Chef MZ Heads to MLB All-Star Game

MLB standouts from all over the country may dominate the field at the 2018 MLB All-Star game, but there’s a another team of stars who feed all the fans flocking to Nationals Park to see the action, and Chef Marco Zapien is part of that roster. Chef MZ Heads to MLB All-Star Game

Zapien, also known as Chef MZ, will be attending the All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. on behalf of Melissa’s World Variety Produce, where he is also a corporate chef. 

The produce company will have four different areas within the stadium where they will be offering fans some healthy alternatives, including Melissa’s Organic Drinking Coconuts and Clean Snax.

Chef MZ will be overseeing the operations and making sure the stands are well represented, and will be working with other chefs from Melissa’s Produce. 

Through his work with Melissa’s, Chef MZ has traveled the nation’s sports and entertainment venues and has even had the opportunity to cook and consult at events such as the Grammy’s. 

Salsa Grill’s Marco Zapien Named to Chamber Executive Board

Chef Marco Zapien, Executive Chef and co-owner of Zapien’s Salsa Grill and Taqueria, will be named to the Pico Rivera Chamber of Commerce Executive Board in a special ceremony on Friday, June 15. Salsa Grill Participates at East LA Meets Napa

Zapien will serve as Secretary on  the Executive Board for one year, which will be made official at the Pico Rivera Chamber’s Installation and Awards Banquet held at the Swiss Park Banquet Center in Whittier.

For many years, Zapien has been an active member of the Pico River Chamber of Commerce by volunteering, donating food and drinks and sponsoring various events. 

Zapien’s involvement will expand as he becomes more involved with the chamber in his role as secretary, and in events including the upcoming Pico Rivera Chamber Golf Tournament on Friday, July 13 at the Pico Rivera Golf Course. 

Like most chambers, the Pico Rivera Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to helping local companies grow their business by taking the lead in various programs and events. 

The chamber has hundreds of members and is constantly growing its base in adding small, medium and large businesses to its roster. 

With over 20 years as the Executive Chef and co-owner of The Salsa Grill, Zapien proved his leadership years before as a chef for various sports & entertainment venus throughout the U.S., and now as a Corporate Chef for Melissa’s Produce. Zapien also owns a catering company, Black Tie & Blue Jeans Catering. 



Cinco de Mayo Cooking Demo at The Salsa Grill

Chef Marco Zapien will host a special Cinco de Mayo themed cooking demo at The Salsa Grill on Wednesday, May 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Cinco de Mayo Cooking Demo

Cooking demo attendees will have the opportunity to learn seven different recipes, including a signature drink, five main courses and a dessert. Each menu item includes some Mexican flare combined with Chef MZ’s creativity to line up with the Cinco de Mayo celebration the following weekend. 

Chef MZ will take guests through each item and will provide copies of each recipe, as well as some of his kitchen secrets. 

The menu includes items such as Durito Street Corn Gratin, which is roasted sweet corn mixed with Chipotle seasoning and Carnitas Classicas with Enchilada de Nopal, which includes the tender chunks of pork used in the restaurant’s Chile Verde that helped them earn the title of ‘Best Chile Verde’ in Los Angeles last year. To view the full cooking demo menu, click here

On top of this expansive menu demonstration and trying each item listed, guests will enjoy each item demonstrated, drink specials and more. The cost is $45 per person. 

Click here to register and view the class menu. Space is limited. 


Salsa Grill Partners with Latino Kids Health, Hosts Holiday Toy Drive

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria will be bringing joy to those in need this holiday season.  The restaurant is currently running its seventh annual gift drive. Salsa Grill Hosts Annual Toy Drive

Running through Sunday, Dec. 17, all unwrapped toys donated will be delivered Latino Kids Health in Montebello to be distributed to less fortunate families, with teens and children, just in time for Christmas.

The Salsa Grill is offering adults 50 percent off their meal (per item, per person) and children (12 and under) will eat free with any unwrapped, new toy. A win-win situation.

Chef and owner Marco Zapien works closely with the community by giving his time all year long by donating, providing food, and catering to those in need.  This holiday season is no different as Chef Zapien will provide his own bundle of gifts and toys to the drive.

In previous years, the restaurant’s toy drives have helped the local community through various churches. In 2016, over 200 toys were collected. The restaurant is hoping to exceed that this year.

Latino Kids (LK) Health is a non-profit organization which provides health care sites and health care to Latino communities. 

Get into the holiday spirit and donate a gift to a family in need.

It’s Hatch Chile Time at The Salsa Grill

Hatch Chile season is here and The Salsa Grill is ready with three events surely to take advantage of the bright green, glossy pepper’s annual availability.

Hatch Chile Festivities at The Salsa Grill
For the seventh year, Chef Marco Zapien is hosting a Hatch Chile interactive cooking demonstration, Hatch Chile roast and Hatch Chile brunch.

Every summer, New Mexican Hatch Chiles are ripe enough to enjoy and Chef MZ is making a late summer celebration out of it.

The cooking demo on Thursday, Aug. 10 from 6 -8 p.m. is where participants will learn how to make items such as roasted Hatch Chile Tortilla Soup, Hatch Chile Enchiladas Suizas and Hatch Chile Verde. The later is a special recipe as Chef MZ’s Chile Verde was just voted the best in Los Angeles by the L.A. Times. Now imagine it with a twist of Hatch Chile.

Recipes for seven different Hatch Chile dishes, including dessert, will be demonstrated and then served for all to enjoy. Class goers will take home recipes and step-by-step directions. The cost is $45 per person, click here to view menu, and here to reserve your spot.

This year’s Hatch cooking demo will give class attendees a taste of what the Hatch Chile roast is all about; Chef MZ will do a live roast at the cooking demo. And what would a cooking demo be without a raffle – the raffle prizes are cases of roasted Hatch Chiles.

The parking lot in front of the restaurant will be filled with roasters and cases of chiles on Saturday, Sept. 9 beginning at 8 a.m. The Salsa Grill has worked closely with Melissa’s Produce to ensure the most flavorful peppers for the roast, cooking demo and brunch. Reserve your cases of Hatch Chiles here.

Chef MZ’s Hatch Chile brunch is also on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m.  to 2 p.m., and includes a complete Hatch Chile inspired menu. Each adult brunch includes Champagne and Mimosas.

Chef MZ Part of “Chefs & Champagne” event in NY

Chef Marco Zapien will be one of the acclaimed chefs participating at the 2017 James Beard Chef MZ Part of "Chefs & Champagne" event in NYFoundation’s Chefs & Champagne on Saturday, July 29 at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York (Hamptons). 

Chef MZ will be representing Melissa’s World Variety Produce, where he is a long-time consulting chef. Along with Chef, Tom Fraker, he will be sampling Endive Leaf with a heaping scoop of Dungeness crab, topped with Hatch Chile Salsa.

Zapen is one of about 40 chefs, beverage masters and artisanal purveyors featured, along with flowing Champagne and Wolffer Estate wines. 

The Chefs & Champagne main event will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, and is open to the public—reservations are $200 for James Beard Foundation members and $275 for non-members. General admission includes all tastings, silent auction bidding opportunities, and a gift bag. VIP premium admission, beginning at 5 p.m., is $375 for James Beard Foundation members and non-members. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 627-2308 or at

Salsa Grill Participates at East LA Meets Napa

Zapien’s Salsa Grill is participating, for the fifth straight year, at East LA Meets Napa Friday, July 28 at Salsa Grill Participates at East LA Meets NapaLA Live.

The event gathers 80 of Los Angeles’ top restaurants and premium vintners, including The Salsa Grill.

Chef Marco Zapien and his team will delight guests with their Posole Tostada – all the elements of posole on a tostada. The dish includes shredded pork, hominy, lime juice, pickled onion, cilantro and radishes served on a crisp tostada shell.

The food and wine festival also features live entertainment, including OZOMATLI and Poncho Sanchez, and a celebrity lounge.

Proceeds from the event help uninsured patients get primary health care. AltaMed is the event organizer.

Click here to purchase tickets. 


Salsa Grill hosts all-day fundraiser for Football for Life

The Salsa Grill is hosting an all-day fundraiser for Football for Life, a non-profit organization that promotes suicide prevention through the game of football, on Saturday, July 8.

Salsa Grill to Host Football for Life Fundraiser

Co-owner and head chef, Marco Zapien is generously allowing the organization to fundraise from open to close, 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.  

This fundraiser coincides with a current GoFundMe campaign organized by Football for Life, which seeks funds to help teens living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. According to Joe Pina, a volunteer at the reservation, 2015 was declared a state of emergency on the reservation due to a rash of teen suicides.

On Pine Ridge, 97% of the population lives far below the U.S. federal poverty line, and the high school dropout rate is 70%. The unemployment rate is upwards of 90% due to the lack of industry, technology or commercial infrastructure on the reservation.  

Football for Life looks to take the life lessons learned on the football field to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

The Football for Life group is comprised of former coaches and players who believe the game of football was instrumental to the success they have achieved in life. The founders and directors of Football for Life know from personal experience the vital impact of youth sports participation. Specifically, participation in football can provide the tools to successfully transition to adulthood.

Salsa Grill patrons and football for Life supporters should mention the fundraiser to their server and a portion of that bill will be donated to the organization on that day. No flyer is required.

Chef MZ is an avid supporter of many non-profits, including sports organizations and schools in the Pico Rivera community, and the support for the reservation in another state shows his overall commitment to helping others.

Click here to view The Salsa Grill’s menu. 

Salsa Grill Makes LA Times Top 5 Chile Verde List

Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria made the Los Angeles Times’ top 5 list for the best Chile Verde in Los Angeles. The list came out online on Thursday, May 25. Salsa Grill Makes LA's Top 5 Places for Chile Verde

The article noted the different ways The Salsa Grill and Chef MZ serve their tender, braised pork in chile verde, including their most well known dish, Dionico Morales’ Favorite. The dish is available as part of the Traditional Dishes dinner menu – a tribute to a great man and regular – and includes choice of Chile Verde or Chile Colorado, beef in red sauce.

The restaurant also has a Chile Verde Burrito available all day and a lunch special featuring the signature item. “The Mayor” merges another Salsa Grill favorite, red enchiladas, and Chile Verde. It’s named after a local council member. Click here to view The Salsa Grill’s menu. 

All Traditional Dishes are served with fresh, handmade Tortillas. Lunch specials and Traditional Dishes are served with beans and rice.  

Click here to view the full article. 

Get over to the Salsa Grill and enjoy some delicious Chile Verde. 

Salsa Grill Hosts Annual Mother’s Day Essay Contest

This year’s Mother’s Day essay writing contest hosted by The Salsa Grill invites students to share why their mom is the best. Salsa Grill Mother's Day Essay Contest

Beginning now and continuing through Sunday, May 8, The Salsa Grill is asking writers ages 7 through 13 to submit an essay up to 250 words answering the question: “Why is your mom the best?” The younger participants are encouraged to include an illustration with their essay.

The grand prize winner of The Salsa Grill’s 5th-Annual Mother’s Day essay writing contest will receive a Massage Envy gift card to give their mom on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 17.

In addition, The Salsa Grill will provide the winners with a restaurant gift card and special treat bag for mom.

Winners in two age categories – ages 7 through 10 and 11 through 13 – will be announced on Wednesday, May 13, with enough time to coordinate pick up ahead of the holiday.

With its focus on education, the Salsa Grill’s Mother’s Day essay writing contest is a recipe for success. The Salsa Grill partners with local private and public schools all year to involve students in other programs and events, including The El Rancho High School Mentor/Mentee program, where Chef Marco Zapien speaks semi-annually to aspiring chefs.

The goal of the essay contest is to involve the local youth and help them forge a path to success.

Good luck to all the participants! Click here for more info.