Chef: Catherine de Guzman Bantilan
Title: Kitchen Production Manager
Q: Why did you first get into cooking?
I first start cooking to take care of my family. I began enjoying it after seeing the smiles on their faces and then it became a hobby.
Q: Where were you before you came to Kuwait?
In my home country, the Philippines. I worked as a restaurant manager for an international brand of pizza.
Q: Describe your favorite dish from your home country.
Kare-kare is a Philippine stew complimented with a thick savory peanut sauce. It is made from a base of stewed oxtail and beef, and occasionally offal or tripe. It can also be made with seafood (prawns, mussels and squid) and vegetables like asparagus beans, Chinese cabbage and eggplants. The stew is flavored with ground roasted peanuts. It is colored with annatto (extracted from annatto seeds in oil or water) and thickened with toasted ground rice. It is eaten with shrimp paste spiced with chilli.
Q: Name three ingredients you can’t live without in the kitchen.
Rice, onions and cooking oils.
Q: What is the most important part of a sandwich?
The bread – the tastiness of the sandwich depends on the type of bread used.
Q: How does your personality differ inside and outside the kitchen?
I can say my personality is the same as I enjoy what I am doing. Working with my team in the kitchen and my family at home.
Q: When you’re not cooking, what do you do for fun?
I go to the gym and spa to relax. I also like watching movies and shopping with my kids.
Q: If you weren’t a chef, what would you like to be?
I would like to go into teaching. I want to develop and help my students to become independent and form their own relationships that will help them become successful.
Q: If you could choose, what would your last supper be?
My last supper would consist of my favorite Asian cuisines such as Thai, Japanese and Philippine dishes.
My Breakfast : American breakfast.
My Knives : An 8” Chef’s Knife.
Most Overused Spice: Kosher salt.
Favorite Foodie Destination: Thailand.
Favorite kitchen Gadget: Micro-plane Zester.
Favorite Food Aroma: Warm chocolate chip cookies.