Selina Maristela Ocampo is no stranger to the hospitality industry. For three years, she was the R & D head at Manila House Private Club.
Around that time, she also created a culinary and front-of-house internship program with the Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, as well as a consultancy service, tailored toward the needs of the homeowner—from recipe development and budgeting to waste management, kitchen hygiene and maintenance.
She was so excited to apply her knowledge in running a professional kitchen to a home setup, but then the pandemic hit.
The 29-year-old found herself unemployed. She suddenly had lots of time on her hands. And so she cooked, found joy in it and got herself a new source of income.
“I love creating food and sharing it with others. Even more, I love telling people what to cook,” she says. “However, I ran into a lot of ‘that takes too long’ and ‘that’s too many ingredients.’”
That’s why she came up with Mise.
“I began conceptualizing my brand by writing down the things people hated about cooking, which was the ungodly amount of prep, the legwork, the never-ending piles of dishes, random ingredients that have no place in the regular diet, lack of fridge storage,” Ocampo said.
“It was designed to eliminate all these issues and leave people with the homestretch. I constructed a product that was 80-percent complete. I hand the last 20 percent to my customers. My vision is to encourage more people to engage with their food while enjoying the process of putting things together.”
She launched Mise in September by introducing a line of galettes and tarts, which is surprising for someone who doesn’t consider herself a confident baker.
“A friend of mine tested out a galette recipe years ago and I fell in love with the dough. Long story short, I felt it was such a lush and decadent vessel for anything savory or sweet. It is essentially just a freeform pie.”
Her items took months of research and a ton of errors and tears. But all of that paid off, as the reception was encouraging from the get-go.
Among them, the salmon galette relies on the classic combo of house-cured salmon, cream cheese and capers on a black sesame crust, while the goat cheese variety has Malagos cheese, caramelized onions and honey on a polenta crust.
For desserts, she has an apple pie with two kinds of cheese, an almond crumble and cardamom cream, and a banana tart with date toffee jam on an oatmeal pie crust.
She has also added nonpie fare to the menu: cold ginger peanut soba, garlic truffle smashed potatoes and a whole roast chicken set.
“My team does the work of dry brining the bird for 24 hours to ensure that when you roast your chicken at home, it’ll come out at its most tender and flavorful,” she said. “These are simple techniques that most home cooks do not have the patience for. I’m happy to close that gap for my clients.”
It comes with a quinoa salad with roasted enoki mushrooms, yellow bell pepper in a turmeric honey dijon dressing, and roasted beets in Greek yogurt with toasted walnuts and lemon rind.
“Each recipe is a front-row seat to what I’m thinking, feeling, learning and currently interested in. I hope my clients are willing to take this long ride with me because I have so much to learn and so much more to share.”
Tel. 0977-8514734; @mise.ph on Instagram