We had the good fortune of connecting with Tasha Prothro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tasha, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Life is full of risk! In order to see whats on the other side you have to take risks to conquer fears. On the other side of fear is success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What fueled ‘Cali Gold Blends’ was my travels to the Southern Caribbean in 2018 where I fell in love with their style of pepper sauce, that experience inspired me..so not long after I was in the kitchen experimenting and coming up with different sauces. This style of sauce naturally tied in with my creole roots which became natural for me, so not long after I came up with my signature ‘habanero pepper sauce’. What sets Cali Gold Blends apart is the taste, along with our thicker consistency balance of heat & flavor. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished this pass year, especially during the pandemic. We were forced to close accounts which was a bummer. However, it gave us time to focus on branding and consistency in our product. It hasn’t been easy but I’m thankful for my team who keep on pushing. We work hard everyday to get better and continue to enjoy the process. We’re all enduring some crazy times right now, so we’re looking forward to 2021. I’ve learned to stay humble, be optimistic, and enjoy the ride. There are times when I want to walk away from it all, but instead I think about all the hard work that’s been put in and the passion that keeps me going. So I eat a slice of humble pie, dust myself off and get to work! What I’d like the world to know is Cali Gold Blends is here to wake up your taste buds, enhance your recipes and push boundaries by sharing these hand crafted sauces.’
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Pre-Covid… Monday-Pick them up from the airport, eat at Ocean Prime with my favorite server ‘Butler’ I’d order the steak tartare, oysters, wedge salad and rib eye steak. Oh, and of course a nice bottle of red wine. Tuesday-We’d go to Jefferson stairs or a quick workout and take pictures at the top of the mountain. We’d have lunch at ‘Republiqe’ and have breakfast. Later I’d see what my friend had in mind for entertainment. Wednesday-We’d go to Malibu for lunch at ‘Nobu’ then have wine at Rosenthal winery and hang out. Dinner we’d go to ‘The little door’ and have the charred octopus, lamb, a salad and a dirty martini to was it all down. Thursday- I’d take them to the Hollywood bowl for some live music and a good time..that will take up the day. Friday-We’d go and do some shopping in Beverly Hills, Melrose and Fairfax for some cool sneakers. Kutsuya for sushi and sake. Saturday-Beach day! I’ll make up a cooler of snacks and hit Hermosa for the day. I’d have some of my friends meet us down there for a ‘fun day’ For dinner we’d go to ‘The Arthur J’ and order the yellowtail hamachi, mashed potatoes, and rack of lamb. Sunday- the Smorgasburg downtown LA for a mix of eateries, beer and then I’d have them over with friends fo dinner made by me. Most likely I’d make one of my signature dishes..my seafood medley made with mussels, shrimp, crab and some french bread.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
OMG!!!! I have so many shoutouts. First to my Mom & Aunt for keeping our family tradition GUMBO on the table for all of my years growing up, and for preparing food with LOVE. I want to thank Victor Nelli, Jr (OPM Films) for taking me on a unami ride and exposing me to Michelin Star food eateries in New York years back. Chef Derek Brandon Walker who was my first cooking instructor at St. Joseph’s Center in Venice, California. He taught me basic cooking techniques, and how to properly use a knife without chopping off my fingers..lol.. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher to help jump start my career. Executive Chef, David Codney (The Peninsula in Beverly Hills) Where I completed my externship at the Peninsula and was hired to work with a fantastic crew of chefs. The Peninsula was the first fine dining restaurant I worked at and I’d have to say, ‘without that experience I wouldn’t be the chef I am today.’ I’m thankful for Chef Codney for believing in me when I had no idea what I was doing. Chef Danny Waked (The Arthur J) my mentor, friend and advisor that I still call to this day! I appreciated his consistent work ethic and for teaching me the tools that I use in my business today. I’m thankful for the support of my friends and family who keep me grounded. My right hand man Art Maxwell for ‘pushing me off he ledge’ and believing in me. Last but not least my partner Shalon Dozier who has supported me since day one. Without notice she jumped on board and believed in my dreams with no question. THANK YOU!!! I love you all.
Tasha Prothro, Cali Gold Blends