Chef Zapien to attend student related career convention

Marco Zapien, head chef and co-owner of Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria in Pico Rivera, Ca will be speaking at the FHA HERO Convention on Sunday, April 21 at the Ontario Convention Center.

Zapien will talk with students about his career path, and his successes and struggles leading up to today.

The 66th Annual FHA Hero Convention will be a culminating experience for all California Association FHA HERO members. All who gather will learn leadership skills, and knowledge about future career options, including a culinary career.
FHA HERO is a program to prepare students with the skills required to work and earn a living. HERO, the Home Economics Related Occupations program, prepares students to make a living in nine related career pathways, including child development, education, consumer services, human services, fashion design, manufacturing and culinary. Students in this program are taught a “learn by doing” system to give them the skills and knowledge they need for future fulfilling career.
At the event, Zapien will host brief seminars talking about his career, demonstrating a few of his techniques and skills in the kitchen, including a demonstration and sampling of his raved about guacamole and salsa. He will present at 8:45, 9:45, and 10:45 a.m., and will pass out his homemade chips, salsa and guacamole to the audience.
This is not Zapien’s first time attending a student related benefit. He is passionate about giving back to the community, as he supports culinary programs at local high schools, and hosts fundraisers for local schools, giving back at least 20 percent to the school or organization.

Zapien’s Salsa Grill Celebrates 19th Anniversary

Free Appetizer and Champagne All Weekend

Zapien’s Salsa Grill in Pico Rivera, CA is celebrating its 19-year anniversary the weekend of April 13 and 14 with a special treat to all patrons.

The weekend giveaways include a complementary chicharron appetizer as well as champagne to all guests. A prize package giveaway on the hour, each hour, will include Salsa Grill gift cards as well as other items.

On Monday, April 15, the actual day, “The Grill” turns 19; each table’s bill will be discounted by 19 percent.

“Come and enjoy good food and help us celebrate a big milestone in our existence,” said Marco Zapien, co-owner and head chef. “We are looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces that have supported us throughout the years. Without our loyal guests we would not be here. “

The Salsa Grill opened in 1994 and has since then dedicated itself to good food and customer satisfaction. They offer catering services for private dinners, business luncheons or any reason to have great food served to you and your guests.

Voted Best Mexican restaurant in the L.A area for five years, The Grill is an obvious local favorite, although truly authentic food, cooking classes and other great events has yielded a growing fan base outside of the L.A. area. Patrons from Orange and San Bernardino Counties are hearing the buzz.

“Very good food and excellent service are always worth the drive,” said Brandon Perez of Brea.

Chef Zapien is also a corporate chef for Los Angeles- based Melissa’s Produce, where he creates menus, manages and consults for sports and entertainment venues nationwide. He personally crafts menus for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home games, and is an in-demand chef for many professional athletes and coaches including the San Diego Chargers.

Cooking is not Zapien’s only passion. He is dedicated to helping the community with any chance he gets. The Salsa Grill hosts fundraisers with local schools, and gives at least 20 percent back to the school, more than most SoCal restaurants. Toy drives for local churches, blanket drives, speaking engagements for school career days, and the support of the culinary program at a local high school are only a few ways Zapien proves his dedication to the community.

The Salsa Grill is located at 6704 Rosemead Blvd Pico Rivera, CA 90660, and is open Monday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Zapien’s Morning Fiesta with Hot 92.3

Zapien’s Salsa Grill held a morning fiesta with DJ J9 from radio station Hot 92.3 on Friday March 8.  The event started at 7 a.m. and continued into J9’s morning show, “J9 On the Streets.” The Salsa Grill had a great turnout filling its entire dining room with patrons eager for good food, music and fun. Everyone in attendance was given a cup of Zapien’s highly popular Menudo or Pozole for free. Zapien’s also provided an array of drinks including fresh-made coffee and Micheladas.

DJ J9, also known as Jimmy Reyes, interacted with the guests and provided R&B and “old school” tunes, which aired live on Hot 92.3. Prizes large and small, including Salsa Grill giveaways were raffled off. One lucky goer won a pair of tickets to see Alicia Keys live in concert at the Staples Center. Tickets for stand-up comedian, Chris Tucker were also raffled off. People from as far as Santa Maria came to enjoy the event and try Zapien’s food for the first time. Zapien’s proved it knew how to spice up a Friday morning.

Zapien’s Recognized as “Best Mexican” seventh straight year

Zapien’s Salsa Grill has been recognized as the “Best Mexican Restaurant” of 2012 by Los Angeles Hotlist for the fifth consecutive year. Results were based on on-line voting (la.cityvoter.com), where Zapien’s was chosen from a field 94 Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles County.

“It is very exciting to be recognized as the best Mexican restaurant again this year on LA’s Hotlist,” Executive Chef and Co-Owner Marco Zapien said. “We take pride in providing the highest quality food and service around and apparently our hard work is being noticed. We feel that five years in a row is a great accomplishment for our entire team. We could not do this without the continued support of our loyal clientele and the hard work of all of our staff.  This is a great achievement for all of the Salsa Grill family.”

Zapien’s Salsa Grill was founded in 1994 and is known for its authentic Mexican flavors — including menudo, pozole and mole — as well as a popular weekday breakfast special from 7 to 11 a.m. It’s one of few restaurants that serves fresh menudo and pozole daily.

Still located at its original address in Pico Rivera, Zapien’s is an established part of the local community. In September, the restaurant hosted a special chili roast in support of the Mentor & Mentee Golf program, which benefitted inner-city high school student-athletes.

A graduate of the Los Angeles Culinary Institute, Zapien’s passion for food was inspired by his parents and the homemade recipes of his grandmother. Zapien has served as an Executive Chef at Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, and Honda Center. He is also a corporate chef with Melissa’s World Variety produce, Inc. where he works closely with executive chefs in the sports and entertainment industry to collaborate and create new ways of using products available to them from Melissa’s.

Zapien’s Salsa Grill is located at 6702 Rosemead Blvd in Pico Rivera. For more information visit thesalsagrill.com.

The Grill turns 18 with a beer tasting, special brunch & all day savings

The Salsa Grill turns 18 on Saturday. What better way to celebrate than a party featuring the same Finest Mexican Cuisine that made the restaurant famous?

This historic anniversary gala is highlighted by a unique beer tasting menu, courtesy of Redlands-based Hangar 24 Brewery. Offered this Saturday only, the special menu includes Hangar 24 Alt Bier and Citrus Carnitas, Ancho Chile and Hangar 24 Orange Wheat Marinated Chicken, and Hangar 24 Pale Ale Battered Tacos de Pescado. Guests can alsoenjoy refried beans, a Cilantro Cesar Salad, and an appetizer of chipotle braised beef taquitos and chicken flautas.

Voted Best Mexican restaurant in the L.A. area four years in a row, The Salsa Grill is also offering special prices on some of its most popular menu items to mark the special occasion. Guests can take advantage of a buy-one, get-one half off brunch. Certain beverages will be priced $1.80 all day, including horchata, jamaica, select beers and margaritas.

For its entire 18-year existence, The Salsa Grill has called its original location home at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Rosemead Blvd. in Pico Rivera. The restaurant is still guided by its original family ownership between Chef Marco Zapien and his father, Jess.

Marco Zapien is also a corporate chef for Los Angeles-based Melissa’s Produce, creating menus, consulting and managing chefs and sports and entertainment venues nationwide. He personally crafts the catering menu for Los Angeles Dodgers home games. As an in-demand chef for private parties, his clientele includes professional athletes and coaches such as San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner.

Fame has not deterred Zapien’s commitment to the community. His initiatives include toy drives to local churches St. Mariana’s and St. Hilary’s, a blanket drive for Covered in Love L.A., support of the culinary program at California High School in Whittier, support of the golf program at El Rancho High in Pico Rivera, and speaking engagements at El Rancho’s career day.

The Salsa Grill is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Breakfast specials are served weekdays until 11 a.m., and lunch specials on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Grill sets up tragedy stricken family with X-Mas dinner

In 2008 Adali Gutierrez witnessed his parents death when they were caught in the middle of a drug cartel shooting in Mexico. Since then, he has been the sole provider and guardian for his four younger siblings.

Gutirrez, 20, works two jobs, including one with the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corp, which helped him get into his current apartment in a poor neighborhood in El Monte.
Executive Chef and Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria co-owner, Marco Zapien, heard about Adali’s struggles and took the family Christmas Eve dinner earlier this afternoon.
“I read about Adali’s struggles, and I had to do something,” said Zapien.
Several types of Tamales, Chili Verde, Chili Colorado, hand-made Tortillas, Menudo, Pozole and rice and beans were delivered for their Christmas dinner.
“Wow, this is awesome,” said Gutierrez.
Chef Zapien also gave Adali a gift card to bring his family back to the restaurant.
“I’m definitely going there,” said Gutierrez.

The Salsa Grill sheds light, giving toys and a holiday meal

This holiday season most restaurants were wrapped up in holiday bookings and catering orders, however head chef and co-owner of Zapien’s Salsa Grill & Taqueria, Marco Zapien, and his team were busy organizing a toy drive with local churches St. Hilary and St. Mariana.

For most of December “The Grill” collected unwrapped toys for both Pico Rivera parishes to distribute to struggling families within the community this holiday season. This week, they delivered 78 toys to each church.

In exchange for the unwrapped toys every child (12 and under) ate free and every adult received 50 percent off his or her meal.

“We don’t want to get caught up only in the entertainment and shopping this holiday season,” said Zapien. “That said, we want to be a part of making Christmas special for those in our community who are in need, especially those with children.”

According to Marie Martinez, the business director at St. Mariana an estimated 250 families reach out to the parish for food and other goods during the holiday season.

“These donations really make a difference,” said Martinez.

The Salsa Grill’s toy drive ended this week, leaving enough time for distribution to the parishes and families in need. However, Chef Zapien didn’t stop giving.

A specific menu was created for El Monte resident, Adali Gutierrez and his family for Christmas Eve dinner. Zapien will personally deliver the meal Christmas Eve at 2 p.m., which includes an assortment of hand-made Tamales, Chili Colorado and mini desserts.

Gutierrez, 20, lost his parents in a drug cartel shooting in 2008 and cares for his four siblings by working two jobs, but still struggles to pay rent, utilities and food.

“I read about Adali’s struggles, and I had to do something,” said Zapien.

The Salsa Grill shares the true meaning of the holidays

December 07, 2011

As everyone gears up for shopping and decorating, The Salsa Grill is gearing up for giving.

Most restaurants are wrapped up in holiday bookings and catering orders, however head chef and co-owner of The Salsa Grill, Marco Zapien, and his team have been busy organizing a toy drive with local churches St. Hilary and St. Mariana.

Beginning December 1 “The Grill” will collect unwrapped toys for both Pico Rivera parishes to distribute to struggling families within the community this holiday season.

In exchange for the unwrapped toys every child (12 and under) who brings one will eat free and every adult will receive 50 percent off his or her meal. The incentive is offered Monday-Saturday from open to close.

“We don’t want to get caught up only in the entertainment and shopping this holiday season,” said Zapien. “That said, We want to be a part of making Christmas special for those in our community who are in need, especially those with children.”

According to Marie Martinez, the business director at St. Mariana an estimated 250 families reach out to the parish for food and other goods during the holiday season.

“These donations really make a difference,” said Martinez.

The Salsa Grill’s toy drive ends Saturday, Dec. 17.

Additionally, Chef Zapien has worked out a menu for El Monte resident, Adali Gutierrez and his family for Christmas Eve dinner. Zapien is donating a meal from appetizer to dessert, including an assortment of hand-made Tamales, Chili Colorado and mini desserts.

Gutierrez, 20, lost his parents in a drug cartel shooting in 2008 and cares for his four siblings by working two jobs, but still struggles to pay rent, utilities and food.

“I read about Adali’s struggles, and I had to do something,” said Zapien.