I was able to catch up and say hello once again last Thursday (September 20) with one of the Philippines’ well-loved Celebrity Chef of the GMA Network’s Hit Morning Cooking Show KUSINA MASTERChef Pablo “Boy” Logro.

Our last meeting happened December of 2011.  My post KUSINA MASTER CHEF BOY LOGRO ON GMA 7 received some great reviews and comments from fans of this very wonderful and amazing person.

A lot of things happened since then but one thing is for sure – his show KUSINA MASTER is here to stay.  Initially envisioned as a one season (3 Months) show, the cooking show is now on its 8th Month and still going strong.

NEW MOVIE: THE FIGHTING CHEF

Aside from this, Chef Boy is currently doing an action movie right now with OMB Chair Ronnie Ricketts entitled “The Fighting Chef” under Viva Films.

“From what I’ve heard, balak ata kasi ipasok sa Metro Manila Film Festival yung movie pero hindi ko po alam kung kailan po talaga ipapalabas.”  Chef Boy said

He said that he’ll be having some action scenes there but Ronnie Ricketts will be doing most of the actions in the movie.

 “Tagapag-luto po ako dito na ginigipit ng owner ng restaurant at ang talagang role ko ay ang maging taga-pagpayo ni Ronnie.”

When asked about he’s experience in making his first movie, he said –

“Nagluluto pa rin naman ako dito, and difference lang ay mas mahaba ang oras ng taping at madaming mga adjustments.  Nakakatuwa kasi iba na namang experience ito para sa akin.  Yung mga dati ko na napapanood lang sa mga action movies ngayon kasama ko na sa pelikula, parang panaginip lang.”

 

NEW BUSINESS: CHEF BOY LOGRO’S RESTAURANT, Anabu, Cavite

Chef Boy has a new baby, a three Month old restaurant located in Anabu, Cavite.  He said that the restaurant was not formally launched  – it is still on its soft opening phase and haven’t found the time to plan the grand launch because the place is always jam-packed since day one.

The restaurant is located near the new SM Hypermarket in Anabu (formerly Makro).  STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT was his motto for conceptualizing this new business.  The semi-fine dining restaurant features a fusion of Filipino, Asian, Spanish and Western dishes.  Their specialty and also their best sellers are the Boneless Crispy Pata (which sells for 650 pesos) and Kare-Kare.

Chef Boy also plans to have branches in Manila and then have it franchised someday.  However, he believes that the full concept and design of the restaurant is still not yet in place.  That will only happen when he is able to purchase a building for his restaurant business because right now he’s only renting the building for 100,000 a month and he’s limited to only minor renovations and adjustments.

photo courtesy of CaviteLife.com

The current capacity is also limited to 150 seats only.  He has invested over 2 Million on renovations, equipment and a state of the art Kitchen with an italian-made coffee machine.

With regards to the price, Chef Boy said that it is very reasonable.  As much as he want to lower the price, he couldn’t do it without letting the business suffer big losses.

“Ang expenses ko ay at least 300 to 400 thousand a month, so ibig sabihin para mag continue ang business dapat kumita sya ng hindi bababa ng 50 thousand a day.  So far, ok namam ang sales average – pag weekdays mga 35 – 60 thousand, pag weekends mga 80 to 150 thousand.”

Chef Boy’s vision in making the restaurant is to let people taste the popular dishes that he’s doing on TV shows.

Chef Boy also shares that he’s also planning to set up a ‘Jollibee’ type fastfood restaurant that will serve simple and easy to prepare hotelier dishes.

NEW HOUSE: A 6.6 Million Woodland Property in Carmona

“Puro misteryo ang nangyayari sa buhay ko.”  Chef Boy shared.  “Ang laki ng pasasalamat ko at nabigyan ako ng napakaraming oportunidad.  Lahat ng mga anak ko may mga sweldo na, may sariling kotse at bahay.  Ang panganay ko Chef na rin at nasa ibang bansa na.  Yung pangalawa ko ang Executive Chef ko doon sa Restaurant ko sa Cavite.  Maganda ang takbo ng school ko, in fact mas malaki pa kinikita ko sa school kaysa sa shows ko sa pagiging celebrity Chef.”

His latest investment is a dream house located in Woodland, Carmona worth 6.6 Million.  But he never fails to visit his home town in Davao every month.  He spends about 2 – 3 days there monthly.  Spending around 20 thousand each time but he said that it’s just money.

 “Pera lang yan, malaki o maliit pera lang yan. Parang talbos lang yan ng kamote, habang tinatanggalan mo lalong dumadami ang sanga.  Ang importante ay yung nasa likod ng pera.”

CHEF BOY’S THOUGHTS ON THE WORD “NANGUNGUTYA”

You can tell that Chef Boy is very sensitive with the word “Nangungutya” and had his share of mockeries and ridiculing during the early years of his career as a Chef because of his educational attainment.

“People would say, Si Boy Logro?  A wala yan, tatanga-tanga yan.  Hindi naman naka-graduate yan e.  E ano gagawin ko?  E yun naman talaga ako.  Elementary graduate nga lang ako e.  Pero ano naman ang binigay sa akin ng Panginoon?  Ang diploma ko kay Lord galing – may hihigit pa ba doon?  E sila, graduate lang ng UP, graduate lang ng Ateneo, graduate lang ng La Salle.  Ako graduate doon sa kanya sa taas.”

“Hindi nga ako naka-graduate pero sino-sino naman ang nag-aaral sa school ko sa Cavite – mga graduate,  mga doctor, mga abogado, mga milyonaryo at mga foreigners.”

“Kahit ngayon, may mga nangungutya pa rin.  Sa restaurant ko nga may mga kumakain na mayayaman para mangutya – tulad nung minsan isang sikat na lola sa commercial ng isang sabon pumunta sa restaurant at sabi ng mga tao ko nilait-lait yung mga pagkain at yung lugar, narinig nila sabi niya mas maganda pa rin daw yung restaurant nya.  Ang sabi ko sa mga tao ko, humingi na lang sila ng paumanhin at pasensya dahil yun lang ang nakayanan ni Chef Boy at sabihin din na sana hindi na lang sila pumunta kasi nakakahiya naman sa kanila.  Sabi ko lagi lang kayong maging mapag-kumbaba dahil walang nananalo sa taong mapagkumbaba.”

CHEF BOY ON NEW CHEFS AND YOUNG FAMOUS CHEFS

I asked Chef Boy his advice to new Chefs and other young popular and celebrity Chefs.  He said –

“Pagpatuloy ang kanilang humble beginning.  Sabi nga sa akin noon, if you want to be successful, forget or let go of your ego.  Yung iba kasi pag sikat na, nagdedemand na at nag iiba na ang lifestyle.  Yung nangyayari sa akin ngayon, napaka-laking tulong nito lalo na sa kabuhayan ko kaya dapat lalo maging mapagkumbaba.”

“Ang karunungan ay di dapat pinagmamalaki.  Gamitin mo ito para ihubog ang kaalaman ng ibang tao.”

“Para sa mga bagong graduate na Chef, kahit anong galing mo – graduate ka pa lang.  Hindi ka pa Chef.  Katulad ng pagkain ang pagluluto ay hinuhubog ng panahon.  Parang nilagang bulalo – kapag mabilis mo niluto, natutuyo agad ang sabaw, magdadagdag ka ng tubig tapos hanggang sa hindi siya maging malinaw – lalabas siya na hindi masarap.  Dapat iluto sa malaking kalderong punong-puno ng tubig.  Sigahan sa apoy at pag kulo, tanggalan ng bula at iluto sa pinakamahinang apoy ng 8 oras.  Bababa ang latak at magiging malinaw ito.  Ito ang masarap na bulalo.”

“Secondary lang yang mag-english english.  Sa food, ang tanong e kung masarap?  90% ang taste at 10% lang ang preparation. “

CHEF BOY ON POLITICS

When asked if he would consider going into politics, he answered –

“Leave it to the experts.  Ang politics ay para sa politicians, ang Chef ay para sa pagluluto.  Wala po ako balak kumandidato at never ko papasukin yang politics.  Tutulong na lang po ako sa ibang paraan.”

And indeed he’s already helping in many various ways.  He provided a seed fund for a cooperative in his home town in Compostela Valley, Davao and it is now on its 10th year.  He is also funding the building of a local church in their place.  His culinary school in Cavite provides classes for a 6-Month diploma course and currently has 4 scholars.

He is also a TESDA ambassador.

During our conversation, he also shared some of his thoughts about social change which he also shared with some congressmen.  He suggested that a bill should be passed in congress that will not allow expats to hold executive positions in high-end hotels and restaurants especially – Executive Position Chefs.

“Ang Japan, bakit sila progressive?  Kasi lahat ng trabahador nila puro Japanese.  Yung mga foreigners, consultant lang at mga 3 to 5 Months lang nag stay.  Kaya sila mayayaman.”

“Mababawasan ang mahihirap sa Pilipinas kung lahat ng mga sequestered buildings na ngayon ay mga nabubulok lang ay popondohan at pagaganahin.  Doon magsisipagtrabaho ang mga nag-aaral sa Tesda at mga pinapaaral na mahihirap ng gobyerno.  Kailangan nga lang suportahan ng gobyerno.  Dapat lahat ng project ng gobyerno doon dadalhin sa mga establishment na ito at hindi sa hotels at restaurant na pag-aari ng mga foreigners.”

“Yung mga bata sa kalsada at mga namamalimos, bibihisan at pagtatrabahuhin ng maayos sa mga establishment na ito.  Bilang taga-hugas ng plato muna o taga-linis.  Tapos may counselling.  Bibigyan ng sweldo at unti-unting bibigyan ng mga trainings.  Kapag natuto ang mga mahihirap mas nagiging magaling pa sila kasi may halong pagsisikap – sila ang magiging asset ng Pilipinas.”

“Kung bubuhayin ang mga pag-aari ng mga gobyerno maraming maibibigay na trabaho iyon para sa mga Pilipino nationwide.”

“Paano ka makakatulong sa mga tao kung ikaw lang ang yayaman o di kaya yung mayayaman lang ang patuloy na yayaman. Yung mga schools natin ng culinary dito ay run by foreigners tapos ang mga nag-aaral puro mayayaman din kasi ang laki ng tuition.  Para sa mayayaman lang din.”

“Ang dream ko, hindi na babansagan ang ating bansa na supplier ng mga Domestic Helpers – World Class Chefs and ating magiging pangunahing pang export.”

KUSINA HELPER: CHARIZ SOLOMON

Helping the Kusina Master in his daily cooking adventures every morning is 23 year-old Actress, Comedian and Model CHARIZ SOLOMON who is now engaged and about to be wed with his businessman fiance and long time boyfriend  NESTOR NG.

The date is set on December 2nd at the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth and Life near the SM Mall of Asia.  The reception will be held at Blue Leaf Pavillion in McKinley Hills, Bonifacio Global City.

Aside from Kusina Master, Chariz will also star in the upcoming teleserye “Magdalena” where she will play as a Bugaw.

Chariz also express her loyalty with GMA Network and said that she still has 3 years left before her contract expires.

 “Gusto ko din maging bida syempre, lahat naman pinapangarap yun pero di ko nilalagay ang sarili ko doon.  Ok na ako sa ginagawa ko ngayon basta walang bakante, nakakapag libot-libot at walang pressure.  Hindi ko naman din gusto ng madaming madaming pera –  madami lang ok na.”

Catch Chef Boy Logro, Chariz Solomon and their upcoming guests Agot Isidro and Bea Binene weekday mornings on GMA.

CHEF BOY LOGRO: Food-For-Thoughts on Business, Politics and Social Change
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