February 1, 2018
This is Aristides. He is the owner of Soto’s Kitchen in Jacksonville. We got the opportunity to meet him as we were recent giveaway winners of his restaurant. We absolutely loved our experience at his restaurant and appreciate his willingness to share his story with us. Aristides is man of many gifts and talents. He also is very funny…just check out his Instagram stories for Soto’s Kitchen. They are hilarious! On top of being the owner of Soto’s Kitchen, he is an electronic engineer and has a Master’s in Business Administration. He moved to Jacksonville about two years ago from Maracaibo, Venezuela. He worked with a major oil company and owned his own hardware store in Venezuela. Although he lived in Venezuela for most of his life, he moved to Colombia because of political problems surrounding the country. He realized his gift and passion for cooking when he had moved to Colombia. After living in Colombia for 2 years, he moved to Jacksonville and pursued several job opportunities to find the best fit. However, there was no job that would compete with his passion and love for cooking. Additionally, people loved and wanted his food. He created his own sausage because he couldn’t find one that would compare with the deliciousness of the ones found in his home country. He also would make amazing burgers and authentic dishes that people wanted. Hence, this was the catalyst to opening his own restaurant, Soto’s Kitchen. Soto’s Kitchen is as a place where he could share with people his own dishes with authentic flavor from his country.
We got the opportunity to try some dishes including the steak tostones and pabelion arepa. Both dishes were succulent and delicious. We loved the authentic flavors used in the dishes. Everything had incredible flavor and a good heat. We also tried the chi cha which is a rice drink with cinnamon flavor. It had a sweet flavor and reminded us of a filipino dessert called ginataan which has a similar milky and sweet taste. Lastly, we got samples of the sausage which had a nice blend of garlic, salt, pepper and other flavors that really stood out to us. We highly recommend trying all of these dishes if you are planning to visit Soto’s Kitchen.
He told us that this venture is all a new beginning for him since he is an immigrant to the US. We connected with him on this level as we are also part of an immigrant family and understand the hard work that it takes to pursue your dreams. We are truly inspired by Aristides. He loves what he does and it shows. He loves serving people, experiencing new places and cultures. He wants to share the Soto’s love all around the world.
At the end of the day, it is his family that drives him. They are his motivation to live his dream. He has a wife, two daughters and a beloved son in heaven. They are the reason that he is passionate about his dream and he encourages others to to go out and fight for their dream too.
If you would like to connect with Aristides, visit Soto’s Kitchen located at 3809 Southside Blvd. You can also connect with him via their website at www.sotosfood.com or on social media at @sotoskitchen.
This blog isn’t just about us…it’s about you too. This is our opportunity to share stories, people, eats, travels, photographs and more.
We would love for you to be apart of this experience with us as we are all apart of a big and beautiful story. We would love to hear your stories, so please reach out to us!