By Adolfo Aran, Jr.
Imagine a 6 year-old girl, driven by curiosity and obsession to create macarons, dreamt of having a café business (filled with macarons, of course), did not enroll in pastry classes, watched online classes in YouTube, started baking, spent her allowances and dedicated time during the pandemic, almost 3 months of trial and error, and eventually making it a reality (at least parts of the dream). Not your typical road to success, but the same required values of perseverance, persistence and patience. And of course, hard work and sacrifices. Did I mention that she’s now 17 years old, Grade 11, and jumpstarted her macarons business, doing an equivalent of an MBA in actual entrepreneurial experience? How does a teenager sum up all these experiences? “I’m happy that people are happy; this feedback from the buyers, that keeps me going. All the time, money and effort from learning from these French cookies really paid off. I believe the beauty of a macaron is the effort and baking techniques put into it. These cookies are pretty and yet are quite demanding to make.” Comes in boxes of 8, 12, 16, and 20, and in 5 flavors (Classic: vanilla white chocolate, red velvet, swiss chocolate; Premium: camembert salt, pistachio cream)
IG: macaronsmacaronsph Mobile: 0917-5011372
7. Milky Dust Donuts by Twinkle Lacsamana
What’s a Kkwabaegi? It’s not your typical donuts; these are Korean donuts, and Milky Dust is the recreated version by hotelier and marketing executive Twinkle Lacsamana, with different fillings and coated by a unique signature “milky dust”. Not a baker nor a pastry chef, Twinkle did online learning via YouTube videos and created a home-based business. Comes in Peanut Butter Cup, Vanilla Milk, Berries & Crème, Strawberry Milkshake, Ube Cheese, Four Cheese, Dark Mocha and Pure Chocolate. Classic and Premium, 8pcs per tub.
FB: milkydustdonuts IG: @milkydustdonuts
8. Ragin’ Cajun Roast by Kenny Rogers Roasters
And the spicy fever continues. Eight months of quarantine and anxiety, Kenny Rogers Roasters felt it was time to offer something completely new and unique to the market, Southern American with soulful goodness, the Ragin’ Cajun Roast with zesty Alabama white barbecue sauce. With the kick of smokiness, and with the tolerable amount of heat (at least for me), this is a welcome treat for fried chicken and roasted chicken lovers out there.
Website: www.kennys.com.ph, FB: KennyRogersPH, Landline: (02) 8555-9000
9. Angry Whopper by Burger King
How does one find the perfect spice? Or the kind of heat that’s just right, and will not alienate the rest of the Whopper lovers out there? Other than the bone-in chicken in the fastfood industry, particularly in the chicken wings segment, there are not so many spicy dishes that can serve the mainstream market. Burger King’s answer: all the goodness of Whopper, combined with “angry” sauce, and “angry” onions and jalapenos. If it’s angry, as the name suggests, it must be good. And I’m not disappointed. For those who are looking for the fire-breathing, give-me-water type of spiciness, this is not for you. If you read this, and you find some stores having stock-out issues, that’s a clear indication of success. And because this is seasonal, you might find yourself waiting for the next season before you can taste the “anger”.
FB: burgerkingph IG: burgerkingph Landline: (02) 222222
10. Cauli Pizza by California Pizza Kitchen
New pizza introductions will normally shock us with NEW toppings or with MORE toppings. Not this one. CPK brings us something new, a healthy crust: a cauliflower crusted pizza. Who ever said that healthy and delicious can’t go together in a pizza have not tried CPK’s Cauli Pizza. Try the BBQ vegetarian pizza, rich in nutrients, low in carbs. How can vegetables, as we are constantly reminded by our parents, be this good, when sneaked into your favorite CPK pizza? Or you can try Carne Asada, with your Cauli Pizza (meat with your plant-based crust, why not?) “We wanted to promote healthy eating within your own homes through providing a more nutritional approach and substitute to our classic and iconic pizzas.” What a way to change the game and to redefine the California pizzas!
FB: CPKPhilippines, Website: http://cpk.restobot.net, Landline: (02) 8850-5771
When new food discoveries are made, we don’t forget the old reliables. That’s when we find new reasons to dine in or do more take out or simply have deliveries as a way of life, and start comparing. We firmly resolve our desires to either stick to familiar flavors or experiment with new tastes and textures. And just like the people who discovered within themselves the innate talent that they didn’t know they have, who knows, we can find more meaning as to why we eat what we eat. Happy rediscovery of the “never normal” dining experience. Stay safe, guys!
About the writer :
With 30 years of corporate experience, his track record is focused mostly on the fields of marketing, business development and training. He is the CEO of his 18-year old management firm, Courage Asia Management Consulting, as food business coach and adviser for brands such as Wolfgang Steakhouse, Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen, Mother Spice Food Group, Red Crab Food Group, Unilever Philippines, SYSU International, among others. He has a combined 20 years of teaching experience with the Thames International Business School, Holy Angel University, Enderun Colleges and Raffles Education Group in Malaysia. He was the Editorial Consultant/Columnist of the 12-year old F&B World foodservice trade magazine, and a contributor to FOOD magazine. He is an honorary member of Association of Hospitality Educators and Practitioners of the Philippines (AHEPP), a member of the Rotary Club of Pasig, a founding member of the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, and a founding member of the Resto PH, a consortium of restaurant owners and operators in the Philippines. A graduate of the University of the Philippines, he has given talks on the F&B industry, entrepreneurship, customer experience, event management, public relations and strategic planning, in more than 50 cities all over the Philippines.