We believe that behind every successful business are many hard working individuals. In our “Somos Hussong’s” series we’ll pick an employee each month and ask them 17 same/similar questions, to introduce them to you one by one. Please meet Jesus Guzman, our Sous Chef.
Some chefs scream. Some curse. Some throw stuff. Some grow quiet when stress gets to them. Some, although very few, smile. We are lucky to have the latter type in our kitchen. Jesus’s smile is one of those contagious ones, and he’s generous with it. Maybe because he grew up in the restaurant business, you will see him smile even during the worst rush and sweaty madness that often takes place in the kitchen on busy nights; he resembles an orchestra conductor as he serenely, but with purpose and authority navigates the kitchen team through the sea of meal tickets rang in in multiples. While never lethargic or passive, this once sponsored skateboarder possesses a grounded presence uncommon for his age, and a calm gratitude for what he has, that puts people around him at ease, making it obvious he’s not only comfortable and at home in any kitchen, but that he’s the type that’s simply at home anywhere in this world.
1. Hello, Jesus. Tell us how did you grow up?
Very poor. In the middle of the ocean. Surrounded by water…in Hawaii. It was good. Living on an island makes you appreciate what you have.
2. First kiss?
Oh wow, my friend’s older sister. She was 19. I was 13.
3. First car?
1988 Ford Bronco X2. Those…were badasses.
4. Childhood hero/role model?
5. Current hero/role model?
6. Ideal way to spend a weekend?
With my kids, somewhere in the ocean…nobody around, just me and my kids, big ol’ buffet line for when we are hungry. Nice weather…nice blue water…oh wait I’m describing Hawaii (laughs).
7. Why did you choose to be a chef?
I wouldn’t say I chose it, it chose me. Everybody in my family cooks. I remember cooking in the kitchen with my mom, with my dad, going to my dad’s restaurant. Just started out as a dish washer, as everybody pretty much does and just worked my way up…and then I just fell in love with it. It’s what I like doing.
8. What is your overall long term career goal?
To be an executive chef of some restaurant or a large chain of restaurants. But, all companies start out small. There is a restaurant back home, called Kona Mix Plate, that started as a little corner place. And now it’s one of the largest restaurants in Hawaii. So that’s what I’d like to be a part of (something that grows like that). I mean, who wouldn’t?
9. Ever had a concussion?
No. Well I don’t remember at least.
10. Would you rather watch a chick flick or volunteer at a senior center?
Chick flick. (Although Jesus would most prefer top watch a “chick fight”, as long as there is mud involved.)
11. Ski or snowboard?
Snowboard. I actually used to be sponsored in skateboarding. Until I broke my leg in three pieces. Skateboarding (chuckles).
12. Super power of choice?
Flying sounds nice.
13. Boxers or briefs?
14. Blonds or brunettes?
15. Glass half full or half empty?
16. Dream location you’d like to visit?
17. Favorite Hussong’s dish?