Like so many others, Margie Arbizo’s path to becoming a chef started in childhood. She cites her family as her biggest creative influences: her mother is an artist, her uncle is a chef, and her grandmother is a talented home cook. Growing up, Margie spent time in the kitchen with her grandmother, watching and learning. She would also play “restaurant” with her brother (who now helps her with catering), serving her younger siblings.
Cooking professionally wasn’t really in the plan for Margie. She ended up living in New York City, working in finance and hosting dinner parties on the side. Her guests always encouraged her to pursue cooking as a career. After almost seven years of corporate entrenchment and finally admitting that finance did not feed her soul, Margie donned the apron full-time. Her story resonates. I recently left a teaching career in favor of one as a writer–and it took me six years to do it. Leaving the familiar for the unknown is difficult, even if said unknown aligns more with your passions.
Margie now works as a sous chef for Crateful, a successful Los Angeles catering company. Dinner With Friends, her independent endeavor, is where she channels her inspiration. She tells me that her food is a direct reflection of her family, and she sticks to what comes naturally. Margie also incorporates flavors from her various world travels, utilizing a lot of seafood and spices. Above all, she wants her cuisine to be tasty and simple; much of what she makes can be created using common ingredients from the kitchen or garden.
Margie is currently dishing up her Mexican feast, with favorites like homemade salsa and guacamole, tacos de mole, tres leches cake, and more. This fun and vibrant menu (complete with a shot of tequila!) is truly a dinner with friends.