The New Year is almost here and we’re all gearing up to welcome a new beginning. Despite the many challenges that 2021 sent our way, we still have a lot of reasons to celebrate.
For one, we’re all still here, thriving and surviving amidst the pandemic.
Although typhoon Odette made us pause and reflect after ravaging many parts of Visayas and Mindanao, our Filipino spirit rallied for our affected kababayans and many of us continue to find ways to reach out to and help them.
Additionally, since the pandemic numbers have gone down a bit and restrictions have been eased a little, we’ve been able to gather (safely) with family and friends. Still with face masks on and social distancing, but it’s a big improvement.
So, yes, regardless of our current situation, we all have reasons to celebrate and welcome the New Year. As I know we all love celebrating with food, I decided to feature a CDO personality who can help you with last-minute New Year preparations – Kusina Chef.
Kusina Chef, or Cookie, used to be my student in grade school at Philippine Southfield School. Back then, she was known as one of the school’s most beautiful faces. Nowadays, she is known to her over 1 million YouTube subscribers as the chef who can prepare special dishes and no-bake goodies in minutes. I talked to her last month and asked her to answer some questions so you can all get to know her better.
1. How were you as a child? What was/were your ambition/s?
Well, I wanted to be a flight stewardess but I’m short. so….
2. Have you always wanted to cook/bake?
In grade school, no. But when I got to high school, I realized I wanted to take up culinary arts. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing, maybe because I was always watching The Food Network. However, studying culinary arts at that time was so expensive, so I decided to take up HRM (Hotel & Restaurant Management). For me, it was the closest to cooking even if it didn’t really focus on cooking but on hotel/restaurant operations.
I named my channel Kusina Chef because I’m the chef of my own kitchen, not because I finished culinary arts.
3. How did Kusina Chef start?
We had a food business before and my then-boyfriend (now my husband) discovered that I loved cooking. To make the long story short, he suggested the idea of taking videos of me cooking so we could post them on YouTube. He saw how happy I was with what I was doing (cooking).
Did you ever think that you’d come this far, with over a million YouTube subscribers and FB followers?
No. As in I did not really expect anything. I was actually happy already when I reached 1k subscribers. I also did not expect to get positive responses from my viewers. They sent me messages and thanked me because they discovered new ideas and recipes from my videos. Some of them even started their own business and they thanked me for helping them. I did not expect to have that kind of impact on them.
4. How do you come up with the dishes or goodies that you feature on Kusina Chef?
I create a concept or idea about flavors/fusion. But I do not feature all-original creations; what I do is when I like a recipe, I modify it or add a twist or two.
Do you have a favorite episode or recipe?
My no-bake desserts and pastries are my favorites.
5. How do you prepare when you’re cooking/baking and shooting a video? Do you follow a routine or ritual?
Yes. First, I have to decide what to cook or bake. Next, I have to clean my work place and then prepare the ingredients.
6. Who do you look up to as inspiration?
I look up to those talented chefs who treat their dishes as a work of art.
7. Who is Kusina Chef or Cookie behind the camera? The Cookie that only the people closest to you know?
Behind the camera, Cookie the Kusina Chef is a good listener to her friends (I talk a lot only in my videos).
8. What have you learned so far in your journey as Kusina Chef?
I’ve learned that you don’t need to buy expensive utensils to make a delicious dessert and pastries (cakes, cookies, and bread). I learned how to be practical and creative.
9. What are your hobbies (aside from cooking/baking)?
I love to travel!
10. What are your plans for Kusina Chef? For yourself?
Our plan, if we can travel already, is to go to different places and cook there. It will be like getting inspiration from a place and featuring a different set-up or location every time I cook.
11. Any tips you want to share with those who aspire to become like you?
Love your work and JUST HAVE FUN ! 🙂
Follow and subscribe to Kusina Chef on YouTube and start your creative, no-bake culinary adventure this New Year!