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Chef Masters Highlight: Linda Johnsen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linda Johnsen. Linda is Executive Chef and Owner at Filomena’s Italian Kitchen, located in Costa Mesa. She is one of the 31 Chefs that participated in the 2018 Chef Masters event benefiting Alzheimer’s Family Center. 

Filomena’s Italian Kitchen has been listed in the OC Register’s “75 Best Places to Eat” for 3 consecutive years.

1. How did you become a chef?

I became a professional chef when I opened my own restaurant in 2013, but I’ve had a catering company since I was 23 and did odd jobs for friends and businesses.

2.    Why did you accept to participate in Chef Masters?

I accepted the experience with Chef Master’s because of my commitment to local Charities and our responsibilities as Chef’s to support our local community.

3.    What is your favorite kitchen memory?

My favorite kitchen moment would be as a child in the kitchen with my grandmother making what she called “homemades”…  Homemade pasta.

4.    What is your favorite dish to cook?

My favorite dish to cook is 2 things.  The first is a big pot of Sunday Sauce.  Italian spaghetti sauce with meatballs, pork ribs, sausage & braciole.  It cooks all day and makes the house smell amazing.  I also love to cook a pot of chicken soup on a cold rainy day. 

5.    Do you have a personal connection to Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia?

I have a very big connection with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  My grandmother (Filomena) passed away from both 16 years ago and just this past November her daughter, my Aunt Rosemary passed away from dementia.  We need to fund the research for this terrible disease not only for the people who suffer from it, but for the families that have to experience it as well.  

For more information on the Chef Masters event, please visit

Photo credits: Bob Hodson, Tony Lattimore, and Jen Engleman.


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