Chef Him Uy De Baron
We dish out Chef Him's current faves.
Chef Him Uy De Baron
31, executive chef of Chef Cuisine catering company and consultant of East Cafe
How I became a chef: I’ve been long interested in the kitchen because I love cooking. When I went to college, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life so I took up Hotel and Restaurant Institution Management (HRIM) at the College of St. Benilde. I kind of liked the feel of working in a hotel rather than an office. I also liked cooking but I didn’t know if I was serious enough to take it up. When I studied in Benilde, I had an opportunity to study the French kitchen. I just fell in love and I was able to join culinary competitions. I knew right and there what I was going to do.
Culinary pedigree: After I took up HRIM at the College of St. Benilde, I liked the cooking part. It was hard to look for a job that didn’t pay minimum wage. I worked with my family first, but I wasn’t happy. I studied again in Le Cordon Blue, Australia. I love Australia because it’s just near and your student Visa allows you to work and study as long as you’re passing. The reason I studied was that I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t bobo. I was getting mediocre grades back in college because I was a pwede na student. When I discovered my passion, I wanted to go back and re-learn everything. I actually excelled in school for the first time. After a while of working there, I went back here to work.
If not a chef, I would’ve been: I like reading and writing so something in those lines…but it would still be food related! Maybe, I would’ve been a food writer.
Childhood food memory: I remember one time I was with my grandma. Someone gave me two links Lucban or Vigan longanisa (One link is 6 to 12 pieces). It was authentic and I had it cooked so I could eat it already. I ate all of it in my lola’s bedroom. At that time, my lola had a heart problem so I saw on her face that she really wanted to eat it but she couldn’t. It stuck to me because looking back after all these years, that was really cruel.
Dining Room Décor: Well, it’s just a typical house. It’s not what we want it to be because it’s not a priority because I have two kids right now. We try to improve the house as much as we can, but it’s just small.
Fave off hours hangout place: At home with my kids. As much as possible, if I don’t have work, I want to be the one to tuck my daughters to bed every night. That’s very important to me. I’d rather do that than go out.
Why did you learn in the kitchen the hard way: Haha. How to properly wrap containers in cling wrap. I remember one time I was apprenticing for Chef Jesse of Le Souffle and we were packing things up for catering. She was managing everything and so I was really nervous. I was supposed to be packing the food in cling wrap, but I couldn’t rip the cling wrap open because I was using the back of the knife. She just grabbed the knife from me without saying anything and plunged it in the cling wrap and ripped it.
Favorite Restaurant: Ang dami eh. I just did the Spot.ph Restaurant of the Year, I was one of the judges so I got to go around the Metro and try really good restaurants that I haven’t tried before, like Adarna. I also like Pepato, it was the first time I tried it. But one of my all time faves is LoloDad’s . We always just know that the food there is going to be good.
One food you can’t live without: Sinigang!
Fave bread: Whole wheat bread with no preservatives
Last thing you ate before this interview: I had a quick lunch of rice and vegetables