“I never thought I could be an Executive Chef; fortunately, I had people who believed in me,” says Chef Jesus. “Being the Chef at El Gaucho Tacoma has been the most exciting adventure!”
Jesus has been on a culinary adventure for most of his life, starting in the kitchen at home in Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. Jesus recalls, “Since I was a child, I remember my mom and grandma cooking and I always wanted to cook with them. They kept saying that cooking is for girls, but I never cared. I was always thinking of ways to mix condiments together to create new flavors.”
Jesus and his family moved to the United States in 1995 and he immediately started working in a restaurant as a dishwasher. He was promoted quickly to prep cook, then pantry, sauté, and broiler. He worked for many restaurants in the Seattle area, including Daniel’s Broiler, Calcutta Grill at Newcastle, Famous Dave’s, Black Angus, Pacific Grill, and then El Gaucho Seattle in 2001. When El Gaucho Tacoma opened in 2002, he was transferred as a sous chef to help open the restaurant.
“When I started working in restaurants, I loved to see how the chefs created delicious dishes. Every chef that I’ve worked with has influenced me; they’ve all taught me a lot and I never want to stop learning,” he explains. “My family gives me the courage to never give up!”
Jesus’ family includes his wife of 16 years, and three children, Jose (15 yrs old), Angela (12), and Alejandro (7), along with two dogs: a Chihuahua named Perla, and a beige Havanese named Toby. “My kids give me the energy to come to work and do my best for everything – I want to set a good example for them.”
In his down time, Jesus and his family love to play basketball, watch movies and eat popcorn, and try new restaurants in the area. At home, Jesus loves to cook all kinds of food from different cultures and cuisines, but his favorite dish is green enchiladas and seafood ceviche, which is made of a simple marinade of fresh lime juice, chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro, Serrano chilies, salt, and pepper. Don’t forget the avocados on top. He serves it with chips or tostadas. Yum!
Jesus admits he can be obsessive when he wants things to be perfect, but he’s also sentimental when something has touched his heart. He’s known to be a hard worker and a responsible, friendly, and good father who loves his family. His mantra is, “Everything you give to others, you get back sooner or later.”
“I really enjoy working for El Gaucho. There isn’t anything I can say that I don’t enjoy about my job. I’m very thankful for being here.” And we’re thankful that Jesus shares his talents with all of us! You can enjoy Jesus’ and his culinary team’s love and gratitude every night at El Gaucho Tacoma.