WITH food being a constant part of her day, it's definitely a wonder how Chef Audrey Ramos maintains her svelte physique. On top of that, she has this ethereal beauty that's more tempting than any of her plated creations. Some will probably surmise it's due to good genes and a fast metabolism, but this sexy chef works hard in maintaining her figure and glowing aura with the help of exercise and clean eating. No excuses!
She narrated that her love for cooking is all thanks to her grandma’s mentoring. Auds said: “I started cooking at age 9, helping my nanay (lola) prepare dishes in the kitchen. That's how I became more passionate about food. Because of her influence, I went onto pursue cooking at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies in Manila, where I graduated with honors. I trained under the celebrity chef, Gene, and his son, Gino Gonzalez. I was also part of RDT (research development team) of our school.”
Cooking may be traditionally seen as a woman’s domain in the home, but professional cooking in history is another story. Since the 70s, it has been a male-dominated industry with women struggling to make it to the top. These days, the gap is being slowly bridged; with Chef Audrey belonging to the league of women who have made a mark in this profession.
It is no mean feat to graduate with honors in a culinary school. Being a chef is not as glamorous as people seem to think thanks to the visuals in The Food Network. It’s hot, fiery, and stifling inside professional kitchens. The buzz and flurry of activity are constant; coupled with high pressure because food needs to be plated, garnished, and served within a certain timeframe. Sometimes, accidents even happen with fire and sharp knives as an ever present job hazard.
But this sexy, beautiful chef loves what she is doing: “Now, I’m a part-time teacher at CIC, Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro. I teach more on Asian dishes and pastries. I also do consultation from menu planning, food tasting, and training of the cooks. On top of that, I have a small sweet cafe, we call it “Nummies”; it’s in Pabayo St. cor. Corrales. We sell cakes in mason jars to keep the cake moist. I do all the magic at home and I just deliver the stuff to my shop. We also sell ice cream sandwich, ice cream cake creations, ice cream, and shakes.”
For anyone to excel in this field, they have to be really passionate about food. She shared: “I enjoy eating anywhere—from small to big restaurants and even in a carinderia. So yes, I am always tempted by food. Who isn’t? Hahaha! But I try my best not to give in to temptation. The reason I’m slim is I’m scared my clothes won’t fit me kasi wala akong pambili ng damit. Haha! Kidding. Seriously, I’m cautious about my diet because I’m scared to get sick.”
This pretty chef is now in her mid thirties so her health is a priority. She wants to be in tiptop shape so she can care for her 3 beautiful daughters. She explained: “My family has a strong history of cancer and diabetes. Because of that, I try to be careful about what I put in my mouth. I am no longer young, after all. I learned that sugar is an enemy of these diseases, so as much as possible I don’t eat much sweets and carbs. Ironic that I sell sweets for others to enjoy, but I have to limit myself from them if I want to live long! Honestly, I don’t feel deprived because I eat what I like. I go by small frequent meals.”
Her greatest joy is cooking for her family. If food is fuel for the body, her family is her fuel for a purpose driven life. They keep her inspired— “It really makes me happy when I see my girls and my husband, Joel, enjoying the food I made. My goal/style is to prepare fast, healthy, and delicious dishes for them. I really enjoy preparing meals for my family with whatever ingredients available in the ref. Of course, I have to nourish them with something healthy and no-preservatives dishes. Sometimes lang pag nag-crave ng spam, hotdog, and bacon, I do it too. But it’s not often. It happens only once a month.”
With all these types of food surrounding her, this sexy chef turns to exercise to burn the calories. She said: “I used to run, but I really get bored easily so I turned to zumba, instead. That’s where you and I met. It’s really fun diba, with the music and friends. My goal is to exercise at least 2-3 times a week. But lately, because of my busy schedule, swerte na maka-2x a week ako.”
She doesn’t mind her busy schedule because she feels alive in the kitchen. There’s something about cooking—the sizzle of the frying pan, the aroma of herbs, the rolling-boil of water, the wafting scent of baking cake that permeates the air, and the like—that tickles her senses and makes her feel a pure sense of joy. She wishes to share this feeling with others that’s why she enjoys teaching.
“I really want people to enjoy their own kitchen. Nothing beats home cooked! Like what I always tell my students—if you understand the recipe, you can cook; most of all, if you know all the cooking techniques, you can cook anything. The key is to never stop learning and think of being in the kitchen as an exciting adventure. And, of course, let’s not forget the best ingredient: love. Anything made with love tastes absolutely delicious,” she concluded with a big smile.
For more information on cooking classes check the Culinary Institure of CDO FB page: “Culinary Inst Cdo Cic”. To discover more about Chef Audrey’s Nummies, please check the FB page: “Nummies Sweet Shop”. For comments and suggestions for this author, please hop-on to: www.orochronicles.com
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on January 18, 2018.