From the time she was a little girl, Namee Jorolan Sunico grew up knowing how to choose the best, freshest ingredients for cooking well. Namee started out as a child helping at her grandmother Carmen’s restaurant “Everybody’s Cafe” in Pampanga, the province known as the culinary capital of the Philippines.
Little Namee then, would wake up to her lola (grandmother) screaming at purveyors for delivering sub standard products. “She would only take Bangus (milk fish) that were at least one kilo in weight, no less than that. My lola bred her own pigs for pork. We would have our meals at her ‘Round Table’ where everything from the prep kitchen went through her tasting and approval before the food got to the big main kitchen. ”
“When the ingredients or dish were sub standard, my Lola Carmen would say ‘ eh ya pamisali’! (Pampango for ‘It’s not for sale; it’s too expensive for commercial purposes’).”
Another story she told me when I interviewed her was how she was taught early on to pick the best rice grains.
“Pasyal (gallivanting) to my siblings, cousins and me meant going to the Cono or Bigasan (rice granary) to check the quality of the rice before my lola did the purchase. ”
“Back then (25 years ago) the rice my lola served at our family restaurant was the most expensive. She never compromised for anything less. She only bought the Milagrosa variety. These were very small, roundish-shaped rice grains which had a delicate fragrance when steamed,” Nami explained.
“Lola had a long metal stick she used to poke into every sack of rice to make sure they were pure.”
Namee continued to tell me how her parents Noel and Pette Jorolan were here first teachers in cooking. And later, after college at the Ateneo de Manila University, she still yearned for culinary school so she went to the USA to study.
Namee’s culinary journey from the USA and back to the Philippines continues in my column’s feature “Watch Out World This Is a Filipino” via Positively Filipino, the premiere online magazine.
Today, as a young wife to Justin Sunico and mom to Baby Juliana, Namee has come full circle by creating “Whole + Natural: Baby Food Cookbook” the very first Filipino baby food cookbook which will launch in the Philippines this October. Read about who inspired Namee to write this baby food cookbook using fresh, local organic ingredients.
Check out my complete write up on Namee Jorolan Sunico via my column “Watch Out World This Is a Filipino” on PositivelyFilipino.com, an online magazine about Filipinos making their mark globally. Click here for my article.
*All photos here provided by Namee Jorolan Sunico.
For pre-orders to her cookbook “Whole + Natural: Baby Food” email her at [email protected]
Read my complete write up on Namee Jorolan Sunico via my column “Watch Out World This Is a Filipino” on PositivelyFilipino.com, an online magazine about Filipinos making their mark globally. Click here for my article.
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