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EATYALL: Chefs Tell the Story of Farmers

May 10, 2022

Have you ever walked 14 miles with 90 pounds of salt, traded it for 90 pounds of organic flour, and walked back home with it on your back? Los Angeles-based Italian/French/Argentinian restaurant Bianca is named after a baker who did just that - regularly.

Her name was Bianca, and during World War II this Italian self-taught chef would source her ingredients the only way she could to help feed her family and community. Now, her grandsons Gianni and Nicola Vietina are successful chefs in Los Angeles, and we get to hear from the only baker they trust as pastry chef of Bianca Restaurant: their long-time friend Federico Fernandez.

And lest anyone think Federico (a.k.a Fede) was given this honor based purely on his friendship with Gianni and Nicola, we quickly learn that his talent and experience precede him: he was the executive pastry chef of the Four Seasons Hotel before his work at Bianca began.

Today’s episode will make you swear you can smell Fede’s cream-filled Cannoncini’s and almond croissants as we listen in on some of his fresh-sourcing secrets. Andy and Fede touch on everything from elaborate wedding cakes to Argentinian Bar-B-Q gatherings, and the busy kitchen sounds of Bianca carry on in the background, welcoming us to the richly cultured heart of Los Angeles.

Ingredient-Sourcing: Balancing Quality and the Bottom-line

Fede’s wisdom feels especially rich when Andy asks about sourcing flour and other important ingredients from week to week. His experience and skill create standards that aren’t work compromising to save a few short-term dollars, and his savvy knack for relationship building with local sources helps keep the establishment in the black, even as the Culver City area of Los Angeles is still in the recovery process from coronavirus lock-downs.

All About Federico Fernandez

Fede grew up in Argentina baking with his mother. He studied the culinary arts in Buenos Aires and then traveled internationally and worked in several prestigious hotel chains like Hyatt, Marriott and Intercontinental. He eventually connected with the Four Seasons where his culinary creations could be tasted in Argentina, Uruguay, Canada and the US.

Now busy co-owning and creating at Bianca, he’s able to integrate the classics of his childhood with his current surroundings. He’s made appearances on Iron Chef, The Today Show and other programs.

Connect with Fede

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Show Credits:

Hosts: Andy and Marianna Chapman

Graphic Design by Tyler Castleman

Production provided by Bryan Murphy

The EATYALL Podcast is hosted by Andy Chapman, CEO and founder of EATYALL. EATYALL serves the food and farm community with effective chef outreach services.