In 2009, John needed a creative outlet for his cooking and founded LOKO Cuisine. Working full time as a special education teacher, John felt owning a restaurant or food truck was not feasible. Instead, John sought to partner with Tampa breweries to create beer forward events that showcased his food and the Bay Area’s distinctive beers. With a unique name stemming from the union of John and his wife’s last name, LoScalzo and Kojima, LOKO Cuisine wrote its origin story. LOKO’s philosophy is a simple one: “beer and food go hand in hand. I feel that beer is an underrated ingredient in the kitchen and has a complexity of flavors and styles that it can shine in any meal for any occasion.” To date, LOKO has created events with Cigar City Brewing, 7venth Sun Brewing, Coppertail Brewing Company, Late Start Brewery, Hidden Springs Brewery, Green Bench Brewing, Webb’s City Cellar, BarrieHaus Beer Co, Cycle Brewing, Funky Buddha Brewing, Stone Brewing, New Belgium Brewing to name a few. Also, LOKO has produced delicious beer collabs with these breweries. https://www.lokocuisine.com/loko-beer/
The best place to see John in action is at Eggs & Kegs, a monthly pop-up brunch where LOKO Cuisine teams up with local breweries and business. Every third Sunday, hungry regulars, foodies, and newbies can be seen lining up to enjoy a beer-inspired meal, a pint of brew, and experience the fun side of food and drink pairings. Due to Covid-19, this has evolved into Grab & Go style, where guests can still enjoy both food and beer to-go.
No matter what, John always creates a uniquely themed menu and piles on the flavors and good times!