Cookbook November 2014

Anne and I have been working on a Fiore Market Cafe cookbook that we look forward to publishing before the 2014 holiday season. We are doing the cookbook with our friends Brad and Tim from Peloton Magazine. It’s been quite an undertaking.

Thankfully, I have taken thousands of photographs since  August 2010 when we signed the lease with Lissa Reynolds of the Fremont Centre. Going through those photographs has brought back fond memories. The photographs of the first loaves of bread are amazing. The bread looks  dark and almost burnt to me. To think that we have made approximately 55,000 loaves of bread since those photographs were taken is shocking. Each of those loaves has been made by hand. We have never used any machinery for making bread.

The photographs of the patio reveal a very young setting with a very stark garden that has taken four years to mature. It’s strange to see especially now that the garden is full and such a part of Fiore Market Cafe. It was always our plans to have a garden and this garden has grown alongside the growth of the restaurant.

We plan to use a lot of our own photographs and fill in with some new ones that Tim and I take in the next few weeks.

The cookbook will focus on the Fiore Market Cafe recipes, but will have some stories of our adventures in Italy and hopefully a few recipes from some of our wonderful friends that we met while on that adventure.

We will have a few other unique and interesting additions to the cookbook that you don’t normally find in a cookbook, but we will wait to share that.

For now here are a few photographs from the archives.002 (3) 021 First loaves of bread at Fiore 005 (3) 007 (4) 005 (5) 013 Olive bread II 003 024

001 005 tomatoes on the vine more tomatoes

Polenta Fest Fall 2014



On my second trip to Italy in October of 2003 I was fortunate to attend and participate in a Polenta Fest with a new friend Luciana Pancera at her Villa called Villa Vallerosa. She hosted the party in a barn like structure with long tables. The tables were fitted with long wide planks of new wood. Outside the door of the barn her husband Luigi cooked polenta in a copper pot over  a wood fire. People lingered and nibbled on figs and proscuito while they waited for the polenta to be ready. When it was, Luigi and a couple of others hoisted the copper pot and slowly pour the hot golden polenta directly on the wooden planks. Luciana spread the polenta across the planks and quickly topped it with a rich meat sauce. Sausages were added and platters of cheese were passed to the group of guest who by now had surrounded the long table. As the polenta hardened the guest peeled it from the plank and devoured it. It was quite an affair. Something I have never forgotten.

A few years ago Anne and I recreated this Polenta Fest for a group of Fiore  customers. It was a great time, but not quite the same as it was in Italy, but for South Pasadena it was special. We also did this Polenta Fest for our friends Brad and Tim of the magazine Peloton. They did a story about the Polenta Fest for their magazine.


On September 25th we will host another Polenta Fest. If you are interested in attending please stop by to sign up. Click on the link above for more information.

New Farm Shots

Here are a few photographs from the farm.


New fig tree planted in a whiskey barrel. I have another one if anyone would like it.


More Blackberries


Charlyn’s  Kumquat Tree


Fresh Oregano


Shiso Plant


More Tomatoes






Potted Plants






New compost. Come by and help yourself.

Blackberries and Heirloom Tomatoes

The farm is flourishing this summer and the two biggest contributors are blackberries and heirloom tomatoes. I haven’t had much  luck with heirlooms in the past, but this year they are fantastic. They are not  ripe, but very close. The blackberries are  abundant. We have so many blackberries and the vines have spread everywhere. I allotted one raised bed for them, but they don’t want to stay in one place. They remind me of the mint that is now growing throughout the garden.

I have a few Japanese shiso plants if you would like one.








A very healthy shiso plant




I still have compost if anyone needs some.












Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches are back

Summer is here and tomatoes are finally in season and plentiful at the farmer’s market. The heirloom tomatoes at the Fiore Farm are not quite ready, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start running the heirloom tomato sandwich with farmer’s market tomatoes. I picked some up today from the market in Old Town Pasadena. Take a look.









Here are the Fiore tomatoes that we’re waiting on.






New Bread Class and More

New bread class is scheduled for Tuesday July 15th at 7:00pm. If you are interested in signing up please stop by the restaurant to sign up and pay.


Here is a photograph of the first tomato. It is rather small and not quite ripe enough, but it looks good. Spent the last 2 days thinning out the tomato plants. I discovered lots of tomatoes in various stages, but none ready for the homemade bread. I am hoping soon. Here are a few photographs.












I will have pork belly hopefully Wednesday and Thursday. I will serve it on our homemade bread with homemade fig jam and arugula.

Still have tomato plants if anyone would like a few.


93 loaves and counting

This past Saturday we baked 93 loaves of bread. It was the first time we baked that many loaves and it was still not enough for the business. We ran out of bread around 4:30pm. When we opened Fiore Market Cafe 34 loaves on a Saturday was a pretty big deal. The guys would moan about having to make that may loaves. Now 34 loaves is a walk in the park. The only day the guys moan now is Friday afternoon when we start to prepare the dough for Saturday. This Friday we will make 102 loaves. Yikes. Each loaf is made by hand so it takes time, but we  have 4 guys making the bread. Last Friday we pumped out the 93 loaves in under an hour. We’ve gotten quick over the last 3 years.



The tomato plans are doing well. I hope to have some ripe tomatoes in about 3 weeks. That seems early to me but I am excited for tomatoes.


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