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Meet Chef Linda Johnsen of Filomena’s Italian Kitchen & Market in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chef Linda Johnsen.

Chef Linda Johnsen is the Owner/Executive Chef of Filomena’s Italian Kitchen & Filomena’s Italian Market, located in Costa Mesa. Linda grew up in South Philly in a traditional Italian American family. She spent Sunday’s with her Grandmother, Filomena and Aunt Rosemary walking to the open-air specialty markets for fresh ingredients to prepare the family dinner and make a pot of Sunday Sauce. This is where the tradition and techniques of Italian cooking and learning the secrets to making “homemades” or pasta were passed down to Linda and what she now shares with her guests in her restaurant & specialty food market. Accolades: Opened in 2013, Chef Linda and Filomena’s Italian Kitchen has received numerous honors from OC food critics. Accolades include: • Restaurant – 2017 Brad Johnson/OC Register “75 Best Places to Eat” o 3rd consecutive year 2015/2016/2017 • Pizza – 2016 OC Register Top 20 Best Pizzas in Orange County – #9 • Pizza – 2016 Orange Coast magazine Best 28 Pizzas in the OC – #4 • Trip Advisor – #1 Italian restaurant in Costa Mesa Market Expansion: Opened in January 2017, Filomena’s Italian Market is an extension of Chef Linda’s restaurant, inspired by the markets she visited as a young girl.

The Italian Market offers a vast selection of specialty Italian foods to be enjoyed at homes such as imported Italian goods, artisanal meats and cheeses, fresh-made deli sandwiches, fresh-baked bread, cookies & pastries made daily by an in-house baker, gelato and take-n-bake fresh pasta, sauces and restaurant favorites. Known for an extensive selection of unique wines offered by the glass in the restaurant, the market offers retail wine sales as well as fun tasting events curated by Chef Linda and her Sommelier. Charity Affiliations: Chef Linda spends the majority of her time making sure her guests are being properly fed as a true Italian mother would do. She is also passionate about supporting the charities that feed and provide services to Orange County’s homeless population. She has been a return guest chef supporting S.O.S (Save our Selves) Annual Celebrity Chef Dinner and Wild & Crazy Taco Nights. She has also supported the Illumination Foundation as a returning chef in the 2016 & 2017 OC Chef’s Table gala dinner “Table for 10”, and as chef/caterer at numerous Designer Runway charity events in the Laguna Design Center. • Chef Linda was awarded the 2017 Illumination Foundation OC Chef’s Table “Community Champion”, honored for her continuous support and efforts to help end homelessness. Follow Chef Linda & Filomena’s on Facebook @filomenasoc, Instagram @ FilomenaKitchenMarket and online @

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it has not. When I opened my second location in Laguna Niguel we struggled. It was not the right move for me, my first location struggled without me there. I eventually sold it and refocused on my business and added the Italian Market.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are an Italian restaurant specializing in made from scratch food. We are known for freshly made pasta.


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