by Mosiah Guerrero
Growing up, I loved to watch my mother cook. She came from a generation who believed that cooking was only for women, so she was a little annoyed to have her youngest son following her around the kitchen all the time, getting in the way. She would tell me to go play outside, but all I wanted to do was be in the kitchen with her, watching and learning.
Whenever Mom left the house, I took it as an opportunity to practice cooking. The dish I always tried was arroz con leche, a kind of rice pudding that we make in Venezuela with condensed milk. Unfortunately, I burned the pot EVERY TIME. When my mom came home and found another mess and another burned pot, she would run around the house looking for me. I was forbidden from cooking anymore, but that didn’t stop me. Even when she got frustrated and stopped buying condensed milk, I just figured out how to make condensed milk on my own.
It never occurred to me that cooking could be a career. After high school, I took a job as a dishwasher at Faustina Restaurant in Salt Lake City, but I figured I’d only be there briefly until I figured out what I wanted to do. Soon I became bored of the dishwasher routine and started watching what was going on in the kitchen. The head chef of the restaurant, Billy Sotelo, noticed my interest and asked if I wanted to start working the salad/appetizer station. After a week and a half of that, Chef Sotelo moved me up to the grill station where I finally got to dip my fingers into a whole new side of the kitchen.
Shortly after, the restaurant changed their menu. Chef Sotelo asked for input from all the employees, but he wanted us to make the recipes our own. I quickly thought of guasacaca, a Venezuelan version of guacamole. It’s amazing for empanadas, marinating chicken, fried mozzarella sticks, and hundreds of other uses. I experimented with the recipe until I had it mastered. The chef loved the sauce, but he didn’t love the name: Guasacaca sounds like…something you wouldn’t eat. He called it “Mosiah Sauce” and added it to the menu. It has been a hit with the customers ever since.
That was the first time I was truly able to make a recipe my own, and I’m still very proud of it. I am forever grateful that, at such a young age, I have been able to turn a passion into a career. Now that I’m a chef, I can do what I love and continue to create goals to become an even better chef every day. I know my mother never expected her son to spend his career in the kitchen, but at least now she doesn’t have to worry about me burning her pans.
Mosiah Sauce Guasacaca
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 peeled garlic clove
- ½ red onion
- ½ red bell pepper
- ½ yellow bell pepper
- ½ jalapeno pepper (or use ½ Anaheim pepper for a milder taste)
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Adjust salt and lime juice to taste. Enjoy!