If, like me, you spent a lot of time online during the height of the pandemic, you probably met video bloggers of Filipino chefs, or “vloggers,” who shared their recipes and comments on cooking techniques and food culture through popular free online platforms. So I salute them and thank them all for helping us improve our dining and dining experience at home.
Beyond the skills and flavors we’ve seen, there are a few lessons worth remembering as we go on our own culinary journey. Their sharing of culinary school techniques with us laypeople makes cooking less daunting, making it a comforting experience for the families we cook for. The time spent at home was made memorable with the recipes that brought flavor and pleasure.
First, let me say that the two years of content has taken us to new worlds and new ways to prepare and enjoy food.
The Galang family introduced many of us to Kapampangan Luzon cuisine. Chef JP Anglo has emphasized techniques learned in culinary schools and when combined with local ingredients, especially from his native Negroes, can really improve our cuisine and help local farmers and producers. Moreover, it also features its favorite restaurants that have their best recipes, helping to promote them.
Celebrity Cebuano chef and food writer Tatung Sarthou of Simpol showed us that restaurant-level recipes like paella don’t have to be expensive to make and can be cooked using whatever ingredients are available. The chef’s Cebuano roots are a window into southern culinary culture.
Ryan “Ninong Ry” Reyes is a cooking virtuoso, discovering combinations that work and encouraging us to be brave in our exploration of well-known cooking techniques applied to our favorite recipes, like his multiple ways of making bihon, sisig and other favorites. His trip to Bohol and cooking Visayan dishes on board a boat, as well as his famous trip to cook among prisoners are a memorable sign of how food brings us together, however diverse our backgrounds.
Laguna’s Chef RV Manabat introduced many of us to the world of baking, adding a sweetness to our daily fare apart from fine meals. His travels also opened up a world of food. Her recipes encourage us to be food entrepreneurs and live from the inspiring pleasure of our potential customers.
Then there are the collaboration videos between them that bring even more experience and knowledge from their combined skills and experiences.
I have a request from each of them, maybe they can introduce more recipes from Mindanao. The varied and diverse cultures of the island are a melting pot of flavors and techniques that reflect Southeast Asian food cultures and are heavy users of locally grown ingredients like coconut and turmeric. Exotic fruits like durian, mangosteen and langka, pineapples and bananas inspire creativity.
The key message that all chef vloggers bring to us is that good food doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. They have made cooking at home a family experience that has forged lasting memories.
More signs on our highways
I have spent a lot of time on road trips and I have a suggestion for the Department of Public Works and Highways. One thing the DPWH should look into is having more directional signs on major roads, especially at major bends. An example is the Sariaya Bypass Road in Quezon Province and the Maramag Talakag Cagayan de Oro Highway in Bukidnon. Having signs allows us to avoid missed turns.
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