Text by Sunshine D. Gelbolingo, USJ-R Intern
WITH his 17 years of culinary experience, Chef Ernest Christopher Taberos of Harold’s Hotel shares his humble beginnings from being a boy who simply wanted to eat delicious food for free to being an executive chef in a hotel today. Here are a few things about Chef Ernest that each of us can learn from:
There’s always a way
When he was young, he asked himself why only the privileged got to eat delicious food. He figured that being a chef was the best way to taste great food. Though he didn’t take up culinary arts, Chef Ernest’s passion to learn did wonders. He started cooking for a fast food store, before better opportunities started pouring in, one of which took him places.
This traveling chef once cooked for Beyonce
With his culinary prowess, Chef Ernest said he was able to travel the world for free while doing what he loves best, cooking. And working on a cruise ship for eight years provided much of the experience and knowledge he carries today. One of his most memorable experiences on the cruise ship was cooking for famous celebrities like Rod Stewart and Beyonce.
Filipino creativity gets high ratings from this chef
Chef Ernest believes that Filipinos can make a Filipino version of any foreign dish. “We are very creative,” he said. No wonder Filipinos are in demand. Of the 1,300 crew members on the cruise ship, half were Filipinos, half of whom were Visayan.
One herb drives him bonkers
He can’t stand the strong scent of lavender. Yet no matter how awful lavender is for him, Chef Ernest would still use it to garnish some dishes if he needed to.
Humba and adobo, baby
As a Sugbuanon, Chef Ernest says humba and adobo, with their distinct Cebuano flavor, are two dishes we can all be proud of. And if it were his last day on earth and he were made to choose his last meal, he’d go for his “growing up food”: humba and adobo paired with hanging rice. “If you have tasted all kinds of food, you’ll still go back longing for those that you ate growing up,” he said.
What makes a perfect mix?
Chef Ernest took up engineering in college but ended up in the kitchen. Thanks to a perfect mix of skill, talent and hard work that spanned two decades. Now, he’s executive chef of Harold’s Hotel, where, for the past six months, he’s been preparing delightful food for everyone to enjoy. What a culinary journey it has been for Chef Ernest.