Employee Spotlight – Matthew Blasco, El Gaucho Tacoma server and volunteer firefighter

El Gaucho loves fire: we’ve been cooking over an open flame since our doors first opened in 1996. While we’ve never had to call in the fire department, it’s good to know that in Tacoma we are covered – just in case.


EL Gaucho Tacoma server and volunteer firefighter Matt Blasco

Matt Blasco, who joined the El Gaucho Tacoma team last May as a server, is also a volunteer firefighter for the SE Thurston Fire Authority, working in the Yelm and Rainier communities.  The position requires more than just showing up to help clean the station once in a while – Matt puts in a hefty 48-72 hours a month for the station, usually as a 24-hour shift.

Matt was introduced to firefighting in college, when he was part of a study group with a resident firefighter/EMT.  The group often studied together at the station, where Matt witnessed for himself how exciting it was when his study-mate left on a call.  He was hooked.  Even though it’s a huge time commitment and the work is hard, Matt explains, “It’s extremely rewarding to know that you are helping people when they need it the most.”  That has been his driving motivation to volunteer in this capacity for 10 years.

At the station, Matt helps respond to all fire and medical 911 emergencies, as well as clean and maintain the station, equipment, and trucks. He also gives station tours, and performs fire safety presentations at local schools.

“As a volunteer, one aspect of the job I love the most is interceding in a positive way and providing great public service for people on what would otherwise be their worst day ever,” says Matt. “After a long night working at El Gaucho Tacoma, it is the only thing that gets me out of bed at 4am and keeps me going for the next 24 hours! Helping people is my calling and my passion, and I’m grateful to serve the communities of Yelm and Rainier.”

When Matt is not working or helping save lives, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding, riding quads, and spending time with his family.  He firmly believes, “You can never have too many friends, too much fun, or too much horsepower.”  What might be most telling, however, is his favorite quote, from Albert Einstein: “A man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”  While we can’t guarantee any kisses, you can experience Matt’s attention and dedication as your server at El Gaucho Tacoma.

El Gaucho is honored to have people like Matt on our team. Thank you, Matt, for your example of community service and leadership.

One of the pillars our company was built upon is “Building a Strong Community.”  We strongly feel that each of us has a certain obligation to help make our world a better place, and each of our restaurant employees feel privileged to donate time, energy, and resources to various local organizations needing assistance.  Many of our employees also individually volunteer for other organizations to which they have a personal connection.  We look forward to highlighting some of our incredible employees and the organizations with which they are working.

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