I meet Roasauro ”Sau” del Rosario at the big food fair San Sebastián Gastronomika in Spain. Sau grew up in the food region Pampanga in the Philippines in a family of chefs spanning four generations back! He studied Hotel and management at the University of Philippines, worked at Michelin restaurants like Le Chantecler at Hotel Negresco, L’Universe and Divellec in France. He has also worked in Shanghai, at Raffles in Singapore and in Thailand. He started the Farm to table restaurant “25 Seeds” in 2015, and Cafe Fleur in the Philippines. One of this chefs missions today is to teach local chefs to use the local produce, and to spread the Filipino kitchen around the globe! I asked chef Sau some questions:
Where do you get all your inspiration from￼?
-I get a lot of my inspiration from the different farmers when I see what they grow and breed. We talk about what they produce, and I want to help them to do it in a sustainable way. I try to support them as much as I can. I also think it is very important that they can live a good life on what they earn, just like me. I get a lot of inspiration from other Filipino chefs. Which is perfect as I am very Filipino in my thoughts but with a French touch!
Do you see a trend in the Philippines that more people want to become chefs?
-It is really popular in the Philippines just like in many other countries for the moment. I am trying to be a good role model, and I have started a foundation where we reward people who deserve it.
You are famous for preserving the Philippine kitchen and its traditions, how do you actually do that?
-One of the things I have done is that I started the foundation Culinarya Pampanga in my region. We are 20 chefs and restaurant owners who want to protect our traditions and recipes and pass them on to the next generation.
Many people are trying to have a No waste profile today, is this something you also do at your restaurants?
-I have a farm where we use everything that is possible. I also try to encourage the farmers I work with to do the same. I also try to avoid to use plastic as much as possible!
Your favourite restaurant at the Philippines?
-There is so much fantastic street food, it is really top notch!
Your biggest passion except food?
-Art, but also animals. I have 17 dogs and 14 cats. And I also started a shelter for dogs and cats.
What do you know about Sweden?
-It is cold, not much sunshine and you have meatballs.
This was a fantastic dish both in its texture and flavours! Chef Sau let us try this dish called Sisig during Gastronomika. It is a thrice-cooked pork snout, ears and pork cheeks! Invented in the 70’s in his home town. First it is simmered, then broiled and at last fried. Seasoned with soy, Calamansi (local lemon), vinegar, lots of onions and chili.
Interview and photo by Malin Nordblom
The interview was first published in Swedish at www.gourmet.se
Text and photo Malin Nordblom
Fab Foodie Swede
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