Augustin Saucedo

Fabulous People: Augustin Saucedo

Augustin Saucedo is the executive chef at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, home of two signature dining experiences: Mustangs and Burros and Greenfinch Restaurant. The resort is also host to numerous food and beverage events throughout the year. Learn about Augustin Saucedo…

Hometown: I grew up in Riverside and attended culinary school at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA.

First job: I began my culinary career as a prep cook nearly 30 years ago at Olive Garden in Moreno Valley, CA. I was the restaurant’s “saucier” and was tasked with making all of the sauces, soups and dressings from scratch.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: California is so rich in culture, agriculture and weather – I can almost always be found enjoying the outdoors, whether it’s the beach, mountains or desert. Most importantly, I value spending time with family. Summer family barbecues are always a hit, and I love creating new dishes with the local produce and my favorite Temecula olive oil that are at my disposal.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Publishing my cookbook “Mexican Food, The Ultimate Cookbook” has been my greatest accomplishment to date. I never imagined I would have the time, knowledge or experience to accomplish this, and I am truly blessed and humbled by this great opportunity.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Nearly 20 years ago, I became the executive sous chef at the San Diego Convention Center. I had never serviced crowds of that size before and was tasked with organizing and executing events for 5,000 to 15,000 guests. I reflect on that experience regularly and am very fond and proud of the memories and learning opportunities this role provided me with.  

Someone who inspires you and why: It’s impossible to narrow down to just one, so here are three – my first mentor, Chef Joe D. Cochran Jr., taught me how to love and embrace my craft as my passion. My second mentor, Chef Bernard Guillas, took my passion and brought it to another level with global cuisine. Lastly, my father taught me to never give up and how to use my natural strengths in the kitchen.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Be authentically passionate about your craft, work hard and always yearn to learn more. Don’t do anything for the money, recognition or fame, as you will not succeed if these are your motives.

Favorite quote: Again, it’s hard to share just one so here are two that have really resonated with me: “Food is the ultimate expression of love, displayed on a plate,” and “Quality and integrity are not expensive. They’re priceless.”

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am a tried-and-true basketball fanatic. Go Lakers!

What makes someone fabulous: A person’s heart and how they treat others. This speaks volumes to a person’s character.

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