This is the story of how Guaco Taco came to be.
Guaco Taco is the culmination of 25 years’ experience, immersion among different cuisines, technique, and dedication to the love of food and wine. Ultimately Guaco Taco is giving homage to Manuel jr's mother and family recipes. The guacamole we all enjoy is her recipe, among many others such as the taquitos.
Manuel Jr. was born in Mexico City immediately after he moved to the Bay Area with his family. At 12 years old he began washing dishes for his family’s restaurant where his brother started to teach him to cook. Thus, beginning his journey into the food and wine industry.
An industry fueled with passion, intense creativity, long hours, and hard work.
Growing and learning from his family’s restaurants, at 14 he decided to accept an apprenticeship opportunity to expand his knowledge. Where he then went on to work for the French Restaurant Barbarossa in the San Francisco Bay Area. Starting at the soufflé station, his eyes were opened to classic French Cuisine. From ages 14 – 16 he worked at Barbarossa absorbing all the information and techniques he could. Bringing back to his family’s restaurants his new found knowledge and experience. In time for the opening of the families third restaurant Alfredo’s. An Italian dining destination where he and his brother ran the kitchen.
At 18 yrs. old Manuel attended the California culinary academy. Eight hours a day, five days a week, for sixteen months. Coming away with immense gratitude for the creativity and the passion for the art of food.
From ages 20- 35 Manuel worked in various fine dining establishments that carry the DiRoNa designation and many times under James Beard nominated and awarded chefs. Expanding his culinary background and experience to now include Japanese, and American cuisine among French and Italian.
His belief is to use the best, freshest locally sourced products available as often as possible. Crafting exceptional dishes through techniques of smoking and marinating meat in house, hand picking herbs, produce, and spices, among creating fresh sauces daily.
His vision is simple. Manuel wants to bring new culinary experiences to Poulsbo and the greater Kitsap community.
“I cook food I like to eat.” – Manuel Rojas
Top left: Manuel Jr., Guadalupe, Alfredo
Center left: Manuel Sr., Martha, Jose
Bottom left: Leticia and Lori
Manuel jr's daughter Karly 14 yrs old attend Kitsap High School and loves cooking too. During school breaks she helps in the pastry kitchen at a Golf & Tennis Club in Indian Wells, CA
Both parents have passed on however the flavors, generous hospitality and passion of their dishes can be found at Guaco Taco.