Gustavo Tosta, also known as Guga (a Brazilian nickname for Gustavo) is an incredibly successful YouTube cook. Combined, his three YouTube channels (Guga Foods, Guga, and Sous Vide Everything) have around 9 million subscribers as of this article's publishing date. While he cooks all types of food, his content tends to feature meat most prominently, specifically steak. His combination of mouthwatering recipes and a charming personality has earned him legions of fans, but when it comes to his personal life, he has been quite selective about what he shares.
So who is the real Guga? We've combed through videos, interviews, and books to find out everything we can about YouTube's mysterious master of meat. It turns out that he's had an adventurous life with many twists and turns. His path has led him from Brazil to Miami and from a martial arts dojo to office work to an influencer career. Here's what we were able to discover about Gustavo Tosta.
Read more: Cuts Of Steak, Ranked Worst To Best
He Was Born In Cattle Country In Brazil
You could say that Gustavo Tosta was born to be a steak influencer. His home country of Brazil is famous for its rodizio-style dining, a unique kind of steakhouse experience that arose from the country's historical cattle-herding culture. Tosta has mentioned that he was born in Uberaba, a city in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais and a center for cattle production (he moved to Miami, Florida as a young child). The city is so connected to the beef industry that it hosts an annual cattle show.
Uberaba is known particularly for producing the Zebu breed of cattle. The hardy breed is descended from Indian cattle and is well-suited to Brazil because it tolerates high temperatures well. Zebu look different from other standard cattle breeds because they have large humps on their backs; the meat from this hump is a special cut of steak known in Brazil as cupim. Perhaps showcasing knowledge that he gained in his hometown, Guga has made a video showing viewers how to cook this rare (at least in the U.S.) cut of beef.
He Used To Run A Martial Arts Studio
Guga had many professional lives before his ascension to YouTube stardom. While growing up in South Florida, he began practicing martial arts. This became a serious interest and even a career for him, as he trained to be a professional taekwondo teacher as a young man. He even owned a martial arts studio at one point.
Sadly, Tosta's martial arts career came to an end as a result of a serious injury. He hasn't specified how he got hurt, but he has shown off a gnarly scar that runs down the length of his calf, which suggests that it was quite bad.
His martial arts background came into play when he competed in a steak cook-off against UFC legend and chef Bas Rutten. Rutten lost the cooking challenge, but he reclaimed his honor by playfully sparring with Guga and landing some decent hits on the famous YouTuber.
He Was A Web Design Entrepreneur Before YouTube
It seems that Gustavo Tosta has always had a knack for business. After his martial arts career was cut short, he began working in web design and development, ultimately founding a company and hiring several employees. As a gourmand (and a seemingly generous guy), he liked to take his team out to eat at Brazilian steakhouses multiple times a week, but he quickly realized that this habit was financially unsustainable.
He wanted to find a way to cook meat for his employees in his office to save money, and he determined that the sous vide technique was the best method for the job. He made his cousin film a video of his office cooking routine (which involved searing the cooked steaks with a blowtorch outside his office after they came out of the water bath). Almost immediately, the views began to roll in.
Although Guga Foods is now his main channel, his first successful channel was Sous Vide Everything, which is where most of his early office cooking experiments were posted.
He Makes His Videos In Miami With His Family
Guga's YouTube career started with him turning his cousin into a cameraman, and he has kept the business in the family since then. Once Sous Vide Everything broke the 100,000-subscriber mark, Tosta's nephew Angel expressed interest in helping out with the YouTube videos. However, Guga didn't think Angel would be a good fit for Sous Vide Everything since that channel was based in his office, so he decided to involve his nephew in video production for a different channel that was called Easy Foods (now known as Guga Foods). With Angel's help, Guga Foods eclipsed Sous Vide Everything and became Tosta's most successful YouTube channel. Guga Foods videos have more varied content than Sous Vide Everything and feature a wide range of cooking methods and recipes.
Though his nephew is the one who's currently the most involved with the Guga brand, some of Tosta's other relatives show up in his videos as well. However, when it comes to his closest family, he is quite private. He has mentioned that he has three kids and a wife, but you won't find them in any of his social media posts.
Guga Is Famous For His Extreme Dry-Aging Stunts
Some of Guga's most popular videos are his dry-aging experiments, which frequently involve coating steaks in strange substances, aging them, and then seeing how they taste.
As you might expect, some of these experiments produce decidedly nasty results. For example, Tosta dry-aged a filet mignon in butter, froze it, and then forgot about the meat for 4 years. When he finally thawed and cooked the steak, his tasters described it as dry and fishy. His Nutella-aged steak also ended up being excessively funky.
Thankfully, not all of the dry-age experiments result in a wasted piece of beef. He found that dry-aging a steak in pure MSG made it aggressively savory and delicious. He doesn't even always confine himself to beef. He experimented with dry-aging lobster and found that a one-week age improved its flavor, though longer aging made it dry.
Though Guga's dry-aging adventures may make him seem like a meat mad scientist, behind the scenes, he has a professional aging set up to help him complete his experiments safely (in other words, you might not want to copy him unless you have your own dedicated dry-aging chamber).
He Dissed A Fellow Steak Influencer's Restaurant
In his videos, Gustavo Tosta comes off as a friendly, gregarious guy, so it's surprising to see him talking smack about another social media personality, but he has come after Salt Bae a couple of times.
In one instance, he visited one of Salt Bae's steakhouses with fellow cooking YouTuber Nick DiGiovanni. Both Tosta and DiGiovanni were shocked to discover that the restaurant's gold leaf-coated steak cost $1,200. Afterward, Guga recreated the dish and discovered that he could buy the gold leaf for just $8, insinuating that Salt Bae was ripping off his customers by charging such an exorbitant price.
Guga has also critiqued some of Salt Bae's cooking videos. He had many complaints about the chef's technique, saying that one of Salt Bae's burgers was too raw, pointing out that the other man burned his butter while making a cheesesteak, and criticizing his overly showy knife skills that led to holes being poked in a nice filet mignon. It's safe to say that it would be shocking to see Guga and Salt Bae collaborate in the future.
He Had Some Criticism For Gordon Ramsay's Steak Techniques
Going after an admittedly silly social media star like Salt Bae is one thing, but taking on a Michelin-starred chef like Gordon Ramsay is another kettle of fish. That didn't stop Guga, however — either he's a very brave man or he's salty about Ramsay roasting his Nutella-aged steak on TikTok. Whatever the motivation, Tosta has sat down and critiqued some videos of Ramsay cooking steaks.
Tosta didn't have nearly as much contempt for Ramsay's technique as he had for Salt Bae, but he still had some ideas for how Ramsay could improve his steaks. For one, he recommended finely ground pepper over the coarse pepper Ramsay prefers, as Guga doesn't like how coarse pepper sticks in his teeth. He also disagreed with Ramsay's use of olive oil to sear his steaks, as olive oil has a low smoke point. Most insultingly, he insinuated that Ramsay may have overcooked his steak in one video, as the camera curiously never showed the interior of the meat.
Read the original article on Mashed.