If you, like me, spent much time online during the height of the pandemic, you likely came across Filipino chef video bloggers, or “vloggers” who have shared their recipes and commentary on cooking techniques and food culture through popular free online platforms. I thus honor and thank all of them for helping us level up our home cooking and dining experience.
Beyond the skills and flavors we saw are some lessons that are worth remembering as we do our own culinary journey. Their sharing of culinary school techniques to us laypersons makes cooking less intimidating, making it a heartwarming experience for the families we cook for. The time spent at home was made memorable with the recipes that delivered flavor and enjoyment.
First off, let me say that the two years of content brought us to new worlds and ways of preparing and enjoying food.
The Galang family introduced many of us to Kapampangan Luzon cuisine. Chef JP Anglo emphasized the techniques learned from culinary schools, and when combined with local ingredients especially from his native Negros, can truly level up our cuisine and help local farmers and producers. Moreover, he also features his favorite eateries which have their best recipes, helping promote them.
Renowned Cebuano chef and food writer Tatung Sarthou of Simpol showed us that restaurant level recipes like paella need not be expensive to make and that they can be cooked using available ingredients. The chef’s Cebuano roots are a window to southern food culture.
Ryan “Ninong Ry” Reyes is a virtuoso in the kitchen, 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 aboard a boat, and his famous trip to cook among prisoners is a memorable sign of how food brings us together no matter how varied our backgrounds may be.
Chef RV Manabat of Laguna introduced many of us to the pastry world, adding a sweetness to our daily fare apart from the nice meals. His travels also opened up a world of food. His recipes encourage us to be food entrepreneurs and make a living out of inspiring delight in our prospective customers.
Then there are the collaboration videos between them that bring even more experiences and knowledge coming from their combined skills and experiences.
I have one request from all of them, that perhaps they can feature more recipes from Mindanao. The varied and diverse cultures of the island are a melting pot of flavors and techniques that mirror southeast Asian food cultures and are heavy users of locally farmed ingredients like coconut and turmeric. The exotic fruits like durian, mangosteen and langka, pineapples and bananas inspire creativity.
The key message that all of the chef vloggers bring to us is that good food need not be expensive or complicated. They made cooking at home a family bonding experience which forged enduring memories.
More signs on our highways
I have spent much time in road trips and I have a suggestion to the Department of Public Works and Highways. One thing that the DPWH should look into is having more directional signs on major roads especially at significant turns. An example is the Sariaya Bypass road in Quezon province and the Maramag Talakag Cagayan de Oro highway in Bukidnon. Having signs allow us to avoid missed turns.