Jorge Gonzalez is a Venezuelan who has made his mark on Southern Ontario selling his authentic Latin foods. He has a diploma in culinary management and many years of experience in the food industry.
Jorge’s knowledge of blending together different ingredients to create the perfect Latin American dishes was taught to him at a young age while watching his grandmother and mother in the kitchen. It was through this knowledge of ingredients and food, handed down through generations, that sparked his interest in the food business. Jorge’s recipes feature his signature twist on traditional Mexican foods, by incorporating his own ingredients he creates a broader range of Latin American cuisine, with just a hint of spice.
When Jorge came to Canada 26 years ago, he first arrived in British Columbia, later moving to Chatham, Ontario and finally settling in London. He made a leap of faith when he sold his mobile home and bought a truck which he then converted into his first Food Truck. Transforming this truck into Gonzalez Authentic Latin Foods was a big risk that required a lot of blood, sweat and tears. When the truck was finished, Jorge had one bag of tortillas and $50 to start his business.
Gonzalez Food truck opened for business December 16, 2013, outside of Chatham Plumbing, but due to the harsh winter everything in his truck froze. He was then hit by another hardship when his truck was broken into and he was robbed of all his food. Jorge’s belief is, "when you have a hard time in life, you make sure to get up again and don't fall". This attitude paid off when customers began showing up and coming back for more.
Besides cooking Latin food, Jorge started experimenting with sauces, over the years he has worked towards perfecting them alongside his food. He won a Food Award at the London International Food Festival when one of his sauces was the main ingredient in his La Grande Enchilada with the Salsa Verde. His mindset in life of never giving up has worked to get him to the success he has seen today. Including his major achievements he has seen at Ribfest.
Gonzalez BBQ – Ribfest
Since chef Gonzalez has transformed his cooking to barbecuing, he discovered his passion for grilling and smoking all kinds of meat! Joining the Ribfest competitions has given him amazing experiences, including his winning of 11 trophies so far:
2017 People's Choice, at St. Thomas Ribfest
2018 best BBQ, best pulled pork and best sauces, at Toronto Downsview Park Ribfest
2018 and 2019 People's Choice, at Sarnia Ribfest
2019 best pulled pork and best sauces, at Leamington Ribfest
2019 Thunder Trophy, at Tillsonburg Ribfest
2020 COVID-19 hit, Ribfest postponed
2021 London Ribfest
2022 WORK IN PROGRESS