BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The matriarch of Bakersfield’s renowned Basque culinary scene, Mayie Maitia, has died. She was 92.
Maitia, who immigrated from French Basque country in 1947 and opened Woolgrowers with her husband JB in 1954, died this morning, according to restaurant employees.
She and JB honed their skills as cooks and servers at the Pyrenees Cafe and the Noriega Hotel before setting out on their own.
The extended Maitia family opened several local restaurants over the years, helping establish Bakersfield as a Basque cuisine hotspot enjoyed by celebrities and field workers alike.
Years ago, Maitia passed along day-to-day operation of Woolgrowers to her daughter Jenny and granddaughter, Christianne.