The Artist’s Kitchen

Jan 6, 2015

10532468_590165627783179_1787552593308002022_n-1Papi says, “A splash more for good measure.” Of course this we understand because of the subtitles, but his tapping of the jar indicates his delight as much as his words.

Luis Gomez is father of singer songwriter Marissa who is featured on Monica Mader and L.A. Photographer and D.P. Rick Mendoza’s new endeavor The Artist’s Kitchen, which may be enjoyed in partial or full episodes on YouTube.

Monica takes us into the colorful and expressive Gomez home in Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium. On the menu: Marissa’s grandmother’s arroz con pollo, which she made every year on Marissa’s birthday. “It brings back a lot of memories with my family sitting at the dinner table. This dish is really close to my heart.”


Singer songwriter Marissa Gomez; publicity photo

Singer songwriter Marissa Gomez; publicity photo


Rick, who’s behind the camera, follows as Monica and Marissa shop in Echo Park for bolillos or Mexican dinner rolls, avocados, and very ripe plantains. Arriving home, Papi gets to work on the sangria, which he calls “the best sangria in Los Angeles; the best thing there is to get sauced.” The essential ingredient, we are told, is the fruit, though also good wine, and a little cognac.” He then adds sugar, 7-up, and “a splash more cognac for good measure.” Monica remarks that it’s the best sangria she’s every tasted.

Marissa has a visual style all her own, in regard to how she dresses, styles her hair, and paints her walls. While the arroz con pollo cooks on the stove in her paella pan, she steps into her minute living room and sings “On My Way” accompanied by The Ghosts of Echo Park bandmate, pianist Reseda Wrigley Mickey. Papi gets into the act as well, singing “Sabor a Mi” while guest Princess Frank plays.


(L to R) Marissa and

(L to R) Marissa and Reseda


Taking a break outside, Marissa tells how she has worked full-time for the past 14 years as an artist’s model. “Artist’s models are a little different than fashion models,” she says. “Everything that you have that makes you unique, is what they want to paint.” Marissa has sat for hundreds and hundreds of artists over the years, including local painters Van Arno and Robert Vargas. The part she most enjoys about artist modelling is “helping people’s development, which helps me in my human development and what I’m trying to do.”




Besides artist modelling, Marissa fronts The Ghosts of Echo Park as singer and songwriter, and they’re in the midst of making their debut album. “My father is a flamenco singer and I didn’t realize how music was really in me, and in my soul.”

“The one thing that I love to do, even if I’m just standing in this room by myself, is sing. It inspires me so much. And I realize it’s been with me all these years, since I was a child, and that my father has been inspiring me.”


Luis "Papi" Gomez

Luis “Papi” Gomez


The final meal of arroz con pollo, sangria, avocado and tomato salad (“a Cuban staple,” Marissa says), and platanos maduros (fried sweet plantains) is served outside on a cloth-covered table with the wine bottles opened, surrounded by friends, and Papi digging in before the toasts are even finished.




Monica is a personable host, easy in front of the camera with the right combination of playing for the camera while also natural and at ease, and her “chops” at small talk, reaction and remarks leading to the next question should develop as she continues in the role. Watch the first full episode here.

Thank you to Monica and Rick for sharing their new endeavor, which we think is an interesting concept that includes three things we love: food, art, and different neighborhoods. We’ll be sharing some of The Artist’s Kitchen recipes in the upcoming weeks, starting with Papi’s sangria!




From Monica & Rick…

The Artist’s Kitchen is about connection. The audience gets an intimate snapshot of the guest artist’s life and work, while cooking the artist’s favorite dish in their own kitchen. Food is the leveling playground, which makes the artist very approachable to people from all walks of life. We offer a raw experience, “Real TV.”

Producing The Artist’s Kitchen gives me a creative outlet. I’m able to exercise my artistic abilities, since my background is in food, art & entertainment. I’m making my niche and developing my dream job. If you ask me what I want to do with my life, this is it. I believe in the artist’s kitchen.

At the moment, it’s a local production, but the goal is to travel worldwide to learn about food, art and culture through the artists we meet, wherever that may be.

Collaborator, Rick Mendoza and I wanted to use our creative talents to produce a cooking show, which is dynamic, fun, unpretentious and has a cheeky sense of humor. We created the show to entertain, educate and inspire, with the hopes that people will try something new.

As a DIY startup, we are currently web-based to promote The Artist’s Kitchen brand and to seek investors who can help take our work to the TV network level.

For sponsorship opportunities please contact us at

Interested artists are encouraged to contact us with links to their work at






Another episode features “Skidrowkyo Rennaissance Man” Yuri Elvin who takes us to the Historic Core farmers’ market at 5th and South Spring Street, then to buy pike mackerel at a fish market in Little Tokyo (look for clear eyes, red gills, and not much odor).




Yuri makes Niigata rice from Japan, opening a jar and pouring indiscriminately, though saying, “I’ll take exactly that much rice, and I’ll rinse it twice, and just put in a little bit more water than you think you shouldn’t, and drop it in here. I don’t speak Japanese, but I’m pretty sure that if I just keep hitting these buttons and this one goes on, it’s cooking.” Fifteen minutes to rice, he assures us.

Next up: “First thing we’ll do is prepare the shrimp; we just get the ice out.” He dumps the shrimp into the sink as water runs. He splashes the shrimp around, then puts them in a stainless steel bowl, presents them to the camera and says, “We’ll cook ’em whole. Shrimp, done.” As the pike cook on Yuri’s indoor grill, Monica asks about his painting, his music, and what drives him. Click here to watch the entire episode.


Yuri Painting











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