Erwin Ines is this blog’s reader/commenter who never fails to give great cooking tips. I invited him as a guest blogger and I am ecstatic that he agrees to contribute this entry for the 15th round of Lasang Pinoy. A Credit and Financial Analyst in Manila, Erwin migrated to Canada in 2003 and made a drastic career change a year and a half later. With his passion for food and love for cooking, he decided to take a Continuing Education Chef Training Course at George Brown College’s Chef School in Toronto. He currently works as a cook in an Italian-American restaurant.
Ever wondered why Filipino cooking has never transcended into the realm of fine dining? In Manila, fine and casual dining has evolved from 15 to 25 years ago because of several obvious factors: economy, competition, creativity, the need for newer and fresher concepts and globalization. These liberal and presented juggernauts of world politics and common belief of almost total to complete improvement of self as well as self-respect and political parody have brought Filipino taste to majestic heights. However, this is only true for Manila, the city I have abandoned and loved. How about across the Atlantic? Have Filipinos realized how far Pinoy food has competed against their counterparts? South Asian, Thai and West Indian Cuisines have flourished, expanded, mutated and sprouted from all over, releasing their exotic and Caribbean tastes and spices. Indeed, they have become known and popular through these years. Spices such as All Spice, Garam Masala, Curry Powder (in paste & powder forms), Jerk, Coriander, and Cumin have become a mainstay in many kitchens nowadays. They have also been praised by Professional Chefs who have in time included some noticeable, succinct flavours into their menu-fusion.
Sadly, Pinoy food has only reached a certain level of appreciation and has never soared to a new level or new heights. Did you ever wonder why Pinoy cuisine, despite the never-ending and continuous flooding and flocking of immigrants around North America, have never transcended into the realm of true, exquisite, fresh, and flavourful cooking? In my short stint here, I have discovered one reason for this shortcoming: SHORT-CUTS. I feel, for many involved in cooking as a hobby, more so as a profession, and based on my kitchen experiences, Pinoys tend to cut corners and alleviate from what is right and proper or to what should be to what NOT. For example, Italians generally know how to make healthy, nurturing food for the family at a short time without making sacrifices on many ingredients. The key to good food, in their case, is freshness.
Continue reading “Lasang Pinoy 15: Erwin’s Paella”