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  • Yokima Perez

Chief Food Engineer

Updated: Jul 8

We all have dreams and aspirations that ignite our hearts from a young age. I shared the importance of nurturing dreams of our youth in an earlier blog. In the case of my Husfriend Jesse, his childhood dreams of becoming an engineer or a chef have seamlessly blended together, leading him to embark on a remarkable journey as our Chief Food Engineer. Today, I want to share with you the story of how his passion for both engineering and culinary arts converged, allowing him to build our food truck and catering business.

Échale ganas mijo! (Don’t give up, Son!)

Ever since Jesse was a little boy, he possessed an innate curiosity about the world around him. He attributes it primarily to his dyslexia. It forced him to think differently, to reverse engineer why he wasn’t getting the results others were expecting from him. At school, he was bullied and made fun of. At home, it wasn’t as noticeable with 8 other siblings in a first-generation Hispanic household in the US. So, he would spend hours tinkering with toys, trying to figure out how they worked and often dismantling them in the process. (He can do deep work in short bursts of time because his focus is that intense.) At the same time, he found solace in the kitchen, observing his mother whip up delectable meals and being enchanted by the artistry behind culinary creations. At age 3, he was cooking for his siblings. He pulled the chair right up to the stove and whipped up the day’s meal. His dream of becoming an engineer or a chef was born out of this dual fascination, seemingly unrelated yet deeply ingrained in his young mind. He tells me often that my mother-in-law was his constant encourager: “Échale ganas mijo!”

The Journey

My Husfriend’s love and aptitude for “all things mechanical” led him to become a machinist. College was not an option. His public school experience left him scarred and disgusted. He recalls the day the teacher called on him to stand and read. He admitted he would normally make an excuse to go to the restroom. This day, it didn’t work. It was his first attempt ever to read aloud. He was humiliated! He still gets choked up when he tells that story. Thanks to Yale University’s course on Overcoming Dyslexia, my Beloved is overcoming. While his desire for formal education became nonexistent after that incident, his passion for cooking never waned. He spent his free time experimenting with recipes, hosting dinner parties for friends, cooking at every family affair and continuously refining his culinary skills.

Put 2 + 2 Together

Life has a way of guiding us towards our true calling, even when the path may seem uncertain. Jesse had been machining for 15+ years when I met him. He still loved it, too. He used to tell me often. But we were both caught up in oil and gas downturns. It was then my husband stumbled upon the extraordinary opportunity that allowed him to fuse his two passions together. We encountered the world of food trucks—a thriving and dynamic culinary business. Here, he saw the perfect platform to combine his technical and mechanical acumen with his love for cooking, giving birth to our dream venture, Tacos Olé.

Food Truck Owner and Chief Food Engineer:

With unwavering determination, we embarked on the challenging yet exhilarating journey of establishing a food truck company. He devoted countless hours to designing and customizing the truck, transforming it into a mobile kitchen that would embody his unique vision. His background plays a pivotal role in optimizing the truck's functionality, ensuring efficient workflows and top-notch equipment.

But his role doesn’t end there. As the Chief Food Engineer, my husband harnesses his scientific mindset to innovate and enhance the culinary experience for his customers. He continuously experiments with new cooking techniques, ingredient combinations, and presentation styles, pushing the boundaries of what a food truck can offer. His background allows him to approach food creation with a meticulous and detail-oriented mindset, ensuring every dish that leaves the truck is a masterpiece. And his palette is phenomenal!

To My Boo

Baby, I think dreams have a beautiful way of intertwining, even when they seem unrelated on the surface. Your childhood dreams of becoming an engineer or a chef have evolved into a remarkable journey that led you to become a food truck owner and our own Chief Food Engineer. By blending your practical skills with your love for cooking, you’ve created a successful business and fulfilling career that delights taste buds and leaves a lasting impact on everyone who experiences your culinary creations. I am so proud of you, and I can’t wait to taste what comes next!

Ya girl, Yoki

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