Spotlight:  The Chef

We took the time to sit down for a quick Q&A with San Pedro Meals on Wheels Executive Chef, Mike Caccavalla, to see if we could get him to share a little about what makes his wheels turn.

Question:

Where did you come from?

Chef Mike:  

I was born and raised in Brooklyn and relocated to San Pedro in my 20’s.  

Question: 

Have you always been a Chef?

Chef Mike:  

I’ve had multiple careers.  I've been a radio DJ; a restaurant owner; and I've been in the food procurement arena too, with international and local companies such as Carl Kartcher; Downtown Subs & More; and Giuliano's Deli and Bakery.  I currently own a promotional clothing line, but I still get to fulfill my passion for cooking on a daily basis.

Question: 

You're not only involved with San Pedro Meals on Wheels, correct?

Chef Mike:  

Yeah, my experience with cooking and community involvement is extensive.  I’ve catered over 400 weddings; private events; political events, and I consult internationally too.  There’s Shakespeare By the Sea; Music By the Sea; the Lobster Fest; Cars and Stripes; the Muller House; Ft. Mac and Harbor Interfaith Fund Raisers;  Pt. Fermin; Wigwam Hall; the Warner Grand; the Korean [Friendship] Bell; the Bath House and Polar Bear Events; Downtown San Pedro First Thursdays; various movie and TV Filmmaking events; the Community Redevelopment Agency; the Port of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles and Port Police Departments, and the Juvenile Intervention Program.

Question: 

Tell us a little about your experience being "The Chef" for San Pedro Meals on Wheels.

Chef Mike:  

I’ve been the Chef for five years, but people have known me at the First Presbyterian Church and throughout the San Pedro community for decades.  The ad in the paper for 'a cook' caught my eye.  By the end of the second day I was cooking, organizing, improving procedure and helping to run the office.  I’ve assisted in moving SPMOW from frozen food to fresh, and helped with increasing the number of clients and volunteers.  I have helped reduce expenses and serve meals based on a well thought out plan.

Question: 

Anything else you want to share about your time with San Pedro Meals on Wheels?

Chef Mike:  

I came to do a job and to try to do my best at it every day.  I run into challenges often, but the bottom line is to prepare the most nutritious, cost effective meals that taste good.