November 20, 2016 - Chef Florabel Co is a league of her own. For one, she never had any formal training when it comes to culinary arts aside from her HRM degree, and yet, she single-handedly catapulted Florabel, her restaurant that serves flavorful Filipino comfort dishes, to fame. “I wanted to study abroad, but I started to work right after graduation,” she shares. “I love to eat and I have always been passionate about good food,” she continues. More than a decade after her initial venture in 2005, she now has 22 restaurants all over key areas in the metro such as Felix, Elias, and Crisostomo to name a few, making food aficionados rejoice with myriads of choices.
Success for Chef Florabel did not happen overnight. “You must learn to build good working relationships, and you must be service-oriented,” she says. According to her, the tricky part in putting up a food venture is that while it is fairly easy to start, maintaining it is an entirely different dish altogether. “You must be hands-on and you should pay attention to the small details. It requires a delicate balance between passion and hard work, which puts a very high premium on distinction and excellence,” she adds.
As a person dedicated to her craft, Chef Florabel makes sure that her personal values are evident in all her endeavors, especially when taking care of her own family. With her unshakeable regard to quality, it should come as no surprise why she only wanted the best for her own kitchen. Predominantly done in white and earth tones with chrome accents, her fortress is fitted with top-class kitchen appliances and cooking instruments from Sub-Zero and Wolf.
“Everyone in the restaurant industry knows Sub-Zero and Wolf. I’m very fortunate to have experienced using them in some of my cooking demos so I am aware of their performance,” she recounts. “I’ve worked with different brands and I could say that Sub-Zero and Wolf perfectly complement my lifestyle and they address my needs efficiently. That’s why I decided to have them in my new kitchen,” she continues.
When cooking in any of her restaurants, Chef Florabel maintains that only the freshest ingredients must be used. “I can talk about how to cook a certain dish, but if the ingredients are substandard when it comes to freshness, it would be impossible to achieve quality,” she claims. “However, the freshness of the ingredients is not the only thing to consider. It is of equal importance that you invest in high performing and quality cooking equipment. These two should go hand-in-hand.” By focusing on the important aspects of food preservation such as temperature control, proper humidity, and air purification, Sub-Zero refrigerators keep food items fresher for longer than any other brands. Built with advanced technology intended for NASA, the system removes harmful bacteria, molds, and viruses. It even rids the refrigerator interior of ethylene gas that hastens food spoilage.
She also follows the same philosophy when cooking for her family. “I cook at home all the time. I like to showcase my skills to my husband when we’re home,” she shares candidly. Accordingly, she chose appliances from Wolf that could stand up to the rigorous requirements of a meticulous chef like herself. With a built-in dual convection oven, convection steam oven, gas cooktop, and a microwave convection oven, she can whip up any dish easily. A powerful wall hood manages to keep the kitchen interiors smoke-free as well. “When it comes to performance, I couldn’t wish for anything better than Sub-Zero and Wolf, but what makes them more special is the fact that Focus Global Inc. provides the best after sales service. They are helpful, knowledgeable about their products, and very dependable,” she attests.
When respected chefs invite you to their kitchen, it is not just to showcase their valuable space. It is also an invitation to experience their passion and soul through their unparalleled culinary expertise. For Chef Florabel, her appetite to innovate is fired up by the maturing Filipino palate. “As Filipinos, we still find comfort in food, but we’ve evolved and we are ready for more complex tastes,” she says. “Collectively, the local restaurant industry continues to reinvent offerings to keep up with the changing times. Good thing I have my Sub-Zero and Wolf so I can continuously create and share my passion for good food to more people.”