Patricia Noel finds balance living the culinary life
By Deneb Batucan
FULL of confidence and wit, Patricia Noel graces a room with so much energy and light. And when she talks about one of her ultimate passions, her pretty eyes light up as she talks about a myriad of topics. Patricia, apparently, loves food very much.
Patricia is part of the Casa Verde Group, a chain of family-owned restaurants that started in Cebu and now has restaurants in Manila as well. Casa Verde started in 2002 as a small canteen in Ramos that eventually grew into a full-scale restaurant. With its success, several other restaurants c
ame to fruition. Patricia focuses on the marketing and branding of the company’s emerging brands such as The Suite Room, Room for Dessert and The Porch, which is based in Manila.
With a family business centered on food, it’s a given that the family has always been into cooking and eating. “I grew up around a family that loves food. When I was younger, I would always look forward to butifaras (peppered sausages) and budbud, both of which were lovingly made at home using old family recipes. When my dad and his siblings were growing up, ensaymada and freshly baked bread would be part of their breakfast. All these were homemade,” she shared.
Of honors and honor
Greatly influenced by her family, Patricia has a passion and inclination for food. Even when she took up business management in Ateneo de Manila, where she graduated cum laude, culinary school was what her heart was longing for. But it was only when Casa Verde and The Porch opened in Manila in 2013 that the need for culinary studies was immediate.
“I wanted to be involved in the family business and knew that my Ateneo degree might not be enough,” she said. That was when she enrolled at a culinary school — Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS).
And like the achiever that she is, Patricia finished culinary school with flying colors. “I was made my class’s Executive Chef for our Legacy Buffet. This was a lunch event where the whole class works together as a team to feed 100 people in a buffet. It was four days of pre-work before the buffet itself,” she said. Patricia graduated from CACS with a gold medal in cuisine and pastry, an honor which hasn’t been given to a student in a very long time.
Going into the family business is a way of preserving a family legacy for Patricia. “I am honored to have been given the opportunity to continue my family’s culinary legacy. If anything, the love and appreciation for good food is my small way of honoring those who came before me,” she said. “Being part of the business allows me the opportunity to honor my family’s culinary past and for this I will always be grateful.”
Balance and growth
Aside from her passion for food, Patricia is also into music as she is a classically trained violinist. She enjoys Robert Ludlum books and other espionage novels. And to balance out her love for eating good food, she exercises daily. “I don’t feel good if I don’t get my morning high-intensity interval training in,” she quipped.
But even when she’s surrounded by food all day, Patricia still loves experimenting in the kitchen. It’s one of the things she loves to do. “I love experimenting, especially baking and using not-so-common ingredients like homemade coconut and almond flour,” she shared.
Patricia hopes to see the business grow even more, especially in Manila. “Now is actually a great time for regional brands such as ours in Manila because people are becoming more and more appreciative of local brands and products. You actually see people lining up at the restaurants in Manila to get a taste of the food that we offer,” she said.
Photos: Alfred Gregory E. Bartolome
Make-up Artist: Carlo Damolo
Hair Stylist: Jerwin Bastatas
Locale: The Suite Room