by Owner Tony Nuñez
Let's take it back to Los Angeles, where it all began. I grew up in a Mexican household, where salsas were always at the table. In my teens, my mom, siblings and I moved to Texas to be closer to family. My mom passed away from cancer during my college years, but her passion and traditions continued with me. I replicated her salsa recipes, but also made my own, fusing Mexican and other non-traditional flavors.
One of my passions is film. I made my own movies in my twenties and filmed local news stories as a photojournalist for 15 years. Something started itching when I watched the movie, "Chef." The movie is about a man who followed his heart and sold home cooked dishes in a food truck. I knew then what I had to do. I grabbed my apron, turned my kitchen into a lab, and got to work.
One day, my wife brought home a nutty and smoky sauce called salsa macha. I was inspired and created my own version. I submitted it to the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival in 2019, and won 1st place in the individual specialty category!
After the big win, I decided to sell my products professionally. To honor my love for movies, I nicknamed each salsa after a genre film. The salsa that started it all was named “Machete.”
Then COVID happened, and what a curveball that was! We couldn’t do tastings and everything was more difficult. But we kept the flame alive, and decided to launch Fantastic Fuego anyway.
Fantastic Fuego moved to a commercial kitchen in 2021, allowing us to sell at stores. We knew we were going to need some help from this point on.
Enter the Salsa Boys. Sebastian a.k.a “Spicy Sea Bass” and Austin a.k.a “Jesus Jalapeno.” They moved to Texas to join our team in the summer of 2022. Those guys do it all. They cook, pack, ship, deliver, sell and do samplings. They’ll even dance for salsa (just ask!).
The dream became a reality, and that reality was my call to fully dedicate my time to Fantastic Fuego. I left my job in news in 2022 and became a full time Jefe.
Now we sell our products at Wolf Ranch Farmer’s Market in Georgetown, Lone Star Farmer’s Market in Bee Cave and many pop up markets. We are also in Thom’s Market, Austinite Market, Dias Market, and the 5th and Congress store at the Austin International Airport among other stores.
People love our products because we bring a variety of quality flavors they can’t find anywhere else. Our fans say they are fun, unique, and inspiring. We are changing the game by focusing on flavor first, then fire.
Fantastic Fuego has received multiple awards from the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival and the international Scovie Awards.
Fantastic Fuego is our tradition. Our salsas are always at our dining table. We hope this tradition continues in your home.