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San Clemente Journal

Getting Sauced At the Farmer’s Market

Mar 27, 2024 11:11AM ● By Nina Welch

Mike has lived in San Clemente for 25 years with his wife Ann-Marie and three sons.

by Nina Welch

Grab a bottle of Mikey B’s Arrabbiata Sauce at the San Clemente Farmer’s Market from 8am to 1pm on Sundays. Mike Burtscher has been selling his sauce at the entry to the market, in front of Oliver’s, since last October. 

  In case one might be wondering, Arrabbiata means angry in Italian. The spicy marinara sauce originated from the Lazio region and denotes spiciness pushed to excess. Mike’s sauce is made straight from the kitchen, bottled, and labeled with the freshest ingredients. “The biggest fans are the younger set, even as young as four or five,” says Mike. 

  A passion at a young age for Italian cooking started when watching his Nona cook ravioli and pizza straight out of Northern Italy, Bologna. According to Mike, it was second-nature to her. She would play her favorite Italian music while cooking, and the aroma would elevate the sensory experience. Mike’s father, a decedent from Sicily, owned an automotive shop where Mike worked for the past 40 years. Their ultimate dream was to open a restaurant together. Whenever there was a family gathering, the two would order the best produce imported straight from Italy and take over the kitchen to prepare their masterpiece. 

  When Mike’s father passed suddenly of heart issues during Covid, his dreams were crushed, so he thought. Six months later, to revive his memories of his father and Nona, he brought the kitchen back to life by making fresh sausage, meatballs and Arrabbiata Sauce. Shipments began, orders rolled in, and people showed up at the house to get sauce. His son, Vince, joined him in their commercial kitchen at Proud Mary’s in Dana Point, and Mikey B’s catering business of authentic Italian cuisine was born. 

  In the near future, Mike aspires to open a small brick and mortar that carries sandwiches, pastas and already prepared sausage and meatballs that are made inhouse. Vince prides himself in sausage making. “He is the sausage man,” says Vince proudly.
Mike’s hobbies are cooking, drag racing, and deep-sea saltwater fishing. He has lived in San Clemente for 25 years with his wife Ann-Marie and sons Andres, Aaron, and Vince. 
  Stop by on Sundays to say hi to Mikey B and get a sample of his Arrabbiata Sauce to see if its “angry” enough for your taste buds. You’ll want to take a bottle or two home. b
For catering information and recipes, go to Instagram: @mikeybfoods