Kitchen Insider (Part 1) - On discovering new ice cream flavors

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SHH! This is our secret, okay? Here’s the deal: We’ve asked our favorite chefs, bakers, and food experts to share some of their tried and true kitchen tips with you. Whether it’s about baking soft and chewy cookies, prettying up the buffet spread at your next party, or learning what goes into a killer mac ‘n’ cheese, take your culinary cues from these experts and you’ll get much more out of your kitchen experience.

On discovering new ice cream flavors

Ian Carandang, owner, Sebastian’s ice cream

“Some things I keep in mind when I’m conceptualizing new flavors:

Description: Description: Sebastian’s ice cream

Sebastian’s ice cream

1.    Start with a strong concept: an interesting flavor combination rather than just a random combination of ingredients. It should make sense. Studying existing desserts and deconstructing their flavor profile is a good way to get ideas.

2.    Instead of blending all the flavor components into the base (which can make it muddy and one-dimensional), I like to keep the flavors distinct by separating the components in the form of mix-ins, chunks, and swirls to add layers of flavors are more vibrant and easier to pick out.

3.    The main thing to avoid is the Umay factor. Add a little salt or some acidity to cut the richness of the ice cream and give it some balance so it doesn’t feel overwhelming to eat after just two spoonfuls. Your goal should be to keep them wanting to eat it up until that final mournful, and maybe even think about getting a second scoop.”

On going back to (cooking) school

Jun Jun De Guzman, chef and instructor, the center for Asian culinary studies

Description: Description: Jun Jun De Guzman, chef and instructor

Jun Jun De Guzman, chef and instructor

“Before I became a chef, I was a home cook. I would take short courses according to my current interests-classes with dishes that I really wanted to learn or that I usually craved for but were hard to make. When I started asking a lot of questions about the science behind the cooking process, I decided to take a beginner’s course which really helped me in going further and learning more to become what I am today. The science of cooking gives you a better perspective on the whole set-up, helping you make less mistakes and produce food with better quality. If you’re thinking about going to culinary school, try taking a hands-on class in cooking or baking first. Afterwards, if you’re still interested in and happy with what you’re doing, pursue a longer, more formal course”.

On making a killer kare-kare

Gene Gonzalez, owner and chef, café Ysabel; founder, the center for Asian culinary studies

Description: Description: Gene Gonzalez, owner and chef, café Ysabel

Gene Gonzalez, owner and chef, café Ysabel

“A good kare-kare – like the ones from my hometown of Sulipan, Pampanga – should have a good extraction of atsuete or annatto. Cortrary to common belief, atsuete is not only for coloring. It’s a spice that reacts with other food once it is cooked or sautéed with the ingredients. A good kare-kare must be orange in color, not pale yellow as many commercial restaurants present it to be. A proper balance of peanuts fried to a beautiful bronze hue and ground into a paste is put into the sauce, along with grains of rice that have been roasted until brown and pulverized into a powder. Let this simmer and let the rice bloom for at least an hour. If you want to take it a step further, remove the meats and strain the sauce through a fine sieve, so you get a smooth, velvety gravy”.

On healthy cooking

Sau Del Rosanrio, chef and owner, villa café

Description: Description: Sau Del Rosanrio, chef and owner, villa café

Sau Del Rosanrio, chef and owner, villa café

“Try using a streamer. I use this a lot when I cook for my dad since he dislikes oil and cannot take too much cholesterol. The appliance has three levels, so you can place fish or chicken breast on top while the veggies on the level below catch all the juices that come from the fish or poultry. A simple citric sauce like lemon and dill or tarragon will easily complete the dish”.
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