John has hospitality in his blood and beer on his mind. He was born in New Orleans and has lived in Georgia, California, and Arizona. John has called Tampa, Florida, his home for over 30 years, drawing much of his inspiration from West Tampa and Ybor City. A passion for bringing people together through food runs deep in him. His Southern mother and Sicilian grandmother passed on their love for food and showed him how to use cooking to express creativity. John’s father operated the historic Elmwood Plantation restaurant in New Orleans and entertained famous stars such as Dean Martin, Buzz Aldrin, and Jesse Owens. His uncle owned numerous bars and restaurants around the Big Guava, including Brother’s Lounge, a key cog in the 80’s jazz club scene. Spending over fifteen years in the restaurant, catering, and bar industry enabled John to hone his culinary knowledge and skill. John’s understanding of classic French techniques and Latin cooking took root at Tampa’s Mise en Place Bistro. The next stage in John’s journey found him catering private parties and teaching cooking classes.
In 2009, John needed a creative outlet for his cooking and founded LOKO Cuisine, a name stemming from his last name LoScalzo, Italian, and his wife’s last name Kojima, Japanese, hands down two of John’s favorite cuisines. Working full time as a special education teacher, John felt owning a restaurant or food truck was not feasible. Instead, he sought to partner with local breweries to create beer forward dinners and brunches that showcased his food and the Bay Area’s distinctive beers. John’s philosophy is a simple one: “Food and beer go hand in hand. Beer is such an underrated ingredient in the kitchen and has a complexity of styles and flavors that can shine in any meal for any occasion.” To date, John has created events with the likes of Cigar City Brewing, BarrieHaus Beer Co, Green Bench Brewing, Webb’s City Cellar, 7venth Sun Brewing, Coppertail Brewing Company, Late Start Brewery, Cigar City Cider & Mead, Garagiste Meadery, Hidden Springs Brewery, Cycle Brewing, J Wakefield Brewing, Funky Buddha Brewing, Bell’s Brewing, Founders Brewing, Stone Brewing, New Belgium Brewing to name a few. Click on the link to check out LOKO beer collaborations:

The best place to see John in action is at Eggs & Kegs, a monthly pop-up brunch every third Sunday, where hungry regulars, newbies, and foodies can be seen lining up to enjoy a uniquely themed beer-inspired meal, a pint of brew, and experience the fun side of food and drink pairings. No matter what, John always piles on the flavors and good times!