When we come across successful people, we too often get blinded with the glitter and glam attached to their careers that we forget that to get to where they are took a whole amount of grit, hardwork, tears, and late nights. In today’s millenial culture, hard work is often overlooked in exchange for something quick and trouble-free.
While it’s easy to be passionate about something, it’s discipline that makes one put up their sleeves and get to work, to acheive the end result no matter what the cost. While I am not undermining what today’s youth can do, it has indeed become rare to encounter someone with both passion and discipline.
This is the charm of Chef Bryan Francisco, the man behind the South favorite, Kapeng Mainit. He is the sole proprietor, head chef, and basically the single orchestrator of one of the most popular restaurants to materialize the past year.
Born in the Philippines to actress Ana Marin but raised in the US, Bryan began working for Haggen-Daz at MGM in Las Vegas at the tender age of 15. He also worked for fastfood giant Burger King before pursuing culinary studies in Manila where he already began selling cookies during the holidays.
His passion for cooking began when he got a job at the famous Buchon Bakery and Bistro in Las Vegas where he eventually joined the prestigious kitchen line. He recalls, “The kitchen line is where all the food is made and this is where my love for cooking was ignited. It opened the door and my mind to the possibilities of cooking and being a chef.”
After learning all he can from his stint at Bunchon, Bryan decided to move back home and pursue his dream of having his own business, “I told myself that the younger I started, the faster it would be for me to attain my financial and personal goals.” He was also quick to say that if the venture failed, he would have easily gone back to the States and secure a job. He simply threw his fears up in the air and went for it.
The risk was worth as Kapeng Mainit, which opened at the heart of BF Homes (the home of the foodies, I dare say!) last year recieved a cult following and soon everyone was talking about it and its unique offerings like the popular beignets which he introduced to the local market.
Kapeng Mainit which was derived from a famous line by Fernando Poe Jr, a name given by his brother, Ronian Poe, inspires what Kapeng Mainit aims to be, “It’s very Filipino and very unique—from the name to the ambience, the food, and even the ingredients which we work hard to prepare. We are unique because 90-percent of food is done from scratch. The ultimate dream is for it to become the neighborhood go-to cafe serving good, comfortable food with reasonable prices.”
Bryan, however, says that just like everything in life, it is not without challenges. In fact, he is quick to say that putting up the business was one giant challenge, “Everything was challenging from building a restaurant from ground up because you have to wear many hats. It’s not enough that you’re a good cook. You have to also be a leader and a business person.”
Bryan, who is hands-on with his business (from cooking, thinking of new dishes, hiring his staff and even day-to-day operations), says it also means he has to give up time for family and friends to concentrate on growing his business.
When asked where he gets his inspiration from considering that he puts in 15 hours a day to his craft, he is quick to say that it’s the challenges that make him a better businessman, chef, restaurateur. entrepreneur, and person, “Anyone can learn to cook but not everyone can build a restaurant and business from ground up. You can’t learn these kinds of lessons in school. And also I believe God wouldn’t put me in front of these obstacles if I can’t ovecome them.”
It’s also his purpose that fuels him, especially on difficult days. “I want to make people happy with food and to show them that preparation with a little care can make a big difference. At the end of the day, knowing that you were able to invoke a happy memory to a guest is priceless. The knowledge and experience I acquire becomes a blessing to others through the food we serve,” Bryan said.
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Visit Kapeng Mainit at #3 Pablo Roman Cor Tropica Ave or call 0917-5573375 or follow them on Instagram @kapeng_mainit.