Header Ads

My Weekend as a Chef

As I write this article, I have been contemplating what to cook for lunch. On a Sunday like this, my nephews and niece usually join us for lunch. It has been a traditional family ‘bonding time’ for us.

People close to me have a clear idea how I spend my weekends. I usually venture out searching for the right and perfect ingredients for my recipes.

The search involves cruising through the crowded alleys of the market nearby, bargaining elbow to elbow with fellow shoppers and trying to get the attention of my sukî or, perhaps, getting the best possible price.

However, there are days when I prefer sharpening my knives or tinkering and cleaning my tools with matching background music. It may be OPM, jazz or classical to set the wholesome mood for the day.

Indeed, if food nourishes our body, listening to music heightens it more while feeding the soul.

On occasional Sundays, I hang out with friends over a cup of coffee or chamomile tea and chocolate cake top off with a hot brewing exchange of ideas. What I share mostly is palatable to the mind and delectable both literally and figuratively.

I never get tired of discussing food – my students will attest to this – and sharing my passion. I also look forward to long weekends which surely involve out of town trips to Anilao or San Juan, Batangas.

There, I can snorkel and commune with nature. No matter how busy I am, I always find time to be silent and thank God for all my blessings.

My weekend as a chef is always exciting and at the same time challenging. Working as a chef is not an easy task.

Nowadays, to be called a chef requires passion, skills, knowledge, hands-on experience and continuous studies to learn the trends in the industry. It takes a lot of patience and hard work.

Working hours will never be constant in a month. There are times that I need to work until the wee hours of the morning; but believe me, it is very fulfilling to watch our guests enjoy the food that we prepare.

By the end of the day as I evaluate a catering event, you will see me with a big smile on my face and waiting excitedly for the next event.

So for this Sunday, considering that this family gathering is a mini-event, we have a long list of food choices. Filipino food is one of my specialties, both traditional and fusion.

Pasta is a favorite entrée; but sometimes, I want to cook something out of the ordinary from Chicken with Green Curry, Pad Thai, Chili Crab, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Callos, Paella, Osso Bucco and Baked Rosemary Herb Chicken.

I will settle for all-time favorites – Fresh Corn Soup, Mixed Green Salad and Mango Vinaigrette, Buffalo Wings with Chili Sauce and Linguine Aglio Olio with Buttered Prawns.

A meal will never be complete without dessert – Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Banana Caramel. Truly a sumptuous lunch on a weekend!

Article and photos contributed by: Chef Shirley de Jesus