OUR STORY

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#SŌTHKITCHEN Housemade est. 2010 combines gourmet sandwiches with a touch of Italian and Filipino cuisine.

 

With #SŌTHKITCHEN, we (Joshua and Michelle) want to honor the flavors and dishes of our cultures. We created the perfect blend that represents our love for food and each other.

 

Joshua, born in a South Suburb of Chicago, has been studying food and the restaurant industry for more than half of his life. As an Executive Chef, not only has he developed an understanding and deep connection with flavor but his Kitchen Management skills set him apart. A language and dance that he was meant for.

Joshua didn’t always have a love for all flavors. His years spent playing Quarterback led to many cheese pizzas. Through cultural training, his pallet has expanded and his love and bond with food keeps growing. It’s a passion that you can taste in every bite. He loves to bring unique flavors and dishes to the life.

He’s a leader in the kitchen and brings the patience, creativity, and experience to the #SŌTHKITCHEN. It’s been a long time dream to open up another place of his own. (His first was an Italian Deli in St Joe, MI)

#SŌTHKITCHEN is now a dream come true.

FUN FACT: Joshua is an avid kayaker and whitewater rafter and spent some time as a sea kayak guide on Orcas Island, WA. He also trained in the whitewater of the White Salmon River where his love for the Columbia River Gorge began.

 

Michelle was born in Chicago, IL but spent most of her childhood in a nearby Northwest suburb. As one of the few Asian-Americans in a predominantly white town, she tended to shy away from her culture. She’s a first generation Filipino-American. Her Mother and family migrated from the Philippines and made Chicago, IL their home. With them they brought many of their flavors and traditions from their home country. The passing of her Lola (Grandma) sparked her connection with her culture. The memories of family gatherings and meals at her Lola's home are the inspiration to Michelle’s style of cooking today.

Michelle discovered her love of making food when she left Illinois for college. She went from not knowing how to make a grilled cheese to teaching herself how to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Complete with pumpkin pie made from scratch. She’s an avid baker and has a strong passion for making delectable sweets and breads.

 

FUN FACT: She’s a Yoga, Meditation, and Reiki Teacher and an outdoor ambassador for Keep Nature Wild and 52 Hike Challenge. When she’s not in the #SŌTHKITCHEN you can often find her on a trail or on her Yoga mat.

We first met in 1999. We were both learning our way around the FOH of the restaurant industry and wed in 2010 establishing the #SŌTHKITCHEN that we know today. We not only have a love and passion for each other but also for sharing our food and flavors with friends and family. Gathering loved ones for dinner parties, family holidays, cook outs, and our own family meals is a way for us to share our love of food with those around us. Together, we get to share that passion with all of you.

FUN FACT: We love to travel and adventure. In 2019 we converted an old elevator repair van into a camper van that we call “MIJ aka Willie Nelson.” We love spending time out in nature and taking van life trips.

Our daughter, Bella, is the Graphic Designer in the #SŌTHKITCHEN and does a lot of prep work with the family. She has been studying art since a very young age and plans on studying Graphic Design at college in the Fall. Bella has always had a sophisticated pallet. She enjoys the cultural experience of dining out for sushi, making lumpia (Filipino egg rolls), and frying up some homemade beignets.

 

FUN FACT: She has the best T-Shirt collection and her favorite band is ELO.

 

Together, us three are #SŌTHKITCHEN. We are bringing our love and passion of homemade food to The Gorge.

Look for our food truck parked in the back patio of Mt. Hood Winery in Hood River, OR!