state of in­de­pen­dence

Let’s Eat - - NEWS - WORDS BY SPANKY HIZON EN­RIQUEZ Chef Jessie Sin­cioco, a mod­ern-day culi­nary hero.

Em­bal­zoned on her chef ’s jacket, di­rectly above her heart is “I Pope Fran­cis”. The ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing been cho­sen to cook for the Pope at the Apos­tolic Nun­cia­ture dur­ing his visit to Manila three years ago, has ob­vi­ously stayed with Jessie Sin­cioco. Her warm smile, and bright, al­most be­atific de­meanor is as charm­ing as that of Il Papa’s. And her con­tin­u­ing pas­sion for her pro­fes­sion, so ap­par­ent when she talked about the dishes she’s pre­pared for her on­go­ing show­case at the Manila Ho­tel, is re­ally quite in­spi­ra­tional.

Chef Jessie’s come a long way from win­ning the grand prize in the Great Maya Cook­fest 35 years ago. That cat­a­pulted the young pas­try mas­ter into the up­per reaches of the coun­try’s culi­nary strato­sphere: from the leg­endary Le Souf­flé restau­rants to her epony­mous es­tab­lish­ment at the Rock­well Club. Through it all, she’s re­mained ap­proach­able, never aloof. A most hum­ble and down-to-earth lady who’s re­garded with the high­est de­gree of re­spect, and gen­uine af­fec­tion, by her peers in the in­dus­try.

Her menu for the “kaBAYANIhan’ food fes­ti­val at the Cafe Ilang-Ilang, which runs un­til Septem­ber 2, is dedicated to the Filipinos who laid the foun­da­tion for our coun­try’s free­dom. The re­search that went into the dishes was thor­ough, of course, and the results are deeply in­for­ma­tive and end­lessly fas­ci­nat­ing. Mel­chora Aquino, a.k.a. Tan­dang Sora, the Mother of the Katipuneros, used to pre­pare a tinola recipe thick­ened with rice; a his­toric com­fort food that nour­ished the bod­ies and lifted the spir­its of the revo­lu­tion­ar­ies. That glo­be­trot­ting man of the world, Gat. Jose Rizal al­ways loved com­ing home to his fa­vorite Bis­tek Ta­ga­log. Those two clas­sics, and more, are el­e­vated with Chef Jessie’s un­mis­tak­able touch. It’s a culi­nary throw­back that shouldn’t be missed. And it’s most apt that one of the Philip­pines’s top chefs, an icon to many, has once again been blessed with an op­por­tu­nity to honor her he­roes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.