When we first met Bruce, he was a busy chef with a new restaurant in Manila and had a show on Asian Food Channel, about to open another place and definitely a mover and shaker in the Philippine food scene. He had grown up in California and eventually made his way to the homeland after studying in England and working his way around the States. Now, years later, after many chapters of life and work, he has opened a bread production facility, a different speed from the resto biz but certainly a wiser, more grounded man, still with all the best intentions but on a more steady path seeking success in the food biz. As Anna and I know well, restaurants are the past pace that many cooks choose but there is life outside of that path, and we are both glad to see our friend at a different chapter in his life.
I spent the day with his product development staff, working on a butchery demonstration and basis lesson on some dry formulations, rib cookery and a super crisp pork crackling roast that I am trying to take over the world with, more on that later.
Towards the end of the day, Bruce and his side kick Monkey took me to the Marikina City Market, a wet market mind you, meaning that this is food in all its’ raw, ugly glory. Not everything is pretty but man, the hard work, skill and devotion that the vendors show in getting their product to market just blew my mind. Watch for the short video of the guy making spring roll wrappers, major league skill without a lot of glamour. Many thanks to Bruce and his team for being such amazing hosts and teachers, good, good people.