There is no denying that Nancy Reyes Lumen is a force to reckon with in the culinary scene. A food journalist, critic, food promoter, television host and radio personality, Lumen has successfully gone from one medium to another to share the joys of cooking and of course, eating.
But perhaps the chef can be best remembered for her passion for adobo. Called “Adobo Queen,” Lumen once told The Manila Times that like the dish—regarded by many as the national dish without any formal proclamation to date—she snatched the title without waiting for anyone to bestow it upon her.
“Proclaimed by myself to myself of myself,” the Adobo Queen jested.
Asked why she did so, Lumen simply said it is all for her advocacy.“I want adobo to be the national dish of the Philippines.”
For the noted chef, adobo rightly deserves the title for like Filipinos, it is “koboy” or highly adaptable. It can be eaten anywhere, at any state (whether hot or cold), and can be paired with just about any starch or vegetable.
And just like Filipinos, who are one in nationality but varying in subcultures and sub traditions, adobo takes on different forms per.
“The word adobo is the same in all regions from north to south but there are variables. Merong adobo na red because of atsuete; adobong yellow from the luyang dilaw; adobong brown from Manila; adobong puti from the Southern Tagalog which is made of gata [coconut milk]; and then balbakua or humba from the Visayas, which is sweetened with sugar,” the chef and educator thoroughly explained.
Trusted name, millenial reach
Her undeniable talent in the kitchen and passion for advocating a Filipino dish makes Lumen a top pick when it comes to culinary endorsements. From condiments to equipment, she has given her stamp of approval to products she believes in and adding to this long list of partnerships is her latest endorsement with Masflex.
A cookware and kitchenware brand that acquired its name from combining the words “mass” and “flexible,” Masflex tapped Lumen to be the face of its 25th anniversary celebration.
The company’s milestone could likewise be counted as a new feather on Lumen’s cap for in the brand’s quarter of a decade presence in the Philippine market, it has never assigned a female chef as endorser.
“We wanted someone who has had many years of experience in the culinary industry, has a genuine passion in food and cooking, and one who can easily relate with the wide demographic base of consumers, and we found them all squarely in the Adobo Queen,” the brand said in a statement.
And proving just how forward-thinking she is, Lumen instantaneously shared the vision she has for the brand, which is to introduce Masflex to the new and growing market—the millennials.
“There is a new market in the millennials, in the independent condo dwellers who enjoy their limited downtime by cooking, entertaining at home and bonding with their friends, family and colleagues. Vibrant colors, and perhaps eye-catching designs are to be considered to serve a new lifestyle,” the multi-talented chef finally shared.