Allrecipes Cook to Follow: Yolanda Gutierrez

This California grandmother loves baking cookies, infusing tequila, watching telenovelas, and riding her Harley-Davidson.

allrecipes allstar yoly pictured with her favorite items next to her

Yoly is one of the 60 million cooks in our Allrecipes community as well as an Allrecipes Allstar.

Also known as: Yolanda Gutierrez, 68, from Downey, California

Who I cook for: Myself and my partner, Dallas

Day jobs: Wife, mom, grandmother, retiree, and Allrecipes Allstar

What I did before retiring: I was a general manager at El Torito and Acapulco Mexican Restaurant chains, opening five new restaurants for them. After that, I was a stay-at-home housewife for 10 years. Not wanting to stay home 24/7, I bartended part-time at several well-known restaurants.

Best cook I know: My mother

Dish I make that others like most: My chicken tortilla casserole. It's not the prettiest, but it's so delicious.

My superpower: I am great at piping and decorating cakes. I have made five-tier wedding cakes — old-school with buttercream, not fondant.

Christmas baking traditions at my house: We have one daughter and five grandchildren (the loves of our lives), and each one has a favorite. So I always make Mexican wedding cookies, sugared pecans, fudge walnut brownies, Italian cream cake, no-bake peanut butter squares, and Key lime pie for Christmas Day. I also make spritz cookies for everyone.

My kitchen is: My stress reliever!

Kitchen tool I can't live without: My Vitamix.

How I got into motorcycles: I was 18 the first time I got on a motorcycle, and it was a Harley-Davidson. I knew then and there that I would own one someday. The next year I bought my first bike, a Honda Lowrider. I had two other Hondas after that. And in 1999, I bought my 2000 Harley-Davidson Sportster, customizing the paint (it's purple with flames) and replacing every aluminum part with chrome. I love it, and I love to ride.

Favorite world cuisine: Mexican. I was born and raised in Marina del Rey, California, but my mother was from Guadalajara, Mexico, and my father was an American citizen of Mexican and Filipino heritage.

I would tell you my secret recipe for jalapeño-infused tequila, but: Then we'd have to make margaritas! The first time I made pepper-infused tequila, I served myself a shot of it and nearly choked to death. It's good for margaritas, not for shots! I always use top-grade tequila that I bring back from my travels to Mexico. It gives margaritas a nice, smooth, spicy kick.

portrait shot vibrant orange mezcal drink with orange slice garnish

Get the recipe for Yoly's Mezcal Madras.

What I like most about Allrecipes: Finding, making, and experimenting with new recipes, plus the friendships I have made with other cooks since becoming an Allstar. I love to read about new products in the magazine, and I love the pictures and reviews with the featured recipes.

What I do when not baking or biking: Travel! Over the last seven years, I have gone to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, and Georgia, as well as to Bali and to different parts of Mexico: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Mazamitla, Cancún, Riviera Maya, Mérida, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlán. When I'm not traveling, I hang out with my BFF, Gwen Tolleson, and we eat at restaurants we've never tried. I also love to watch Mexican soap operas.

For my last meal on Earth, I want: Alaskan king crab legs! I tried them when I was 15. They changed my life.

Check out the delicious recipes that Yoly is cooking up in her kitchen.

See more Allrecipes Cooks to Follow.

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