Chef Pawan cooking in the kitchen of Badmaash

Alfredo Gurrola, The Man Behind the Delicious Seafood Plates at L.A.'s Premier Restaurants

Behind each dish is a story, and behind the kitchen doors, there’s an immigrant’s journey to be chronicled as well. The secret behind the delicious seafood plates at Providence, one of Los Angeles’ most highly revered restaurants, is fish purveyor, Alfredo Gurrola, from Luxe Seafood Co.

Originally from Zacatecas, Mexico – geographically central without easy access to the coast – Alfredo didn’t grow up knowing much about seafood. After moving to Los Angeles, he began working as a driver in the fish industry at the age of 19. As he moved up the ranks, he chose to learn Japanese.

“I saw the passion they put into their fish. I wanted to understand. I wanted to know why,” says Alfredo.

An intermediary of sorts between the sellers and the chefs, Alfredo is able to communicate the value of the fish he supplies to some of Los Angeles’ finest restaurants such as Providence, Cape Seafood & Provisions and Sushi Gen.

“He goes and visits the places he buys the fish from. He knows how it’s harvested, how they ship it… And that’s what makes for great, wild fish," says Michael Cimarusti, executive chef and co-owner of Providence.

It is those details that make Alfredo “one of the best in his trade,” Cimarusti says.  It is also those details that impact Alfredo’s purchasing decisions and the seafood that lands on the plates at some of Los Angeles’ most highly sought after dining experiences.
 

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Badmaash

Indian food has often been associated with stiff restaurants, all-you-can-eat buffets and heavily spiced, cream-based dishes. The Mahendro family (Anu, Pawan, Nakul and Arjun) immigrated to Los Angeles and found that they didn’t recognize any of the so-called Indian food available to them. Like carefully selected spices to a classic Indian dish, each family member contributes something special and significant to their restaurant Badmaash and to the city of L.A. Featured in the episode: Downtown L.A.’s Badmaash.

  • 2018-06-22T07:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-07-15T09:00:00-07:00
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Omotenashi

Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan, the couple behind Echo Park's Tsubaki, have always loved the culture of izakaya but found Los Angeles lacking in these Japanese taverns. Sonoko Sakai is a teacher with a passion for buckwheat and the near-sacred art of soba noodles, and Seiichi Yokota knows how to prepare and preserve fresh fish with a traditional Japanese technique never seen before in Los Angeles. Each aims to introduce Angelenos to the unique spirit of Japanese hospitality and the culture's deep culinary customs.

  • 2018-06-24T09:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-06-29T07:00:00-07:00
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The Migrant Kitchen 1-Hour Special

Los Angeles’ booming food scene is being shaped by a new generation of chefs. Visit almost any kitchen in Los Angeles and it is likely you will find a migrant chef combining ethnic cuisines with new flavors and techniques. And often within the food, is a story of their migration.

“The politics of migration, the labor economy, all that drama plays out in the restaurants that we go to,” says journalist and author Rubén Martínez

  • 2018-07-01T02:00:00-07:00
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  • 2018-07-01T08:00:00-07:00
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Beyond Pho

Banh Mi. Spring rolls. Pho. The war and its subsequent refugees. These are things most commonly associated with the Vietnamese culture and its people. But a group of chefs in Los Angeles (including Cassia’s Bryant Ng and Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette) are hoping to demonstrate that there’s so much more than that. Featured in the episode: Cassia in Santa Monica, Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, Red Boat Fish Sauce, and Minh Phan of Porridge & Puffs.

  • 2018-07-01T09:00:00-07:00
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Alta California

A collective of culturally connected, distinguished chefs (including Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos, Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, as well as Jorge Gaviria of corn purveyor, Masienda) work to preserve heritage and push forward the “Alta California” Mexican food movement. By celebrating those dishes and ingredients integral to Mexico's cuisine and its economy, a group of accomplished Mexican-American chefs are working to elevate not only the food, but what people of their heritage can achieve in the food business.

  • 2018-07-08T09:00:00-07:00
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