There are certain items chef’s can’t function without. Salt and pepper, for example or their kitchen knives. But there are also things that they don’t mind not dealing with. Among them, rude customers, a toxic restaurant environment, and this list of ingredients.


Tina Legarda, Bamba Bistro
Truffle. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I just feel like it has this secret way of numbing a person’s mouth., which forces all other ingredients in the dish to take a backseat and wait to be noticed. Although it has been considered as one of those trendy add-ons, I realise now that it only really gets to “oh-so-carefully” shine when used on simple dishes.


Decker Gokioco, White Flower Teahouse
I’m not really a fan of raw seafood. I have a hard time swallowing them when they’re not cooked. I cooked with them a few times but I drowned them with other flavours that didn’t highlight the main ingredients. Rare are the times I’ve played with uni.


Jorge Mendez, Ohayo Maki x Ramen
I tend not to use game and exotic meats because I personally don’t like to eat them. I find their flavours too powerful at times. They can overpower the subtleties of different flavours that I look for in a dish.


Raul Fores, Made Nice
I choose not to use tawilis because it is no longer sustainable. Reports of the declining tawilis population are alarming and I would rather wait for it to bounce back before using it again. As much as possible, we try to keep our product list as sustainable as possible. If I could I would work with fishermen to use only line-caught or speared fish and those species that are not endangered.


Sonny Mariano, Scout’s Honor
I don’t play with cream dory fillet so much. It’s always my last option. I don’t like the texture, sometimes it’s flaky and most of the time, our supply is too soft and watery.


Kalel Chan, The Farmer’s Table
The famous Nueva Ecija burong kanin. Maybe it’s a childhood memory thing that got stuck in my memory tastebuds. I forced myself to eat it every time we visit fiestas even if I really couldn’t take the smell and taste.