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Guga of GUGA FOODS on Breaking the Rules of BBQ and Social Media Interview with Guga of Guga Foods about becoming a YouTube Sensation, the power of content collaboration, and his book Guga: Breaking the Barbecue Rules.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • Cooking Sous Vide on the Sidewalk - Gustavo "Guga" Tosta did not set out to become a YouTube personality. Life circumstances caused him to get creative. Thanks to a wave of serendipitous luck and skill, Guga Foods' first post received over 20,000 views. The rest is YouTube history.
  • Creators Should Know Their Value - Most creators strive to one day have brand deals that pay them. Instead of waiting for that day, Guga proactively reached out to brands while in the early days of the Guga Foods YouTube Channel and found out that they knew who he was. That interaction taught Guga a valuable lesson that he wishes to pass on to young creators — a lesson of understanding that you have value.
  • Breaking the Rules - Guga has now become an author. In the book called Guga: Breaking the Barbecue Rules, readers will be able to read about Guga's successes and failures, why it's important to season a steak correctly, and lessons he has learned over the years as he bares his soul on the books pages.
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Though he has amassed a big following of more than 10 million on social media, Gustavo Tosta — better known as Guga to his family, friends, and fans — did not plan on becoming the star of popular YouTube channels Guga Foods and Sous Vide Everything.

But as Guga learned, rules are meant to be broken.

"We posted the first video (on YouTube), got 20,000 viewers, and then immediately they wanted more. The audience kept asking for more, and then we just kept doing it over and over and over again." says Guga to Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media.

That creative motivation sparked Guga to make the GugaFoods channel, which has become one of the more popular YouTube channels with over 4 million subscribers. His SousVideEverything channel has nearly 2 million subscribers.

Due to life circumstances and location limitations, Gustavo "Guga" Tosta had to get creative when starting to tell his own story online.

One of the lessons Guga learned on his content journey was the importance of understanding one's value. In the early days of Guga Foods, he proactively reached out to brands and found that they were already aware of him. These interactions taught him a valuable lesson, one he wishes to share with young creators.

"You must value yourself because if you don't, no one else will. And it is so important that they understand that." implores Guga. "Listen to me. You have a lot of value."

Guga has compiled his unique story and recipes into a book entitled Guga: Breaking the Barbecue Rules. In the cookbook, he chronicles his successes and failures, including the importance of seasoning a steak correctly and showcases his experiments with various cooking techniques like Sous Vide.

"My audience always says every single time: Guga, you have so many amazing videos. Can you just make one video with all your best videos? Can you just put all your knowledge in one thing? And I wish I could, but it would be a very boring video," says Guga.

"But not in a book! Everything that I have learned throughout the years, doing crazy experiments, good and bad, has been put into this thing. It's literally my soul in there"

Guga's journey is an inspiring one that highlights the importance of creativity, passion, and persistence. With his new book and continued success on YouTube, Guga is sure to inspire and motivate future creators for years to come, all while providing great cooking tips and impactful collaborations.

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Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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