The One Food El Guzii Couldn't Get Right - Exclusive

El Guzii — aka Gustavo Figueroa — has been in the business of teaching people how to not take themselves too seriously while making irresistible comfort foods since 2008, when he uploaded his first YouTube video. Here's a man who walks his 5.88 million followers through making Harley Quinn's bacon egg and cheese sandwich without blinking an eye (via YouTube). He mysteriously mastered a make-at-home version of Church's Chicken biscuits like it was a walk in the park, per YouTube. And he has — by some yet-to-be explained miracle — recreated iCarly's no-bake coconut cream pie, which he promised in his video, with a wink and a nudge, is the original recipe. Been dreaming of Garfield's lasagna since you were a kid? El Guzii has your back (via YouTube).

And yet, for the longest of times, one dish eluded him. "I've always ... Well, not anymore. But at the beginning, I would have so many issues making macaroni and cheese," the YouTube sensation admitted to Mashed in an exclusive interview. "I love macaroni and cheese — and I've seen a lot of videos on how to make macaroni and cheese — and I was like, 'I can make this.'" You know how this story ends — he couldn't. "I tried making macaroni and cheese ... How many times? I think five times. I tried making macaroni and cheese five times and it failed!" El Guzii exclaimed. "The milk and the cheese solid separated, and it was grainy. It wasn't creamy at all. I'm like, 'How?!'"

The secret to mac & cheese, according to El Guzii

If El Guzii didn't upload his first attempts at mac and cheese to YouTube, he didn't throw in the towel, either. "I get this feeling of self-competition," El Guzii told Mashed. "I'm like, 'No, no, I can't let the mac and cheese beat me down. I have to do this again.'" Not that he's tooting his own horn or anything, but these days cooking himself a pot of mac and cheese isn't sweat-inducing. "I love it. My kid, Max, loves it as well. It's so crazy. Mac and cheese is so simple," the YouTuber gushed. What was the trick to mastering the previously unconquerable?

In El Guzii's case, he thinks all he had to do in the end was adjust the temperature on his burners. "I was using too much high heat," he explained. "I was overcooking the cheese and the milk and that made it separate. And I was making something else, cottage cheese, maybe — yellow cottage cheese." In the end, the YouTube chef suggested, it's all about persistence. "It's just practice, practice with everything," he reflected.

To learn how to make mac and cheese à la El Guzii, and for more food inspiration, check out his YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok pages.