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Meet the Shefs: Rosario Arcos

Rosario’s “al ojo” Sofrito. "Al ojo" is Spanish for cooking “by eye” without a written recipe.

As a child growing up in Ecuador, Rosario spent all of her spare time in her mother’s kitchen, watching her prepare authentic, traditional dishes passed down by Rosario’s grandmother. “My love for cooking came from mother. As I got older, I would help her around the kitchen and cut up all the vegetables she’d use in her sofrito.”

As a grown woman, Rosario moved to the United States with her five-year old son, a suitcase and a dream. Despite the language and cultural barriers, she was determined to make a better life for them. She faced many challenges as a single mother, but one thing that remained unchanged was her passion for cooking.

For Rosario, cooking was a love note to her family. Walking into her kitchen was like walking into a warm embrace. “I put a lot of love into my cooking and I know they feel it when they take their first bite.”

The aromas of her sofrito, a recipe she learned while watching her mother in Ecuador years ago, would travel through her apartment hallways, making anyone who could breathe hungry. Her delicious dishes united her family, and brought comfort when it was needed most. But for the past two generations, her mother’s sofrito recipe was unwritten. It was only executed “al ojo” (by eye).

SHOP: Rosario’s “al ojo” Sofrito

Today, Rosario’s hard work and perseverance in life has paid off. She is a proud mother of a successful son and grandmother of two little girls who live for her cooking. And now, her family’s legendary sofrito can be enjoyed by your family, too.

For Rosario, being involved with Shefs fulfills a lifelong ambition. “I’m excited to see how people that are not my family will react to my flavors. Cooking is something I’ve always wanted to focus on; it’s a dream come true.”

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