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Hi, everyone! This year has been crazy, and I just wanted to take a moment and wish you a happy and safe holiday season! Especially at a time when many in L.A. are displaced by fires. Thank you, heroic firefighters who are working hard to save thousands of homes in Southern California.

I also want thank all of our friends, family, neighbors, customers and staff for their support over the years. It's been 6 years since I opened Bäco Mercat on the corner of 4th & Main in downtown L.A. and just over a year since our latest restaurant, P.Y.T., joined the family right next door. I'm grateful that I get to do what I love, and I don't take it for granted. We are constantly evolving and trying to improve your experience every day. 

We work especially hard during the holidays when there are lots of parties & events, catering, and specials. We're happy to help make the holidays more fun in any way we can!

In other exciting news, my first cookbook, titled "Bäco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles," was published this fall by Chronicle Books. And I'm currently working on the Bar Amá cookbook, to be published in 2019. 

As we finish out the year, I wanted to let you know about other fun stuff happening at the restaurants:  We've started a merch page on the Bäco Mercat site so that we can sell cookbooks and gift certificates for the holidays. We'll be adding more in the coming months (hot sauce!). 

Every year Bar Amá makes tamales for the holidays, and it has become a restaurant family tradition. The Amá kitchen puts a lot of love and hard work into making hundreds of tamales to fill customers' orders. 

All of the restaurants—Bäco Mercat, Bar Amá, P.Y.T., and Orsa & Winston—will be open for New Year's Eve. We hope to ring in the new year with you! 

Looking forward to 2018, I want to do my part to make it better than 2017, a year in which we have seen a lot of disasters and strife. Let's not forget all the good in our lives. I don't make new year's resolutions but just try to do better every single day. 

Happy holidays and thank you!!

JOSEF CENTENO