MABUHAY! (How we say hello)
RONI HERE AND I AM THE PERSON BEHIND RONIB’S (roh-nee-bees) KITCHEN.
As a Filipino growing up in the Philippines, I grew up with food as the central hub that glues together family and friends. After all, we are known to eat at least five times a day, six if you include midnight snack!
Being an only child, I had strict parents who seldom allowed me to ‘go out and play’. This started my culinary journey by first learning how to bake, because I do love cakes, at a young age. As I became a teenager, I started dabbling in cooking dishes from other cuisines and festive fares. Christmas festive meals were my task every year, including the food gifts my Mum will give out to her friends.
Over the years as I travelled, I became increasingly aware of how little the world knows about Philippine cuisine. Filipino food will always be my favourite cuisine because it evokes memories of home and being safe. It is my go-to comfort food for challenging days and I love cooking it at home and when we have guests. I delight when a guest who has never tasted Filipino food gushes, ‘why do we not know about your cuisine? It’s so good.’
Moving and settling in the UK, I discovered that the ingredients I need to replicate our dishes were scarce. I had to find a Filipino store as most Asian supermarkets hold limited Philippine products. However, I noticed that most products were only aimed at other Filipinos and not at a wider audience. Filipino food was very much hidden from the mainstream and I knew it was too good to remain so.
To raise the profile, I entered a competition to find the ‘Best Alternative Christmas Dinner on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Christmas TV show in 2016. Competing against chef’s from other countries, I’m pleased to say that my Filipino offering won the coveted ‘Best Alternative Christmas Dinner’ award.
Soon after my TV stint, I decided to launch my own range of Philippine flavoured food products that include sauces, condiments and preserves. Vegan-friendly, artificial free and made with family recipes that are filled with love.
I wanted products that will showcase the culinary heritage of our cuisine, packed with flavour, versatile to use and evokes ‘linamnam’ (umami) in every bite.
Our flagship product is Adobo Sauce. Our full range includes BBQ Marinade, Great Taste 2019 Winner - Black Bean Chilli Oil, Black Bean Chilli Paste, Garlic Chilli Oil, Garlic Chili Paste, Rum-Infused Kalamansi Marmalade and Tamarind With Gin Jam.
We are always on the lookout for developing new products that will shine a light on Philippine cuisine using quality ingredients from local producers whenever possible.
If you haven’t tried any of our products, please do and I hope you like them.
Any suggestions or feedback is always appreciated as these will help us improve.
Happy cooking and eating!