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Dec. 11, 2022

Cooking through The Philippines with Isi Laureano of Eat Matters


In this episode we travel to the Philippines and talk about the Tasting Spoon and Eat Matters with Chef Isi. She will capture your soul with hospitality and food culture. 

Isi has been in the food business for over ten years - creating recipes for dairy companies and restaurants, doing food styling and photography and selling spices online. She has recently started "Chili Asylum", an institution dedicated to marketing fresh chilies and chilli products sourced directly from Filipino farmers. Isi says she learned everything she knows about cooking from her Nanay (grandmother) who she watched cook fresh lunches and dinners everyday growing up. Isi loves cooking and serving the local, regional food she grew up eating. Isi enjoys collaborating with other chefs and food lovers in the food business to create new and delicious food.

https://eatmattersph.wixsite.com/eatmatters
https://www.instagram.com/eatmattersph/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/isilaureano/

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Transcript

Michael Dugan:

Join me at the chef's table where you'll experience stories secret sauces, signature dishes and kitchen disasters. I want to welcome our next guest Isi Laureano has been in the food business for over 10 years creating recipes for dairy companies and restaurants doing food styling and photography and selling spices online. She's recently started Chile asylum, an institution dedicated to marketing fresh chilies. And chili products sourced directly from Filipino farmers is he says she learned everything she knows about cooking from her nanay grandmother, who she watched cook fresh lunches and dinners every day growing up is he loves cooking and serving the local regional food she grew up eating. And Isi enjoys collaborating with other chefs and food lovers in the food business to create new and delicious food. Chef Isi, welcome to the show. Thank you so much, Mike. Well, let's kick it off. And let's start out with tell me about where you live in the Philippines and what it's like around you. So what I think our listeners want to hear or feel is what they can see what they could hear and what they could taste and experience.

Isi Laureano:

Okay, well, I grew up in a little fishing village called malabon. So it's one of the smallest towns in the Metro Manila in the whole of Metro Manila because Manila is the capital which is right smack in the middle of Metro Manila. We're up north of that. This is a northern part of the metro. Both of my parents are from there. I live with my grandparents ever since until we had to transfer here in Quezon City, which is the largest city in the metro. So most of the residential areas are here.

Michael Dugan:

Guess to be and I'm sure it's very busy.

Isi Laureano:

Yeah, I guess traffic going through the business district because everybody's from here and then they go all the way to the business district in the morning. That's why the rush hour is really like crazy, crazy traffic in the morning. Yeah, Malabon is very well known with their fish and seafood.

Michael Dugan:

But what kind of fish and what kind of seafood because I'm from the US and I'm so curious what if I went to the fish markets there what would I be looking for? Oh, everything What's everything?

Isi Laureano:

I mean, except of course the important stuff like we don't have salmon here but we do. We do have tuna we do have all these you know snapper, sea bass we have those and then of course these sardines and and many many other you know math and all the kinds of tuna are here like we have mackerel. We have the Spanish mackerel we have all these types of other countries that we actually export to Japan. I mean, we can't even we can't even enjoy anymore the the high grade tuna because that's getting exported, but we can get you know that we can get all these fresh seafood like every day. You know, all the shellfish all the crabs and you know mussels and prawns and shrimp. My grandmother would always cook for us like every day of her life until she passed away like she was our cook. I mean, we would make our own breakfast like we would make our breakfast you know, whatever you like. But for lunch, she would be the one who will do that. And then for dinner, it would be my grandfather. This is on my dad's side of my family. So we don't really like store a lot of dishes like store a lot of pre made food, because of my grandparents like they always cook that fresh like our lunch would be freshly cooked and also dinner and the market. The wet and dry market is just like a block away from our house. So that's why my grandmother would always walk in the morning. She would go to her store she has like a little store with okay with biscuits and bread and can you know, that's like our childhood like we literally grew up in the store and my grandfather is actually a bread maker. Wow. He knows how to bake bread and that's pretty much the bread that we always eat, you know, every day because of because he has like a bread store in in the market. So in the earliest of the morning my grandmother would open the store. And then before lunchtime, she would go back home and then she would cook her lunch. And then my grandfather would go close the store for lunch. And then they would he would go home and then we would all eat the lunch and then they would sleep in the afternoon. Because we were influenced by the Spanish. So we we call this the siesta. So these Yeah, they sleep in the afternoon today. Yeah. So when it's hot. Yeah. And then they would open up the store again in the afternoon and then my grandfather would buy the ingredients for the dinner. And then he would make dinner. And then he would go back again for my grandmother and they would close the store for the night. And then we would all eat dinner. So that's pretty much the routine that they had when I was born. Until you know my my grandparents passed away.

Michael Dugan:

So we You didn't eat fast food growing up.

Isi Laureano:

No, we didn't even have any food in that area. We can only experience like McDonald's or experience. No, no, I mean, like when we were kids, nothing. There was nothing. We only had that market. Like we didn't have any fast food chain. You know, in our area like you literally have to get out of the town. Go to Quezon City where I live now, in order for you to go to a mall and experience Jollibee or McDonald's and all these fast food chains. I think the first

Michael Dugan:

you were spoiled

Isi Laureano:

Yes, but I would always remember the first ever fast food chain that opened up near our house was a Dunkin Donuts they're there I'm not kidding it's still there. Send me a pic. Oh yeah, I will I will

Michael Dugan:

definitely that'll be emotional. So speaking of emotion and taking us back to your early memories of your childhood. What was the dish that you really remember that your grandparents cooked?

Isi Laureano:

I wouldn't forget every weekend. My grandmother would always set up her barbecue, like every weekend, and she would buy the milk fish the National Fish. Vamos, which is super famous everywhere like we eat that breakfast lunch and dinner and then we cook it in so many different ways. So she would chop up onions and tomato tomatoes, and then she would stuff it in the fish. So she would butterfly the milkfish and she would stuff it in the fish. And then she would wrap that in foil and just put it on the Barbie. Oh wow. And then she would have all of course the Filipino BBQ marinade. She would make that and then she would make pork barbecue and like pork belly like marinated in the marinade and then we would just barbecue that. And then of course we would get oysters and like mussels and then you just grilled them and that was like the most special barbecue weekends. I would never forget because my grandmother would always, you know, work on that. During the weekends no we would of course we would get like a dessert you know those boba that you guys drink. They're like with gelatin like with those boba. Yeah, my grandmother would make that we call that so sad is the vote the tapioca the above and then gulaman is the gelatin that has like a sugar syrup and then just put a lot of ice.

Michael Dugan:

I like the mango and the the taro

Isi Laureano:

Oh yeah, that too. Of course we would have the hello hello the most famous dessert ice desert of the Philippines all ice desert of the Philippines all these you know sweetened beans awesome. And have a as you have a custard like Leche Flan these you know sweetened beans awesome. And have a as you have a custard like Leche Flan we always do. Make a ice desert of the Philippines all these you know sweetened beans awesome. And have a as you have a custard like Leche Flan custard flour and that's like a traditional, you know, this or that home that my dad and my grandma with me. We're pretty much at food, the family we really eat a lot.

Michael Dugan:

That's life. That's the secret to life as far as I'm concerned. That's true. That's why I ended up studying to become a chef, you know, never became a chef because I spent about 10 years in the business and then I had some different things happen and moved on. But when was it as you were growing up that you started cooking and you started taking interest in cooking?

Isi Laureano:

I think because I'm the only one who's really interested like I would always be with my grandmother like I would always watch in the kitchen. I think I was like maybe in grade school. Pretty young, very young. Because my grandfather's eldest sister, has a bake shop in Malibon and and that was built during the 70s and until now it's still there. My aunt and my cousin is the one running the show now okay, that they shop was like, you know where my grandfather baked also, and my dad also helped out there when he was younger. I mean, everybody helped, you know, build that bake shop over there. And it's, it's like, you know, part of our food, the history or my food, the family history, because we we literally, you know, every Christmas time we would all be there in the restaurant in the bake shop. And then and then not only they do big, they also have food you know, they they serve lunch and and also snacks. So these are all Filipino cuisine like, and then of course the big stuff. That's an influence of the Spanish and Chinese America to Europe, but we have these specialties from that vape shop that are still being sold until today. So I think that that was my exposure to the food business, to the culinary scene, because we were, you know, one of the few bake shop that until now is open in that hometown in Malibon. So yeah,

Michael Dugan:

so as we go along, take us a little bit through your journey. So you had an interest in cooking at a young age. And as you're as you're growing up as you're becoming a teenager, when when did you really get that thirst for thinking about seriously cooking a thing?

Isi Laureano:

Well, actually, when I was younger, I wanted to be a vet. Because I love animals. Okay, like I really wanted to like I want to be a vet, like everybody would ask me like, What are you going to do when you grow up? I wouldn't be a dog doctor. That like I just want to be with animals. But I guess the change but I was supposed to take marine biology in college, but I did get it. Oh, I studied marine biology. Oh my gosh, no way. Really? I Yeah. But I wouldn't have seen what you would see in the Philippines. I mean, come on here. Nothing's that exciting. But there. Oh my gosh, but I didn't get it. So I went to the business course. I went to business management instead because my parents business is in the medical business. Yes. So of course they were trying to brainwash me to like, just be part of the families visit me in our office and like that, but I didn't want it after college. I went to travel, you know, I went to the States. And that's when I got more exposure in you know, and the culture of food, culinary schools over there because during that time, there was only one culinary school here in the Philippines. Okay. During the time, that was like 17 18 years ago, there was only one existing I mean, there are like cooking schools like for mothers and stuff like that, but there was only one like a formal culinary school here. And then when I decided to come back here, I was supposed to study there. Like I was telling my parents Hey, maybe I should just study here. But then again, when I saw I was just gonna go back to the Philippines. I was just gonna study again. So when I came back here, there was an international school for culinary arts that was about to open, and that's where I went. Okay. This is like after, you know, graduating from university or any. I'm done with that. I was just like, you know, doing whatever I actually went, my first ever Job was a call center. And then that's when I went to the States. And that's when I decided hey, I want to go back to school. I wanted to culinary I didn't do I didn't want to do pastry because that was already part of a family of you know, of the family. So I went to the culinary arts since so I thrive in the school. I was like one of the top students really?

Michael Dugan:

Oh, wow, that's fantastic.

Isi Laureano:

Yeah, I graduated from the first batch. I mean, I wasn't really an achiever when I was studying. But when I got into into the culinary school, I didn't realize that oh, this is actually what they really want to do. Like this is where I excel like I didn't realize this is something that I can get something out of and it's very rewarding something and then get the high grade and you know, excel in that field. That's when I realized that this is really what I wanted to do. Of course, my parents were like, This is not what they were hoping for.

Michael Dugan:

It's it's risky. It's tough.

Isi Laureano:

Of course, you know, that was like my turning point like this is really what I wanted. And then after culinary school, I actually work for the same culinary school. I work as a faculty assistant. Okay, I was there for a few years. So I love to teach. It's awesome. No loves doing these things. It's still about food. I love to share what I know I love my students and I'm still in touch with most of them and then from then on. That's when I experienced the outside world. You know, that's when I experienced the restaurant. The hotels like I work in some hotels, I work in some restaurants. I kind of miss it. Actually. I miss the pressure. I miss the you know working in a team. That's something like that, but I

Michael Dugan:

know what you're saying. It's once it's in your blood, it's in your blood for life.

Isi Laureano:

Yeah. But then again, I decided that I'm going to open up a home based business because I was a single mother during that time already. And I told myself, you know, I cannot see my kid anymore because of all the work right? This schedule of being in the kitchen outside so I decided to open up my business. That's when I started Chili Asylum. And then now I have two other brands.

Michael Dugan:

Tell us about that. Tell us about your other brands. Share with us

Isi Laureano:

Oh yeah, well, cheer silo was like, kind of just started because you know me and my friends are like drinking and cooking here at the house and then I love spicy food. They all have spicy stuff. So it was it I started doing bazaars. So I make my bottles I make my spicy condiments and then I make a chili con carne. I make all kinds of chili con carne and have it on rice or on nachos. And, you know, I was just doing all the bazaars like pop ups like weekend market when that's where I started and then of course I started when Instagram happened, you know, I started posting all my work and then you know, Instagram was so young at the time and then I guess because of that and because I was doing all these bazaars I got to be known in the home based business world because not everybody can actually do that. Okay, over here. It's either you work in a restaurant or you open the restaurant or you just really have the time or be an employee. You know, you just cannot like just open up something like that unless you really have your your own space. Your own time your own money to actually open up a brand and make it flourish like this. So that was back in 2003 2004. That's when I you know, decided, hey, I'm just gonna, you know, be a full time mother and just opened up from Chile asylum. I started making these all natural catch ups. I call them high Nyan catch up. Yeah, so these are, I mean, most of my condiments and my catch ups are all vegan friendly. They're all healthy. They're all from scratch. I just use whatever we have here in the Philippines. I think that became my advocacy. Like I just want to use what you know, my friends would grow in their farms or these farming communities that I work with. I just want to use whatever is available and then let's make a product out of it. Guess this way I have all these products and not just one product because I just want to maximize what is available. Okay and to preserve also what these ingredients are because we have so much here. I think a lot of people don't realize that we have so much I don't know why we're importing stuff. Really or any agriculture country. I don't know why they're they've been importing stuff over here. I just don't get it but but because of that I just stuck with this. This is really what I guess my money. It's enough for me and my son did not stop being part of these bazaars and these Bob Bob's, I call up with my other chef friends like hey, maybe this can be part of your restaurant or like I there's all of these local grocery stores that sold my my bottles as well and so I just pretty much supply I mean when to the supply chain, you know bringing my products available to the people and then from there. I have another brand which is called Eat matters. So eat matters became I decided that this will be the mother brand of everything that I do in the food business. So right now that's really what I'm using now. So I'm you know, every time I collaborate with somebody, or I do a kitchen takeover or a catered to somebody's you know event or a party, and me being a private chef, to you know some some clients that kind of became the umbrella brand of all the things that I do so, during the pandemic. Of course, you know, I did, I did private cheffing for some celebrities from some VIPs and you know, clients, because I was really focusing more on the personalized diet meals services and things like that. So I eventually, that that was the thing that I was doing during the pandemic. Because I cannot do tourism, right. I cannot do the pop ups. There were no bazaars happening. The restaurants were closed.

Michael Dugan:

I remember talking to you about this and I was worried about you and you're like I'm doing okay, but I've got to I got to think differently and you know, you pivoted during the pandemic and for people that are listening, I mean, this is a creative way to take being a chef and survive. I mean this this is a very creative way to survive is you have to adjust your thinking and that's what you did.

Isi Laureano:

So from there being an owner of all these home based businesses, I stumbled upon an email of my friend from the states and she referred me to traveling. Yes, that was back in. That was eight years ago. Ready? Okay, I think seven or eight years ago, when they message me and they interviewed me and I met one of the owners. She went here in the Philippines because we were the Pioneer hosts. During that time. I was I was one of the first hosts of traveling spoon. I didn't even have to open up a restaurant because they were going to my house and sharing my culture sharing what I know from Filipino cuisine and just giving them cooking lessons private, you know, market tourists and cooking lessons over here from my house. Wow. So I think that has been the my bread and butter. Really, you know because of all these stories and coming in the Philippines and then this is a unique experience. So

Michael Dugan:

where do they come from? Everywhere? Like where's everywhere? Tell us I mean, you know, there's people listening from around the world.

Isi Laureano:

Like from this day from Australia from Europe. I had guests from South Africa. I guess from New Zealand recently. Oh, wow. Recently, I guess from Romania.

Michael Dugan:

Oh my gosh, that's amazing.

Isi Laureano:

Korea, like, you know, all these people coming from South America as well. And I think I think I don't really get a lot of local bookings.

Michael Dugan:

They know the Philippine cuisine right. Yeah. You live the Philippine cuisine. So when someone comes to visit you, they're really experiencing the best I think and people in the area, you know, they probably are used to certain things, but just not the immersion that you create. Right and this is a question that comes from my friend, Kayla. I said, I'm interviewing this amazing Philippine chef tonight. What would you like to ask her and she said, Ask her what obstacles she overcame to run her business to become a chef.

Isi Laureano:

Oh, I mean, first of all, I think there's still discrimination. The industry. Male chefs get more traction than the female ones. And that was quite a challenge for a lot of us. In the scene and in the in the local scene here in the Philippines. But you know, that did not stop me from doing what they you know, I'm doing here at home. I just post I just sit or I just share my food. I give my friends my food and so that they can sample and then they can post about it. I think that's I mean, all the feedback that I get from my guests from traveling spoon and all the feedback that I get from my clients, I think that's what makes me more confident in what I'm doing. I've been doing this for almost 15 years.

Michael Dugan:

You know, you talk about your guests. So I would like to share a comment from one of your guests to our listeners. Even if you already know how to cook Adobo. We took Isi's class because we knew we would learn a lot more than what's taught traditionally. Let's just say we got more than what we expected. We learned history returned the different methods with a major island groups, but most of all, we got to know a cool Pinoy thanks Jeff Isi

Isi Laureano:

Yeah, that came from a local booking I will never

Michael Dugan:

be special. But you have Yeah, that is you have amazing reviews on challenges and and in a lot of places, so you should feel you should feel good about that. You know, it should take take that in.

Isi Laureano:

Yes. Yes. Pretty much that has been the drive that I you know, that I cherish you know with this with with this thing that I'm doing. Eventually I realized that this is really the passion that I wanted to do. I mean, I love art, I love using photography, photography is but I think that's when food really was. I mean I told myself this is really what I'm gonna be doing for the rest.

Michael Dugan:

You know, when I first met you, you struck me as very authentic. And very passionate. And those are two amazing superhero qualities that are rare and a lot of people thank you as we move on, what was it like being a food stylist and a recipe developer?

Isi Laureano:

Being a food stylist was really a freelance work for me. It was a time that I was a faculty in the culinary school, but you know, I was able to land some projects because of the photography that I do. I was able to land projects with some of my photographer friends in the magazines, in their websites and company websites like I did some stuff for you know for some food brands and that's really how I started you know, build my freelance career because it wasn't really like, you know, a regular job for me. These are mostly client, you know, based projects and, and I just get to, you know, to be contacted by my friends who are doing the project and then now the videos are very much in the in the media. I started getting gigs for commercials. I learned a lot from my film producer friends, sometimes they would get me to be their food stylists for a commercial. I will during the pandemic.

Michael Dugan:

Oh my gosh, that's awesome. Wow.

Isi Laureano:

Yeah, during the pandemic, I was getting gigs. That's incredible. Surprising, but nowadays, it would just be recipe videos for you know for YouTube for online and then commercials now. I don't really get a lot anymore for print. There's not a lot of magazines anymore. It's really mostly for for videos and for the recipe development of course has been part of my you know, routine, especially if I have clients who need personalized meals. So I have to make recipes for them like really special with special ingredients or like really, you know, itemize you know diet meal plans and that has been my, I guess my exercise is my creativity on just making a meal from all the ingredients that are available and then making a meal that is only supposed to be used for my client. I mean for traveling spoon. Sometimes I have to change the menu because I would have a vegan guests or a vegetarian because they're allergic to something or Yeah, so I have to change that is my exercise for my creativity. And of course I would get clients also who needs help in their restaurant or their brand I collaborate with them and then I would make recipes for that. I did consulting for a few clients already. I mean, that pays good money but also it's rewarding to see your menu being used for this restaurant.

Michael Dugan:

You've had people visit from all over the world curious, could you describe your favorite guest experience?

Isi Laureano:

I think my most favorite guests would be I hadn't deaf give us a shout and I had to get a sign language translator it was pretty cool to actually teach somebody but honestly we didn't really have to have the sign language translator anywhere because food is already a language and we already understood the universal language. Yes. And we we already understand what we're supposed to do because so it was actually quite amazing to have that very unique guests coming from the States went all the way here to be able to know what Filipino cuisine is. So I think those are one of my favorites.

Michael Dugan:

That is really amazing. Um, so as we move on talking about some friends and some different people are there any shoutouts

Isi Laureano:

Oh, I learned Thank you. I mean, all my friends in the industry, the people that I have been in touch and you know, especially in during the pandemic, and we were just like this community. And until now since we're all recovering, we're now collaborating. I would like to say hi to ALEC so Apple vaping society and then my friend day these are all my pastry chef friends who are super fantastic young pastry chefs that I have been collaborating with because honestly my weakness is bread and pastries. So they're my they're my pastry chefs who are working with me right now and then of course I I just landed a teaching job. I am. I am just new at this new culinary school have one of these popular chefs. Hi Chef Rob bang so he opened up Alianza Institute I'm currently working there as a part time pulmonary instructors. So I am so so so happy that I was able to land a teaching job again this wow. I want to build my teaching career again. So that's why I accepted the job and it's been wonderful. I love my students. I have I have I was there yesterday actually. I was teaching yesterday so

Michael Dugan:

no, that's fantastic. So we're gonna move to the last section and that is my favorite section is let's get cooking. What would I experience if I came into your home with dish would you be really excited to make me what are your top three?

Isi Laureano:

I would definitely cook something with coconut milk, like seafood or fish coke and coconut milk with all these vegetables. I love teaching that one because you know

Michael Dugan:

what seafood would go in that dish? Oh,

Isi Laureano:

I would do prawns and then I would do a whole fish because that's what we do. And then I love I always want to cook my grandmother's dish, which is adorable squid, so I don't proceed. So proceed a squid and my grandmother every time she would make that. That's like my most favorite dish. Okay, so I would have like a mountain of rice and just flip the adobo squid on top of it. So I would love to teach you that because those are one of my favorite dishes. I'm sometimes put coconut milk at the end also, like a variety of it, but yeah, I don't have so many varieties. So I would definitely teach you you know a lot of ways in and adorable and then lastly would be a savvy chair. You know, since we have the freshest seafood and fish here I would definitely make savage we call that killer when I think oysters and shrimp and and fish is what we use for our Seviche. We have our own lime here. It's called Calamansi and see it's only color green on the outside but on the inside is actually yellow. It's light yellow. And that is one of the best. I guess lime citrus fruits that we have here. We do have a lot of citrus fruits kind of MNCs one of the most popular we eat it we drink it we put it in our condiments, we use it as a marinade and of course we use it for our signature. So those are my favorites. Everything seafood.

Michael Dugan:

And one other question from Kayla I just remembered. I saved it for sure. What are the secrets to cooking a good luck here.

Isi Laureano:

Oh, Lumpia roll. I think it all boils down to the stuffing for us it would have a lot of vegetables and then pork. The traditional one is with pork ground pork. So and then we put all these you know theory like sigh Sure, so pepper and all the other things. But what we do here at home is that we freeze it when we roll it. We freeze it when we fry it. There it is. We don't defrost it anymore. We deep fry but not on a very very hot, deep fat fryer. But we just kind of deep fried and low temperature so that the stuffing will be cooked all the way through. Interesting. That's a secret and then it becomes really crispy. It's supposed to be frozen and deep fry.

Michael Dugan:

I would have never thought that's a secret. All right, I'll give her I'll give her that secret. Because I'm going to tell her you have to listen to this episode. Okay, now another one of my very favorite questions. If you look back in your career could be when you're teaching could be when you're a student could be with traveling spoon, it could be anything you've done in cooking. What memory do you have of a kitchen disaster?

Isi Laureano:

Oh, oh my god. There's a lie. I think I think when I was still a student you we were waking crew thoughts then.

Michael Dugan:

Oh my gosh, really? We forgot about it. So yeah, it went dark. It went like charcoal dark. I think those are like what are the I guess funniest memories in the kitchen? Yeah, that's why but yeah, most of the day would be burning some days or like burning toasts or burning bread. Yeah. But the greatest thing is the about you one of the greatest things in my mind. You know you're authentic but also you can laugh yourself and you can laugh mistakes and that is a very powerful thing because that eliminates a lot of stress. And many people don't do that. You know, they get so frustrated and so perfectionist, just laugh about it. You know, I look back at my kitchen disasters, and I just go oh my gosh, I can't believe I did that. And I started laughing about her. I tell a story about it. And it's great to be able to do that some chefs I've interviewed No, they won't talk about it. And I'm like that's okay. But I think that's part of the whole experience. Because there's no way you can't make a mistake in the kitchen and learn from it. I mean, there's just no way. And speaking of chefs, who do you follow, who do you admire? Is it Oh, no, that's a very good question. I know it is.

Isi Laureano:

I mean, I was really into Anthony Bourdain. Me to his writings are like, just I mean thing like I have. But I follow Gordon Ramsay. I watched the Hell's Kitchen. I like watching them fresher eyes. Kitchen.

Michael Dugan:

Did you ever imagine yourself? Did you ever imagine yourself in Hell's Kitchen? No. No, no. No. Okay. Okay, good. Good. You're safe?

Isi Laureano:

I don't think so. I don't really want to be on TV. Honestly, like I love to promote what I do, but I don't think I need to promote anymore. You know, my face online? I think so. Gordon Ramsay I love watching the Iron Chef. I like those chefs. I do you have a lot of chefs that I follow and just you know, especially the ones who do the molecular gastronomy stuff, like those are my frustration like I want to I want to do something like that. You know, I that's like a totally different path. And we're all door ready. But of course when I was studying in the culinary school, I was you know, dreaming of working or you know, Noma or like all these molecular, you know, gastronomy restaurants out there was like Michelin stars and, you know, I am sticking with my comfort food. Sticking here with my Filipino dishes. And I think what I also do is very, very unique and special. So definitely those are just inspirations for me. All right.

Michael Dugan:

Final question or two. How can we support you across the globe as a community?

Isi Laureano:

Oh, I would just love for you guys to talk about traveling school. I mean, if you have friends who are coming over here in the Philippines, just let me know. I would I would be the tour guide. I would you don't recommend all the best places. Oh my gosh, really what I've built during, you know, being a host for traveling spoon. I have all these Kelway.

Michael Dugan:

Oh, yeah, it's it's really it's really a pleasure. You are truly a voice for chefs for the world and an inspiration to so many people. Thank you again for coming on the show.

Isi Laureano:

Hope to see you some days shadow and it's just let me know when you guys are going to come over and Maria Campbell

Chef Maria Campbell:

chef by trade and founder of coops who care a community advocate to cover mental health costs for food and beverage workers. We've launched our first Community cookbook project to include 28, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Delaware County, and they include chefs mixologist and Lomas experts put intuitive recipes to inspire home entertaining ideas. You can get to know the people behind the recipes as you watch videos as they share how to steps as well as get great ideas for gathering people in your home or places you love. You can donate to the fund to help us kickstart this project is or initial in the 2022 year it'll be ready to help serve others are serving you. Thanks so much.

Michael Dugan:

Take care. Thanks for joining us today. Follow us on Facebook. Find our website in the show notes subscribe on Spotify iHeart Radio or wherever you listen. Leave a comment with five stars and stay tuned for the next episode of voice for chefs

ISI LaureanoProfile Photo

ISI Laureano

Chef/Owner

Isi has been in the food business for over ten

years - creating recipes for dairy companies and restaurants, doing food styling and photography and selling spices online. She has recently started "Chili Asylum", an institution dedicated to marketing fresh chilies and chilli products sourced directly from Filipino farmers. Isi says she learned everything she knows about cooking from her Nanay (grandmother) who she watched cook fresh lunches and dinners everyday growing up. Isi loves cooking and serving the local, regional food she grew up eating. Isi enjoys collaborating with other chefs and food lovers in the food business to create new and delicious food.