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Meet Justo Blanco of Familia Events in Oak Cliff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justo Blanco.

Justo, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In the year 2000, after working for two years as an inorganic chemist, I found myself living in Austin, TX continuing my study of chemistry at The University of Texas main campus. Although I felt successful, it just didn’t fit the man I was becoming. In an effort to meet more women, I decided to learn how to cook. Somehow a light went off, and I tapped into creativity I had never known

After attending the Texas Culinary Academy in 2003, I accepted an offer to join a Belgian based restaurant group looking to make their first expansion into the US market. After six months in Brussels, Belgium working with Nicolas Cartier, at flagship brasserie Les Pecheries, I accepted the position of Executive Chef of Brussels Bistro in downtown Laguna Beach, California.

My time in California was eye-opening as well. I learned the art of high volume cooking at hotels up and down the coast. I found myself in San Francisco, unsure of the next step.

In 2008, I began traveling Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand, where I attended Bai Pai cooking school of Bangkok. I fine-tuned my techniques of Southeast Asian and Indian Cuisines by attending the World Gourmet Summit and working alongside Master Chef Milind Sovani of Song of India restaurant.

After returning stateside, I left San Francisco for my hometown of Dallas, TX. There I joined the team of Aperture Concepts as the Chef de Cuisine of Scene restaurant, a posh downtown eatery. There the menu consisted of comfort foods deconstructed using molecular gastronomy.

In 2009, I joined the Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas where I was in charge of all banquets and special events. After all the traveling, all the events, all the nomadic lifestyle, it was good to be home. I found myself running a breakfast and lunch spot called Bolsa Mercado.

Upon arrival, my situation wasn’t ideal, but my personal life had found a niche in Oak Cliff. I loved the neighborhood, and the feel of being in control of a small family run a business. I worked my way into the position of Director of Operations, along the way expanding the catering and events division into almost 80% of the revenue.

I didn’t leave Bolsa Mercado until had the opportunity to open the new downtown hotel The Statler. At first, the rebirth of a once proud hotel was exciting. Starting such a large F&B program from scratch was challenging, and once again, I felt necessary; but quickly, that feeling passed.

I realized that I had done this exact process many times over. At each of my career stops, I had taken on the initial burden of responsibility, and I had given my heart and soul to someone else brand. It was time to start my own.

At the beginning of 2018, sixteen years after initial finding the world of hospitality, I opened up Familia Events. Suddenly, every decision felt like the right decision. The business began to grow slowly but in a refreshingly organic way. Every new customer became a repeat customer, and every new event, the best one I had ever done.

Now, about to enter the second year of my new brand, the sky is the limit.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The grind, the hours, the money, and the uncertainty all factored into the anything but smooth road.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Familia Events story. Tell us more about the business.
Familia Events is a full-service event and catering company. We design, produce and execute all of our events from start to finish. We are able to handle any type of event under the sun, but we are most known for our family style dining specialization.

We are the most proud of our venue partnerships. This year, we have expanded our work into full venue management including the entire sales process.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck has been the result of numerous failures and perseverance. Somehow, if you continue to grind and do honest business with honest people. Good luck finds its way to you.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 949-306-7876
  • Email:
  • Instagram: Familia_events_dallas
  • Facebook: FamiliaEventsDallas

Image Credit:
Matt Henry

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