On July 23, I officially signed off from my latest TV assignment as Idol sa Kusina officially welcomed its new sous chef, my very good friend, Chynna Ortaleza-Cipriano.
Let me tell you the story of how I was pleasantly surprised by the Lord and was blessed to be part of a cooking show three years ago when I could not even cook an egg. Also, allow me to share just how excited I am for Chynna to journey in the kitchen as I did!
If you are into food and you watch local channels, you probably have seen me alongside renowned celebrity chef Boy Logro. Our show has been on air for six years on GMA News TV and I was privileged to be part of it from March 2014 to July of this year.
Although I was a baker, when the opportunity came in to be the assistant chef of Chef Boy, I did not know how to fry properly. My contract then was only good for a month, then a season, until I became a regular on the show. Truly, it was a favor from the Lord because despite not being an educated chef, I was accepted and retained on the show.
It was on ISK that I really learned how to cook; where my palate was exposed to different cuisines and flavors and where I was trained to trust my taste. I slowly gained confidence in cooking and eventually, with much faith in my already-embraced, God-given abilities, skills honed through a cooking show and desire to serve my family, I confidently cooked all our meals at home. It event went on to potluck food for different celebrations.
Working on a TV cooking show taught me more than just kitchen dynamics. It taught me life—the need for a community for you to thrive. It is where faith plays a major role—belief in what you do, that it will turn out good and trust in the abilities of every member.
You learn passion that drives you to be and to do. Above all, I learned humility and I lost the admittedly “artista’s tendency for self-entitlement.” Though I was an on-cam talent, in order for the live show to be full, I needed to do extra work. Yes, we had an efficient back kitchen, but since my head chef moves even after the director says cut, I too had to continue the work. The 45-minute show you watch on TV, in reality is taped with barely any cuts for almost four hours.
But like what most people say, even good things [must]come to an end especially if you are an employee with contracts that expire.
It was sad for me to leave the show but I know it is God’s will. Just the same, I praise God from whom all blessings flow; the God who gives and takes away and who I know always has a great plan for me. I praise the God who has wonderful plans for Idol Sa Kusina with Chynna on its new season.
As I look back I only have gratitude in my heart—to God, for blessing me with this unexpected opportunity that changed my life forever and fueled my passion for food tremendously; to GMA and GMA Artist Center head Gigi Santiago-Lara for the trust; to My entire Idol Sa Kusina family headed by Ian Roxas, Lani Feliciano Sandoval and to Dang Macapagal for accepting me into the show and training me to be the passion cook/foodie that I am today. Thank you for the love and faith.
I am thankful as well to chef Boy Logro for closely mentoring me, generously sharing his skills and techniques with me and for riding all my jokes. I love you, Tatay. Thank you to our viewers for patronizing our cooking show and making it part of your Sunday dinner time habit. Please shower Chynna the same love and appreciation you had for me. Please give her grace as she embarks on the yummiest journey of her life, starting from zero just like me back in 2014.
Through this season of transitioning here are some Scriptures that consoled me and I hope they provide the same comfort for you:
Job 2:10 is a good reminder to all of us who may be experiencing a loss or received a seemingly unfortunate news. “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” We do not only praise God for the good He allows in our lives. I choose continue to praise Him in the midst of this loss. I thank Him for the trials that toughen and continue to transform my character. I know He is behind everything and that His will is always for my best. I know God has great plans for me. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Ecclesiastes 3: There is a time for everything. And my time on the show has ended, not by accident but according to God’s perfect will. My purpose there I believe has been fulfilled. Now it is time for a new mom to learn to cook and gain the confidence to do so through the same show. I am beyond excited for Chynna. And I am looking forward and waiting expectantly for a new season that God Himself is cooking me.
As my assignment as Dessert Queen on Idol sa Kusina comes to an end, I will not close this book, this chapter in my life. Instead I will dog-ear it, something I do on important parts of a book that I want to go back to and remember. My stint on ISK will never leave me. It will forever be etched in my heart. I never would be the homecook that I am now to my daughter if it weren’t for this show that gladly and openly took me in when I couldn’t even fry a fish in March of 2014.
Thank you Lord. I am awaiting and ready for Your new assignment for me.
This has been Bettinna Carlos of Idol sa Kusina ‘s dessert department, officially signing off.