pinaygourmand's Passion for Thy Bounty
Monday, October 30, 2006 A Glimpse of A Blogger's Persona

Pinaygourmand comes from a family who has a fervent passion for food. She has no formal training but her experiences in her home kitchen have brought out her talent in food preparation. She is a finicky grocery, produce buyer almost like any chef. She cooks without any aids of measuring cups and spoons; she makes approximation and doesn’t follow a definitive recipe. She must be someone who you can call a wannabe chef but her mom has always been a big influence in her adventures.

I can associate my love and appreciation for food from my grandparents. They were said to be from families into food business, dating back from our Macau Chinese and Spanish ancestors. My mom’s parents hailing from Mindoro and Batangas used to be restaurateurs in the 1960’s. They had a 24 hours grocery, restaurant along Mc Arthur Highway in Caloocan. It used to be a popular place frequently visited by popular personalities of the city. My lola was the lone cook, she never hired anybody to cook as she was afraid that the cooking style will not fall into her and her patrons standards. My dad’s parents who are from Pampanga and Nueva Ecija were into meat industry, they were hog dealers throughout different markets in Metro Manila offering only the best quality of meat. My dad later on took the business and had to travel around the Philippines just to find the best hogs he could offer back to Manila. It is through his travel that he had experienced different delicacies Filipinos has to offer. He is probably the most meticulous food critic I have ever known, and had somehow influenced me.

I can back track my first experience of good food at the age of 3. I can vividly remember sitting at my high chair while the rest of my family feasts on a sumptuous dinner at our 8 seater dining table. Most of my childhood memories are kitchen scenes. I grew up spending most of my time at the kitchen watching my mom prepare meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and even midnight snacks. I will usually request my mom to wake me up at the middle of the night so I can watch her prepare a meal for my dad’s snack. I guess they were too surprised at how at a young age I already exhibited a passion the same as what they both have. They willingly hang out with me at midnight, my mom show me how she prepares and styles the food and my dad while savoring his snack, teach me how he qualifies good food.

At the age of 9, I had started to cook rice without using a rice cooker. By age 10, I have started to cook my own baon in the watchful eyes of my mother. The following years, my mom encouraged me to pick whatever I like to purchase during our errands to the grocery, which I later on have to use in making a nice meal. Before I even graduated my elementary years, I already knew how to make salads, sandwich spreads, pastillas, leche flan and cook pancit, sopas, adobo and bake brownies and cookies among others.

During my high school and college years, my mom had ventured to another business line. This time she went into catering services, specializing in food preparation for local and foreign clienteles. She serves Filipino, Chinese and Continental dishes the most. At this time my mom will tag me along and ask me to do food styling and baking. When her menu consists of pastas, canapés, finger foods and baked goodies; she will have to ask my service to join her team. It is this time that I was able to work in the kitchen experiencing time pressure. I have experienced working in the kitchen for more than 24 hours but I find the experience worth the stress after I see the smiles of the clients as they feasts on the food. I later on developed a discipline in food preparation, working at the kitchen as fast as I could but with grace and presence of mind and to clean as I go. As time flies I have done more experimental cooking with and without my mom around. My creations’ fans are my family and friends.

My love for science and curiosity in the living and its environment made me choose a pre-med course. I took Bachelor of Science, hoping to become a neurosurgeon or a pediatrician. I didn’t pursue Medicine and had ventured to a different field. But my love for food stays the same. I have to say that my love for science also had something to do with my food adventures. I have learned certain facts associated with baking and cooking that I only found out during my “experimental cooking”. I can evaluate how healthy, rich, fattening, sugar bombed a meal is, just at the sight or taste of it too.

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Posted by pinaygourmand :: 1:59:00 PM :: 3 comments

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