Luigi Muhlach is forthright about his cooking: Taste is his priority, so forget about dieting for a moment to savor his preparation. Each dish from his kitchen is fully loaded with calories, flavors, and all the things that make for a sumptuous dining experience.
“I’ll let you in on a secret – fat is flavor,” Muhlach said with a wink. “This is why most diet food isn’t enjoyable to eat. Sometimes you need to enjoy food as a purely pleasurable thing.”
Food is the lifelong love of this celebrity scion. As a child, his mother had to hide the canned goods in the house because he would get them and eat them at anytime of the day and night. Finding only frozen meats and fresh vegetables, he learned to cook for himself to satisfy his cravings.
He admitted that he wasn’t academically inclined and struggled in college so he had to find a place for himself.
“So I went with my love for food and decided to try culinary arts,” he said.
That decision set off a culinary career that would span some of the country’s finest hotels and restaurants. It also let him make a name for himself independently of his famous parents, Aga Muhlach and Janice de Belen.
“I started in a hotel restaurant in Alabang as a fruit peeler and worked my way up until I gained the respect of my peers and mentors,” he said. “I then ventured out on my own, but had to start small. Things just started to take off after I won a cooking competition.”
His newest project is his own restaurant, LuMu, which is set to open at Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila (RWM). As he spoke with people from RWM, the Love Dish project came up and he was invited to participate, which he eagerly accepted.
Love Dish 2017 is an event where diners can enjoy special recipes developed by celebrities who are into culinary arts. Their dishes will be included in the menus of RWM signature restaurants and proceeds from the sales of each dish will be donated to COR Foundation, Right Start Foundation, and Pasay Social Welfare and Development.
“Love Dish is a great way to help others through food. Of course, as a chef, you look for ways to share your talent with as many people as possible, and if by doing that you are also able to do a good thing, everybody wins,” he said.
Sinuglaw sa Aligue – a masterful take on a classic Filipino pulutan made up of fresh tuna cubes drenched in a vinegar, coconut milk, and crab fat concoction, and given a full flavorful kick with siling labuyo and other spices – is Muhlach’s Love Dish entry. Served with crisp, paper-thin slivers of chicken skin, the dish is perfect with an ice-cold bottle of beer. It’s served at The Terrace at Maxims Hotel and Bar 360 at RWM ground floor gaming area.