The story behind it all...
The moment you step into Bistro K, you become part of her story… a story woven from the successes of four brother chefs, entertaining three countries, seducing two Italians hearts… resulting into the elegance of what is Katia's Bistro K.
Tony Bagatta grew up rooted in the Italian culinary culture. He spent his adolescent years studying and cultivating the grapes the family used to make its own wines. Among the ripening grapevines, Tony and his three brothers competed for who made the most satisfying meals. And with each crafted recipe, the Bagatta Boys soon became the Bagatta Chefs.
As each brother made his way out of Italy, all found individual success in different countries, including France and South Africa. It was in Cape Town, South Africa, where Tony Bagatta found his stride as a partner of the famous Heerengracht Hotel. Mastering his craft in all aspects of preparing a meal and seasoned from adventures along the way, (including his time as the head chef on Aristotle Onassis’ Yacht, “Cristina O"), it was no wonder why under his ownership the establishment would become THE destination spot of 1964. There, he hosted countless celebrities from comedian/actor Jerry Lewis, to a then amateur golfer Gary Player, and even the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. In fact, Tony and the Heerengracht Hotel can still be seen in a cameo role in the movie The Manipulator.
Although voted most eligible bachelor for a stretch in time, Tony willingly gave up the title when a chance encounter with a beautiful Italian woman named Massimiliana walked through his door. Her intent was to sell the Heerengracht coffee beans, but what was brewing - was love. Tony and Massi married after a whirlwind courtship. The beautiful couple soon welcomed a vivacious child into the world with the birth of their daughter, Katia. By 1978, the Bagatta family had moved to Southern California. The Bagatta family has since been delighting diners and entertaining guests through a series of successful Orange County restaurants, including Brio, Cappuccino and Tony's Cafe.
As fate would command, the spirit of culinary competition transferred to their daughter Katia. Among the hot plates and pepper mills, Katia grew up preparing meals alongside her father and mother. In her teens, she was also fortunate enough to spend summer months studying culinary courses and preparing meals with her famous uncle Master Chef Pierre in Marseille, France.
Blessed with the natural ability to host satisfying meals, it was a seamless passing of the torch in the Bagatta culinary tradition. Directed by the vision of Mother and Daughter, Bistro K opened her doors in April 2008. A perfect blend of traditional Italian recipes now simmer alongside eclectic New World flavors.