Even if many restaurants remain closed for dine-in, Filipinos remain spoiled for choice when it comes to food.
It seems the lockdown has made promising entrepreneurs out of a lot of people, kids included.
For Alexa de Guzman, earning enough to buy a computer has provided motivation. “I asked my dad how much a laptop would cost so I can set a goal,” says the incoming seventh grader. “I also wanted more art supplies and a keyboard so I can learn to play an instrument.”
What started as a summer project led to Baked by Alexa, her home-based pastry business. “During the lockdown, my mom gifted me with a cookbook containing recipes that are kid-friendly,” she says. “We started experimenting and with her help, we were able to make cookies everyone loved. We sent them to family and friends and they asked for more so we baked every day, which kept me busy.”
Her cookie line includes Brown Butter Two Chip, her mom’s recipe. The 11-year-old added sea salt flakes to her version. She also has White Choco Cranberry and Brown Butter Bacon, an ode to her love of cured pork.
Her brand is only a week old and she has already sold over 80 dozen cookies. “People have also reordered, which I think is a good sign.” Baked by Alexa, tel. 0917-8243734Like Alexa, Kylie Po, 14, was also strongly influenced by her mother, pastry chef Jackie Ang-Po. Po, however, donned the apron only recently “because my mom encouraged me to start exploring in the kitchen,” she says. “I also enjoy watching cooking and baking shows, which motivated me to experiment with some recipes.”
The incoming 10th grader created Sweetened Bakery while on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Po’s roster includes Salted Caramel Chocolate mini cookies and two types of caramel bars—cheese and ube. She uses her mom’s recipes, but has tweaked them to her liking.
Sweetened Bakery, tel. 0922-8506467
“Who would have thought that the worst of times can be the best time for certain dreams to come true?” says Malou de Veyra who has always wanted to open a restaurant. “I come from a family with strong culinary traditions,” she says. Then her husband fell ill (and later died), so her dream took a back seat. During the ECQ, De Veyra found the time to revisit an old hobby. At Hola Mamita!, she offers the vegan-friendly Pasta Patricio named for her eldest son who loves shiitake mushrooms, and Puttanesca Adriano, an homage to her late husband who loved the classic dish. Hola Mamita, tel. no. (0977) 424-1475When Jackielyn Fong Go was pregnant and got diagnosed with gestational diabetes, her family decided to live a healthier lifestyle, which involved putting more thought into their daily meals.
Her husband and daughter love to eat siopao, so she thought of making a wheat version. The result was an instant hit not just with family and friends. That’s how MPantry, named for daughter Maddie, began. Go has two siopao variants, bola-bola and asado. A veggie version is in the works.
MPantry, tel. no. (0945) 620-0266
Signature dishes from hotels
Shangri-La at the Fort’s Raging Bull Burgers recently marked its third anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to have people enjoy its signature buns at home.
It accepts orders for pickup, but to make it more convenient for customers, it introduced the How to Kick Ass at Home Burger Kit, a DIY box containing everything you need to make the perfect burger—two fresh patties of Angus beef double grind, cornmeal buns, gherkin, tomato, lettuce leaves and even a bottle of Raging Bull’s barbecue sauce.
The hotel’s High Street Cafe also came up with a meal kit for its best-selling Nenek Chicken Satay, grilled chicken in skewers and peanut sauce in vacuum-sealed bags. The compressed rice cake and vegetables are also provided.
It also has a selection of healthy squeezes by Juiced as well as bespoke cocktails that bartenders at The Back Room can customize. Shangri-la at the Fort, tel. no. (0915-LFMEATS)Tapenade at Discovery Primea has added dishes to Primea on the Go, its takeout menu. There’ s porcini ribeye with mixed green salad and Mediterranean beef kebab with aromatic basmati rice, as well as Filipino items that were normally served in-room for stay-in guests. These include lechon kawali with pickled papaya and liver sauce, crispy pata and pancit canton, as well as beef steak Tagalog using US Angus beef.