Passion for Food
Chef Patrick Co stirs the melting pot of cuisines through The Fat Cow and Asian Cow, and revolutionises Davao City’s dining culture
In the bustling southern city of Davao, The Fat Cow and Asian Cow are two well-revered dining establishments owned by 27-yearold chef and restaurateur Patrick Co. If one were to trace where the young visionary’s passion for food started, it was when he was just 13 years old. On weekends, he would create his version of the delectable dishes he would see on television, experimenting with the ingredients native to his hometown.
After attending the Center for Asian Culinary Studies Davao and training in two restaurants, he realised it was time to carve his own path. He says, “That’s when the lightbulb lit up, and I told myself it’s time to open my place.” In April 2016, he established The Fat Cow with the help of his father, a long-held dream come true. Three years later, he opened his second restaurant, the equally loved Asian Cow.
“I always take inspiration from my travels,” Co shares. “It could be from Michelin star restaurants in Thailand, a street food vendor in Japan or a food hawker in Singapore. They’ve inspired me to create new dishes for our restaurants until now continually.” From fine continental food to oriental fusion cuisine, you name it–the chef has concocted numerous crowd favourites, including a 48-Hour Sous Vide Wagyu Brisket, Ginataang Angus Beef Kaldereta, and Black Truffle Pasta. His unwavering dedication to his craft has resulted in numerous recognitions, including a spot in the Tatler Dining Guide’s Best Restaurants in 2020, 2022 and 2023.
When asked about overcoming the difficulties of running top-notch restaurants at a young age, Co did not hesitate to admit the struggles of earning respect from the audience and older employees and running the restaurant while keeping it consistent and ahead of the game. Despite this, he encourages aspiring restaurateurs to use their youth to their advantage and emphasises that age shouldn’t limit them from pursuing their goals.
“The advice I always tell my team, whether they’re in the dining room or the kitchen, is that they should absorb as much as they can and be open to change because it will either make or break them,” he remarks. “Be a work in progress. Be open to new things. Be aggressive with what you do. Most of all, always believe in what you do. Never forget your integrity–whether you’re a bartender, server, chef, or whatever role you have, always put integrity in front of you.”
With his culinary expertise, creativity and ambition, Co has contributed significantly to revolutionising Davao’s culinary scene by blending different cuisines through innovative fusion recipes. It’s through The Fat Cow and Asian Cow that Co has been able to experiment, create and curate dishes just like how he used to do as a kid—but this time, for the world to experience.