Thursday, July 30, 2015

When curiosity drove the chef to Los Banos...

One of the cooking shows I watch whenever I get the chance is "Curiosity Got the Chef" which is hosted by Sharwin Tee. Then I received news that he was dropping by IRRI... And I got the opportunity to talk with him. Ahhh!! Starstruck moment!

I was so unprepared... I came from a wakeboarding weekend in Anilao, Batangas, which was why I was burned. Burned; not tanned. Great... He's fair-skinned... I'd practically look like a black blob bouncing on the rice fields! Only my orange shoes stood out of the darkness. (Thought bubble: Dementor, is that you?) But no worries, it was a beautiful afternoon to be outdoors... And my shoes were too pretty to not be an eye-catcher.

We chatted about heirloom rice, with me hoping I'd be able to give him ideas for new dishes from these traditional rice varieties. He, like all chefs I've talked with, know their food. It's fun talking science with them because they really understand what the implications of chemical properties of ingredients are on the food and they build ideas out of information dished out by lab rats... Like me. Information goes well beyond theory and transforms into something edible.

I guess my enjoyment showed because those who were watching us talk were saying we were throwing witty comments at each other. Well, what can I say? He started it! I had to think on my feet! I was too distracted to remember that I was starstruck. Haha!

The question that stumped me, though, was a personal one: How many rice varieties have you tasted? I've never counted, really. 

I'm posting pictures I didn't take during Chef Sharwin's IRRI visit. Photo credits go to Ana Reynoso. Thank you!!

Watch Curiosity Got the Chef Season 5 on Thursdays, 9:30pm on the Lifestyle Network.