JEFF FUGATE (Owner)
Empty Bowl Queso is a Hatch NM Green Chile based cheese sauce. It is the vision come to life of Jeff Fugate a former New Mexican now living and producing Empty Bowl Queso in Leesburg in Virginia. In New Mexico Hatch Green Chile (HGC) is ubiquitous. For example, you can get a Green Chile Cheeseburger at any McDonald’s.
When Jeff moved East in 1990, he discovered a lack of HGC and started to bring it back with him with every visit to New Mexico. He discovered that his limited supply of HGC would go a long way in queso and that became his primary method of satisfying his HGC addition. Over the years, experimenting with the recipe became a hobby, though the acquisition of HGC was still challenging. In 2013 Wegman's began bringing in truckloads of HGC after the once per year August harvest, and he started buying 300 pounds at a time.
Jeff was in the event design and execution business and traveled all over the country and the world. If you were a client, and he came to your event or a business meeting you were getting queso. In 2017 he began fundraising for his daughter’s marching band delivering queso all over the world. Finally, in 2020 after losing his big corporate job due to Covid-19 he decided to go all in on Empty Bowl Queso and attempt to bring the joy of HGC to the masses.
Empty Bowl Queso is available at EatLoco Farmer’s markets and independent retailers throughout the DC area and beyond. In addition to acting as a traditional cheese dip, it can be used as a sauce to make almost anything better including: Eggs, Mac n Cheese, Potatoes, Vegetables, Meats, etc… Get ready to Dip into Joy!