local psychics share spiritual gifts with community


ost of us at some point in our life have experienced an inexplicable sense of knowing. We just know who is about to call us or what our loved ones are up to without them telling us, without really being able to explain why. For some, this ability is more developed than others. Those people are psychics, and many Bakersfield residents turn to them for consultation, affirmation and advice.

birthday. After laying the cards out in a careful pattern, she reassured me that the death card I was seeing meant a rebirth, not something ominous. Reading the cards, she said I throw myself into my work and that I might want to pay more attention to my home life. The cards showed that I am a daytime person now, although I used to be a night owl. The star card shown bodes well for my future success. And in a scant 15 or 20 years, I can expect to move to a different town. In looking at my marriage, she noted that my husband was a positive person as well as my biggest cheerleader. If there was a moment where I was truly taken aback during my meeting with Isabella, it was when she described my children. With great accuracy, she noted how my girls differed from each other in looks as well as personality. Isabella and her cards foresaw happiness and prosperity on my horizon. Excellent — I’ll take it.

Photo by Jessica Frey

Lori King

Lori King

Bakersfield Psychic 12743 Rosedale Highway, 661-340-2090 Isabella Williams, of Bakersfield Psychic, is young and petite, and she conducts her sessions with an air of authority. She describes herself as a spiritual guidance counselor. “I’m helping people get in touch with that higher power,” she said. “This is not something that’s scary. It’s a way to have fun, to enhance your life.” Isabella handed me a deck of Tarot cards, which I shuffled. Then I closed my eyes and said aloud my full name and 32

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

1731 16th St., Suite B, 661-325-6104 As early as kindergarten, Lori King was aware of things that other people weren’t. When she was young and living in Bakersfield, a Cherokee Native American neighbor taught Lori how to read cards. By her junior year of high school, so many people wanted her to read their cards that she finally started charging for the service. Throughout her career, Lori has always sought out good mentors. “They taught me that it’s not enough to just see something,” she said. “You have to tell it in a way that people can accept it. The point of a consultation is understanding so people can make better decisions.” Lori started the reading with what appeared to be regular playing cards. In them, she observed that I had good teaching energy. She also noted that I have a strong connection to the East Coast and to the ocean. She recommended that if I am experiencing writer’s block, I should visit a large body of water. She said that during my life I’ve been watched over by the spirit of a certain great-aunt. I didn’t recognize whom she was describing, but she sounds like a lovely person. It looks like my writing career is going to take off, she said, and I would have fun writing about women’s issues. I should keep that in mind as I

pursue work. I left her office with information to mull over, and she left me with this thought: “In this day and age, everyone has a family doctor, a family attorney. I think they need a family psychic.”

Enchanted Cottage 30 H St., 661-323-9929 For our meeting, Tonya Bryant wore a snakeskin patterned shirt and a few feathers in her hair. The eye shadow that sparkled on her eyelids complimented the shining bindi on her forehead. Her style, I would say, mirrors her focus in life: The meeting of the celestial and terrestrial. “We’re all spiritual beings having a human experience,” she explained. Tonya spends time each day meditating, praying and listening to hone her psychic skills. For my reading, Tonya used medicine cards, which hail from Native American culture. She shuffled the cards and fanned them out on the table — they had pictures of an array of animals: spiders, rabbits and wolves, among others. At the center of the row was the fear and confrontation card. Tonya assured me that this particular fear I was facing was a necessary part of growth and that I was working toward becoming my more authentic self. She also said secrets would play a role in my future ventures. The next placement of cards featured fertility along with the crow. Tonya interpreted this to mean that now is a very fertile time for me in my creative endeavors. The spiritual cards showed a jaguar, which stands for integrity. She assured me that I should be experiencing a sense of comfort and homecoming in my spiritual life. Tonya ended the reading with a hug and a gift of two stones: a rose quartz and a tiger’s eye. The rose quartz signifies love, and the tiger’s eye is good for procrastinators. Perfect choices — it’s like she knew me. When leaving Enchanted Cottage, you can take two things with you. One is a message from the fishbowl of daily affirmations, and the other is the scent of incense, which will stay with you long after leaving the shop. To read more, visit or follow Kelly on twitter @kellydamian2

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Dining Divas

La Colonia Restaurant Friendly staff, delicious homestyle Mexican food make this restaurant a must visit

Heel ratings (out of five)

Atmosphere Food


Bakersfield Life



October 2012

Photos by Greg Nichols


hen we heard the Divas were going to La Colonia, we were thrilled because we had heard such wonderful things about the food. We realized this would be a bit of a departure from the norm, but not every great Bakersfield restaurant is located in the hub of downtown or in newer commercial developments. Many, like La Colonia, are tucked away in quiet residential neighborhoods. And many are family owned establishments with long histories of serving good food at fair prices in an unpretentious and homey environment.

Dining Divas (from left:) Lisa Verdugo, Katie Price, Amanda Meszaros, Molly Clark and Tammara Newby in front of La Colonia

Dora Cornejo and her husband opened La Colonia 37 years ago. In 1976, the family moved across the street from their original location to Potomac Avenue near Washington Street. Today, Dora still oversees the everyday operations — even acting as cook on Mondays, so that she can give her full-time cook a day off. Her two daughters, Monica and Michelle, also work at La Colonia. This establishment has a relaxing family feel and for good reason. Many who work here are actually family (aunt Hortencia Cameron still waitresses at the age of 85!) or they have worked here so long that they’ve virtually become family. Take waitress Norma Trevino, who’s been with the restaurant since it opened nearly 30 years ago.

Chili verde nachos

La Colonia Restaurant Location: 1809 Potomac Ave. Phone: 323-3855 Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Many others have been at La Colonia for 20 years or more. That’s not a situation you find at most restaurants, local or otherwise. The employees are amazing and the food is tremendous. Dora and her crew treated us Divas like queens — feeding us dish after dish — until we were so full we could barely make it out the door to drive home! Here’s a rundown of this wonderful Mexican fare:

Katie on the chips, salsa and guacamole We began our meal with the traditional chips and salsa. I am a picky Mexican restaurant connoisseur when it comes to tortilla chips. One of my pet peeves is a restaurant that serves chips from a bag. Well, let me tell you that La Colonia definitely doesn’t serve chips from a bag. In fact, these were some of the best homemade tortilla chips I’ve ever had. They were thin and crunchy and tasted like they’d just come out of the fryer. Our waitress Norma said that La Colonia’s chef works to cook fresh chips all day, depending on the demand. The homemade salsa was also great — made fresh with cilantro and tomatoes. It was spicy, but not too spicy. Although I like salsa all right, it was the gua-

Trio fajitas

Camarones a la diabla

camole that was really amazing. It was creamy and garlicky. I truly could have made a meal out of the chips and guacamole.

Lisa on the chili verde nachos La Colonia’s chili verde nachos are known for bringing customers back time and time again. This custom-made dish at La Colonia restaurant, with a red chili verde sauce instead of green, was quite tasty. The other ingredients are homemade tortilla chips, chorizo and cheese. Dora said the dish has always been a customer favorite. Kids come and order their own nachos, not to share, but to have all to themselves, and I can see why.

Amanda on the camarones a la diabla As I’ve mentioned before, I love Mexican food! All the spicy flavors, in addition to chips and salsa, make my mouth salivate. La Colonia did not disappoint. My camarones a la diabla was definitely a dish I’ll be frequently returning to La Colonia to enjoy. The large shrimp were served in a sauteed butter and a secret family spicy sauce. The shrimp were spicy, but I think even my Fried ice daughter would enjoy cream them as they didn’t have too much heat. Instead of being served with Continued on page 36


Katie on the camarones rancheros As established in prior Divas reviews, I love shrimp — just about any kind of shrimp. And the camarones rancheros didn’t disappoint me. It consisted of selected large shrimp sauteed in a butter sauce with onions, jalapeno, diced tomatoes and topped with La Colonia’s special homemade sauce. It was served with white rice and beans, which are also wonderful. They are definitely not from a can. They contain no preservatives and are topped with cheese. The term “melt in your mouth” absolutely applies here. I would highly recommend this dish.

Lisa on milanesa chicken

Camarones rancheros Continued from page 35

the traditional rice and beans, they were served with potatoes, a perfect companion as they soak up the yummy sauce. Dora said her potatoes are a classic hit that many request. I almost finished my entire plate, but there was still enough to bring some home to share with my family.

Tammara on the shrimp enchiladas diablo Can you say delicious? This meal had two corn tortillas wrapped around large shrimp, chilies, onions, and tomatoes, then covered in La Colonia’s special spicy homemade sauce and melted cheese. The diablo sauce gave it enough added kick and spice to be tasty, but not overpower the shrimp’s flavor. It also came with Spanish rice and refried beans, that they let cook all night so they are perfect the next day.

Milanesa chicken is a Latin-American version of chicken parmesan, or chicken-fried chicken. This gently crusted chicken was lightly seasoned and paired with beans and rice, making the dish a good alternative to normal Mexican food.

Molly on the more traditional items I had the pleasure of having the trio fajitas. If you are a fajitas lover then these are a must. It came out on a cast iron skillet with beef, chicken and shrimp sautéed in onions and bell peppers. The steak and chicken are both marinated overnight in La Colonia’s top-secret sauces and spices. This was obvious after the first bite — they had great flavor. The fajitas are accompanied with beans and rice, and your choice of flour or corn tortillas. La Colonia also has traditional plates like enchiladas suizas — chicken enchiladas with a suizas sauce, a green enchilada sauce made with tomatillos and chilies; ground beef enchiladas with red enchilada sauce; and the ground beef taco, made with a crispy corn tortilla, ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheddar cheese. All three of these I would

The Divas pose with Monica, Dora, and Michelle Cornejo. 36

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

consider a staple at any Mexican restaurant, but were tasty nonetheless at La Colonia.

Tammara and Amanda on the apple and peach fruit burrito This burrito had a fresh apple and cinnamon filling inside half of the burrito and a peach filling on the other half. It’s a Mexican twist on a traditional apple or peach pie. What a delicious treat! The flour tortilla was stuffed with the apple and peach filling and then fried. A leché crema, or cream sauce, which is sweet cinnamon roll icing was drizzled over the top of the burrito. Dora said they make this dessert burrito with whichever fruit is in season. We would highly recommend it.

Lisa on the deep-fried ice cream Don’t tell anyone, but I think I ate more than half. Holy cow, it was delicious! I loved the cinnamon sugar tortilla crispies on the side.

Fruit burrito

Molly on the flan It was sweet custard baked in a mold, served cold, with whipped cream and caramel drizzled over the top. I enjoyed it and would order it again. It’s the perfect way to finish a meal at La Colonia. As us Divas walked to our cars, we agreed that our experience at La Colonia had probably been one of the most fun of

all our adventures. And it was not only because we were served great food by a competent, friendly staff, but because they made us feel like we were special and part of their family. No wonder their employees hang around so long.

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Food and Wine

Mama Tosca’s Ristorante Italiano Authentic Italian cuisine in Bakersfield By Kevin McCloskey


hile Bakersfield is known in the industry for a love of chain restaurants, it also has a long tradition of family-run restaurants that have been here for generations. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Mama Tosca’s has built a strong reputation for fine food and excellent service since it opened in 1982. What started in the Laurel Glen shopping center, brothers Luigi and Toni Rienzo took a chance and moved their restaurant to The Marketplace in 2001 to a beautiful space that perfectly matches their style and atmosphere. Placing an emphasis on authentic Italian fare and impeccable service, Mama Tosca’s excels with fine entrees like lobster cognac and chicken bianco, and an impressive wine list of Italian and Californian varietals. It’s that rare type of restaurant where you’ll leave satisfied, well taken care of, and with a new favorite dish, no matter which item you chose from the menu. We need local, family restaurants like this in Bakersfield, and gratefully, Mama Tosca’s delivers.

Eight questions for co-owner Luigi Rienzo

Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in Bakersfield? I grew up in Naples, Italy, and moved to Bakers38

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

The dining room at Mama Tosca’s offers an excellent view of the fountain and courtyard at The Marketplace.

field in 1973, with my mother and brother, Toni. I worked in several local restaurants for about nine years before we created Mama Tosca’s in 1982, which is named after my mother. Where did you learn to cook? I love food and working in the kitchen. I don’t consider myself to be a chef, but I enjoy food and know what it should taste like. Anyone can learn to cook, the techniques and process of making good food, but you have to have a passion for it to make something special. What is Bakersfield’s favorite Mama Tosca’s dish? Bakersfield is very big on rack of lamb, and lean, quality lamb is the key to a great entree. I like the lamb from New Zealand or Colorado for its flavor and texture. Osso buco is another local favorite, and the secret to awesome osso buco is in the braising sauce. What is your personal favorite dish? I’m a pasta fan because I’ve grown

up with pasta all my life. Linguini calamari, linguini pescatore, linguini caponata (eggplant) or linguini with clams are some of my favorites. I love tortellini in a family-style ragu sauce, the kind that simmers for hours until it’s perfect. Or pappardelle, a thin, broad pasta with Bolognese sauce. How does Italian cuisine differ in America than in Italy? The Italian kitchen is very diversified, with pasta as one of its staples, and each province in Italy has its own style of cooking. Sicily is known for its heavy red sauce, while Naples prefers to use fresh tomatoes in their dishes. Northern provinces use more cream sauces, and Rome prefers olive oil and garlic for its base. Italians have a love for food, all food, but Italian food in America is different because the customer is different. When you order an entree in Italy, you eat it as it comes, while here

Continued on page 40

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Mama Tosca’s Ristorante Italiano

“Where Bakersfield Gets Engaged”

Address: 9000 Ming Ave., Suites K2 & K3 Phone: 831-1242 Website: Lunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday Dinner hours: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday Sundays are available for special events

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Photo by Shelby Mack

Your zabaglione remains a favorite dessert among customers, tell us about this delicious Italian custard? Our version of zabaglione is simply eggs, sugar, mascarpone cheese and marsala wine. It’s time consuming, and you can lose a batch if you don’t pay attention. Growing up, my family would make this for the kids as a morning protein. Fresh eggs whipped with sugar and a dash of marsala, served as a morning drink is zabaglione in its simplest form. We created this mousse-style version based on that tradition.

Zabaglione from Mama Tosca’s Continued from page 38

the customer will often change the dish to meet their desires. Adding cheese to a dish or switching the sauce on a traditional dish is not uncommon, and it took me a little while to catch on. I have a lot of pride in my food, but you have to find that common ground with the customer to stay in business.

What are the challenges of running an independent, family-owned restaurant given Bakersfield’s proclivities for national chains? Bakersfield is a beautiful city, and it’s been very good to us. Chains are very popular here, but it has a history of traditional, family-run restaurants like Wool Growers, Luigi’s and Benji’s that have been here for generations. They have one location, and the families put all their heart and soul into their businesses, which are built on reputation and word-of-mouth. And service is very important as well. We have very loyal customers who appreciate what we do, and I am very grateful for their support. What type of wine pairs well with the linguini pescatore? The linguini pescatore is great with a nice Chianti or Super Tuscan. Of the Californian wines, try a zinfandel or pinot noir. This is a zesty sauce that pairs nicely with a medium red wine instead of the traditional white wine with seafood.

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Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Ingredients Ingredients 1 pound shrimp (16 to 20 count) 1 pound calamari (body and tentacles) 1 pound clams 1 pound mussels 1 can of chopped clams in the juice Italian parsley, loosely chopped Olive oil, enough to saute in a large pan White wine (pinot grigio or chardonnay) 10 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, sliced 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers Salt to taste 1 pound linguini pasta, unrinsed Directions In a large pan, saute the garlic and parsley in olive oil until the garlic is nice and golden. Add the shrimp, calamari, fresh clams and mussels then simmer. Add a splash of the white wine, followed by the Roma tomatoes and crushed red pepper and simmer. Add the chopped clams and juice, and continue to cook over a medium heat for a total of 20

Photo by Felix Adamo

Linguini Pescatore

to 25 minutes. Add salt to taste. Cook the pasta al-dente according to the directions on the box (usually about 7 minutes), and time it to finish with the seafood. Drain pasta and immediately toss with the sauce and seafood. Serve with a Chianti, Super Tuscan or pinot noir. Serves four generously.



Steak & Grape’s Shai Gordon

Shai Gordon has a soft spot for Altamura cabernet sauvignon. 42

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

By Hillary Haenes


Photos by Jessica Frey

his restaurateur got his start in the food business as a bus boy at 19. When Shai Gordon left home for “the big city” because he needed a job, he landed one at a nightclub in Tel Aviv, Israel. Years later, he made his mark in Bakersfield. He previously co-owned Cafe Med Restaurant with his foster brother, Meir Brown. In 2006, Gordon took a break from the restaurant scene for a few years to focus on his other career as a real estate broker. And again just last year, Gordon, 48, found himself back in the fast-paced restaurant business taking on the role as proprietor/manager at Steak & Grape, an upscale restaurant in Northwest Bakersfield. “I love it — every day brings new challenges, but I get to strategize and be creative, mostly thinking of how I can improve things,” said Gordon about what it’s like managing such an establishment.

In the kitchen First experience in the kitchen: When I got my first apartment in the city and my mom had to teach me how to make rice … second lesson was how to make a hard-boiled egg. My kitchen disaster: Don’t have one — I always get my dishes to taste great. Must have kitchen tools: Good knives! Go-to cookbook: The Internet. Everything goes better with: Butter. Duh! Always in the fridge: Gourmet cheese.

Steak & Grape’s certified angus choice filet mignon topped with a roasted red bell pepper Gorgonzola Pesto sauce.

Best food memory: Tableside Peking duck at Tommy Toy’s in San Francisco. Most expensive meal: A little family-owned upscale restaurant in Tuscany, where at the end of a four-hour dinner, I got to know the whole family, including their babies. Sharing restaurant stories and recipes with them made it my most “rich” restaurant experience.

I rock at making: Barbecue and meatballs.

Most surprising food I’m not crazy about: Really aged beef. I prefer around two to three weeks aging.

One of my cooking secrets: Drink wine when you cook, for inspiration purposes.

Weirdest food I like: Polish Kishka (stuffed intestine).

If I could spend a day with a famous chef it would be: Anthony Bourdain because I know I will have a crazy good time.

I’m addicted to: Good coffee.

How I like my steak: Medium to medium-rare.

Advice I would ask him: How can I get his job?

My splurge at the grocery store: Gourmet cheese and chocolate.

Red or white wine that I enjoy: Altamura cabernet sauvignon.

The single tastiest thing I’ve eaten this month: Steak & Grape’s short ribs with a merlot wine reduction. Continued on page 44


Continued from page 43

Favorites Food discovery of 2012: Dubliner, Irish cheese. Family recipe: Sauteed mushrooms — button mushrooms sauteed with garlic, onions, rosemary in olive oil and butter, then finished with red wine and beef stock. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cooking show: “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain and all of Gordon Ramsey’s shows. Cuisine I like most: French, Italian and Midwestern. Snack: Chocolate and nuts. Ingredients: Olive oil and garlic. Cocktail: Grey Goose with grapefruit juice. Favorite local restaurant and my order: Steak & Grape’s prime filet — it melts in your mouth.

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All-Star Athlete

Northwest Bakersfield 10-and-under All-Star team By Stephen Lynch


Photos courtesy of Jeff and Julie Payne

t’s the dream of every little boy or girl who has ever played youth baseball to be part of a championship team. For the members of the Northwest Bakersfield 10-andunder All-Star team, the dream came true in the ultimate way earlier this summer when it won the Cal Ripken World Series. The team — the first ever from Bakersfield to win such a title — capped off its historic run with a 10-5 victory over Willamette Valley (Oregon) in the tournament final. The Cal Ripken World Series, played in Bentonville, Ark. was the final leg of a record-breaking summer by the Northwest all stars, which went 24-1 en route to capturing the national championship. After losing its first game during district playoffs, the all stars didn’t lose again in that event before going on to take first place at the state and regional tournaments.

Nick Salas takes a swing. 46

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Kobe Silva on first base.

Jack Hatten, Zach Payne and Andrew Yoder prepare for the start of the Cal Ripken World Series. It was the third straight regional championship for the group, which until this year wasn’t able to play in the Cal Ripken World Series — the organization doesn’t host a national championship for 8- and 9-year-olds. However, because of the team’s past successes at the regional level, the Northwest all stars were confident in their ability heading into the World Series. “To a certain extent, we believed we were going to win because we had success in the past couple of off seasons, and we had kids who were improving rapidly,” team coach John Hatten said. “The biggest advantage that these boys had was that they work very, very hard. We spent three, four days at the field. We were there until 9:30 or 10 at night.” All of that work paid off in a big way as the team set numerous records in its march to the championship. They set a new Cal Ripken World series mark for most home runs —11 — and also tied the tournament record for most consecutive wins — six. Mason Moccardini set a new individual World Series record by pitching three complete games. For his efforts Moccardini was selected as World Series most valuable player. Kobe Silva, who hit five home runs during the World Series, was named to the “all-world” series team, along with Kris Anglin and Jackson Hatten. Second baseman Nick Salas was chosen for the tournament’s all-defense team. Salas also hit four home runs during the World Series, including two in one inning and one of them a grand slam. The team’s roster was comprised of the top 10-and-under players in the Northwest Bakersfield Baseball summer recreational league. Returning home from Arkansas, the team received a heroes welcome that included a police escort of their airport bus to a downtown parking lot, where they were greeted by Mayor Harvey Hall and dozens of cheering supporters. About 40 people traveled from Bakersfield with the team to Arkansas and celebrated the championship with the team. For more on the team’s win, go to


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On the Road

Living large Lincoln MKS packs plenty of nice surprises

The 2013 Lincoln MKS offers sleek styling.

By Olivia Garcia

Photos by Michael Lopez


omfort and luxury with a touch of safety. That’s what the 2013 Lincoln MKS offers. For one, you can sit back into the Bridge of Weir perforated seats and choose your right handling — whether it’s sports or regular. Having a great entertainment system in a vehicle is always a plus, and this one does not disappoint. The THX II sound system makes you feel like you are in a movie theater. It is crisp. The Lincoln MKS is techie, too, and geeky gals like me have a special appreciation for smart cars. In fact, this car is equipped with the Ford SYNC system, which has a built-in 48

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

The Lincoln MKS blind-spot alert system.

The 2013 Lincoln MKS.

It’s all in the details: 2013 Lincoln MKS top five features

Lincoln’s contour design sports sedan

mobile Wi-Fi system. Yes, Wi-Fi. Imagine turning your car into a wireless hotspot, or being able to do work online using your laptop or iPad — if you are a passenger, of course, or if you’re parked. The Lincoln’s SIRIUS Travel Link is another hit, which allows you to access a five-day weather forecast, get the latest scores or headlines on your favorite sports teams, and even find fuel prices near you, and compare them from days ago. Pretty cool, huh? Since I am such a cautious and slow driver –— which can be irritating to my husband at times — I love that the Lincoln MKS comes with a blind-spot alert system, where the side-view mirrors blink when you get near any cars you may not see. Need help with valet parking? You got it — the Lincoln MKS does it for you. Of course, it’s common for cars to come with cruise control. However, the MKS will adjust to a preset speed that leaves enough distance between you and the car in front. And if the car in front of you slows down, no worries. The Lincoln MKS will alert you. The car also warns you if any objects are in your way as you back in and out.

• One word: Ecoboost! This 3.5L twin turbo, directinjection V6 is just plain fun to drive. • The overall design and styling is clean, unique and uncluttered. • This new MKS delivers a dynamic, yet comfortable, driving experience. • The MKS is versatile. It’s available in front- or all-wheel drive, and the choice of two different engines. • Safety: The Lincoln MKS earned a top safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earned a five-star “overall vehicle score” in administration’s New Car Assessment Program testing, which combines vehicle performance in frontal and side-impact crash tests, and resistance to rollover.

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The 2013 Lincoln MKS is perfect for The MKS is equipped with Ford’s SYNC system.

But what impressed me the most was the high-tech lane-changing system that will steer you back into your lane if you drift out. Such safety features are priceless, and provide the added comfort many drivers need. While test-driving this car, I was able to take my sons and their buddies to and from football practice. It was a nice, luxurious ride for us all. My soon-to-be 4-year-old preferred to ride in the Lincoln MKS as opposed to our big SUV. Heck, he has good taste — just like his mama.

• The person looking for a comfortable, spacious interior; lots of standard features; good power and handling; good fuel economy — all at a very competitive price.

What makes the 2013 Lincoln MKS stand out from others • The Lincoln MKS offers a unique design, along with world-class comfort and technology.

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Talk of the Town

Ron White Executive director of Golden Empire Youth Football Compiled by Brian N. Willhite


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Photo by Brian N. Willhite


or many local children playing youth tackle football, the grass beneath their cleats will soon become a little greener. Golden Empire Youth Tackle Football and Cheer, with the city of Bakersfield and funding from State Farm, are working together to complete the second phase of the State Farm Sports Village master plan. The village will include four football fields and four soccer fields at 9001 Ashe Road, north of Taft Highway. More fields for various sports will be built with more stages, including areas for commercial development. Ron White, executive director of Golden Empire — which has leased the football fields — is the liaison for all parties involved, has consulted on facility designs, and will play a role in operations management once the project has been completed. White spoke to Bakersfield Life about the impact of youth tackle football in the community, and how having dedicated sports facilities will help grow the sport here. Golden Empire currently has about 2,500 youth participants in its tackle football and cheer programs. The second phase of construction in scheduled to be completed in September 2013.

R What events led to the construction of the four new football fields in phase two of the State Farm Sports Village master plan?

In terms of the football section being added to phase two, it’s a matter of necessity. There’s really a field shortage crisis in Kern County — regardless of the sport. There are just not enough places for kids and youth to play any type of sport. The city saw that need, and we’ve been discussing our need with the city and the community for a long time. They have come to the table and we have come to the table and we’ve really put our heads together to figure out what we can do on both sides to service the families of the community. That’s really the basis and the origin of this project.

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What does it mean for Bakersfield to have such a facility, and how can this improve local youth sports?

For me, it’s real simple: it reflects the growth of the community. It reflects the city knowing what its needs are, knowing how to serve various demographics, age groups and the growth of the sport. It’s also the difference between playing a limited, shorter season, to now, where we have the opportunity to make tackle football almost a year-round activity. The opportunity to have passing leagues, flag football, and then more importantly to be able to have post season play where you can bring revenue back into the city, and support the families and the economy by hosting a state or even national championship. That would be great for the hospitality community here. And being centrally located, it’s something long overdue, and I believe will be well-received.

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How will the State Farm Sports Village stand out from other similar youth sports facilities?

How is the funding for this project developed and how does Golden Empire participate in the process?

The city has stepped up through funding from State Farm and is basically bringing phase two to fruition by getting the fields graded and ready for play. Our contribution beyond all that in a lease process will be, hopefully, through corporate sponsorship, grants and a real grassroots effort on our end through fundraisers. We'll be able to come in and fund the things that we need like goal posts, stands, bleachers, and concessions — those sorts of things. Really, we’re in a partnership with the city. They have got us to this point, and we’re going to take the ball and keep it rolling to build this facility up and be a top-notch facility. But, it’s crucial to know that we are looking for corporate sponsorships and naming rights of these fields to help further our cause for the community. We would love to see a large corporation come out and partner with us — someone who can come out here and know that they left a legacy and contributed to the youth of the community.

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I’ve had the opportunity to tour around the United States and basically look at other youth facilities. The one that I would compare it to most closely would be the one in Las Vegas, where they host a couple of national events. It's very similar to that. But in terms of the Bakersfield or Kern County area, I’ve never seen anything like it. The master plan of this facility calls for more than just football; it’s a well-rounded facility. Eventually, it will have a lake and possibly baseball and basketball. When you look at the diversity of sports this facility is going to encompass, it’s amazing and I think that'’s what sets it apart.

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Hometown Hero

Retired Sgt. Cristobal Baeza United States Marine Corps Compiled by Emily Claffy Age: 32 Photo courtesy of Cristobal Baeza

My former assignment: Engineer and drill instructor. I served in the military for: Eight years. Where I was stationed: I started at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego for three months where I became a Marine. Later, I spent three months at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina where I attended a formal school for engineering. One of my first orders sent me to Okinawa, Japan where I spent a year at the Ninth Engineer Support Battalion. Then I came back to California to Camp Pendleton where I spent three years in First Combat Engineer Battalion. This tour included my trip to Operation Iraqi Freedom. I returned to San Diego for my last tour and I served as a Marine Corps drill instructor for three years. Why I decided to join: Before I enlisted, I saw one of my cousins graduate from boot camp in San Diego. The Marines I saw there stood with such pride, including my cousin, and I realized I wanted that for myself. After that experience, I knew that I wanted to do my part by serving my country. The Marine Corps taught me to never give up and always try my hardest to accomplish my goals — tools that I will always cherish. Valuable advice I learned as a Marine: I grew up during my time in the Marine Corps. They taught me that I can do anything that I set my mind to and work hard toward. In the Marines, there is no “I can’t.” I learned this and still live by this lesson. 52

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

I have been deployed to: Iraq, for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. My other deployments have been to Japan, Australia and Hawaii. My best military accomplishment: When I became a drill instructor. I helped make civilians into Marines during recruit training, which was like watching one of my own kids grow up. I am proud to have been a part of their transformations and their future accomplishments. My favorite memory of the military: My time as a drill instructor truly sticks out to me. I enjoyed working with the recruits as they gained confidence and strength. The boost of morale that they experienced during training left me with a great feeling. What I missed most about Bakersfield while being deployed: I mainly missed my parents and children. I missed the ability to have a simple conversation with my family, and I missed playing with my kids. Since returning to Bakersfield, I

have enjoyed: Spending time with my wife and kids. We like to go out of town during the weekends and spend time with family and friends. I enjoy taking my kids to local attractions and events or just watch them play at the local soccer park. My long-term goals: I would like to put all of my kids through college. It is important to me because I know a college education will better their futures. Now that I am out of the military, my plans are: To create opportunities for myself and move up in the oil industry. Eventually, I would like to work for one of the major oil producers as a manager or consultant. I can use my training from the Marine Corps to continue to be successful in all areas of my life. — Know a Kern County resident who has or is currently serving in the military? Email us at bakersfieldlife@ with the message subject line: Hometown Hero. Please include an email, phone number and/or Facebook link to reach the nominee.


The haunted valley Central California’s Halloween attractions have fun for all ages By Dana Martin


hainsaws and clowns, vampires and zombies — there’s something about October that transforms normally conventional, straight-laced folks into thrill seekers bent on testing their nerves and wherewithal at annual Halloween haunted houses throughout the United States. Halloween is a big industry, second only to Christmas in retail sales. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, seven in 10 Americans — 68.6 percent — plan to celebrate Halloween, up from 63.8 percent in 2010, and the most in the federation’s nine-year survey history. Those celebrating were expected to spend slightly more, too, where the average person planned to spend about $72 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $66 the previous year. Total Halloween spending was expected to reach $6.86 billion in 2011. And statistics show an increase, rather than a decrease, during tough economic times. People love to get their creep on, and many local attractions are happy to cater to them. Haunted attraction enthusiasts make no bones about spending their hard-earned cash on spooky entertainment. Some make an annual trek to Knott’s Scary Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood or the Queen Mary — each transforming a large, or entire, segment of their traditional theme park into frightening fall entertainment. Other folks find family fun right here close to home — including pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and the nail biting, heart-stopping, self-induced nightmare of haunted house tours. Here are some local Halloween attractions that are in Bakersfield, or within a day’s drive.

Talladega Frights Where: 11811 Rosedale Highway, Bakersfield What: Haunted houses, corn mazes and pumpkin patches How much: $10 to $32, open Thursday to Sunday Information: Standing alone in 2012, as Kern County’s only professional haunted attraction, Talladega Frights returns this year for its seventh year haunting Bakersfield. “We have something for everybody,” said owner Mike Wilbur. “We are known for the outstanding haunted houses we design, which are some of the best in California and offer the full haunted house experience. But we also have attractions for families who want the fall 54

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Talladega Frights plans on moving to a new address in 2013.

experience without the scare.” Talladega Frights takes place on 20 acres of Rosedale Highway, and includes three haunted attractions: two corn mazes, a pumpkin patch with bounce houses and slides, and concessions. Wilbur said he’s always looking for ways to give families something to do together for the season, and is adamant about improving every year. “It’s never the same,” Wilbur said. “We create new themes each year, so that the customer never knows what is going to happen next. We never want the show to get tired or predictable. We want them to enter a new world.” Spanning 30,000 square feet of fun and terror, Talladega Frights will feature a haunted mansion, Green River Asylum, and a dark maze called Wicked Dark for 2012. “Our favorite thing to say is that you are entering a new world and leaving the real world behind,” said Wilbur. “We build scenes that are believable.” Wilbur and his crew work to create realistic sets so guests will forget they are in a haunted house. “Realism,” said Wilbur, “is the separating factor between a quality

Photo by Henry A. Barrios

and non-quality attraction and enables us to immerse people in the scene. The details are important.” Details in the haunted mansion include wallpaper and bookshelves, to China dishes and chandeliers. Guests should expect to forget they are in a make-believe attraction as they confront angry characters trapped to live for eternity within the crumbling walls. The Green River Asylum is back by popular demand after a three-year hiatus and will depict the lunatic takeover of a mental facility. Wicked Dark is returning for its second year, bigger than 2011. Wilbur has added new features and new allusions to this fun house of horrors. Of the two corn mazes, the largest one features 10 acres of corn and more than 3.5 miles of maze, where guests try to find check points and prizes from sponsors, including Subway. For folks looking for good quality Halloween fun, mark Talladega Frights on your October to-do list. Wilbur also said this will be the popular attraction’s final year on Rosedale Highway. It will move to a new address for

2013 to expand, and to host other events throughout the year.

The Raven’s Gate Haunted Attraction Where: 14295 E. Adams Ave., Parlier (in Fresno County, northwest of Visalia) What: Haunted trail, haunted hayride, family-friendly trick-or-treat forest, pumpkin patch How much: $5 to $25, open Wednesday to Sunday Information: Just a 90-minute drive north from Bakersfield, The Raven’s Gate haunted attraction is right off Highway 99 in Parlier, on 21 acres of Central Valley farmland. Feeling trapped in the city? This outdoor attraction is a getaway to the country for families and haunted house enthusiasts alike. “It is a destination haunt,” said owner Mike Callahan. “We bought this property with the intention of creating a spooky Halloween environment for families to come out and escape the city lights, away from projected stimulus of radios and TV, Continued on page 56


Photo courtesy of The Raven’s Gate

Actors at The Raven's Gate climb aboard the hayride for a little fun in the forest.

Continued from page 55

to be out in the fall air.” The event features a carnival midway with concessions and vendors, stone fire pits, a stage and dance floor, three themed events, a Halloween store and a pumpkin patch to please guests of all ages. The outdoor haunted forest is a terrifying walk-through full of enthusiastic and passionate characters that Callahan said are there to do one thing: “Get you.”


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

“They understand the psychological aspect of a good show,” he said. “In 18 years of haunting, I’ve never been creeped out or chased out of any haunt, but something about this place makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.” The haunted hayride is an event that isn’t “in your face,” like the forest walk. Hayride trailers carrying 30 to 40 people will pull guests through 15 acres of scenes intended to frighten and entertain, keeping visitors screaming and laughing at once. The non-scary trick-or-treat forest is for children 8 years old and younger, and is just $5. “We have Central California’s only non-scary, fully functioning Halloween event for children,” said Callahan. “Children can dress up and knock on doors, meet happy characters and get candy as they walk an outdoor trail lit by orange lights and blow-up pumpkins.” The Raven’s Gate was designed as a family destination to create fall memories, and Callahan said it is unlike any other attraction in the Central Valley. “You will be completely entertained.”

Haunted Fresno Where: 665 Fulton, Fresno What: Six indoor haunted attractions How much: $18 to $26, open Friday to Sunday Information: Another 10 minutes north, up Highway 99, will take you to

Haunted Fresno, the valley’s only six-attraction indoor haunt. Haunted Fresno’s attractions take more than 17,000 square-feet in downtown Fresno and include a midway, two full-sized haunted houses, a seance attraction, and two rides. “The Last Ride is a motion-simulated ride built into a coffin that simulates the last ride you will ever take,” said Dexter Morgan, general manager of Haunted Fresno. The Hellevator is a motion simulated ride, too, but this one puts guests on an out-of-control runaway elevator. This attraction lasts about two minutes and is one of Morgan’s favorites. Starring in his own show, Morgan, a master magician, presents a museum of oddities and a theatrical séance attraction. “For 10 minutes, we take 26 people at a time and summon spirits. Some pretty extraordinary things happen in there,” said Morgan. This year’s Haunted Fresno will also offer two different haunted houses. The House of Zombies is a quarantined house during the zombie apocalypse. Guests have to survive their way through the house. And to complete Fresno’s sextet of shock, the Fortress of Fear is a gothic, Van Helsing vampire-themed haunt. Morgan said if you’re looking for quality, you won’t mind the under two-hour drive to Fresno. “Not only are we affordable, but we put on a professional show,” he said. “Our actors deliver lines and stay in character. They don’t break character for any reason unless it’s an emergency. Also, we don’t use fog or smoke machines, and because of that, our sets are detailed — Hollywood-grade detail.”

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Ghosts of Bakersfield

Photo by Gregory D. Cook

Local sites are home to haunted activity

Central Park at Mill Creek is rumored to be the home of a mysterious, weeping woman in white, the victim of a tragic murder at a nearby foundry.

Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook


akersfield has gained a reputation throughout the years as being one of the most haunted cities in America. Its rich and sorted history has given birth to a number of otherworldly tales and legends, from stories of the Father Francisco Garces statue warning motorists of impending accidents, to reports of people hearing the muffled gunshots of Jim McKinney’s 1903 gunfight on L Street. Bakersfield College’s Levan Institute for Lifelong Learning celebrates Bakersfield’s ethereal history each Halloween by offering the “ghost tour of downtown Bakersfield,” a tongue-in-cheek, guided tour showcasing the city’s haunted past. The tour regularly sells out quick, but tour narrator, and local haunted historian Michael Prince, artistic director of The Gaslight Melodrama, offered to share some of his favorite downtown ghost stories.

Central Park at Mill Creek 21st and R streets Bakersfield’s Central Park at Mill Creek is the home of one of Bakersfield’s more traditional ghost sightings. “Many residents and shop owners have stated that they have seen a woman, in white flowing robes, floating above 58

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

the canal,” Prince said. It is reported that she floats along just before dawn, weeping quietly, and then vanishes. “As the story goes, she is a woman that was murdered in the old foundry that was across the street from the park,” Prince explained. “The murderer supposedly hid her body beneath the floorboards at the foundry.” Workers removing the buildings of the old Pacific Southern Foundry came across the gruesome discovery. “The bones of a woman were found when the foundry’s floor was torn up,” Prince said. “And she did appear to have been shot.”

Padre Hotel 1702 18th St. The late Milton “Spartacus” Miller, former owner of the Padre Hotel, never really had a problem speaking his mind. So it really isn’t surprising that that man who installed a mock missile on the roof of his hotel, reportedly aimed at City Hall, would have any trouble making his presence known and felt from the great beyond. The hotel was built in 1928 and throughout the years has gained a national reputation for its hauntings, of which there are several. “After Spartacus died, things really picked up,” Prince

Photo by Gregory D. Cook

This phantom hand print on the wall of the entrance to the Farmacy Cafe in the lobby of the Padre Hotel is reported by members of the hotel’s staff to continue to reappear despite numerous attempts to remove it.

said. “When they were doing the refurbishment, there were stories of him taking workers tools and hiding them, or workers would feel someone pushing them while they worked when no one else was there … He wasn’t pleased by the new direction his hotel was going.” Miller apparently carried disdain for the Downtown Business Association in the afterlife, Prince said. “There’s a story about him pushing a member of the DBA right out the door of the building,” Prince recalled. “And it’s said that he still walks the halls of his hotel, occasionally slapping drinks from people’s hands.” Spartacus isn’t the only ghost with a room in the hotel — paranormal researchers have recorded odd bumps in the night, and ethereal voices throughout the building. And in a rare display that visitors can see daily, a child’s handprint reappears on a wall in the hotel’s lobby despite maintenance crew’s best attempts to remove it. “And no matter what they have done, repainting it all different colors, or even sanding it, it just keeps coming back,” Prince said. California Avenue and G Street Bakersfield High School is the city’s oldest high school, and with nearly 120 years of history under its belt, it has picked up its fair share of haunts and ghost stories. Long-time teacher, historian and BHS archivist Ken Hooper has heard them all. Hooper said that in recent years, ghost activity has been quiet, but that wasn’t always the case. “One night back in the 1990s, two custodians were driving across the campus in a golf cart when they noticed a man

Photo by Felix Adamo

Bakersfield High School

The Padre Hotel. Continued on page 60


Continued from page 59

coming out of a building,” Hooper explained. “It was foggy, but the campus was well lit.” They described the man as an elderly gentleman, but pale all over. “As they drove toward him, the man just seemed to dissipate into the fog and was gone,” Hooper said. Harvey Auditorium and Warren Hall have had periods in the past of regular poltergeist activity as well. “An access door in the theater would keep opening and closing on its own … slamming shut,” Hooper said. “And the receptionists in Warren Hall would hear file cabinets opening and closing in the room above them when no one was supposed to be in there.” Perhaps the school’s best known legend involves the story of a ghostly couple — a boy in his Letterman’s jacket, and his girlfriend sometimes reported in her prom dress, and other times in a cheerleader uniform — seen high in the bleachers of Griffith Field. That story has been debunked. “They are supposedly the ghosts of a couple that died in a car accident, but that accident never happened.” Hooper said. BHS sits on the site of the former Kern General Hospital, and remains of amputated limbs were reportedly discovered during the school’s construction. While that is certainly a creepy, there doesn’t appear to be any hauntings associated with that fact. “No, we don't have disembodied body parts floating around the campus.” Hooper said, with a chuckle.

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A local producer’s vision By Breanna Fields


he enslavement of young girls for human trafficking — it’s an industry without remorse. Documentaries have been made on the subject, but until now, it has not been seen in the light that local film producer Jim Schmidt has set out to portray. The full-length feature film “Trade of Innocents” will be released Oct. 12 at Maya Cinemas, with Bill and Laurie Bolthouse behind the project. While on a medical mission trip to Cambodia, physician Bill Bolthouse and his family were brokenhearted and moved by what they had witnessed. They met young girls who had been rescued from the trafficking industry. These girls were not much older than his own children, who at the time were 11 and 9. It was a situation that forever changed their lives and set into action an idea that grew into a large production with cast members, including Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino, who was named Goodwill Ambassador to combat human trafficking for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “They knew they needed to do something about the problem of human trafficking, and they felt a feature film was the best way to take the topic to a higher level and create both awareness and action,” Schmidt said. The film is called “Trade of Innocents” because it describes exactly that. The story takes place in Cambodia, and tells the tale of present-day Southeast Asia, as an undercover human trafficking investigator negotiates the use of a child. His wife is a volunteer at an aftercare shelter for rescued girls. Having lost 62

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

“Trade of Innocents” producer Jim Schmidt.

a child years earlier, the couple learns to deal with the emotional aspects, which in turn, strengthen their outlook and spirits as they fight for the freedom of local neighborhood children. The plot of the story hits home with Schmidt, who is the father of two girls and one son. “You can’t help but feel both compassion and anger as you explore the facts of this crime, but I believe that viewers will muster a sense of determination to end this crime against children,” he said. The movie was filmed entirely in and around Bangkok, Thailand. Schmidt explained that they had a great movie industry in Thailand, which is where they found the majority of the cast and crew. They were in the country for four months, but shot the film in March and April of 2011. “Filmmaking is a collaborative effort and we have remarkable synergy among this team. It’s really become a family over the last two years.” The local connection is prevalent: Not only has Schmidt raised his three children in town, but the Bolthouse name is certainly alive with Bolthouse Farms and Bolthouse Properties. Valley Republic Bank provided the production financing, so it truly is a “Bakersfield movie.”

Photo by Prarinya Praditthaweesuk

‘Trade of Innocents’

“Trade of Innocents” Showtimes: 11:45 a.m., 2:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. daily Oct. 12 to 18 Where: Maya Cinemas, 1000 California Ave. Information:

This, however, isn’t Schmidt’s first film as he has worked in the movie-making industry for years. Starting out in the music business as a record producer and worship leader, Schmidt continued his career in entertainment as an actor in his brother, John Schmidt’s films, including “The Wait of the World,” “A Vow to Cherish” and “Super Christian.” Twelve years ago, he delved into the world of movie-making and since then, it has proven to be a successful venture. He has produced inspirational family films like “The Ultimate Gift” with Abigail Breslin and James Garner, as well as “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius” with Jim Caviezel, Malcolm McDowell and Claire Forlani. “We have so many more great stories to tell. It’s one of the reasons we love living in Bakersfield — I think this town gets us and

Photo by Christopher Bessette

From left, Jim Schmidt, fellow producer Bill Bolthouse and actor Jonathon Isgar on set in Bangkok, Thailand. the type of movies we create,” Schmidt said. In an effort to spread the word around town, Cal State Bakersfield is hosting the “Trade of Innocents Symposium: A Local and Regional Response to Human Trafficking,” on Oct. 13 at the Icardo Center. The symposium will feature experts in the field including FBI, local law enforcement, California State legislators and nongovernmental organizations. It is open to the public and registration is online at

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For a Cause

Charity calendar Charitable events calendar October to December 2012

O C T O B E R Oct. 4

Garces Fall Barbecue Proceeds from the event will be used to support the athletics budget and other extracurricular activities. Contact Tonya Abbott at 327-2578 ext. 118.

Oct. 6

30th annual Barbecue for the Birds The barbecue will support the general fund for FACT at Cal State Bakersfield. Contact Marlene Benton at 654-3167;

Oct. 6

Seventh annual PyreneesFiesta A cross-cultural blend of Hispanic and Basque dinner will benefit

Mendiburu Magic Foundation, which helps provide services for children up to age 17 who have a serious medical condition. Contact Brain Mendiburu at 319-3081;

Oct. 6

Walk to Defeat ALS Proceeds of the walk will benefit the Walk to Defeat ALS, Golden West Chapter that helps provide services to families affected by ALS and fund global research. For more information contact the Golden West Chapter office at 818-865-8067;

Oct. 12

Third annual American Red Cross Kern Chapter Tee for Charity

30th annual Barbecue for the Birds This event helps raise money for individuals in need within the Kern County area. The American Red Cross Kern Chapter helps provide disaster services, health and safety training, and services to the armed forces and their families. For more information call 324-6427;

N O V E M B E R Nov. 2

Altares De Familia by the Bakersfield Museum of Art Money raised at this event will help cover production costs of the festival. Any remaining funds will

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Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Darlene Tobias 661.301.1722

Photo by Casey Christie

Compiled by Emily Claffy

Nov. 3

30th annual Bakersfield Police Department Memorial Run Proceeds help pay for the education of surviving children of Bakersfield Police Department officers who have been killed in the line of duty. For more information call 326-3685;

Nov. 17

Fifth annual Bakersfield Homeless Center Turkey Trot 5K/10K This will benefit homeless children and their families in our community and at the Bakersfield Homeless Center. Contact Debra Lawson at 716-1020;

Nov. 23

Feast for the Beasts at CALM Participants will receive free entrance into the California Living Museum with food or gift cards to be used by the museum. A list of appropriate food and gift cards can be found on the CALM

website. For more information call 872-2256.

information call 868-8400;

Kern County Firefighter’s Enchanted Forest Proceeds of the event will benefit the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Bakersfield Homeless Shelter, Boys & Girls Clubs, Burn Survivors Trust, CSUB Athletics, Kern Veterans Memorial, Love Water, Make a Wish Foundation and Pink Heals. Contact Tom Xavier at 204-7799;

Dec. 7 to 23 (excluding Dec. 10 to 11) Seventh annual Magical Forest by Bakersfield Association for Retarded Citizens Proceeds will benefit BARC services, which include vocational and educational programs;

Nov. 31

D E C E M B E R Dec. 1 to 31

(excluding Christmas day) HolidayLights at CALM Proceeds from the HolidayLights will benefit the CALM foundation that provides funding for developing new and exciting animal exhibits. Contact CALM at 872-2256;

Dec. 1

Kern County Museum Lamplight Tours This benefits operations at the Kern County Museum. For more

Dec. 7 to 8

Chez Noel Home Tours for the Assistance League of Bakersfield Proceeds will be used to support Operation School Bell, which is a program that aims to clothe children in need for school each year. For more information call 861-9223;

at 559-553-3562;

Dec. 9

Dec. 22

29th annual Bakersfield Toy Run and Food Drive Benefits the Salvation Army by providing for their Christmas event. Presents are handed out to children and food baskets are given to every family who signs up to participate. Contact Tonya

Chez Noel Home Tours

Photo by Alex Horvath

be used to support the children’s art and education program. For more information call 323-7219;

M.A.R.E. Holiday Party for Riders and Family Proceeds benefit M.A.R.E. services, which include therapeutic horseback riding and hippothyrapy for special needs individuals. Contact Kirsten at 589-1877;

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It’s game time These local restaurants offer prime front-row seats for NFL games Story and photos by Mark Nessia


here’s nothing like home-field advantage. For casual to die-hard National Football League fans, several local restaurants offer front-row seats to this season’s games. Some restaurants cater to specific team fan clubs, and others offer enough television screens for all football fans to enjoy. Here are a few locations you can call home this season: 66

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Firehouse Restaurant Firehouse Restaurant, at 7701 White Lane, is Cowboys territory — the official gathering spot for Bakersfield’s Dallas Cowboys fan club, Cowboys Country 661. This club started in December 2010, and has steadily grown in size from 50 members to more than 400. In fact, it has Firehouse Restaurant reserved for every Cowboys game this football season. “Firehouse is the best spot in California,” Cowboys Country 661 president

Mando Oliveros said. Firehouse has five big projection screens — the biggest at 23 feet by 10 feet — and 21 flat-screen TVs, ensuring every sports fan has access to the big game. Firehouse Restaurant is hosting event nights during the NFL season for Monday and Thursday night games, featuring a DJ, giveaways and more. “It doesn’t have to be a great game, but it will be a great time,” Firehouse General Manager Jacob Cadena said.

49ers fans make Mountain Mike’s their home on gamedays.

Cowboys fans gather in front of Firehouse Restaurant during the team’s season-opening game against the New York Giants Sept. 5. Firehouse Restaurant is home to Cowboys Country 661, which has booked the restaurant for every Cowboys game this season.

New York Giants fan Ashleigh Dickinson reacts following the team’s first-half interception against Dallas at Firehouse Restaurant.

Mountain Mike’s Pizza NFL fans can call in to Mountain Mike’s Pizza and request any game, which can be viewed on any of four big-screen televisions, be played on a first-come, first-serve basis. The restaurant at, 5632 Stockdale Highway, has access to every NFL game, including Thursday and Saturday games. On top of choosing the game of your choice, you can also choose from the Mountain Mike’s menu, which features delicious pizzas and wings. “The pizza’s bomb!” said Maria Contreras, who goes to Mountain Mike’s with about 20 to 30 fans to watch every San Francisco 49ers game. Mountain Mike’s has big plans next season, as the restaurant is expanding its space for NFL fans to watch games. Continued on page 68


Continued from page 67

49ers fans fill the Mountain Mike’s dining area for the team’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

Cataldo’s Pizza Five 55-inch LCD highdefinition televisions and a sea of burgundy, gold and white await those who step inside Cataldo’s Pizza at 6111 Niles St. Bakersfield’s Washington Redskins fans consider Cataldo’s their home on game days, especially since the restaurant’s interior was repainted Redskin colors over the summer. It was a welcome surprise for club members who had roamed from place to place three years ago, even having a run-in with rival Dallas Cowboys fans at one venue. “It was like oil and water,” original member Izzy Ruiz said. “It just didn’t mix.” Through word-of-mouth and Facebook, the club’s membership has rapidly increased to more than 100 members since the fan club started in 2009. The club provides a family-friendly environment for fans of all ages. 68

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Cataldo’s on E. Niles Street is home to the Bakersfield Washington Redskins Fan Club. The interior has been painted the team’s colors.

Members of the Bakersfield Washington Redskins Fan Club gather in front of Cataldo’s Pizza on E. Niles Street.

B Ryder’s Rockin’ Sports Bar B Ryder’s, at 7401 White Lane, attracts a strong following from Pittsburgh Steelers nation when the team takes the field. Darres, Molly and Breanne Everett go to B Ryder’s for every Steelers game. They love the support and the environment the establishment provides. Just be wary of trash talk from fans of other teams. “Trash talk is really fun,” Chicago Bears fan and B Ryder’s regular J.R. Davidson said. Davidson goes to the bar and grill to watch games with Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and Steelers fans. B Ryder’s features 11 flat-screen TVs and two projection screens, ensuring you can watch the game no matter where you’re seated.

Steelers fans cheer following the team’s first touchdown of the season.

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The Food Issue

Farmers markets Photos by April Massirio You’ve heard about the Bakersfield Sound. What about the Bakersfield taste? Honey, citrus, nuts and berries — you can find these and other delicious goods grown locally in any of the farmers markets throughout Kern County. Many of the markets close during the winter, but here are a few in Kern County open year-round: • Brimhall Market: 9500 Brimhall Road, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. • Golden State Certified Farmers Market: Golden State Highway and F Street, Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon. • Kaiser Permanente: 8800 Ming Ave., Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Learning to cook, one recipe at a time By Kelly Damian When I was in elementary school, arts and crafts were a source of constant aggravation. My teacher would present the project to the class, like making a reindeer out of paper plates, felt and craft sticks, and I would try earnestly to recreate the impish, festive reindeer. Without fail, mine would look like a creature that had the genetic code of a reindeer but, due to some horrible nuclear mishap, had morphed into a lopsided, glue-laden beast. That aggravation is the same for drawing, painting, small carpentry, sewing and pretty much any of the decorative arts. A yawning chasm lies between my creative vision and fine motor skills. I think that is why I like to cook. I did not grow up cooking. My family is Midwestern and the food we ate was not showy. My mom — bless her hard-working, very busy heart — had three main specialties: hamburger stroganoff, meatloaf and chipped beef on toast. For those not familiar with chipped beef on toast, here is the recipe: Toast white bread and rip into pieces; meanwhile, make a sauce of milk and flour; add sliced beef to the milky sauce; pour over toast; consume at your own risk. In third grade, while learning about the hardships at Valley Forge, our teacher shared with us the recipe for making firecake biscuits. The poorly equipped soldiers, fighting bitter cold and low morale, would mix together flour and water and set the dough to bake on hot stones. I remember thinking, “Hey, that sounds a lot like chipped beef on toast!” At the onset of my adult life, I could

boil a mean pot of water and pour a bowl of cereal with the best of them. Then I started buying cookbooks. The innocent and approachable Betty Crocker taught me at first. Once Betty assured me that I could make mashed potatoes, I moved on to the books sold by photogenic cable television personalities. Then I started ripping recipes out of magazines — those recipes are less serious than ones in books. A page ripped out of a magazine seems unimportant, and so I felt free to double the salt, use prosciutto instead of bacon, or throw some toasted breadcrumbs in (I promise you, everything tastes better with toasted breadcrumbs). Cooking gives me an opportunity to lose myself in the process of creation without inviting the same self-loathing and doubt that writing does. If you burn the onions, you can just throw them out and try again. It’s hard to be light-hearted about discarding pages of a manuscript. Letting go of one of those is like an amputation. Each year, I am more relaxed in the kitchen and more in awe of the miracle of cooking. Think about it: If you bite into an onion, you will end up on the floor, gagging and bawling. Eat raw chicken breast, and you will be wracked with food poisoning. But if you light a fire, cut the onions, and add chicken showered with salt crystals, the danger falls away. In its place is a plate of delicious food you created, something that did not exist before, something that can be improved and recreated. That is a wondrous thing — far more wondrous than ripping open a package of frozen burritos and watching them rotate in the microwave. To read more, visit or follow her on Twitter, @kellydamian2.


The Food Issue

Exploring local Latin flavors No need to travel to Latin America; Bakersfield is host to a variety of Latin eateries By James Licea

Photos by Crystal Alvarez

Latin cuisine can lead food lovers all over the world. You can travel to Peru and have cancha, Brazil for churrasco, El Salvador for pupusa or Puerto Vallarta for mariscos. Or you can stay here in Bakersfield, which is host to a savory list of Latin cuisine. Here is a look at some local Latin restaurants you may want to consider exploring.

Mi Peru ceviche micro with cancha corn nuts, accompanied by Cusque単a Peruvian beer and Peruvian Inca Kola drink. 72

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October 2012

Mi Peru Husband and wife Javier Bautista and Jasan Galvarez were both raised in Peru and grew up with the dishes on the menu at their restaurant, Mi Peru, at 731 California Ave. One of their most popular entrees is the ceviche mixto — seafood prepared with chunks of fish, shrimp, calamari, octopus, clams and mussels marinated in lemon and garnished with a dried, deep-fried corn called “cancha.” It’s different from the Mexican-style ceviche, Bautista explained. Some are intimidated by it at first, but those who try it, love it.

Outdoor patio seating at La Costa Mariscos.

Mama Roomba’s tri-tip accompanied by a glass of red wine.

Two of the most popular dishes are “mariscos al ajillo,” made with scallops, octopus, shrimp, fish, with a jalapeño butter cooked in wine, and their shrimp cocktail, made with jumbo shrimp, onion, avocado, cucumber and Clamato juice.

El Ranchito Mama Roomba This Latin fusion restaurant at 1814 Eye St. has a large variety of popular dishes and tremendous amount of character — decorated with Latin art and pictures of revolutionary Marxist Ernesto “Che” Guevara. The menu consists of several specialty dishes from sweet potato fries and their corn and cheese empanadas, to Latin fried chicken, along with various types of wines and imported beers. While they have many popular items, a customer favorite is the Brazilian “churrasco” grilled tri-tip, garnished with garlic and sautéed onions.

With two locations — one in the Mercado Latino at 2105 Edison Highway since 1993, and another at 1601 Panama Continued on page 74

La Costa Mariscos This quaint, inviting restaurant at 716 21st St. is familyowned and has been serving delicious seafood for 20 years. The menu is filled with recipes developed over the years by the family, from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The food is authentic and has stayed consistent throughout the years.

Yuca frita from El Ranchito restaurant served with chicharrones.


Continued from page 73

Lane — this family owned El Salvadorian restaurant is known for many dishes. The most popular, the “pupusa”, is a stuffed tortilla usually filled with cheese, refried beans, chicharrón (fried pork) and other items. Pupusas are served with a side of curtido, which is a pickled cabbage that complements the entree. Another popular dish is “yuca frita,” a fried vegetable similar to potato, served with chicharron. Super Kolashampan, an El Salvadorian soda, will wash down your meal nicely.

Arizona Café With a full bar, tables and booths, and pictures of Mexican revolutionists Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa on the walls at Arizona Cafe at 809 Baker St., you get the feeling you’ve been taken back in time. It opened nearly 60 years ago — in 1953 — and manager Jose Ramirez has worked there 37 years of those years. He said the recipes are just as old as the restaurant. One of the most popular items is the chili verde, satisfying customers for years.

Arizona Cafe’s signature chili verde.

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The Food Issue

Reader recipes

French onion gratin Contributed by Bryan Miller, chef at Eagle Mountain Casino

We asked our readers to contribute their favorite recipes for The Food Issue. Here are a few favorites that we received. Congratulations to our winner, Alice Desilagua, a counselor at Bakersfield College and a master gardener, who shared her zucchini casserole recipe and won a $50 gift certificate to Uricchio’s!

Why I love this recipe: I enjoy how the sherry plays off the slowly roasted onions giving the soup a unique taste. It is simple to prepare and is great to enjoy at home. Ingredients 2 pounds onions, sliced thin 4½ quarts ice cubes Salt and pepper to taste 4 bay leaves 1/4 cup Italian seasoning 4 to 6 ounces sherry French bread

French onion gratin 76

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

1½ pounds Gruyere or Swiss cheese, grated Directions Add the onions, bay leaves, Italian seasoning and cook until onions turn golden brown. Stir occasionally. Add the ice and bring to a boil. Simmer until the onions are very tender and the flavors are well blended, about 20 minutes. Season the taste with salt and pepper. Add sherry, if desired. Remove bay leaves. Keep the soup hot for service. Cut the bread into slices about 3/8 inches thick. You will need one or two slices per portion, or just enough to cover the top of the soup in its serving crock. Toast the slices in the oven or under the broiler. For each portion, fill an individual service soup crock with

hot soup. Place one or two slices of the toast on top and cover with cheese. Pass under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and lightly browned. Serve immediately. Note: The onions must cook slowly and become evenly browned. This is a slow process and will take about 30 minutes. Do not brown too fast or use high heat. Variation: Onion soup may be served without gratineeing and with cheese croutons prepared separately. Toast the bread as in the basic recipe. Place on sheet pan. Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle each piece with grated cheese. (Parmesan may be mixed with the other cheese). Brown under the broiler. Garnish each portion with one cheese crouton.

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Zucchini casserole

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W I N N E R Zucchini casserole Contributed by Alice Desilagua, counselor at Bakersfield College Why I love this recipe: Because it is easy to make. When my husband, Ben, and I grow tons of zucchini in the summer and need to get rid of it, this is the perfect way to put those wonderful zucchini to use. This is a tasty and great meatless dish. Ingredients 2 pounds of zucchini, cubed 4 eggs 1/2 cup milk

Guess Again Candy Crunch Contributed by Pat Parsons Why I love this recipe:

This original recipe is my favorite, not only because it is so easy to prepare and tastes great, but because it made possible one of the greatest experiences of my life — a finalist in a national cook-off contest. I named it Guess Again Candy Crunch because no one could guess its crunchy ingredient — breadcrumbs! Ingredients 1/2 cup white chocolate candy

1 pound pepper jack cheese, cubed. 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 3 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1 large can diced green chilies (do not drain juice) Directions Cook zucchini gently in salted water or steam until tender. Drain and cool. Mix eggs, milk, cubed cheese, salt, baking powder, flour, parsley and chilies in a bowl. Fold in cook, cooled squash. Generously spray an oblong baking dish with cooking spray. Pour in squash mixture. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until set.


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melts for candy making 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 1 cup Progresso plain breadcrumbs 1 cup light candy melts for candy making 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped Directions Line large cookie sheet with waxed paper. In small bowl, combine white chocolate candy melts and peanut butter. Microwave on medium for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add breadcrumbs; mix well. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Place another sheet of waxed paper over mixture; pat or roll to form 11 by 7 rectangle (quarter-inch thick). Remove top sheet of waxed paper. Place a half

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Continued from page 77

Sarah’s vegan tacos Contributed by Sarah Ketchum Why I love this recipe: My doctor rec-

ommended I change my diet for medical reasons, after doing my own research, I decided to become a vegan. I by no means feel like I gave up food, if anything I’ve become much more creative with fruits and vegetables. I’ve made my own healthy versions of tacos, enchiladas and lasagna.

Guess again candy crunch cup of the light chocolate candy melts in small bowl. Microwave on medium for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Spread evenly over peanut butter layer on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the peanuts. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set chocolate. Meanwhile, place remaining half cup of light chocolate candy melts in same bowl. Heat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Remove candy from refrigerator. Turn candy over on cookie sheet; remove waxed paper. Spread light chocolate over candy. Immediately sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of peanuts. Refrigerate 10 minutes or until set. Break or cut candy into small pieces.

Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 large green squash, chopped 15 heirloom tomatoes, halved 1/2 onion, chopped 1/2 garlic, chopped 1/2 jalapeno, chopped and seeded 1 bag spinach Blue corn tortillas Avocado Limes Cilantro Salsa Salt and pepper to taste Directions Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add squash, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and add

Sarah’s vegan tacos salt and pepper to taste. Saute till semi-soft. Add spinach and cover till cooked. Heat blue corn tortillas. Scoop veggie mixture onto tortillas. Add avocado, lime, cilantro and salsa. Enjoy.

Grilled angel food cake with strawberry wine sauce & fresh lemon whipped cream Contributed by Jena Owens Why I love this recipe: I cook and love

with reckless abandon and that’s how this confection was created. It’s a lovely dessert that is one of my all-time favorites, and I love to share it with all of my family and friends! It is good anytime of year, but especially during the summer. My first version of this dessert was featured in The Bakersfield Californian’s Eye Cook Contest in 2010, and made it all the way to the finals, taking home third place. Even though I’m known to change up the recipe often (I add mixed berries or orange liqueur, etc.), I still receive many compliments and rave reviews again and again ... there are never any leftovers. The sauce is great over vanilla ice cream, too! Ingredients Angel food cake loaf, sliced 1 pound strawberries, sliced 1 cup red wine 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Bakersfield Life

Grilled angel food cake

1 cup whipping cream 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon powdered sugar Lemon zest to taste Directions Prepare wine sauce: Add wine and sugar to saucepan, add cinnamon and stir. Simmer on low for 30 minutes or more until reduced by half. Cool until warm. Slice strawberries, set

October 2012

aside. Prepare angel food cake: Slice cake, place on grill on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Prepare whipped cream: Mix cream, sugar and vanilla. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add lemon zest to taste. Assemble dessert: Add berries to sauce and mix well. Serve immediately over warm cakes, top with whip and lemon zest (optional).

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The Food Issue

Basque country A rich history of Bakersfield’s Basque restaurants

By Allie Castro


Photos by Jessica Frey

f you’re from the area or visit often, you’ve probably enjoyed some delicious, authentic Basque food at one of the local restaurants. Or you may have become a regular, as that often happens at these places, where generations upon generations keep coming back to their favorite spot. But, perhaps you’re not as familiar with the stories of how these favorites came to be, and how they’ve weathered prohibition, new owners and even a ghost or two in their storied histories. Here’s a brief history of some of Bakersfield’s beloved Basque restaurants: 80

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October 2012

The traditional set up at Noriega’s, with oxtail stew.

Wool Growers opened in 1954 and has become a local icon.

Wool Growers Restaurant

Built in 1893, Noriega’s was orignally a boarding house.

Noriega’s 525 Sumner St. Built in 1893, by Faustino Noriega and Fernando Etcheverry, this popular French Basque restaurant didn’t start out serving food; instead, it functioned as a boarding house. That didn’t last long, and the famed restaurant was soon opened. In 1931, French immigrants, Juan and Gracianna Elizalde, purchased the property and decided to leave the name as Noreiga’s. Other than the addition of the credit card machine, and what is now the bar and dining room that were built around 1940, the restaurant prides itself on having remained exactly the same — still housing boarders, still serving delicious Basque food and still owned by the Elizalde family, with granddaughters Rochelle Ladd and Linda McCoy now at the helm. During the 1950s and 1960s, Noriega’s played host to the annual Basque dance, held after the Basque picnic. During the dance’s heyday, Wool Growers, Narducci’s, Pyrenees and Noriega’s were all within three blocks of each other, with revelers dancing in the street from one bar to the next. Ladd recommends a traditional Basque Moscow mule made with vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, and the Saturday night oxtail stew, which is slow cooked for the finest quality.

620 E. 19th St. J.B. and Mayie Maitia, who came here from the French Basque country, opened Wool Growers Restaurant in 1954. Prior to their successful establishment, both had worked at Noriega Hotel when they recognized there was a need for a Basque restaurant with longer hours since Noriega Hotel and other local Basque eateries only served one family-style meal at 6:30 p.m. For those who couldn’t make dinnertime, their Basque craving would have to wait another day. So Wool Growers, whose name honors the sheepherders who used to frequent the restaurant, first opened its doors during the hours that Noriega’s didn’t serve meals. The Basque restaurants with only one mealtime sent the stragglers to Wool Growers. Today, the restaurant is still family-owned and operated by Mayie with the help of her daughter, Jenny, and granddaughter, Christiane. Mayie recommends the Picon punch — a Basque staple made of Picon liqueur, brandy, soda water and a lemon twist as an aperitif. For food, she suggests their oxtail stew or famous lamb.

Pyrenees Cafe & Saloon 601 Sumner St. Pyrenees Cafe & Saloon used to be a one-stop shop. These days, the bakery is in a building around the corner (and is now a separate company), and what used to be an upstairs hotel for sheepherders is now rented out. However, from its opening in 1887 until 1935, this Spanish and French Basque standard had a bakery, saloon and hotel all under one roof before transitioning into the cafe-saloon it is now. The bar has been a continuous presence, and Pyrenees is considered the

Continued on page 82


Pyrenees Cafe & Saloon opened in 1887 and is thought to be the oldest running saloon in Kern County.

Continued from page 81

oldest running saloon in Kern County. It doesn’t take much to picture what the place looked like in its early years — stop in to see the original bar, barstools and foot railings. Although Pyrenees is a family-friendly establishment now, current owner Randy Moore, said it has a surprisingly seedy past — it once hosted a brothel. And to this day, there are old cork barrels in the basement from the days of prohibition when Pyrenees made its own alcohol. There have also been spooky encounters reported by employees and patrons alike, including hearing a woman’s voice in the wee hours of

the morning, to sightings of a woman in a red dress walking the dining room. Try Pyrenees’ version of the traditional Picon punch and Chef Leo’s top-secret recipe: garlic fried chicken.

Benji’s French Basque Restaurant 4001 Rosedale Highway One of the newer additions to the Bakersfield Basque scene, Benji’s French Basque is no less authentic and no less beloved than its older counterparts. After working in other restaurants in Bakersfield and San Francisco, Basque immigrants and brothers Benji and Rene Arduain decided to open their own restaurant here. So on Jan. 26, 1986, Benji’s opened the doors to its first location on Union Avenue, where they built up their following for six years before moving to Rosedale Highway in 1992. Rene has since died, but Benji continues to run the restaurant with five other family members. While the rack of lamb with potatoes is legendary, make sure to save room for its renowned souffle. Benji’s also serves frog legs and has become famous for its outstanding sauces.

Chalet Basque Restaurant 200 Oak St. Bakersfield landmark Chalet Basque opened in 1969, but not in Bakersfield. Original owners and immigrants from the French Basque country, J.B. and Marie Curutchague, first opened the restaurant in Wasco before moving to Oak Street in Bakersfield in 1971. While the restaurant first functioned out of a 50-by-50 foot building, its devoted following called for an expansion into the 6,500 feet it now occupies.

Rack of lamb is a favorite at Benji’s. 82

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October 2012

The spacious banquet room at Chalet Basque.

Chalet Basque moved from Wasco to its present location on Oak Street in 1971. After retiring in 2006, the restaurant changed ownership and is now owned and operated by “Just Lisa,” as she prefers to be known, along with the loyal staff she inherited from the

previous owners. That includes Chef Mario Perez, who has been with Chalet for more than three decades. The restaurant remains the same — other than remodels to the bathroom, patio, bar and banquet room — as when J.B. and Marie first opened up shop. Try the blackberry filet mignon, a 12- to 14-ounce steak with a sauce comprised of blackberries sauteed with brandy and cream sauce. Top it off with a Chalet specialty drink — Continued on page 84


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Continued from page 83

the Hurricane — made of three kinds of rum, pineapple and cranberry juices.

Narducci’s Café 622 E. 21st St. Though exact dates are unknown, the establishment got its start around the turn of the century as the Cesmat Hotel, built by French immigrant Marius Cesmat. The building was eventually bought by Francisco Amestoy, who renamed it the Amestoy Hotel, and began serving French and Basque food there. While the building was still known as the Amestoy Hotel, President William McKinley is said to have spoken from the balcony of his room. Eventually, the hotel and restaurant were purchased by Marino Narducci in 1967, and has remained in Narducci’s hands ever since, with son Jimmy taking over in 1977, and co-owner Julie Shine joining the team in 2005. Like Pyrenees, Narducci’s has an interesting past. Though it was complicit during prohibition (the hotel even went so far as to remove the original bar, replacing it when prohibition was repealed), Narducci’s was rumored to host prostitutes. Another legend has it that former owner Cesmat was shot on Baker Street. Try Thursday night’s popular $10 steak, or pickled tongue made with a special Italian dressing-style marinade.

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Bakersfield Life

October 2012



The Food Issue

For many, grilling is a way of enjoying outdoor living with friends and family like this grill full of chicken at a local tailgate party.

The grill that fits the bill Charcoal, gas or pellets? Local experts break down which grills will do the job Story and photos by Gregory D. Cook The smell of smoke coming off a backyard grill carries throughout the neighborhood and conjures thoughts of relaxing afternoons with friends and family gathered around the grill, a good meal and a slice of the American dream. It’s a sentiment shared by Albert Sclafani, grill guru at Outdoor Galore. “Things just taste better outdoors,” Sclafani said. “We live in a great area to be outside, and the flavor you get cooking with smoke, you just can’t get that indoors.” At its heart, grilling is the original and one of the sim86

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

plest forms of cooking. Put your food over a smoldering fire, cook and enjoy. But with refinements and improvements in grilling technology throughout the years, today’s grill-master has a myriad of choices at his or her tong tips when choosing a grill. Grilling expert and general manager of Econo Air Greg Flanagan said one key to good grilling is to cook on a grill you are comfortable with. “It’s really just about finding a grill that matches your cooking style,” Flanagan said. Bakersfield Life asked Flanagan and Sclafani to give us some tips and information to help you decide just what type of grill might be best for you.

Charcoal, the old standby Charcoal was once the standard for backyard grills. But today, heated arguments rage in backyards all over the country about the virtues of cooking over charcoal. “Charcoal is going to give you a different flavor,” Flanagan said. “And some people just love eating off of charcoal.” Charcoal grills are also traditionally low-tech affairs. Because they have few moving parts and are simple to use,

The Big Green Egg burns lump charcoal and can be used with the lid open to cook hot and fast, or closed to cook low and slow.

they are good choices for camping, tailgating and other activities. They can also offer the griller a broad range of cooking temperatures. “They really give you better temperature regulation,” Sclafani said. “By just adjusting the airflow through the coals, you can bring your heat up to sear and then back it off to finish up low and slow.” Today’s charcoal aficionados aren’t limited to the old-style briquettes either. Lump charcoal is rapidly gaining popularity in the grilling world. “Lump charcoal is really just burnt up pieces of wood without all the fillers that you get in briquettes,” said Flanagan. “Briquettes can have a lot of sand and petroleum products in them that you don’t get with lump (charcoal).” Ironically, one of the latest advancements in charcoal grilling takes its inspirations from the thousand-year-old Japanese Kamado cook pots. Grills like The Big Green Egg have ceramic bodies and lids that radiate the heat from the coals in all directions, cooking efficiently. On the downside, charcoal grills tend to require more clean up — as anyone who has had to wash wet ashes off his or her patio can attest — and it does take time to learn how to build and work with a good bed of hot coals.

Now we’re cooking — with gas Gas grills — both propane and natural gas — are charcoal’s main competition these days. The main advantage to a gas grill is the convenience. Their burners get hot faster and clean easier, and the temperature can be simpler to control than other types of grills. This makes gas grills a popular choice for built-ins in most outdoor kitchens because they can be permanently hooked in to a home’s natural gas system. “When you’re doing steaks and burgers, or things where you’re just basically searing, you’re going to want to go hot,” Flanagan said. “Gas is going to get you hot fast, so you’re searing the juices in, then you can turn it down and go low

Gas grills are popular choices as part of custom-built islands and outdoor kitchens where they are connected to a home’s natural gas supply.

and slow.” Many gas-grill setups also incorporate stovetop-style side burners into their designs, increasing their versatility. And many also include high-powered infrared burners that can reach temperatures of up to 1,200 degrees. But with a gas grill, when the gas runs out, you’re finished cooking whether your food is done or not. It pays to keep a spare tank around if you are using propane. And the main complaint most people have about grilling with gas is that you lose the smoky flavor that comes with cooking over charcoal. But, as Flanagan pointed out, that doesn’t have to be the case. “With any grill you can always add wood chips,” he said. “You can even just wrap them in tin foil after you soak them, so you can add flavor to any grill.”

Pellets, the new old-fashioned way to cook Wood pellet grills are relative newcomers to the grill market, but they represent a high-tech nod to wood-fire cooking and smokehouses. These grills burn compressed hardwood pellets. Unlike most grills, where food is cooked directly over the fire, pellet grills cook with indirect heat, making them uniquely suited for a true barbecue — where food is cooked at lower temperatures for longer periods of time, using smoke. Continued on page 88


Continued from page 87

portable and susceptible to power outages.

One of the main advantages of pellet cooking is the wide variety of wood pellets available. “With the pellets, there’s all different flavors of wood,� Sclafani said. “You’ve got apple, maple, pecan, hickory, oak, mesquite and now there’s even a charcoal pellet for those who just don’t want to give up charcoal flavor.� Pellet grills also give you the ability to mix different flavors of woods for different types of food. “So if you were doing a nice pork shoulder, you could take some apple and some maple and some pecan and build a nice blend of pellets for it,� Sclafani said. Pellet grills use the circulating hot air and smoke to cook, making them a better choice for cooking low and slow with ribs, roasts or briskets, which can be challenging to cook at the higher temperatures normally produced in most gas or charcoal grills. Most pellet grills are not suited for high-temperature grilling, so they are somewhat limited when it comes to searing meats, and they are substantially more complex than their gas and charcoal counterparts. But maintaining and cleaning a pellet grill is still simple. Pellet grills also require electricity to function, meaning the grill is tethered to an electrical outlet, making them non-

The bottom line Both Flanagan and Sclafani agree that there is no best grill for everyone, and that the most important step a person can take when looking for a new grill is to identify what type and style of grill will best fit his or her cooking style. “It’s all about asking yourself: ‘What kind of barbecuer am I?’� Sclafani said. Flanagan echoed those thoughts: “As long as your grill is controllable, if you’re talented, you can cook just about anything on almost any type of grill.� But when it comes to cooking the perfect steak, it seems even the experts have different opinions. Sclafani generally prefers the low and slow approach. “You can’t rush a good piece of meat,� he advised. Flanagan said he tends to cooks his hot and fast. “Use whatever seasonings you want, but you’re wanting to sear those juices into the steak,� Flanagan said. Both Econo Air and Outdoor Galore offer a wide range of grills, from simple kettle grills to the most elaborate outdoor kitchens. They offer full design and installation services to get you up and cooking on a grill that fits your style.





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Bakersfield Life

October 2012


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The Food Issue

Cheap eats Reasonable lunchtime deals around town

Croque Madame at The Padre Hotel

By Breanna Fields


Photos by Mark Nessia

ooking for quality food that’s tasty and affordable for lunch? Check out the deals at these restaurants that will save you some dough during your next dining experience. Sandwiches & Such Padre Hotel (1702 18th St.) Not only is The Padre the go-to place for a luxury hotel stay, it’s also a great spot to dine with delicious entrees and daily specials that will keep your stomach full and your wallet happy. In the mood for a gourmet breakfast sandwich? Then try the croque madame ($10), made with black forest ham, Gruyere cheese, Mornay sauce, egg and homemade brioche. For lunch, order the grilled portabella sandwich ($10), which makes a perfect meal for vegetarians with its olive bread, creamy Boursin cheese spread, grilled radicchio and arugula pesto that really adds to the flavor. There is also a hearty kids’ meal ($6) with three large chicken strips made from fresh white meat and a choice of fries, cole slaw or a side salad. The Sequoia Sandwich Co. (1231 18th St.) When you’re in the mood for a healthier meal that’s quick and appetizing, The Sequoia Sandwich Co. serves half of a freshly tossed Southwestern chicken salad ($5.45 for the half-size) 90

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Sequoia Sandwich Co’s “lite lunch” with half a cold roast turkey sandwich and bistro salad. with mildly spicy grilled chicken, tomatoes, avocado, pepper jack cheese, croutons and housemade honey-mustard dressing on the side. It also serves a “lite lunch” that consists of half sandwich and salad combo ($5.95) with your choice of turkey, tuna, egg salad or Waldorf chicken salad for the sandwich and a variety of salad options including the garden salad, Caesar salad or pasta salads.

Pizza Parlor Jerry’s Pizza (1817 Chester Ave.) The mouthwatering garlic chicken pizza is oven-baked and crisp to perfection. It’s topped with grilled chicken strips, mushrooms and onions, and is best served with the rich and creamy white sauce. Jerry’s has been the local hot spot in downtown Bakersfield for years, providing customers with excellent service and award-winning cuisine that also includes a wide variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads and of course, pizza. Their lunch special includes a large slice of pepperoni pizza and a soda ($3). It’s a worthwhile eatery to check out when you’re in the downtown area.

wiches, smoothies and other real and faux meat products on the menu. Many people go for the salad bar ($7.99 per pound), that has romaine, spring mix and iceburg lettuce options, cold toppings such as tuna, carrots and veggies as well as hot items to put on salads like barbecue chicken and roasted vegetables. A variety of soups are also available — a small is ($2.49 for a small,; $3.99 for a large). Continued on page 93

Salad Bar Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins (4308 California Ave.) Well-know for its organic grocery products, Lassen’s has been the hub of Bakersfield for years, providing residents with healthy and reasonably priced products. If you haven’t been to the cafe, it’s a must. There are plenty of tables to sit at and enjoy a casual meal. Jerry's pepperoni pizza There are a variety of sand-

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Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Pesto-crusted salmon at Frugatti’s.

Continued from page 91

Snacks & Small Bites BJ’s Restaraunt and Brewhouse (10750 Stockdale Highway) BJ’s is known for its highly acclaimed pizzas, but BJ’s also has a small bites menu. Try delicious spinach stuffed mushrooms ($4.50), with a fresh blend of spinach, artichoke dip, feta cheese, chopped mushrooms, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and a light drizzle of lemon pesto sauce. Also on the small bites page, try the crispy fried, lightly breaded artichoke hearts sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served with a garlic aioli ($3.50). California Pizza Kitchen (10150 Stockdale Highway) CPK serves up crispy mac ‘n’ cheese ($3.75), lightly fried with panko served in creamy cheese sauce. It’s comfort food at its finest and a reasonably priced small plate that’s great for kids or hungry adults. Also on the menu is the Mediterranean focaccia (sort of like bread sticks, $2.50), baked in the pizza oven with olive oil and parmesan.

Italian Fare — Pasta Galore! Frugatti’s Restaraunt (600 Coffee Road) Frugatti’s serves a number of pasta specials ($12.59 each) throughout the week, including baked mostaccioli, fettuccine, linguini and spaghetti with a soda. It also has sandwiches, salad and soda specials (starting at $9.99 to $11.59). Sorella Italian Ristorante (7800 McNair Lane) Sorella offers a fantastic lunch buffet ($8.99) with a variety of rich and flavorful Italian pastas such as canneloni, mannicotti, spaghetti and much more. Also on the menu are the delectable hot and cold sandwiches ($8.99 to $9.50) served throughout the day as well as its gourmet pasta salad.


The Food Issue

Chefs hard at work Complied by Myriam Valdez Get to know four local chefs who reveal secrets behind their gourmet culinary creations. Find out their favorite ingredients and dishes as well as the best deal on their menu.

Chef Jessie Madamba Seven Oaks Country Club, 2000 Grand Lakes Ave. What is your favorite ingredient? Fresh garlic and herbs —

when mixed together, they create a refreshing aroma. What is the one thing you want customers to know about Seven Oaks Country Club? I

strive to bring the freshness of meats, seafood and produce to each dish. We also have public banquet rooms to accommodate parties. We’ve had our fair share of weddings, business meetings and special events. What is the best deal on the menu? Ahi poke, while the most

popular is Chilean sea bass and filet mignon. What is your favorite dish to make? Grilled filet mignon with

roasted red bell pepper, gorgonzola cheese and pesto. There is a tantalizing aroma created from the cheese and herbs.

kabobs — simple and delicious. What cocktail/drinks keep patrons coming back? There

are many, but the wine of the month program is for sure the favorite. Members can sign up at 94

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Jessie Madamba, head chef at Seven Oaks Country Club.

Photo by Felix Adamo

What is your go-to recipe when entertaining friends at home? Barbecue steaks and seafood

casual. You can come in and have a refreshing cocktail, great steak and decadent dessert without breaking the bank. We’ve priced our food, drink and wine menu so we can offer a variety for every walk of life. What is the best deal on the menu? I think it’s our fried chicken entree.

This has comfort and down-home cooking written all over it. It’s big enough to share, but once you taste it, you won’t want to share.

Photo by Felix Adamo

What is your favorite dish to make? I love making the shrimp Alexandria

Chef Ro Fernandez of The Mark.

Chef Rogelio Fernandez The Mark, 1623 19th St. What is your favorite ingredient?

Garlic can be powerful if raw, gentle when sauteed and elegant when roasted. I think this is one of the most versatile ingredients you can use/have in your kitchen. I’ve even had

garlic ice cream that was actually really good with a balsamic caramel sauce. Balsamic vinegar is my second favorite ingredient to use, especially an aged balsamic! What is the one thing you want customers to know about The Mark?

I want people to know that we’re upscale/

because I named this dish after my beautiful daughter. Every time I make this dish, it reminds me of how awesome she is. An awesome kid deserves an awesome dish. Plus it’s my wife’s favorite dish, so it’s a win-win. What cocktail keeps patrons coming back? We serve a premium well at The

Mark (Bacardi, Bombay, El Jimador, etc.). We don’t serve liquor you’ve never heard of. Everything that we bring into The Mark bar is a great product that delivers bang for your buck. We also serve some mixology-influenced cocktails and martinis that I picked up in my 10 years in Vegas.

Chef Leticia Skapinakis Athena’s Greek Cafe and Bakery, 9612 Flushing Quail Road What is your favorite ingredient?

Greek extra virgin olive oil because of its rich flavor and the way it enhances every dish that we serve. What is the one thing you want customers to know about Athena’s?

We serve authentic Greek cuisine and pastries, and we offer full service to our customers in the evening with a varied selection of award-winning Greek wine and beer. What is your favorite dish to make? Roasted leg of lamb and lamb chops Photo by Henry A. Barrios

are my favorite, and because I love them so much, I put extra passion into making them. What is your go-to recipe when entertaining friends at home? My family

and friends love my pastitsio, a dish consisting of pasta and meat baked in a savory bechamel sauce. They’ll often request it in hopes of an invitation. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far at your restaurant? Our biggest challenge has been

letting the public and our customers know

Letty Skapinakis, left, and her daughter Athena, are two of the chefs at Athena’s Greek Cafe and Bakery. that we are a locally owned family restaurant and not a franchise. What kind of beer and wine do you serve? Our customers love the house wine,

Elios, a Greek red wine. Mythos, an awardwinning Greek beer, is out-selling all the other beers.

Continued on page 96


Continued from page 95

The River at Eagle Mountain Casino, 681 S. Tulare Road in Porterville What is your favorite ingredient? Butter. It has many uses, and it finishes sauces and makes them much smoother; it also can be combined with different spices and herbs to form a compound butter. You can make a compound butter for most every dish, from our maitre d’ butter to the honey butter served with our freshly made dinner rolls. What is the one thing you want customers to know about The River? I really want all of our guests to know that we will always offer fantastic meals at affordable prices. We truly strive to make every meal a memorable one. Our goal is and always will be to exceed our guests’ expectations each and every time. What is the best deal on the menu? The whole menu is value-oriented. There is no entree over $30. When you order from our menu, your meal is all-inclusive,


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Chef Bryan Miller of The River at Eagle Mountain Casino which means you will get soup or salad, potato or rice, a hot vegetable and dinner rolls. The desserts and drinks are the only things you will need to purchase a la carte. All of our beef is certified angus beef, which has to pass a 10-point inspection process to receive the premium stamp. So you know all of our beef is top-quality. What has been the biggest chal-

Photo courtesy of Eagle Mountain Casino

Chef Bryan Miller

lenge you’ve faced at The River? The biggest challenge I have faced at The River has to be keeping the menu creative and still offering the staples. The people who frequent my restaurant have a set palate. To introduce something new and make it something everyone wants to enjoy is challenging. Like the new bison burger we serve in The River, it is a special item so it isn’t always available.

The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

La Rosa Fruit Bars & Ice Cream Co. Since 1980, the Diaz family has been serving these wonderful treats in neighborhoods around Bakersfield and beyond. Now, 32 years later, the company is distributing its bars at convenience stores, supermarkets and what has turned out to be one of the happiest accomplishments — having their items stocked in Costco. Future plans include the release of a new type of bar, which is top-secret and geared toward athletes (but you didn’t read that here). The shop is located at 1317 Niles St.; 323-6877;

Luigi’s Delicatessen Luigi’s has been in Bakersfield since 1906, when Joe Lemucchi came to California from Lucca, Italy. A small part of his collection of sports memorabilia hangs on the walls in this East Bakersfield location, which beckons onlookers. Even though Luigi’s has a long, local history, it has recently updated its look with an additional outside bar and extended patio. Future plans for the restaurant include expanding the kitchen and parking lot. Stop by for pasta with meat sauce, any way you want it or for daily specials. 725 E. 19th St.; 322-0926;


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Rice Bowl In business since 1948, Rice Bowl, a landmark restaurant, has been serving Chinese cuisine to the families of the Golden Empire for more than 60 years. Putting in long days to bring the best possible food to all who enter, the restaurant has recently completed a remodel of the dining area and kitchen to freshen up the atmosphere. Local favorites include orange chicken, beef and broccoli and the popular fried shrimp. Stop by and see the new downtown Rice Bowl. 1119 18th St.; 323-2901

The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

24th Street Cafe Opened by Mark Huggs in 1987, the cafe is the place for breakfast or lunch. From chicken fried steak and eggs, to omelets and 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.” 1415 24th St., and open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. 323-8801 or 24thstreetcafe. com

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Milt’s 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 a variety of foods from omelets, breakfast sandwiches, burgers, barbecue sandwiches, New York steaks and spaghetti. Everything is done in house, from the cutting of chicken and grinding of sausage. The full menu can be viewed 6112 Knudsen Drive; 399-4975


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Bakersfield Life

October 2012

The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles Los Tacos de Huicho Los Tacos De Huicho is a great little find. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and cater events. They are in a beautiful turquoise building near the corner of 18th Street and Union. Their most popular dishes are tacos al pastor marinated pork; fish tacos, made with breaded fish, cabbage with a wonderful homemade sauce and sopes, a little corn bowl with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato sauce, sour cream and cheese. Rigo and Nadia Nunez have owned this restaurant for 17 years. Their motto is “We don’t serve fast food … we serve fresh food as fast as we can.” And they do. 123 E. 18th St.; 328-9490

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Bakersfield Life

October 2012

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

RJ’s Bar & Grill Celebrating its 10th anniversary in September, RJ’s Bar & Grill is the go-to casual dining spot to enjoy lunch, dinner and weekend breakfasts. What draws customers to RJ’s is its comfortable environment and delicious foods. The rib-eye steak is cut to their specification and is definitely a flavorful meal. It’s one of the bestsellers on the menu, along with the avocado egg rolls and chili verde nacho appetizers. Their selection of juicy burgers is another crowd pleaser along with the blackened chicken tortellini. 9440 Hageman Road, Suite C; 587-4723 and 1660 Pine St.; 324-4193;


The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

El Taco Loco

Petroleum Club of Bakersfield

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 attempt but few have been able to finish this dish alone. El Taco Loco is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal without skimping on quality. 4150 Stine Road; 8278248; Facebook search: El Taco Loco The Original Fresh Mexican Grill since 1977.

If you’re in the mood for a variety of cuisine, the Petroleum Club is the place to go. Serving fresh seafood and other organic products, it caters to a number of cultures and ethnicities. This members-only bar and grill is the perfect place to watch the game, have a drink with a friend and socialize. The Petroleum Club also includes a separate room with an upscale dining atmosphere for a formal meal. There’s a reason The Petroleum Club has been open since 1952! 5060 California Ave.; 324-6561;

Dinner For Two

$35.99 45*/&3%t

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


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

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 11/30/12

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


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

Maui Pho This family-owned Hawaiian barbecue and Vietnamese fusion style restaurant has been serving up noodles, ribs and other gastronomical creations since it opened its doors five years ago. The relaxed atmosphere and casualness of the restaurant beckons patrons to come in and enjoy its hospitality. The staff at Maui Pho, (pronounced “fa�) is eager to serve and is happy to try out a good idea for a dish; some of which have landed on the menu. Customer favorites include Hawaiian short ribs, any of the pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) or the delicious Howard noodle bowl. 4011 Ming Ave.; 834-3235; Facebook search: Maui Pho

4011 Ming Avenue Like us on Facebook


The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

The Sequoia Sandwich Co. Co-owners Jeff Simpson and Gary Blackburn have one basic philosophy when they opened The Sequoia Sandwich Co. in downtown Bakersfield in 1999: Use fresh quality ingredients, serve generous portions and be consistent. The product spoke for itself. Sequoia Sandwich Co. now has four locations — three in Bakersfield and one in Clovis. Sequoia offers local favorites like the all-American and pastrami, and seasonal items like the gobbler that’s described as “Thanksgiving dinner on a french roll.” Bakersfield locations:1231 18th St.; 9160 Rosedale Highway; 9500 Ming Ave.;

Discover the Foods of Mexico at the Red Pepper Now with Two Locations

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Freshly made & ready to bake dinners

1900 21st St.

1002 19th St.

(Corner of 19th & O Street)

(Corner of 21st & F Street)

Hours: Monday - Friday: 10am-3pm

Hours: Monday - Friday: 9am-6:30pm




Cantina Hours:

Daily Until 11:00pm

Find us on facebook and yelp to receive updates, coupons and more. Visit for discount coupons. 106

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Dining Room Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm Friday & Saturday 11:00am to 9:30pm Sunday - 10:00am to 8:30pm

2641 Oswell St # G • (661) 871-5787 • Bakersfield, CA 93306

Wool Growers Restaurant Wool Growers Restaurant has been an iconic place in downtown Bakersfield for many years. With its friendly staff, this family-owned and operated business serves dishes from the South of France and Northern Spain — a region known for its long-standing culinary traditions. The restaurant’s founder, Mayie Maitia, was raised in France and brings her hometown to locals who enjoy Basque cuisine. The lunch menu consists of steak, shrimp halibut, shrimp scampi, lamb and a number of other Basque dishes. It also serves a hot and steaming Basque soup of the day that goes great with any meal. 620 E. 19th St.; 327-9584;

Cubbies Chicago Style Pizza Whether you go to get your grub on and watch a sports game or visit with the family, Cubbies Chicago Style Pizza is a local hot spot that serves legendary pizzas. So legendary, in fact, that there’s a pizza called “the legend,” which is topped with five meats and five vegetables on a thin, thick or special Chicago-style deep-dish crust. The cowboy pizza is another customer favorite with barbecue sauce, ground beef, bacon, mozzarella cheese and onion rings. The Frito boat pizza is another special dish topped with chili, mozzarella, cheddar and Frito’s that add the perfect crunch to each bite. 9510 Hageman Road, Suite A; 587-6555;


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The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar Since November 2002, Valentien Restaurant & Wine Bar has been serving mouthwatering entrees and a variety of wines for the aspiring connoisseur. Its fall menu includes baconwrapped pork with apple fig sauce as well as an herbed polenta that makes a comforting meal. Valentien also offers an artichoke pancake with tomato confit, balsamic onions and goat cheese — a dish that will satisfy the taste buds of vegetarians and carnivores alike with its savory, sweet flavor. The saffron lobster risotto is highly recommended and often requested by customers who enjoy a creamy and rich taste. 3310 Truxtun Ave., Suite 160; 864-0397;

Narducci’s Cafe The food? Delicious. The atmosphere? Unforgettable. Narducci’s has been a favorite among local residents since 1967, especially for serving some of the finest Basque cuisine in town. Its old, tavern-style atmosphere is the perfect place to be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu contains hardy panini sandwiches, rib-eye steaks and the popular pickled tongue paninis, along with a number of other Basque favorites. The affordable prices also make Narducci’s the place to go. 622 E. 21st St.; 324-2961; Facebook search: Narducci’s Cafe

Tuesday-Saturday 5-10 P.M. • Sunday Brunch 9:30-2 P.M.

Call for concert & entertainment information.


3615 Mount Vernon Ave.

(661) 871-3556 CENTRAL

4130 California Avenue

(661) 325-4717


4750 Coffee Road

(661) 588-4700 SHAFTER

300 Lerdo Hwy.

(661) 746-9244

voted Best Pizza in Bakersfield! 108

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

2800 Buck Owens Blvd., Bakersfield, CA 93308

Steak & Grape Although it has only been open for nine months, former Cafe Med co-owner Shai Gordon, is no stranger to the restaurant culture in Bakersfield. Gordon left the restaurant industry in 2006, and went on to pursue his interest in real estate, but realized he missed the fast-paced life of being a restaurant owner. Steak & Grape hosts gourmet dinners and wine tasting events every first Friday of the month. A customer favorites are filet and New York steak, which is angus-certified choice grade beef. Enjoy the casual elegance where people from all walks of life come to dine. 4420 Coffee Road, Suite A; 5889463;

Amestoy’s on the Hill Frank and Marie Amestoy moved from the current Narducci’s spot to their location in East Bakersfield in 1948, when they saw the financial opportunity that the area had to offer. Amestoy’s is known for its chili verde tacos, deep-pit beef sandwiches and breakfast brunch. It’s also popular for the blueberry comicazi and waterfall, which is a shot of peppermint schnapps and a rocks glass of beer. Amestoy’s is looking forward to a second round of Yatzee tournaments this year to raise money for Links for Life. 2303 River Blvd.; 871-2303

of great food and service in Bakersfield To Go Orders 661.323.8801 1415 24th Street For Daily Specials visit Visit Us on facebook

(661) 399-4575 6112 Knudsen Dr • Bakersfield, CA 93309


The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

Bakersfield Music Theatre

Village Grill This Westchester eatery is best known for its large selection of breakfast foods such as eggs benedict, omelets, specialty pancakes and its fine, freshly roasted coffee, the Village Grill has been serving the Bakersfield community for almost 13 years. Village Grill is continuously creating new items to offer its customers, as well as providing accommodating service. Enjoy a relaxing meal in the beautifully, tree-shaded courtyard patio. 2805 F St.; 325-1219

For a comfortable dining experience, check out the Stars Lounge in downtown Bakersfield. Its menu offers a selection of salads, sandwiches, pizzas and soups. Popular items include the black and blue burger, French dip sandwich and the gingham salad, served with the freshest fruit of the season. The Bakersfield Music Theatre’s Stars Lounge has been serving our community since 1999, although the theater itself has been entertaining locals for 43 years. 1931 Chester Ave.; 325-6100;

Watch the game here! in Dine ! ONLY

Extra large thin crust, one-topping pizza, 1 lb. wings, & 4 sodas



Add $2 for thick crust or deep dish

Dine-in • Delivery • Carry Out Catering

9510 Hageman, #A 587-6555 SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT PIZZA MAKES ONE WEAK! 110

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Tony’s Pizza Tony’s Pizza was founded in Delano in 1979 and has established locations in Bakersfield, as well as the recently opened new restaurant in Shafter. Tony’s Firehouse Restaurant offers a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tony’s Pizza is popular for its chili verde pizza, breadsticks and Tony’s combo, which consists of salami, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, linguica and onions. Various locations: 3615 Mount Vernon Ave.; 4750 Coffee Road; 4130 California Ave.; 300 Lerdo Highway;

Quick One Chinese Cuisine Quick One Chinese Cuisine is quick and delicious! They make your order fresh and fast. Forget the pre-made buffets, this family-owned business will make it for you hot and yummy, right before your eyes. Popular dishes are the General Tso chicken, which is a little spicy or the sesame chicken, which is similar, just not so spicy. Another very popular dish is the beef with broccoli and the kung pao chicken. Try some of the specialty dishes like the seafood platter with scallops, shrimp and crab meat with mixed vegetables. They deliver within a five-mile radius of the store, or you can call in and pick up or dine in. 9440 Hageman St., Suite B; 587-8838;


The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

Mauricio’s Grill & Cantina 34th Street Burgers and Deli How far would you travel for a burger? For one San Diego couple, the answer is about four hours. The couple drove all the way from their home at the beach, into the Central Valley to enjoy a meal from the 45-year-old, 34th Street Burgers and Deli. Its most popular items include the signature burger, made with fresh half-pound patties; the breakfast burrito, made with homemade tortillas; and biscuits and gravy, made from scratch. Check it out for yourself! 2301 H St.; 324-8455 or 3951 Wible Road; 831-3311


2805 F Street, Bakersfield Breakfast & Lunch 6:00 am to 2:30 pm (661) 325-1219 112

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Mauricio’s may surprise you. Don’t let the cantina, Spanish for liquor bar, in the restaurant’s name fool you. This Bakersfield mainstay is fully equipped to handle large family parties and droves of hungry customers, itching for the steak and chicken fajitas, the most popular dish on their menu. With a full catering service, in-house banquet rooms and expansion plans on the horizon, owner Sal Avila is confident in Mauricio’s ability to handle the sheer volume of patrons at its two locations. Avila assures there is no wrong time to visit Mauricio’s, “but if you prefer a little more tranquility, visit around 3 p.m.” 10700 Rosedale Highway; 589-5292 and 6401 White Lane; 837-9570;

Tutti Frutti

Cheryl’s Diner This family-owned diner has been happily serving the community of Kernville since it was established in 1985. The service and friendliness of the diner welcomes visitors to come in and enjoy a fresh home-style meal. The staff at Cheryl’s has waited on lots of people including actress Olivia Newton John and actor Henry Winkler of “Happy Days,” but nothing is more memorable than serving the local regulars, who have become part of the family. Some customer menu favorites include the chicken fried steak, hamburgers and the New York steak sandwich because it uses fresh ingredients and are not pre-made. 11030 Kernville Road in Kernville; 760-376-6131; Facebook search: Cheryl’s Diner

Even though Tutti Frutti has only been open one year, it was voted the best yogurt shop for the 2012 Best Of The Bakersfield Californian Readers’ Choice Poll. Its most popular flavors include: chocolate because it is rich and creamy, pomegranate because it is refreshing and Splenda strawberry because it’s a guilt-free treat with no added sugar. Tutti Frutti also offers soy options along with a plethora of other flavors. As for toppings, customers can choose from fresh fruit, cheesecake bites, brownies, nuts, candy, chocolate-covered pretzels and much more. Owner Joe Zhou said this fun and friendly environment is a great treat for families and friends to enjoy together. 8200 Stockdale Highway, Suite M2; 3968000;

BREAKFAST • LUNCH • DINNER • CATERING Dine in or Take out Open 8AM to 11PM

123 East 18th Street 328-9490 Like us on Facebook


The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

Red Pepper This Bakersfield gem has a rich history with locals. The employees at Red Pepper have been striving to please customers and make them feel like part of the family since 1979. The owners also recognize the importance of keeping up with the times and staying true to their roots. On the menu, guests will find traditional Mexican fare as well as other flavorful dishes like walnut encrusted sea bass with bold sauces, a rack of lamb lollipop with jalapeno mint sauce, tequila lime salmon and bacon-wrapped shrimp with queso fresco and other spices. Drop in and see for yourself! 2641 Oswell St., Suite G; 871-5787;

4420 Coffee Rd | Reservations Welcome | 588-WINE (9463) Visit us at:


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Hungry Hunter Hungry Hunter’s happy hour may be the best-kept secret in town. Offering half-priced beers, wines and appetizers available during football season’s busy Sundays and midweek games, this restaurant packs a menu full of value! With its casual atmosphere and proximity to many neighborhoods in Central Bakersfield, it makes for the perfect happy hour stop with friends. However, according to owner Kevin Lawless, Hungry Hunter can also change its game-day gear for a romantic dinner date, offering the best prime rib dinner in town. So stop in and try its signature dish this fall. 3850 Rosedale Highway; 328 0580;

Great Castle Restaurant For more than 30 years, Great Castle has been serving some of the best Chinese food in the Southern Valley. With a focus on quality food, the list of the most popular items is extensive. Favorites like shrimp kung pao, walnut shrimp, orange peel beef, crispy duck and sizzling rice soup are just a few. The staff at Great Castle work hard to take care of its clientele, but their happiest moments are with the regulars, who have become their extended family. Some have even been invited to family parties. 410 Union Ave.; 325-3311.




03 EB









O ’ C H O IC E P














Family Owned & Operated for 58 Years








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620 East Nineteenth Street Closed Sundays


The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

Bonnie’s Best Cafe

Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar

In business for more than 15 years, Bonnie’s Best Cafe’s famous chicken pot pie is a Wednesday classic for Bakersfield families. “Recently, I had an elderly customer come in who loves buying our casseroles. He brought us a thank-you note from his wife, who was ill and unable to cook. She was thankful for our easy-to-serve meals that helped bring back her appetite — that really put a smile on our faces,” said owner Laurie Watson. Looking for comfort food? Stop by Bonnie’s Best even after it closes at 5:30 p.m., customers can come in as late as 6:30 p.m. to pick-up a take-home casserole. 1900 21st St.; 323-7224 or 1002 19th St.; 637-1002;

Priding itself in making its own sauces from scratch, Chef’s Choice Noodle Bar has quickly made a name for itself as an affordable option to savory authentic Thai food. Noodle Bar has become such a hit in the Bakersfield restaurant scene that for its first wine dinner, it attracted more than 90 people only six months after the grand opening. Aiming for an atmosphere of casual elegance, manager Eden Abercrombie encourages customers to save room for dessert, which she said people are usually too full to try. If you’re looking for an alternative to the popular classic pad thai dish, try the drunken noodles next time. 1534 19th St.; 325-1234; Facebook search: Noodle Bar Bakersfield

Great Castle Chinese Restaurant

Fine Dining Far Above The Rest Now accepting reservations for holiday parties and receptions that demand the highest grandeur.

Locally Owned Since 1979

32 Years Of Exceptional

Chinese Mandarin Cuisine “Great Castle can be recommended for a Fine Dining Experience” - Pete Tittl Open 7 Days a Week Lunch and Dinner Gift Certificates Available

410 Union Ave. • Phone (661)325-3311 116

Bakersfield Life

October 2012


Served with: Egg Flower Soup, Spring Roll, Pork Fried Rice, Cantonese Chow Mein and Choice of one of the following entrees:

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace Established in 1996, by country music star Buck Owens, who wanted to build his own venue, the Crystal Palace is an all-in-one restaurant, museum and theater that showcases the rich history and sounds of West Coast country music. Seen on national TV specials, it features outstanding food, fascinating memorabilia and great live music, including the Buckaroos and special guests most Friday and Saturday nights. It has also hosted famous acts like the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Trace Adkins and many more. The Crystal Palace has received various nightclub awards from both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. 2800 Buck Owens Blvd.; 328-7560;

1. Orange Chicken 2. Kung Pao Chicken 3. Sweet & Sour Chicken 4. Cashew Nut Chicken 5. Sesame Chicken 6. General Tao’s Chicken 7. Chicken Chop Suey

8. Almond Dice Chicken

15. Rice Bowl Special Beef

9. Spicy Chicken

16. Beef with Bell Pepper

10. Lemon Chicken 11. Teriyaki Chicken

17. Beef Chop Suey

12. Kung Pao Beef

18. Sweet & Sour Pork

13. Beef with Broccoli

19. Garlic Sauce with Pork

14. Spicy Beef

20. Egg Foo Yon

11:00am - 3:00pm • 7 Days A Week


HOT & SPICY • No Soup for To-go orders • Additional charge for all substitutions


The Food Issue: Restaurant profiles

Chalet Basque The experienced staff and cozy atmosphere make Chalet Basque a great place to dine. Owner Lisa Liu is appreciative to Bakersfield and her local customers. Liu is from outside the United States and has found the people here to be loyal and supportive of Chalet Basque. Some of Chalet’s most notable dishes include: blackberry filet mignon with blackberry and brandy sauce, lamb shank with Basque tomato sauce and the 24-ounce T-bone steak. Chalet Basque hosts karaoke on Tuesday and Thursday nights and blues and jazz music on Saturday nights. Its newly remodeled banquet room is perfect for hosting various events, starting at $5 per person. 200 Oak St.; 327-2915


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

KC Steakhouse It’s one of the few restaurants in town whose staff aims to create a “Cheers” type of atmosphere. KC Steakhouse prides itself in creating a restaurant, “Where everyone feels at home and where everybody knows your name,” said owner Charlotte Campbell. Open since 1939, the restaurant has carved a special place in Bakersfield’s heart, being a go-to space for business meetings, large family gatherings and several marriage proposals next to its romantic fireplace booth. Specializing in both surf and turf, it’s no wonder the steak and rock lobster tail remains a favorite among regulars. This winter, stop by KC’s santa’s workshop with thousands of enchanted decorations and waitresses dressed in elf uniforms. 2515 F St.; 322-9910;

Part yTime!

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 a corporate lunch or wedding dinner. The food is customized, using top-quality products. Catering Affairs works around budgets so that quality is not sacrificed. Owner Brenda Wright ensures customers only get the best from Catering Affairs, since employees attend week-long training classes from Cater Source — the largest catering association — to learn new trends and modify them for the residents of Bakersfield. 916 18th St.; 3264800;

Don’t forget La Rosa Fruit Bars!

Try dipping them in Chocolate...


Choose from 1, 2 , 3, or 4 oz. bars or our 2 oz. boli’s in the bag

For 45 years, Narducci's Cafe has been serving traditional family style Basque cuisine with a delicious Italian Fusion! Located in historic Old Town Kern, Narducci's Cafe is known for it's fabulous food, atmosphere and bar scene. Originally built as the Cesmat Hotel in 1894, the hotel and restaurant have been continuously operating for 118 years. Steeped in local tradition, we serve bread from the Pyrenee's Bakery across the street, make our own homemade Basque beans, salsa, cabbage soup and pickled tongue. We also serve breakfast at 9am. Try our Chilaquiles, Fried Chicken and Waffles or build-you-own omelet. Daily lunch specials keep it fresh, while still serving succulent steaks, lamb & seafood.

Place your special orders today!

Come to Narducci's, you'll see "we're kind of a big deal"!

Call 661-323-6877

Family Owned est.1980

Try our holiday favorites Pumpkin Pie, Eggnog or Chocolate Peppermint for your next party or event!

622 E. 21st Street | 324-2961


For a Cause

Links for Life Donations, wigs and walks help provide much-needed services for local women By Sylvia Cariker


t was the dream of Sharyn Woods to host a golf tournament that would raise enough money for any local woman to have a mammogram, regardless of ability to pay. That dream became Links for Life which last year funded more than 200 mammograms and 558 ultrasounds free for underinsured and uninsured women of Kern County. Links for Life executive director Jennifer Henry said the outlook for free mammograms is even rosier. “The state has reinstated the Every Woman Counts program to provide diagnostic screening for women over 40,” said Henry. “That means Links for Life will be able to use our funds to pay for mammograms for women under 40.” Woods passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2010 while still serving as unpaid CEO for the group. It was a chance conversation at Woods ‘celebration of life that may put the nonprofit on the path to financial security. “One of our donors, Ed Ganzinotti, asked if we could start an endowment that would underwrite all of our day-to-day operations, so every fundraised dollar would go right back into programs and services for the community,” Henry said. That project in now in the hands of Links endowment liaison Mimi Audelo.


Audelo fundraised for San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation and now helps plan its events. A breast cancer survivor since 1998, Audelo’s first experience with Links was donating never-worn wigs from her mother, who died of breast cancer in 1997. She stayed on as a volunteer. 120

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

She said she's excited about the challenge to raise five million dollars for the endowment. “We’re approaching our goal slowly,” said Audelo. “We really want to make sure people understand what Links for Life does and why it’s so important to have an endowment to keep the office going.” That committee will host small dinner parties for potential donors.

Grace Abaya

Chris Abbott

2-year Survivor

14-year Survivor

Ruth Adams

Irene Aguirre-Walz

Elaine Anderson-Dieter

Margaret Arakelian

A wig and a smile

Providing prosthesis and wigs are two of the services Links provides to breast cancer survivors. When an uninsured woman is diagnosed, she’s eligible for emergency MediCal for her surgery, Henry said, but that program doesn’t pay for items like special bras or prosthesis. “Because we have contacts with companies that donate those we’re able to have them available to survivors,” she said. Links for Life can provide two wigs per year to any cancer patient. Susan Escalante, Links office manager and wig-fitter for nearly 10 years, calls that part of her job a joy. “I try to make them feel comfortable, and it makes me feel good when I see them go out of here with a wig and a smile on their face, feeling like their old selves again,” Escalante said. Links for Life has set up shop at Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center — from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesday — to provide patients with wigs.

Walking for women

Lace’n It Up for Links for Life, now in its sixth year, is a recreational walk and a show of solidarity for breast cancer patients and survivors. A Tehachapi walk is scheduled for Oct. 6, and three walks will take place simultaneously in Bakersfield Oct. 1 — and a fourth if you count a satellite walk for Aera Energy employees. The combined walks raised more than $30,000 last year with more thatn 1,100 participants. Registration at; walk-ins are welcome.

6-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

26-year Survivor

8-year Survivor

Norma Armendariz

Mimi Audelo

4-year Survivor

14-year Survivor

Rosie Azevedo

Brenda Bailey

5-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

Links For Life Stephanie Baker

Susan Baldwin

Diana Barajas

Wall of Hope

Mary Barnard

Mary Barron

Beverly Baxley

Kelly Bendert Sanchez

Sarah Bentley

16-year Survivor

18-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

17-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

Jacare Bethea

Cherryl Biggar

Kelly Bishop

Kathleen Bloom

Nellie Bolanos

Irene Bonner

Donna Borntreger

Carolyn Bradford

10-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

4-year Survivor

15-year Survivor

8-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

Jacquelyn Bradley-Sanders

Nancy Brady

Charlotte Brandt

Linda Brenner

Stana Bright

Evonne Brown

Judy Buechler

Teresa Burns

3-year Survivor

25-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

21-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

18-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

Joyce Butcher

Julia Calvillo

Mary Camara

Mercedes Camarillo

Jeanne Cantrell

Darlene Casey

Lois Caswell

Eleanor Chavez

9-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

20-year Survivor

14-year Survivor

18-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

Vivian Chianello

Arlene Chuman

Kelly Clanton

Bonnie Coats

Lee Cole

Nettie Collins

Linda Conner

Jacqueline Coppola

8-year Survivor

26-year Survivor

8-year Survivor

7-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

Betty Cotton

Jean Coulter

Juli Coulthurst

Connie Cowan

Mary Cruse

Virginia Cummings

Elsa Joyce Daves

Julia Davis

20-year Survivor

7-year Survivor

13-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

7-year Survivor

23-year Survivor

26-year Survivor

4-year Survivor


Links For Life Shalanda Davis

Linda DeCant

Betty Denter

Wall of Hope

Kathy Dickey

Joy Dixon

Joy Doepel

Marilyn Dorer

Kathy Douglas

4-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

26-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

21-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

17-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

Pam Dowell-Daft

Alicia Linda Dunham 3-year Survivor

Betty Eaves

25-year Survivor

Marlene Elbert

9-year Survivor

Barbara Ellis

34-year Survivor

Ginger Empey

17-year Survivor

Susan Ewens

6-year Survivor

Julie Followwill

8-year Survivor

Sandy Foster

Irma Frank

Edyne Frassinelli

Diane Fuller

Henrietta Galaviz

Debbie Gallington

Beverly Gambini-Cagle 11-year Survivor

Pemma Garcia

20-year Survivor

Suzanne Gonzales

Lola Goodrich

5-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

7-year Survivor

21-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

Rose Garcia

Marylin J. Gentry

Chris Gibson

Linda Glenn

Rita Gomez

Sandra Gonzalez

8-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

4-year Survivor

46-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

20-year Survivor

13-year Survivor

Karen E. Gould-Churchwell

Virginia Graham

Carole Gribben

Kristi Hatak Grohs 3-year Survivor

Natalie Grumet

5-year Survivor

Coleen Gundzik

5-year Survivor

Jennie Haberlander 12-year Survivor

Diane Haddock

2-year Survivor

Paige Halterman

Brigette Hamblet

Sherry Harrison

Linda Hartt

Jennifer Hennick

10-year Survivor

19-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

Margaret Hadley

Betty Jo Haflich

Priscilla Hallmark

6-year Survivor


Bakersfield Life

4-year Survivor

October 2012

3-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

17-year Survivor

7-year Survivor

Links For Life Sharon Hennick

Donna Herman

Diana Hernandez

Wall of Hope

Jeanette Hernandez

Diane Heston

Valerie Hodges

Dorothy Hoffman

Dee Holder

14-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

4-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

26-year Survivor

19-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

Mary Holland

Dorothy Hollingsworth 6-year Survivor

Arlene House

16-year Survivor

LaNelle Howell

6-year Survivor

Marguerite Hughey

25-year Survivor

Helen Huntalas

19-year Survivor

Dona Hurt

10-year Survivor

Olga Jacobs

40-year Survivor

Karla Jadwin

Carol Jett

Dianna Jones

Linda Jones

Marian Jones

Rhonda Jones

Linda Jordan

Karen Kelley

16-year Survivor

22-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

8-year Survivor

14-year Survivor

19-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

40-year Survivor

4-year Survivor

George Ann Kerley

Rebekah Khan

Cheryle Kileen

Germaine Kimm

Debbie Kiser

Jill Knight

Armida Laddaga

Win Lambrix

4-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

13-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

16-year Survivor

13-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

Ginger Lane

Barbara Lechtreck

Kimberly Lee

Marie Lehmann

Connie Lenk

Saundra Loman

Janet Love

Esther Lozano

2-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

19-year Survivor

Phyllis Luckey

Mary Luna

Stephanie Lynch

Judith Malerich

Jan Maltone

Kay Marquez

Gwenetta Marshall

Arnita Matthews

5-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

1-year Survivor


3-year Survivor


Links For Life Casey McBride

Carolyn McCleod

Wall of Hope

Ann McCright

Naomi McCutcheon 12-year Survivor

Bronwyn Mullen

23-year Survivor

17-year Survivor

16-year Survivor

Alice Mills

Sharon Moore

Linda Morales

Ethel Miksits

Jeanette Miller

7-year Survivor

Geraldine Miles

20-year Survivor

Carolyn “Scottie� Miller 10-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

Jill Mushaney

Mandy Muth

Pat Napier

Karen Neukom

25-year Survivor

8-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

19-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

7-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

15-year Survivor

Julia Nichols

Terri Nixon

Edna Norwood

Sue Norwood

Joann Nunn

Amy Padilla Villalobos 4-year Survivor

Terry Page

4-year Survivor

Louise Palmer

14-year Survivor

Jennifer Peters

Mesha Phillips

34-year Survivor

8-year Survivor

15-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

13-year Survivor

Alene Parsons

Mary Jo Pasek

Jo Ann Payne

Nancy Pelton

Dee Pena

Arlinda Perez-Reyes 1-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

14-year Survivor

Linda Regier

Kay Restad

Lisa Rey

16-year Survivor

15-year Survivor

18-year Survivor

14-year Survivor

23-year Survivor

Coral Poole-Clark

Jane Pratt

Sharon Rea

Melanie Reed

Joan Reedy

3-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

16-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

17-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

Billie Reynolds

Deanna Rhoades

Dorothy Richard

Gerry Richardson

Rhonda Roepel

Patsy Romero

Angela Ruffino

Vickie Sanford

14-year Survivor


Bakersfield Life

7-year Survivor

October 2012

11-year Survivor

4-year Survivor

1-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

13-year Survivor

Links For Life Joy Schmidt

Diane Schuetz

Lavonne Schuetz

Wall of Hope

Barbara Scott

Joyce Shankle

Aimee Shaw

Chris Sheehan

Shelly Sheldon

20-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

12-year Survivor

22-year Survivor

58-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

Lynne Sill

Nancy Skellenger

Jeanie Smith

Patricia Smith

Rita Smith

Lydia Soto

Debra Lynn St Louis

Ethel Struble

9-year Survivor

30-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

7-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

19-year Survivor

Mary Ann Stieber

Kala Stuebbe

Jan Sublett

Joan Tanner

Fran Thompson

Isabel Thompson

Joyce Tillery

Bonnie Tomlinson

1-year Survivor

32-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

17-year Survivor

21-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

Kathy Torres

Susan Trihey

Linda Turner

Georgia Twist

Malise Unruh

Mary Van Blake

Shirley Vance

Arminda VanWinkle

10-year Survivor

11-year Survivor

6-year Survivor

15-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

4-year Survivor

24-year Survivor

9-year Survivor

Tricia Velasquez

Dorothy Vokolek

Heather Waites

Lora Warfield

Carol Warkentin

Dianna Warner

Deloris Waters

Sandra Watkins

5-year Survivor

40-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

5-year Survivor

2-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

8-year Survivor

Marilyn Watson

Jean Wedeking

Catherine Wemhoff

Donna Wheeler

Debbie Williams

Janet Yacopetti

Eleanor Ybanez

Jeff Hayward

6-year Survivor

20-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

16-year Survivor

15-year Survivor

3-year Survivor

10-year Survivor

17-year Survivor


Links For Life

Wall of Hope

October events Oct. 1: “Power of Pink” Brighton bracelet sale begins 11:30 a.m. - Lace’n It Up (3 locations) in Bakersfield Oct. 2: 6:30 p.m. Support Group -Links for Life office 4p –BC Women’s Soccer Oct. 3: 7p - BC Women’s Volleyball

Dolores Romero / Millie Medina Sisters 3-year Survivor / 10-year Survivor

Jeanine Wanlass / Yevette Peterson Mother / Daughter 5-year Survivor / 5-year Survivor

Carleen Swank / Leea Wimbish Mother / Daughter 6-year Survivor / 6-year Survivor

Oct. 6: 9am-Lace’n It Up Tehachapi Oct. 9: 5-7p.m. “PAMPER YOURSELF PINK” Christine’s & LoLo’s 834-3068 Oct. 11: 6:30 pm Victoria’s “Kisses for Cures” Bingo 665-8300 Oct. 12: 4p.m. – BC Women’s Soccer Oct. 16: 7-10 p.m. - Paint the Town Pink event at “Color Me Mine” 664-7366 Oct. 17: 4 p.m. BC – Women’s Soccer

Ede Pacaldo / Priscilla Bacus Cousin-in-law / Cousin-in-law

Cynthia Lake / Mary Lake Daughter / Mother

11-year Survivor / 11-year Survivor

5-year Survivor / 6-year Survivor

Ella Simpson / Connie Simpson Mother-in-law / Daughter-in-law 12-year Survivor / 6-year Survivor

6-7 p.m. – CBCC “Ask the Provider;” topic: Breast Health Care Oct. 18: 10 a.m. Links for Life Fashion Show - DoubleTree Oct. 19: 4 p.m. – BC Women’s Soccer Oct. 23: 6:30 p.m. Christine’s “Bunco” Oct. 27: Diamond Divas Roller Derby, Skateland 4 p.m. – BC Football Game “Pink Out the Stadium” Oct. 30: 4 p.m. - BC Women’s Soccer

Cherie Shoemake / Marilyn Thomas Daughter / Mother 18-year Survivor / 26-year Survivor

Thelma Reed / Tammy Shipley Mother / Daughter 28-year Survivor / 8-year Survivor

Karen Minear / Marj Hankins Daughter / Mother 7-year Survivor / 2-year Survivor

Oct. 31: 7 p.m. – BC Women’s Volleyball Bakersfield College (BC) will be fundraising for Links for Life at all October home events.

Special thank you to Karla Jadwin, Jadwin Photography, for her generous donation of the Wall of Hope photos

Sapphire Sponsors

Emerald Sponsors

Ruby Sponsors


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

For more information: or call 661-322-5601


A delicious tradition Canning food, a 200-year-old pastime, is still alive today

By Bill Trivitt

Photos by Michael Lopez


anning has been around for about 200 years, starting in France during the Napoleonic Wars in 1806. Canning foods quickly spread across Europe and eventually America. The first American canning factory was established in 1812 in New York. It became popular with the introduction of the Mason jar in 1885. During the industrial revolution, canning became a key business that helped feed our troops during World War I. This helped bring canning into the homes of the average American.

Glistening jars of plumb jam wait for the lids to be approved. 128

Bakersfield Life

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The Three Ps of Canning Prep Prepare the jars and lids by washing and sterilizing in boiling water. Leave the lids in boiling water. Pick Select your fruit and recipe, and prepare according to the instruction in the recipe. Preserve Fill jars and apply lids, and let sit upside down for 20 minutes. Flip the jars over and verify the pressure seal is good. Label.

Cooked jam is ready to be poured into jars.

There are two main types of canning: waterbath and pressure canning. Waterbath canning is used for foods that are acidic, like tomatoes, salsa and fruit. This type of canning method is great for the beginner. Pressure canning is used for preserving meats, vegetables and other low-acidic foods. This method is best for intermediate and advanced canners. Mark Gamache, of Bakersfield, has been canning for years. As a child he helped his family with canning and freezing produce. The childhood memory sparked his interest later in life, and he started canning as an adult after growing a home garden that produced an over-abundant crop. Gamache didn’t know what to do with all the extras and remembered canning as a child; so he bought a canning cookbook and started canning. He started with waterbath canning and progressed to pressure canning as the need arose. Gamache has canned a wide variety of produce including tomatoes, zucchini, kohlrabi, plums, cherries, peaches and more. He has made delicious recipes including plum butter, cherry with brandy jelly, lime mint jelly and tomato sauces. They make for a great personal gift, and for some, canning can grow into a small business, selling at several local farmers markets. Canning in my family goes back several generations. My sister, Debbie Jensen, has been canning most of her adult life, and was first introduced to canning by our grandmother, Georgia Trivitt. Debbie has passed on the family tradition of canning to her four children Davin, Megan, Garret and Erik. Most recently, Debbie has started teaching members of Kern River 4-H Club the art of canning. The 4-H club, which Debbie serves as the community leader, is widely known for its animal showings, but they participate in many other activities, including food projects.

Debbie Jensen, Elizabeth Charles, Melissa Hardy and Morgan and Michelle Trivitt display the fruits of their labor.

Elizabeth Charles, Debbie Jensen, Melissa Hardy and Austin Charles in the kitchen preparing plumb jam.


2001 Fruitvale Junior High School students Sarah Wilson, Drew Crossman, Tatum Holland, Brittany Rice and James Tison use costumes to help them communicate the history of the Korean War.

Contributed photo


History Day Kern County competition teaches students more than history


n the past couple of decades, students taking part in Kern County History Day have won state and national championships, with some of the best and brightest right here in Bakersfield. Kern County schools have built an amazing competition that starts in the classroom and works its way to campus, county, state and national levels. However, there has been a significant drop in participation at the high school level. Why has that happened? It might be due to high schools focusing more on state standardized tests, and pushing for higher scores. But History Day should be viewed as a great tool for them to rise to new heights. Colleges are looking for more than just grade point averages, but also extracurricular activities students include in their application. Students working on History Day projects regularly visit Kern County Museum, digging into photographs, diaries and music archives. The students are always excited about their projects. One standout project was the 2004 “Route 66” exhibit created by Tatum Holland, Justine Rice and Brittany Rice. That project won a California championship, and was picked as one of 16 projects displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Tatum Holland, left, shares a playful moment with her mom.

Photo by Casey Christie

By Jeff Nickell

American History. The girls were tenacious, and put in the time and effort. Tatum suffered from cancer, but she would not let that interfere with her research of families traversing the road as they left behind the Dust Bowl. Tatum came to the museum on crutches and sometimes in a wheelchair. The girls interviewed a U.S. Secretary of Transportation official who helped create U.S. Route 66; soldiers who traveled the route during World War II; Bobby Troup, whose song told everyone they could “Get Their Kicks on Route 66;” and many others. The exhibit also included the diary of Lillian

Julia Castro, Morgan Kaess, Brooke Richter, Grace Park, and MaKay Moss placed fourth in the 2011 nationals.

Contributed photo

Haggard Hoag, Merle Haggard’s sister. Merle was not born yet when the family came to California, but his family’s saga is detailed in the diary. Tatum presented the exhibit to the Kern County Historical Society, with special guest Lillian Haggard Hoag in the front row. After she graduated from Sacramento State, Tatum went to serve 35th District Assemblyman Das Williams’ staff. In an email, she shared her experience with Kern County History Day: “I participated in history day for six years, won five state championships, three national silver medals and one gold medal. For me, during my formative years, history day was a way of life. At age 15 I was diagnosed with cancer, and participating in history day helped me retain a sense of normalcy, and people I worked with became my biggest support group. “History day teaches you lifelong lessons that transcend beyond the classroom. Of course, there is learning how to research, analyze and present a historical event; but more than that, you learn confidence in yourself. You learn to appreciate those who lived these events, and you develop lifelong friendships.” Christine Goedhart-Humphrey, coordinator of instructional services program support for Kern County Superintendent of Schools, who runs the event, said, “History Day helps students get over the fear of research while learning the difference and value of primary sources and credible secondary sources.” Parent Patrice Richter’s two daughters, Caitlyn and Brooke, have participated in the county, state and national competitions, and both placed fourth in the nation. The two

learned about research, archives, interviewing, analyzing information and more. “Their experience with History Day has had a profound impact on their self-confidence and preparedness for high school and college,” Patrice Richter said. “Intent to participate” forms for students are due Jan. 18. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor of the event can call 636-4240, or email Sponsorship funding goes toward the student entry fees, awards, rental of facilities, printing costs, and food for volunteer judges.

Bakersfield’s Past Meets the Future

AFTER TRAVELING THROUGHOUT THE WEST, COL. BAKER FINALLY PICKED THE PERFECT SPOT TO SETTLE DOWN. BOTH IN THIS WORLD AND THE NEXT. With his title earned during service to the Iow Iowan Territorial Militia, Col. Thomas Baker had ha become a distinguished political figure in Iowa. But in the 1850s, seeking new opportunities op out west, he moved across the plains to the Bay Area, then to Stockton, then to Visalia. While there, there he purchased land along the Kern River for development...and a place for his future home. That place became known as “Baker’s Fi Field,” and was widely regarded by travelers as a waypoint at which to enjoy the Colonel’s generous hospitality. A true visionary, Col. Baker also selected

a parcel of land for his own final resting place, writing: “Here at last I have found a resting place to lay my bones.” A slender obelisk marks Baker’s personally-selected gravesite at Union Cemetery, the start of a 140-year Bakersfield tradition.

SECURE YOUR PLACE IN HISTORY Yo and your family can forever have a place in the story of You Bakersfield by owning memorial property at Historic Union B Cemetery. Call us today at (661) 324-9648 to arrange a C personal pe sales tour at this truly remarkable memorial park.

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Why I Live Here

Photo by Shelby Mack

Joshua Lewis Stockdale High School teacher and crosscountry coach

Compiled by Vicki Adame Age: 34 I have lived in Bakersfield for: The last seven years. I was born in Bakersfield and came back: After graduate school. My wife and I were living in Huntington Beach but wanted to start a family. Both sides of our family are here and we grew up here, so it was a natural move. I have lived in: The northeast. Three words that describe my neighborhood: Green, hilly, quiet. Favorite Saturday activity: It would be spending time with my wife and son. However, that is just one piece in an all-around great day. The day starts with an early-morning bike ride, followed by a family trip to pick up our basket of produce from Abundant Harvest. The afternoon is filled with family fun, and the evening usually brings a date night, or a meet-up with friends. Favorite community event: Jazz Festival. It’s always encouraging to see Bakersfield bring in quality acts. Local musicians get a chance to shine, as well as the big names. 132

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October 2012

I admit that I enjoy country music from time to time, but an event like the jazz festival connects our city to much broader world. Favorite local restaurant: Moo Creamery. They have a seasonal menu, quality brews on tap and a great atmosphere. They are locally owned, and I believe supporting local businesses is paramount to a healthy city. I relax in Bakersfield: By meeting friends at Imbibe. I keep cool during the summer: By watching movies in my in-laws’ pool after the sun goes down. Best place for a family outing: The Greek Festival. I’m not Greek, but the celebration of Greek culture, along with classic Greek dishes, is a fun family experience. We wish we could find Greek food that good the rest of the year. Best-kept secret in Bakersfield: Mama Roomba. This is a quaint little Cuban-South American restaurant downtown. It reminds me of the type of place you may find in New York City or San Francisco. When I want to get out of town I always go to: Ventura.

Favorite funny story or memory about Bakersfield: At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, I must admit that my favorite memory about Bakersfield was my senior prom. My date that night would later become my wife. We got lost in conversation at Tavern By The Green and were late to the DoubleTree for the dance. Bakersfield served as the backdrop for my falling in love with the most wonderful woman.

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What I like most about Bakersfield: The people. We have met some great people here — the folks at St. Paul’s Anglican Parish, my wife’s colleagues, families at Olive Drive Elementary, and those I interact with at Stockdale High. The friendships we have made since moving back are quite a blessing.


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Bakersfield often gets negatively ranked on lists, the positive list I think we should rank near the top on is: Strong local businesses. Places like Advanced Beverage Company, Action Sports and Raymond’s Trophy & Awards are staples in our community. Strong local businesses promote strong community involvement. The perfect place for date night in Bakersfield: Downtown. You can grab a glass of wine at The Padre Hotel, then walk to any one of several great restaurants. Follow up dinner with a movie or show, and you’ll have a wonderful evening.


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Via Arte More than a chalk festival, Via Arte is a community masterpiece By Jason Gutierrez Photos courtesy of the Bakersfield Museum of Art


or the past 14 years, artists from around the state have been coming to Bakersfield in support of the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s premier fundraising event, Via Arte. Yearly, The Marketplaces’ freshly cleaned asphalt becomes a clean canvas for vibrant, magnificent works of art. Colors mixed with creative passion, a little sweat and many fond memories are the essence of Via Arte. Each year it draws thousands of people to marvel at one-of-a-kind pieces created by students, amateur and professional artists. But what’s become a family favorite for viewers is the Via Bambino section of the festival, where parents can buy chalk and small squares for their budding young artists to create a masterpiece of their own. “This is absolutely my favorite weekend in Bakersfield,” said Vikki Cruz, museum curator and local artist. “Nowhere else can you find the talent of high school students, local professional artists and traveling artists. Even though the works they are creating only last for a few days, the bonds and friendships developed last a lifetime. This is truly an event made for everyone in our community.” Via Arte is one of the largest fundraiser for the Bakersfield Museum of Art, this year held Oct. 13 and 14 in the Marketplace. Through square and festival sponsorships the museum is able to support ongoing education programs. Each year, Via Arte highlights an artist that has taken his or her talents around the world. This year’s featured artists will be Lorelle Avonne Miller, an award-winning artist since early childhood. Miller was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and graduated from the Cal State Northridge, earning her bachelor or arts degree in Art with an emphasis in illustration, graphic design and sculpture. She continued with graduate work, and received a professional designation from the Music Center 134

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October 2012

John Olivo, former Bakersfield Museum of Art “ArtWorks” student and volunteer, started his freshman year at Cal Arts. He says its events like Via Arte that kept him interested in art.

Artists work day and night to create vibrant and inspiring pieces of art with chalk at Via Arte.

Education Department and the Los Angeles Arts Commission. Miller is known for her involvement in street painting, and during the last 14 years has been a featured Madonnara, “street painter,” in more than 50 festivals through-

out California. She has been invited as a featured artist at festivals in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Mexico and Norway. The cost is $15 for a square, and $25 for two. For more information call 323-7219, or go to

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Full Moon Bike Ride Bike Bakersfield event joins biking community under the night sky

Two cyclists are silhouetted by the last light of the setting sun as they participate in Bike Bakersfield’s Full Moon Bike. The monthly ride routinely draws more than 100 cyclists.

By Katie Avery


Photos by Gregory D. Cook

he hot Bakersfield day was cooling down and the sun was setting as more than 150 riders mounted their bicycles, and off they went. The bike path was packed with riders as they rode from Beach Park to the Marketplace, and back again. Thus began the monthly Full Moon Bike Ride, a family-friendly, moonlit jaunt about town organized by Bike Bakersfield. It was an opportunity to make new friends and catch up with old ones. Jackie Clowes rode an upright cruiser with a basket in front. It was her first time on the ride, and she was riding alone. For Jessica Baldelomar, who just moved to Bakersfield two months ago and immedi-


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

ately rooted herself in the biking community, it was her second Full Moon Bike ride. There is something special about cycling on the path as the sun sets with the backdrop of the city on one side, and the enormous blue moon on the left. The road was filled with road bikes, mountain bikes, cruisers, recumbent bikes, tandem bikes, and everything in between. The riders varied just as much as their bikes — young and old, male and female, families and friends. They all found a place on the community-bonding ride. Riders were considerate, never got in each other’s way and were genuinely happy to be on the path. For those who didn’t have a light or lost air in their tires, someone came to help. One of the more experienced riders had a full bicycle repair shop in his backpack and helped several people before the ride began.

The riders varied just as much as their bikes ‌ They all found a place on the communitybonding ride. Rider Aaron Eaton said he exclusively rides bikes around town after being involved in a car accident. He loves to cycle, he said, and thought Full Moon would be a great outlet for im and the friends he brought along. He maneuvered up and down the path, chatting with people and making new friends. You set your own pace on the ride, go with the flow and enjoy yourself. But it’s clear that this bike community is willing and ready to take any newcomer under its wing and show them the way. Bike Bakersfield representatives are encouraged by

Riders saddle up at Beach Park and make their way to the Kern River Parkway Trail.

the turnout for the Full Moon Bike Ride, they said. The group is a main advocacy group for cyclists in town and aim to increase rider awareness and create a better biking community. The next rides for the Full Moon Bike Ride are at 7:30 Sept. 29 and Oct. 29. For more information, go to


Ladies Who …

… are bartenders Compiled by Omar Oseguera

Photos by Jessica Frey


hey serve drinks, sure, but they also listen to your problems, your jokes and they can become friends. They’re bartenders. Here are four of them who are serving their special drinks at a bar near you.

Rachel McCullah Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse Rachel McCullah has been working at Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse since she was 18, moving up in ranks to become a bartender. Being herself, Rachel communicates well with the customers and makes them their special drinks.

Q: What do you enjoy about your job? Bartending has always been fun for me and never has it felt like work. Especially now, in the past year it has become my second job, and I am only there a couple shifts a week. Every time I go in, I get to catch up and chat with all of our regulars, many of which have become friends. The clientele at Tahoe Joe’s is extremely consistent, and they, along with the rest of the staff, make the job enjoyable.

Q: How do you establish cred-

ibility with your customers? People love when you remember their drink. How welcoming is that when you walk into a bar and the bartenders greet you and offer you your favorite cocktail! It makes everyone feel special. I have found that when I am out and about, I can never remember names, but I sure do see a face and “Bombay tonic, with two limes” pops in my head.

Q: How do you deal with intoxicated customers?


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Rachel McCullah, Tahoe Joe’s

Our goal is to always ensure that our guests can have the best experience possible in our restaurant. Our training, and how we approach our guests’ experience, helps to minimize most issues. Occasionally, it may happen. We always handle our guests with respect and patience. I usually slow or discontinue service of alcoholic beverages at that point, then get a manager involved to speak with our guests. Usually, I get them something to eat, a glass of water, etc. If necessary, we would arrange for a ride home via a cab ride or some other form of transportation

that would keep them and others safe.

Q: How do you succeed in bar-

tending? I would say just being myself has helped me succeed in bartending. People come back to the bar because they enjoyed the conversation, and because I made their drink how they like it. You begin to learn their story, and they begin to learn yours. A relationship is built and patrons like when they have an “in” with the bartender. Oh yes, I make awesome martinis, too!

Tiffany Kathryn A. Lindley, Petroleum Club

Tiffany Kathryn A. Lindley Petroleum Club of Bakersfield Tiffany Kathryn A. Lindley refers to bartending as, “Brewing potions for the enjoyment of the crowd.” And she brews them all with a smile.

namic in the world. Even more so because it consists of people who bring all kinds of personal flair coming together to work as a cohesive unit into giving their establishment that unmistakable aura of success.

Q: What do you enjoy most about

My mother managed nightclubs while I was growing up. It opens your eyes really wide at a young age. Being able to see not only the black and white, but the gray area as well, from an unbiased “behind the scenes” point-of-view, has enabled me to focus on what’s important. For me, that is making sure that every drink is accounted for and that the guests leave with the sudden longing to repeat the enjoyment of the evening time and again.

your job? Kneading the social dough while ensuring that each party becomes a successful event. It feels very rewarding when a guest leaves with a “wow” feeling. But most of it is having a really great crew to work with and a top-notch management crew. Our operations manager is one of the best in the field. When proficiency and professionalism combine to put the pieces in place, the most challenging events run like clockwork.

Q: How long have you been

Q: How do you deal with intoxicat-

Q: How did you get into bartending?

bartending? Long enough to have been through the ups and downs, taken the good as well as the bad, and face each with a smile. One never stops learning. You never get the same night twice. Every shift is different. Situations may be similar, anticipated or even expected, but they are never identical. The hospitality industry is one of the most dy-

ed customers? A downside of too much fun is too much to drink. But whatever their state, they are no less a guest if not more so entitled to the full extent of your professional hospitality. With the exercise of patience and pacifism, even the most “interesting” of evenings will quietly close on the most peaceful and positive endnotes.

Mary Crane, KC Steakhouse

Mary Crane KC Steakhouse Mary Crane has been bartending for 10 years, sticking to the strong work ethic, speed and paying attention to customers, and keeping a sense of humor.

Q: How did you get into bartending? A friend of mine approached me one day and asked if I needed a job. He said his boss was looking to hire a female Continued on page 132 139

Continued from page 131

bartender and asked if he knew of anybody who would be good. I was already working in retail, but I thought, “Hey, bartending could be fun,” so I explained to my friend that I had no experience but was still interested in the gig. Luckily the boss liked me, and I have been bartending ever since!

Q: What do you enjoy about your job? I enjoy the ability to be creative, to meet and talk to all different types of people, to teach people about different drinks and to help them discover a new appreciation for different flavors that they weren’t sure they would like. And to just entertain and make people smile and enjoy themselves.

Q: How do you deal with intoxicated custom-

ers? Intoxicated customers are definitely a hazard of the job. First, you always have to try not to over serve anyone. But if someone does get a little too tipsy, you stop serving him or her. Explain that it would be against the law for the establishment to serve them any more. Offer them something non-alcoholic like water, or coffee. Offer some appetizers, or bar snacks, and when they and their party are ready to leave, either make sure the person has a designated driver or call the person a cab.

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Bakersfield Life

October 2012

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Audra Hawk, Amestoy’s

Audra Hawk Amestoy’s on the Hill Audra Hawk is not only a bartender, but also a mother of two and a student at Bakersfield College. She has been bartending for more than 13 years, and still loves it as much as when she started. Hawk is a people-person, and understands that customers want to be able to talk about their lives. And, of course, providing them with her favorite drink — the blueberry kamikaze — is always a plus.


Q: What do you enjoy about your

job? The opportunity to meet so many amazing people. I not only get to know people who become regulars or who already were a part of the establishment, but I get to see and be around so many new faces. It’s like being out with all your friends, but you’re making money at the same time.

Q: How do you establish credibility with your customers? Just by being myself. Most people who come in know me, have gotten to know about my life and things that are important to me. I always love to hear about people’s days or trips they took. I just try to connect with the people who come in, and if I make something wrong or a customer doesn’t like a drink, I’ll fix it.

Q: How do you deal with intoxicated customers? It’s hard to deal with the ones that push past their limits, but bartenders have to know when it’s time to cut people off. Not everyone is OK with being cut off and can become a handful, so you just stick to your guns and don’t give them anymore. If they get to be too much or become rude and disrespectful, I ask them to leave. I work a lot during the day and early evening, so it’s not really a problem I encounter too much on my shifts.

Q: What is your favorite memory

as a bartender? There are lots of great memories in this business! I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in numerous events, from weddings to birthdays and bachelorette parties, and it’s always a pleasure to be part of people’s special days. We, as bartenders, always get to meet great and interesting people, some leave lasting impressions and others often become friends for life.




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Lauren’s legacy Local family reflects on legacy left by 11-year-old daughter

The Small family, from left, Tuesdy, Kyle and Kevin


Bakersfield Life

October 2012

By Lisa Kimble


Photos by Mark Nessia

n a hot summer’s day on Aug. 1, 1994, Bakersfield natives Kevin and Tuesdy Small welcomed their second child, Lauren Paige, into the world at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital — full of anticipation of a lifetime of happy moments with their little girl. They never imagined how short her young life would be — just 11 fleeting years — or the countless hospitals she would be admitted to, although none of them were Memorial. At the time, the closest pediatric intensive care units were several hundred miles away, in Madera or in Los Angeles. But today, Lauren’s presence is larger-than-life with her name gracing the halls and walls of the hospital where she was born. It’s thanks to an extraordinary gift from her parents, intended to honor their daughter and bridge the geographical and financial gaps that may otherwise create hardship on families forced to experience what they did. Intensely private, with the exception of being featured in Memorial’s community publication, they have never talked openly about their anguish, until now.

Mother’s helper, father’s daughter Lauren, with an infectious smile and storybook blonde hair, was her mother’s kitchen helper, and her father’s daughter, anxious to join him, a world-class sportsman, on hunting trips. “She touched a lot of people and they gravitated toward her,” her mother, Tuesdy said. Lauren wanted to become a veterinarian. The young equestrian rode Western and English horseback with Nicki, a Quarter show horse, and looked forward to one day also showing Fancie, a Paint Horse. She would never get the chance. It was during a snow skiing accident in April 2003 in Lake Tahoe where the Olive Drive Elementary third-grader broke her leg. Six weeks later, when the break hadn’t healed, it was discovered that the petite 8-year-old suffered from osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. “Our life just shut down,” Kevin said. “We packed everything up and went down south to Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital.” Lauren began chemotherapy the following morning and the Smalls were unwittingly thrust into a spin cycle of fear, worry and heartsickness. But the family rallied the troops as they drove back and forth to Los Angeles, with relatives, friends and neighbors pitching in to help care for Lauren’s older brother Kyle, a fifth-grader at the time. “We were blessed enough to have people to help raise our son,” Tuesdy said.

Lauren Small

Riding and fighting In January of 2005, despite rounds of chemotherapy, leg surgery, and what appeared to be remission, the cancer returned, this time in Lauren’s lungs. Yet, she continued to ride, and was named “rookie of the year” at the Bakersfield Open Horse Show that year. “She touched this city, competing and winning in open classes while she was battling cancer,” Tuesdy said. For 32 months, Lauren fought the disease as her parents canvassed the world for a medical miracle that eluded them. “We were blessed that we had the means to do that, as you lose control of everything around you,” Kevin said. Unable to hold back the tears, Lauren’s mother recalled the moments of good within the bad. “We had some wonderful times in those hotel rooms.”

Emotional hurdle Lauren lost her battle Dec. 1, 2005. Her passing brought an end to a horrific chapter, but her family faced emotional hurdles that seemed insurmountable. “Those are hard days for parents. Faith, family and our friends pulled us through,” Kevin said. “It is a network you don’t want to belong to, for sure.” Kevin, now 51, buried himself in work as CEO of KS Industries, a national energy industry provider. For Tuesdy, with Kyle in school and her husband back at work, resuming life was almost unbearable. She poured herself into Bible study and a prayer group. Acknowledging that the odds were stacked against marriages like theirs, in the wake of the Continued on page 136


Continued from page 135

Lauren’s legacy

loss of a child, they leaned heavily on family pastor Monsignor Craig Harrison. “He [Monsignor Craig] was absolutely driven that we would stay together,” Kevin said. “It was pretty tough the first couple of years, when there is one missing.” An extensive remodel of a new home across town proved therapeutic as well. The Smalls recreated Lauren’s bedroom inside their new home with a shrine to her favorite pastime of horseback riding, complete with her saddle, chaps and bridles. “It forced us to focus on something else,” Tuesdy said. Lauren’s brother Kyle, now 20, attends college in San Diego.

In April, and just weeks before Lauren would have graduated high school, the Small family donated $2 million to support Memorial’s new Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center. It is the largest single gift in the hospital’s history, making it the first hospital center in Bakersfield dedicated exclusively to pediatrics, and the only pediatric intensive care unit between Madera and Los Angeles. “When Memorial came to us, we recognized the need.” Kevin Small said. “As we chased the world for a cure, we thought of every child who has had a pediatric emergency and had to go elsewhere.”

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The Smalls were adamant that the comprehensive pediatric care’s 31-bed Level II neonatal intensive care unit, the eight-bed pediatric intensive care unit, and the 20-bed pediatric unit all be state-of-theart. A whimsical logo, inspired by her love of horses and her favorite flower — the Gerber daisy — was created for the center. “There were a lot of firsts we never had with Lauren: the first prom, car or sweet 16,” Kevin said. “But the positive of it is what we have done. He added, voice cracking: “A man is measured by what he gives back, not what he earns. This is our way to give back to the community that has given so much to us. If we can keep families together, that truly is Lauren’s legacy.”


Shortly before her death, Lauren’s grandmother started the Small Miracles Foundation, aimed to help families stay together in their darkest hours. “We help with the essentials: meals, parking and work with utilities,” Kevin said. “This way, families can fight or win the battle together.” Lauren could not be saved, but her impact will be felt forever in the community. “We fought it together, but it wasn’t meant to be,” Lauren’s father said. “Somebody’s child will have to go through the heartache, the traveling and this center will eventually touch someone in this community.”



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Our Town

One Book, One Bakersfield ‘The House on Mango Street’ aims to join students, community together By Alyssa Morones


Author Sandra Cisneros

ach year, “One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern” program representatives select a book and discussion project to give the community a shared reading experience. This year’s book is Sandra Cisneros’ classic narrative, “The House on Mango Street.” Modeled after a similar program in Chicago, the One Book program took root in Bakersfield in 2002. For the last three years, the Kern County Library has partnered with Cal State Bakersfield’s Runner Reader program to support the One Book program, events, and to bring the authors of the selected books to Bakersfield. The Runner Reader program assigns all first-year students a common book to read. “We want our students to feel connected to others within the university,” said Emerson Case, a CSUB professor of English and One Book committee member. “But we

also feel it’s important for our students to be involved in the larger community as well. That’s why this is such an important partnership for us.” The book selected for the program is always multicultural, and one where the author is available to speak. The 146

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program ends each year with a discussion featuring the author and open to the community. “The author is just as important as the book,” Case said. “We want an author that looks like our students and our community. We want people to see the author as a human being.” Case selected the book, about a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, for this program. “Even though it’s 25 years old, the themes in this novel are still, if not more, relevant today,” Case said. “The issue of what makes a home, with the economy how it is today, is every bit as important.” Added One Book co-coordinator Andie Apple: “At the heart of this book is the idea of the power of ‘home.’ It’s about the narrator’s relationship to her neighborhood and the idea that it doesn’t necessarily define her.” One Book co-coordinator Kristie Coons said, “The book is also one about the power to dream, and to realize those dreams and find out who you are.” With the help of various community partners, One Book has a host of activities planned throughout the fall and hopes to get as many community members involved as possible. Some of the events to follow include a live play production by the Spotlight Theatre, and a panel discussion

Why I choose Total Woman... at CSUB that will focus on the economics of home ownership. Additionally, students with the Runner Reader program will be working with youth groups within the community to lead discussions about the book. This year’s One Book program will close with a presentation given by Sandra Cisneros in November at CSUB. Close to 2,000 community members showed up for last year’s talk given by author Wes Moore. This year the talk will be in the Icardo Center, Emerson Case, One Book, One Bakersfield committee member which accommodates up to 2,500 guests. “We always want a book that’s interesting for college students and high school students and the community alike,� Case said. “It’s not easy to find the right book and the right author for this program, but Sandra Cisneros’ ‘House on Mango Street’ is perfect.�

“It’s not easy to find the right book and the right author for this program, but Sandra Cisneros’ ‘House on Mango Street’ is perfect.�

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Our Town

Apple picking Get your apples this season at any of several local family orchards

Apple trees, with limbs heavily laden with fruit, stretch out toward the horizon at Knaus Apple Ranch in Tehachapi.

By Katie Avery


Photos by Gregory D. Cook

he autumn apple harvest is an important part of Kern County’s history. For generations, the people of Bakersfield would travel to local farms or to Tehachapi to pick the apples they would eat, can and bake with for the rest of the year. And with the rising trend of eating local and organic foods, finding apples this season has become even more significant. Apple season started in September and continues until mid-November. Here are some places you can go in Kern County to pick that ripe apple.

RB Family Orchard 1437 Casey Drive in Tehachapi Richard and Barbara Tieskoetter’s Family Orchard has been around for 37 years and is known for its delicious fresh apple cider, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The Tieskoetters take in local fruit to sell and to use for their cider. No need to pick the apples — they have them all ready. RB is one of the few places to get apple cider with no preservatives and unpasteurized. They use a blend of apples, depending on which is ripest, resulting in flavor changes. People come from a day of picking at other farms to eat 148

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October 2012

These fresh Galas for sale at the Bakersfield Certified Farmers Market, represent a fall tradition for many Bakersfield residents.

lunch at RB’s, said Barbara Tieskoetter. “They’re comfortable here.” For more information, go to

Kolesars’ Apples Highline Road and Casey Drive inTehachapi Kolesars’ Apples, which has been around for the past 35 years, has a simple pick-your-own system where you can collect your own apples, and pay by the bucket. They have seven varieties of apples and two varieties of cherries. John Kolesar said that apple picking has created an agrotourism, where it’s less about the apples, and more about the fun family activity. “People want the experience” of picking their own

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food, said John. Kolesars’ Apples is open for business Friday to Sunday.

Pulford AppleTree Orchard 19440 Highline Rd. in Tehachapi Pulford AppleTree Orchard is a larger family-owned orchard that has been in business for more than 35 years, and in Tehachapi for 20 years. They boast 15 different varieties of apple, apple cider, apple butter and other apple treats. And they pick apples for you. Pulford orchard staff aims to make the farm a popular place to hang out and have a picnic, Andrew Pulford said. “It’s about the experience,” he said. “We make this a destination spot.” People come from throughout California and beyond to taste their apples. Pulford AppleTree Orchard is open daily. For more information, visit

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Knaus Apple Ranch 19042 Cherry Lane, Tehachapi, CA For all those red and golden delicious apple fans out there, Knaus Apple Ranch has what you need. Knaus is one of the oldest apple farms on the block, settled in Tehachapi since 1970. Knaus has eight acres of land, with half Red Delicious and half Golden Delicious trees filling it. Theirs is also a pick-your-own system, though they also have them by the bag and box. Owner Alice Knaus said she has become good friends with all of the farmers in the area and loves that each of them helps each other every season. “To me it’s not competition,” Knaus said. “It’s worked out well for all of us.” Knaus is open daily. For more information, go to

Murray Family Farms 6700 General Beale Road and 9557 Copus Road in Bakersfield Murray Family Farms has almost every fruit you can imagine, including a variety of apples during apple season. It’s a great place for the entire family, featuring games, a petting zoo, a hayride and pumpkin picking for the fall. They are open every day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit

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Real People

Life on the green Kevin McNally, caddie at Pebble Beach Golf Course

Story and photo by Hillary Haenes e’s living the dream — working as a caddie at the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Course. Garces Memorial High School graduate Kevin McNally, 26, spends his days walking what many consider to be the most spectacular public golf course in the world. Find out what a typical day is like for this young golf enthusiast.


How long have you been a caddie at Pebble Beach Golf Course? I started caddying in 2007. I had been working at another golf course in town (in Monterey), but wasn’t getting the hours I needed. One morning, my buddy Cory showed up at about 6:30 a.m., knocking on my window. He was all excited about this ad he had seen in the newspaper about Pebble Beach hiring caddies. We drove straight to the pro shop and signed up. To this day, I still can’t believe how easily it happened. What exactly do your duties consist of to help out golfers? As a caddie, my job is to locate golf balls, rake bunkers, carry bags, provide yardages, help read putts and do anything to make the round of golf run as smoothly as possible. Once you get to know the person, you can figure out what he/she would like you to do. What do you enjoy most about caddying? I enjoy meeting new people. That is the best part about being a caddie. I meet some really great people. Have you had the opportunity to caddie for any professional golfers or celebrities? I get that question a lot, and surprisingly, I haven’t met that many famous people. Matt Stafford (NFL Detroit Lions quarterback) was in my group a couple of months ago. He was a really nice guy and played good golf. What obstacles do you encounter as a caddie? I really can’t complain about the 150

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October 2012

job. It’s a blast. Some days are better than others, but that’s life. I guess when you’ve got a guy who’s never played golf before and he doesn’t really appreciate how awesome the golf course is — I wish I could be playing! Tell us about your favorite day at work on the green? I have had some really great days at Pebble. Some days it just seems like the ball is going in (the hole) from every direction. Those days are the best. Everyone has fun and it makes me look like I know what I’m talking about! How did you adapt from growing up in Bakersfield to living in Monterey? It was definitely a change moving from Bakersfield to here. Once you get used to wearing a couple of layers, it’s no big deal. I love it here, but it’s always nice to go home and enjoy a real summer day and jump in the pool.

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How often do you actually get to play golf? And where do you play? What’s your handicap? I usually play golf two to three times a week at Del Monte. They say it’s the oldest running golf course west of the Mississippi River. It reminds me of Stockdale Country Club. My handicap is at 7 right now, and I’m very happy with that. I will take as many strokes as I can get. What’s your favorite hole at Pebble? My favorite hole at Pebble changes. Number eight used to be my favorite — the approach shot is spectacular. Lately, I have been really loving the 18th hole. It is a par 5 that runs along the ocean, and it is just a fantastic hole. On top of that, when I get there, I am about 15 minutes from getting off work! Seriously though, that hole is just amazing.

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Fit and Fresh

Biking, running and eating healthy while pregnant By Sally Baker and Katie Kirschenmann Baker: The 26th Spooktacular bike ride will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, and will include something for all biking levels — from the “Trembling 20” mile ride to the “Hideous 100,” a 109-mile ride with 10,800-foot climb. In total, the event offers six routes — so no excuses. The ride always offers well-stocked aid stations, great support and is well attended, so you never need to ride alone. Go to for more information.

Loofa fruit as it dries and turns brown.

Photo by Katier Kirschenmann

Spooktacular bike ride

until they were about 10 to 14 inches long. Then they slowly started drying out, and the skin turned brown. They should be left on the vine as long as possible before the frost arrives. The plan is to harvest the fruit, and give them as gifts this holiday season. Maybe one lucky reader could win a loofah and a bag of seeds. If anyone has any loofah growing stories, please let me know at

Wild and scenic river half marathon Baker: For those of you preferring to run instead of ride, how about heading up river to the inaugural “wild and scenic river” half marathon? This event takes place at Dec. This trail run starts at 3,500-foot elevation at McNally’s Fairview Lodge, and finishes at the Mountain & River Adventures campground at 2,700 feet. The route winds along rugged trails beside steep canyon walls where you can enjoy the changing colors of fall. Proceeds go to Run-4-A-Way, a local non-profit focused on improving the fitness of Kern River Valley citizens. For more on the race, go to

The 26th Spooktacular offers rides for all abilities.

Lactogenic foods

Growing loofahs in Kern County Baker: I was given a handful of black watermelonlooking seeds one day in one of my classes, and I wasn’t really sure what they were, or what to do with them. They were loofah — or luffa — seeds. Once planted, I was told, they would grow into funny looking gourds to use as kitchen or bath sponges. Intrigued, I went home and stuck them in the ground along a fence in full sun. From the eight seeds planted, five vines emerged with big beautiful yellow flowers. Long, strange green fruit started growing, and kept growing 152

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Kirschenmann: I am just a few weeks from welcoming my twin girls into the world. My diet is not only important for their health now, but is equally important after they are born when I am nursing. Nursing is not for every mother, and that’s okay. The choice to nurse is both a medical and personal decision that involves advice and guidance from your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician. In my experience, the best way I found to boost milk production was eating “lactogenic foods.” Eating sufficient calories and foods rich in vitamins and minerals are key to supporting lactation. Avoid empty calories — stay away from sugary foods, soda and baked goodies — and instead eat what will ensure your body functions at an optimal level. Here is my short list of the best lactogenic foods to mix into your everyday balanced diet: Dark green leafy vegetables. Kale, arugula, spinach and chard are easy to find. If salad is not your thing, stuff a turkey sandwich with spinach or arugula. Another

Photo by Katier Kirschenmann

Photo by Sally Baker

option is to simply sauté kale, spinach or chard with garlic, toss into whole-wheat pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Rule of thumb: The darker the leaf, the bigger nutritional punch it packs. Fennel. Fennel Kale can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of ways. I love fennel roasted with leaks and onions — it’s a great healthy side dish. My favorite way to prepare fennel is to sauté thin slices in olive oil along with cherry tomatoes and garlic. When spooned over toasted or grilled whole wheat bread, it makes for a refreshing twist on bruschetta. Carrots, beets, yams and potatoes. Reddish vegetables, such as beets and carrots, are full of beta-carotene, which are needed during lactation. Baby carrots dipped in hummus are a tasty and satisfying snack. Add carrots to salads and sandwiches for extra crunch. Beets are terrific sources of minerals and iron. Roast them in the oven and serve with slices of goat cheese for a well-balanced side dish, or lunch.

Fennel bruschetta

Grains and legumes. Always choose whole grains over more processed products. Oats, barley and rice are versatile and easy to cook, not to mention there are countless recipes to prepare them. Legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils are filling and packed full of fiber and nutrients. Continued on page 154

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Hummus, made from chickpeas, is super yum — eat in place of other less healthy dips and snacks. For lunch, make a bean salad full of your favorite ingredients, dressed with olive oil and lemon. Another suggestion is a family dinner favorite in my house: bean burritos. Use black beans or pinto beans sautéed with garlic, wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla and add assorted veggies, spinach or arugula. Nuts. Ran nuts supply energy and good fats. Nuts particularly good for nursing moms are almonds, cashews and macadamias. Eat raw and unsalted. I kept a bowl filled with almonds on my kitchen counter and would eat a few throughout the day to keep my energy up. Oils and fats. Healthy fats play a crucial role for healthy lactation. The kinds of fats a mother eats will end up inside the fats in her milk. You are what you eat, right? It’s a widely accepted good idea to eliminate unhealthy fats, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fatty acids, from your diet. Drizzle olive oil on salads and put a teaspoon of flaxseed oil in a fruit smoothie. Enjoy a little bit of butter on your toast. Oatmeal. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning was my lifesaver. That one bowl everyday made a huge difference in my production. It was comforting, filling and delicious topped with a heaping cup of fresh fruit. Do not underestimate the power of the humble little bowl of oatmeal! The oat is regarded as a super-food. Packed with nutrition oats are chock full of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate. If you think you are drink-

ing enough water, drink some more. Water can get boring, yes, but try to avoid the temptation to drink processed fruit drinks and sodas. Try to stay away from caffeine, too. To add some excitement to your daily hydration, add in sparkling water and freshly squeezed fruit juice. Coconut water is an excellent addition to your liquid routine. Coconut water is an acquired taste, but it really is nature’s sports drink. Talk to your doctor and pediatrician. Keep an open dialogue with your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or for help. The goal is give your little one the best nutrition. Your doctor will make sure you are on the right path.

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Trip Planner

View of the courtyard at the Dolphin Bay Resort from my second floor balcony.

Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa Central Coast gem perfect destination for ‘me’ or ‘us’ time Story and photos by Lois Henry


here’s nothing wrong with carving out a little “me” time. For couples, a little “us” time is mandatory. And there’s no better place for “us” time between now and the hectic holiday season than the Central Coast. Specifically, the Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa at Shell Beach, which I first visited last year, is the ultimate “us” time facilitator. I loved my first trip last year, and this time was no different. 156

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The suites — with full, gorgeous kitchens — are quiet and plush. The views are spectacular. And every staff member is helpful, friendly and genuinely interested in making sure you get the most out of your stay. Want to go horseback riding? Kayaking? Wine tasting? Rejuvenate at the resort’s La Bonne Vie spa? Just lounge around the pool? No problem. Mention it to a staffer and they’ll make it happen. Even better, they make it happen with discounts. That worked out great for me for one of my favorite pastimes, wine tasting. Dolphin Bay has relationships with several local wineries that allow guests free tastings and discounts on some purchases. The winery discount cards are available for all guests — so be sure and ask about them. The beautiful Edna Valley is a short drive away and really worth the trip. I visited two wineries, Baileyana Winery and Talley Vineyards, where my Dolphin Bay card was cheerfully accepted. Both have excellent wines in all price ranges and since the tasting is free you get to sample a wide variety, which I did (I had a designated driver, don’t fret!). Wine is, of course, central to any wine tasting outing.

But the tasting rooms and grounds are all part of the experience. The Baileyana tasting room is housed in a charming one-room school house built in 1909 and renovated in 1998. The hardwood floors creak, and the windows are made with old-time wavy glass. Talley is more low-slung and modern, and the view is breathtaking. The entire back wall of the tasting room is one long window looking out over lush farm fields and rolling hills. It’s like a living Impressionist painting. The view from my work office is a parking garage. Sigh. Tasting rooms close around 5 p.m. which gave me more than enough time to amble back to the resort and get ready for dinner at the Lido Restaurant. It was great last year at Lido, and this year was the same. And again, I was amazed at how creative the food was. Abalone with avocado and pork belly? Soooo good! The sea bass was delicate and so yummy I refused to leave a single bite on the plate even though I was stuffed to my own gills. I wish I could tell you how fun the horseback riding, kayaking, spa, etc. were as well but frankly, my “me” time involved a whole lot less activity. That’s OK. Sitting on the balcony listening to the ocean with a fire burning inside was just about the perfect “me” time for me.

The tasting room at Baileyanna Winery was originally built as a school house in 1909 for the children of farmers and ranchers.

Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa • 2727 Shell Beach Road Shell Beach, CA 93449 • 805-773-4300 • When you call be sure to ask about the resort’s various discounts such as mid-week room rates, AAA and American Express rates. Also ask about the resort’s promotions.

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Padre Hotel Robert Bunker, far right and the Padre management team

Robert Bunker, general manager

Photo by Felix Adamo


Robert Bunker, general manager

you’re at the Padre.”

Address: 1702 18th St. Phone: 427-4900 Website:

What new dishes are you looking forward to this fall at Brimstone and the Belvedere Room? At Brimstone, we can’t wait for the duck confit pot pie — succulent duck leg meat with seasoned duck stock broth, vegetables in a homemade pie shell. Seasonality plays an important role in the dishes that Chef Brad Wise creates throughout the year. He likes to surprise people with a unique interpretation of otherwise classic dishes. The wild mushroom risotto is a favorite of many Belvedere Room patrons which will make an appearance on the menu this fall. Chef Wise suggests pairing this dish with a good pinot noir like Foxen from the Santa Maria Valley. Belvedere is evolving, so we are adopting a new method for online reservations from the Open Table phone app, which is a tool everyone can use to quickly and easily make a reservation. It takes less than 30 seconds and you get an immediate confirmation. You can also write or read reviews from patrons who have stayed in the hotel and dined in the Belvedere Room.

Tell us what the Padre Hotel has to offer: With 112 guest rooms, four meeting rooms and five venues under one roof, we are constantly reinventing ourselves. We hope to continue to hold our unique edge in the Bakersfield market. We offer four-star level products and services while continuing to provide an excellent value for a boutique lifestyle hotel. Are there new projects in the works? We recently finished a project with the City of Bakersfield to provide two new grand entrances, newly paved parking areas, landscaping, sidewalks, a safer valet drop-off/pickup area. We added a sixth venue, which we hope to host events such as First Friday entertainment, farmers markets and food and wine festivals. We are also working on in-room amenities such as turndown service, mini-bars, robes and The Padre Collection merchandise. This summer the Padre Hotel was recognized as one of 17 unique hotels in the West by Sunset Magazine and mentioned in Travel and Leisure’s Road Trip California. What does this recognition mean to you and your team? First of all, I am thankful for all media showing appreciation for our product. It is absolutely amazing to receive national recognition from two major food and travel related publications. It only means that we have to constantly strive to provide the best product and service standards to continue our success. I always tell people “Relax, 158

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October 2012

What’s the nightlife like at Prairie Fire’s second story rooftop bar? We have entertainment Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays featuring some great local acts as well as occasional out-of-town musicians. On Fridays and Saturdays, it transforms into the early meeting spot for all. During the summer, we have the misters going full force to keep things cool, and in the winter we have the fire pit and gas heaters to provide a blanket of heat. It’s an amazing place where you can listen to live entertainment and still feel like you are a VIP at a rooftop lounge in Beverly Hills, San Diego or Las Vegas.

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3. Happy Halloween

Biscuit Boutique & Doggy Spa has many Halloween costumes available. Hurry in for Halloween treats and toys for your four-legged trick-or-treaters, too! 1617 19th St., 321-9602.



Biscuits Boutique & Doggy Spa

4. Eat, drink and be scary

Color Me Mine has all of the ghosts, goblins, witches and pumpkins to make your Halloween both frightful and festive, plus a huge selection of platters and treat bowls to personalize for your spooky gatherings! 9000 Ming Ave., 664-7366, www.bakersfield.colormemine.


Color Me Mine at The Marketplace

5. Flowers and more

Uniquely Chic Florist has Bakersfield’s brand name for flowers. All sorts of styles and colors to customize your specific needs. They offer trendy gifts and home decor, too! Call 588-7997 or visit us at 9500 Brimhall Road, Suite 701.

Uniquely Chic Florist

6. Treats for every day

Yogurt is a good, healthy treat. We have 16 different flavors daily, 45 different toppings and carry no sugar added flavors each day. Check out our Facebook page, Tutti Fruitti Bakersfield, for daily flavor updates. 8300 Stockdale Highway, 396-8000.

Tutti Fruitti on Stockdale


Bakersfield Life

October 2012


7. 7. Spooktacular Fun!

Join Creation Craze, from 6 to 8p.m., Oct. 12th, to paint this Witch plate! Cost is $28 includes everything, RSVP required. Hundreds of items with all inclusive pricing, never a sitting or paint fee. 9680 Hageman Road Suite D, next to Baja Fresh, 588-7107.

Creation Craze Studio

8. Mouth-watering toffee

Fine handmade English toffee made by Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth. Available at Luigi's, Sweet Surrender, Cafe Med, Flourishing Art and Sullivan Petroleum stores. Call 725-5200 or visit auntmaessweetTooth. com

Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth

8. 9.

9. Leather boots by Cuadra

Adorable boots are a must for fall season. Only available at Ilitchi Boutiques, we carry apparel, jewelry, purses and Hello Kitty merchandise. 205 E. 18th St., near Union Avenue, 396-1609 like us on Facebook.

Ilitichi Boutiques


Rock Your Socks Off benefiting The Bakersfield Homeless Shelter Aug. 17 Held at Skateland Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at


Madison and Bob Watt, Cheyanne Rigsby and Calista and Celine Martinez

Adam Herrera and Jacqueline Gonzalez

Ricky and Robert Keel

Isabelle Morgan and Renee and Kimberly Rasmussen

Brynna Ramirez and Rebecca Pennington

Yvonne Mims and Denise Lincoln

Frances Magar, Mariska Lara and Aimee Collins

Jerri Alvarado and Marciano Casica

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

(855) 393-2840

Young Marines Awards Banquet Aug. 25 Held at Hodel’s Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more online at James Terrazas and Jesse Romero

Marricela, Isabella and Andrea Sotelo

Alexis Arias, Venessa Terrazas and Stephen Cervantes

Tristan Zimmerman, Sally Bray and Hunter Zimmerman

Christian Valasco, Francisca Romero holding Aubrey and Nora Ramirez

Claudia and Jose Cervantes, Lilly Hernandez and Dylan Campese

Natalena, Leca, Alexander, Steve and Benjamin Gerber


Indian Association Gala and Auction for CSUB’s Summer Bridge Program Aug. 24 Held at the Petroleum Club Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at

Durshana and Kal Patel


Roma and Sona Shah

Amarjit Sidhu, Poornima Kunani and Sudha Reddy

Laveena Kondagari, Uma Bala and Kalpana Thalava

Munnat and Mihrab Randhawa

Todd and Dana Sweany, Renee and Herb Jenkins

Hitesh and Alka Shah, Randy and Judy Rolfe, Harminder and Sarup Bhangoo

Ernie Diaz, Dr. Harjeet Singh, Megan Mueller, Matt Peinado, Corina Diaz, Ashli Diaz

Tiffany Gill, Sita Mitchell, Surinder Sanghera, Derek Gill and Andrew Michael

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Bakersfield Museum of Art’s fall exhibit opening Sept. 13 Held at Bakersfield Museum of Art Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at Erika Kim and Emily Becerra

Joe and Mimi Audelo

Mary and Angelo Mazzei

Elliott Fouts and Naper Hill

Christine McKee, Chalita Robinson and Barbara Reid

Elaine Thomson, Sylvia Cattani and Melissa Fortune

Adam Vinson, Jason Gutierrez, Claire Putney and Nicole Saint-John

Full Thanksgiving dinner includes: Whole roasted turkey or honey glazed ham, cornbread or wild rice stuffing, turkey gravy, fresh green beans or dilled carrots, dinner rolls or cornbread, cranberry, orange relish, pumpkin or apple pie

Call today for more information or to place your order.

Milo, Oliver, Vali, and Calvin Nemetz



Opening of the Hans Einstein Pavillion Sept. 11 Held at Memorial Hospital Photos by Carla Rivas View these photos and more online at Gary DeRisio, Michelle Willow and Gary Frazier

Lupe and Martin Rosales

Missy Smith and Pat Osborn

Rod and Bev Hayden

Stephen, Lisa, Juliana and Alexandra Shellans

Jackie Hay and Joan VanAlstyne

Hal Aaron and Cherie McFarland

Denise Collins, Dolores Lee with Toby and Riley

Jon VanBoening and Kari and Steve Anderson 166

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Dr. David Dougherty, Russell Johnson and Dr. Brandon Hawkins

Hina Patel Foundation Sickle Cell Run/Walk Sept. 15 Held at The Park at Riverwalk Photos by Casey Christie View these photos and more online at Kiara Johnson and Lathan Singleton

Manraj Garewal and Shaheer Kazi

Japreen Grewal and Savannah Johnson

TJ Ayyagari, Harjot Kang and Justin Ma

Ushma Patel, Esha Patel, Abigail Maliyekkal, Joyce Cheng and Aleesha Somani

Amirah and Christina Agee

Mamta Patel, Pallavi Shah and Rekha Patel

CELEBRATE International Walk & Bike to School Day

Get your kids excited about Walking or Biking to school

OC TO R OCTOBER OCTOB OBER Julia Aguinaga, Mercedes Montanez, Natalia Giuliano, Gloria Hernandez, Kimberly Brothers and Kaylee Booth




Bakersfield College Alumni Barbecue Sept. 13 Held at Bakersfield College Photos by Jan St Pierre View these photos and more online at Tammy Fidler and Tabitha Simpson

Marlene Heise, James Banks and Gloria Greenlee

Sara Espinoza and Gregoria Maldonado

Jim Fillbrandt and Denise Segrest

Winston Ives and Erik Earnest

David and Catherine Gay and Charlotte and Ken Vaughn 168

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Tim, Nichole and Lexi Scanlon

Talor Bricker, Samantha Vaughn, Samantha Saldana and Jasmine Guevara

Steve and Judy West

Randy Merriman, Michael O’Doherty, Neil Walker, Jackie Maxwell and Craig Holland

Taft College’s 90th anniversary celebration Aug. 30 Held at Taft Collegex Photos by Casey Christie online at David Couch and Orchel Krier

Mohammad Al-Qudsi and Vladimir Bonilla

Jan Ashley, Sherry Gregory and Mahea Maui

Dennis McCall, Harry Wilson and Kent Miller

Zanoria Echols, Shelly Gill, Bezait Anbesse and Crystallyn Faletoi

Sue Brown, Kal Vaughn and Claudia Casagrande

Susanne Campbell, Tina Chapa and Linda Wilbanks

Push your body. Find your beat.

Sheri Horn-Bunk, Billy White and Dr. Dena Maloney

661-589-8950 • 800-FIT-IS-IT

Inside Story

Sinaloa’s Mexican Restaurant sits on the corner of 20th and P streets.

Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant Compiled by Gabriel Ramirez

Photos by Felix Adamo

64 years of family ownership • Sinaloa Spanish Food opened May 3, 1948 by Mike and Annie Munoz at 620 E. 19th St. — current home of Wool Growers Restaurant in Old Town Kern. • Mike and Annie moved to the current location in 1957, and purchased the building in 1962 from Susie Antongiovanni and her husband. • In the early 1960s, the name was changed to Sinaloa Mexican Restaurant.

Historical building • Ellen M. Baker Tracy, Col. Thomas Baker’s widow, donated two acres of land to the City of Bakersfield, and in 1909, the Kern County Children’s Shelter was built on what now is the corner of 20th and P streets. The small handprints can still be seen in the concrete steps of the building’s entry and serve as a vivid reminder of the building’s original occupants. 170

Bakersfield Life

October 2012

Small handprints on the steps remind visitors of the building’s first occupants. Other businesses that have operated out of the building were Susie’s Cafe, Flor d’ Italia, and Il Travatore Italian Restaurant.

Other facts • No, the building is not haunted! • 14 current employees • Most popular dishes: tacos, enchiladas with rice and beans, chili verde and beef fajitas. • Most popular drinks: margarita and spicy jalapeno Long Island iced tea • Sinaloa uses local suppliers including Pyrenees French Bakery French bread, La Bonita, Inc. tortillas, and Andrade Egg Ranch eggs.


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The ninth-generation Accord is a stunning combination of style and sophistication. With a dynamic new exterior and interior design, the 2013 Accord shows off a host of new technologies, and will debut ingenious new available features.

See It NOW at Kern County’s Award-Winning Honda Dealer 4500 Wible Road

at the Entrance to the Bakersfield Auto Mall

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Years of Serving Kern County

Bakersfield Life Magazine October 2012  
Bakersfield Life Magazine October 2012  

Bakersfield Life Magazine October 2012