What's cooking?

SO YOU’RE a mom. So you’re also a career woman. So you have to juggle the two careers. How you manage your time and raise a wonderful family will always be a wonder to the male population. Maybe this is an innate character of a woman.

I’ve seen my mom do so as I am seeing the same with my sister, sister-in-laws, and friends – mommy and wife duties done by the time everyone is up, get everyone ready and see all kids off to school and husband to work, and then just like Diana Prince after a twirl, turns into Wonder Career Woman.

Here’s Booboo Maramba, her girls excel in school, her husband runs a successful business, and so does she as a pastry chef. Three titles she outstanding in – mother, wife and a chef, all she earned with flying colors.

Chef Booboo is the sweet tooth’s best friend. She makes the most fabulous desserts and known for her beautiful wedding cakes and quirky celebratory confections. But what people don’t know is her talent extends out of the realm of sugar, Booboo is an excellent cook. She grew up in the kitchen, so to speak, and learned all the tricks of the trade from the best teacher anyone could have- her mom.

As a busy career woman and mom, she has devised a menu of quick and healthy meals for her family. Here’s the good news, she’s sharing her tips on cooking and baking in a free cooking lesson at the TRUST Home Depot.

Here, Chef Booboo Maramba shares her thoughts on earning her title as the best mom in the world as voted by her family and a successful chef as Davao’s Pastry Queen.

How did you learn to cook?

I learned cooking from my mom & baking from my ninang.

What do you love most about cooking and baking?

The rewarding smiles of family & friends whenever they get to taste a new concoction.

Why did you choose to become a pastry chef?

As a child, I remember staring in awe at birthday & wedding cakes, wondering how these wonderful creations were made. I begged my Dad to send me to Manila to learn baking & cake decorating. He agreed in exchange for good grades in school. Of course, I kept my end of the bargain if only to realize my dream.

At age 11, I was already selling my baked products to our office personnel and in school. After doing homework I was baking until past midnight. I paid my mom for the ingredients and I got to keep the profits. It was an early business learning experience.

That led to Natalie's Cake & Pastries, which I set up after getting married.

Did you study it formally?

Yes, after many, many years of trial and error by experience.

My first teacher was Sylvia Reynoso-Gala. That was during summer in college. After my business was set up, I went under the tutelage of the Philippines' Cake Queen, Avelina C. Florendo.

Wanting to formalize my culinary education, I took up Pastry Arts in San Francisco and cake decorating in Chicago.

The next thing I knew, I was being steered towards teaching when I became a Wilton U.S.A. Method Instructor in 2007. It has been five years since then and I am still immensely enjoying teaching baking, cooking & cake decorating.

When you create your cakes and pastries, what inspires you?

I love creating something new and unique. For new recipes, I look into the local ingredients that are unconventional and otherwise neglected or glossed over by most people, like Sampaloc for the Sampaloc cake, the Ylang-ylang as flavoring for ice cream and more.

For my cake designs, anything and everything is an inspiration! A piece of cloth, a bag, whatever comes to mind. I usually take into consideration the person’s likes, hobbies & eccentricities and work around that.

With all the pouring orders, how do you manage your time as a mother, a wife and a career woman?

After juggling careers for so many years and have sent my kids to college, I decided to retire the commercial side of baking and focus on the specialized side of it. The stress of chasing delivery deadlines has been erased and now I am doing what I do best- creating my baked artworks that the clients will remember for a lifetime.

Plus, I also get to teach baking & cake decorating which I have always wanted to do for a long time. The fulfillment of seeing a student succeed in the baking & cake decorating business is an indescribable high! An added bonus is I am now enjoying more of my “me” time.

How do you compose your menu for the family? Is it daily?

Yes, I can say daily because I just cook whatever ingredients are available at that moment. Though I do prepare the soup stocks ahead of time.

What are your concerns when doing your menu?

Fresh ingredients make for the best-tasting food, no matter how simple. Health concerns also take center stage.

And you share these ideas in the classes you teach?

Most definitely. Sharing is very fulfilling, and who wants to live in an unhealthy community?

A cooking class in a hardware store, what did you think of the invitation?

A novelty and a challenge, so why not! Besides, I will be a doing my demonstrations on a state-of-the-art working kitchen. That much is already exciting.

What should your students and enthusiasts expect in the coming cooking classes at TRUST Home depot?

The cooking lessons are for free and will tap the ever-busy hands on moms. The menus for the series of demonstrations I have prepared are easy-to-prepare but healthy & delicious recipes for the entire family, which I will deliver with humor & wit. That’s one trick I do to keep everyone interested and focused on the lesson. I have been a student once, you know.

I will be giving away the recipes on the menu at the end of each lesson.

After a successful art workshop and exhibition with Davao artist Mary Anne Guinoo, TRUST Home Depot will be working with another artist known for her culinary skills in baking- Chef Booboo Maramba. Booboo shares her cooking secrets as a mom and chef to fellow moms-on-the-go for a series of nine cooking lessons from June 25 to July 13, 2012, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the activity area of TRUST Home Depot.

Drop by TRUST Home Depot on those dates and know what’s cooking in Chef Booboo’s kitchen.

For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/


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