The Philippine Star
Art on a plate
From page 7 industry top dogs such as Rene Redzepi, Thomas Keller, Daniel Humm, Christian Puglisi, Corey Lee, David Kinch and Andre Chiang, to name a few. “It takes a whole lot to get up there and, most importantly, to remain at the top. It involves drive, dedication and tons and tons of hard work.”
Thus, Karlo – who looks forward to puttering around the kitchen with his currently two-year-old son Lorenzo – wishes his chef heroes could taste his inventions. “When I see them admiring my creations, I would probably cry my eyes out. It will confirm that I am capable of nearing their accomplishments. And that’s an incredible feeling.”
The common table salt is his favorite ingredient, for it makes everything taste better. His preferred plates are products of Humble Ceramics, and Felt and Fat Ceramics, both US-based artisanal earthenware producers. Meanwhile, he has a small obsession with handmade kitchen knives, arguably the most important tool in his kitchen. “The beauty of having a blade specifically made for you just appeals to me.”
He has grown to love the delicious, comforting and affordable Mexican food, for it is always prepared with pride and love. “That’s something I revere with my whole heart,” he enthuses.
In addition, he has a soft spot for Korean barbeque. “It’s fun, it’s inexpensive, and you can eat loads of it.”
With the inspiring motto “Always get better, never settle,” Karlo has this advice to all who wish to pursue a similar career path.
“Be aware of the realities of working in a kitchen. It’s pretty intense. It’s stressful and can be very brutal at times. Before you decide on this profession, be reminded that it will, without a doubt, become a lifestyle – cooks don’t have much free time outside the kitchen. We work laboriously long hours, and we have shifts during weekends and holidays,” he warns.
If he did not pursue a culinary career, he would probably have become a musician, for music was his first love.
“I’ve been playing the drums since I was in Grade 6, and was active in bands throughout college. I think I could have been good at it, if I only had the resources that musicians have today. It was difficult to find good teachers and informative books. But now you can just go on Youtube and have free drum lessons within seconds. You can even pause, rewind and repeat. It’s very convenient. I didn’t have that luxury before,” he regrets.
Come August, Karlo together with chef Jared Ventura and bar director Brad Fry will open and operate ADIA (Instagram: @restaurant_adia), a never-before-done pop-up restaurant concept in the Orange County and Los Angeles area in California, which aims to spoil discerning taste buds with mouthwatering treats in strategic sites of note.