Though halfway through January, there is still time to make New Year’s resolutions, especially in the home. For celebrity chef Rolando Laudico, the perfect promise is to make home cooked meals to gather the family together more often, while helping them to eat heartier but healthier.
As one of the foremost names in the local culinary scene, Laudico is known as an extraordinary cook, a creative restaurateur, and a rock star in and out of the kitchen. Despite his busy schedule, running his catering and restaurant businesses, he makes sure to make his loved ones feel extra special by spending time in his private kitchen.
“I basically cook everything. Instead of giving them individual gifts, that’s my gift for all of them,” he said.
His typical menu for these family gatherings? “There must be some sort of lechon, so I’ll roast a suckling pig or a pork belly, plus do other roasted dishes like beef and turkey,” he began. “We’ll have a festive rice dish like paella or risotto, and pasta as well. And there’s always seafood like a fresh whole fish, which I either bake, steam, or grill.”
His wife, Chef Jackie – who is known for her pastries and patisserie –makes the desserts.
Citing an example, Laudico recalled the family’s media noche on New Year’s Eve.
“It was a labor of love,” he quipped as he patted his trusty cooking range during this interview at home. “For me, a cooking range has to be powerful and precise at the same time. I use a lot of cooking methods from searing to slow cooking. I braise, I broil, so it’s important that the stove and oven range I use delivers heat consistently.”
The chef uses an Italian-made La Germania.
“I learned how to cook in my mother’s kitchen using a La Germania, and I think it’s still around. The La Germania is indestructible!” he laughed.
In preparing home cooked meals, the top chef’s No. 1 advice is to “prepare ahead.”
“The less stuff that you leave for the last minute, the less stress for you and more time you can spend with your family. For my wife and I, as soon as we buy the ingredients from the market in the morning, we prep them right away so as dinnertime nears, we can cook the dishes fast,” he explained.
“Also, be able to multi-task and cook more than one dish at a time. You can do this easier if you have a good-sized stove with several burners and a large oven.
“Lastly, cook something that you know and are comfortable making. If you’re doing a new dish, do practice beforehand so there’s no more guesswork.”
In closing Laudico guaranteed, “Your family will love you even more!”