At the age of 7 Chef Johnny became obsessed with cooking. While most kids were out playing, Johnny would stay in and read cook books, watch Julia Child, The Galloping Gourmet, and try new recipes on his family. Johnny's dream was to create new and amazing recipes of his own so he could leave his mark on the world. Nothing gave him more joy than seeing someone's face light up when they tasted something wonderful he had created.
It wasn't long before Johnny's creative and prolific talents became apparent. By the time he was 9 he had created his own original recipes for Pickles, Cabbage, Marinara, Chili, and many other dishes prepared at home. Johnny came from a long line of great chefs including his mother and grandmother. They introduced him to all manner of German and Italian cuisine. In addition to the cuisine of his ancestors, Johnny also developed a love for all foods Latin/Southwestern from several childhood housekeepers. Many of the items we serve today are recipes Johnny developed at this eary age including our extremely popular Pickles, Relish, German Potato Salad, and our Award Winning Southwest Verde Chili.
While Johnny knew at an early age that he wanted a life in the food world he was very close to his family and gave up his cooking dreams to support and promote the family business. But, he never lost his passion for cooking, exploring new recipes, and pleasing people via brief stints as a private chef. After his sister took over the family business Johnny was free to pursue his childhood love affair with food.
In 2008, Johnny met his current business partner, Rick, at a party. Rick had a chance to sample some of Johnny's food and was greatly impressed. They discussed the possibility of starting a food company of some form but weren't sure which avenue of Johnny's many talents to explore. Some friends who had tasted Johnny's Chili suggested entering the 2008 Malibu Chili Cookoff. It seemed like a fun idea, and, after deciding on a name, Chili Addiction, they gave it a shot. In the two days of the event they sold over 80 gallons of chili, had a line that extended halfway into the fair grounds, and won two awards with the six different chilis Johnny created that Labor Day Weekend. Several celebrities fell in love with Johnny's food and braved the long line six times to get a chance to try all the chili varieties they served that weekend. The day immediately following the competition Ray Romano called to order several gallons of chili for an upcoming poker party. He wasn't the only person who took notice of Johnny's food. Call after call came in for chili orders with clients driving over an hour from Malibu to Hollywood to pick up their orders.
Clearly there was a business opportunity. Johnny and Rick formed Chili Addiction and started selling chili at a local Farmer's Market in early 2009. Not only did they build a client base closer to home but Johnny also greatly expanded the food sold under the Chili Addiction moniker. Several varieties of Authentic Bavarian Dogs and Sausage, Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage, 8 varieties of mustard, three varieties of hot sauces, pickles, relish, cornbread, spicy jellies, all original creations made from scratch. Each item was very well received by the public and Chili Addiction grew and grew. Within seven months Chili Addiction had outgrown the local market and Johnny and Rick began looking for a home for a Chili Addiction restaurant. In February of 2010 they opened for business in West Hollywood.
It was a great start and it was followed by some amazing events..within a year we were featured on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. We returned to Malibu where we won more awards for our chilil. We further expanded the menu to include five varieties of homemade ketchup, 20 varieties of homemade ice cream, homemade pastrami, several new homemade aiolis, at least 20 more chili recipes, embraced the gluten-free world by offering EVERY item on our menu in gluten-free form, and, most recently we've added 10+ varieties of the most delicious homemade cupcakes you've ever tasted. And, of course, during this time we gained an ever expanding reputation and customer base. It became obvious late last year that our concept for the restaurant had blossomed and matured to be far more than chili. Johnny just keeps producing more and more wonderful fresh and delicious homemade foods. We felt it was necessary to change our name to better reflect what we have become and to help people understand what to expect when they come in to our home. So, in middle 2012 we changed our name to 'The Addiction' Bistro - Everything Homemade. So, the sign out front has changed, but the food and the concept of bringing people the finest homemade food has not!
It's been a wild ride so far. We never knew where things were going to bring us. We've met so many wonderful people over the last few years and had a great time perfecting our food and service. We want to thank everyone who has visited us to date and offer a warm greeting to all the friends we have not yet met. We've just resigned our lease at our current location and are making several changes on the inside. The most obvious change is the addition of a 2nd bathroom. This was necessary to allow us to pursue a beer/wine license. We've put in the paperwork and are waiting for the government to set a hearing date. If all goes well we will be adding Beer/Wine to our restaurant within the next few months. And, of course, we wish to expand to other areas of LA. Every day someone pleads with us to open a location near them..stay tuned, :))