As her name suggests, Happy Ongpauco-Tiu sure knows the key to a happy meal. No wonder she now owns a group of companies that handle 5 specialty restaurants and 4 catering services named, “The Happy Concept Group.”
This chef-entrepreneur grew up in a family whose love for food started one of the country’s most successful restaurant chains, Barrio Fiesta. The fruit didn’t fall too far from the tree when she herself developed a passion for food and decided to pursue a career in the restaurant industry.
Now a happy mother of three kids and a wife to a supportive husband, her top priority has shifted to the greatest happiness of her family. And her secret to serving food that makes them the happiest goes back to the best cooking advice she has ever received: use the freshest ingredients.
"In terms of taste and quality of the food, it still boils down to the quality of the ingredients, di ba? If you use the best ingredients, it really provides a big difference," Happy says. But being in a tropical country makes this a challenge. "That's why I like Sub-Zero. My Sub-Zero refrigerator has extended the shelf life of the ingredients crucial to my cooking," she shares. "In my home, the kitchen is my space. Like I told my husband, 'I rule the kitchen, I choose my equipment.' Because this is what I like doing. Aside from this being my favorite hobby, cooking is also my career. So I really have to invest in the best brand. A Sub-Zero refrigerator may cost more but it's worth every centavo as it keeps food fresh longer and withstands the demands of a busy kitchen like mine. Investing in a Sub-Zero is one of the best decisions I ever made."