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Gallery: A Mother’s Influence in a Chef’s Kitchen

Chefs may have mentors, but none have had more impact and influence on them than their own moms

DECKER GOKIOCO AND DOROTHY GOKIOCO

Before Decker became executive chef of F1 Hotel Manila, during his childhood he used to assist his mother Dorothy at his father’s old mami house. She fondly recalls a young, studious Decker who loved the kitchen as much as his schoolwork, handing over chopped ingredients far more than the recipe’s actual amount. He eventually learned vital recipes that people would come to know and love from his mother such as his Four-Day Pork Belly. “He exceeded my expectations,” says Dorothy of her son’s career.

SUNSHINE PUEY AND BELLA YUCHENGCO

Sunshine and mom Bella are the epitome of the saying “like mother, like daughter.” Bella is known for her dinners and home-cooked meals while her daughter is a celebrity chef and the beauty and brains behind Gourmandise Patisserie. “I’m very proud of what she’s accomplished, of course,” says Bella. “Sunshine is very innovative and makes sure to put creative input in what she makes.”

INEZ VARGAS-JAVELLANA AND TERESA VARGAS-JAVELLANA

Teresa, along with her sister Nena Vargas-Tantoco, started Vargas Kitchen, renowned for its soft and fluffy butter cake. Her daughter Inez, whom she’d enrolled in cooking classes, eventually took the helm over the famous matriarchal business and became its head chef, responsible for keeping family tradition and brewing up new ideas for the business. Teresa shares, “I can’t divulge for now, but she has a vision for Vargas Kitchen, and she is so creative.”

NIKKI MISA AND JANNETTE ADAD SILVERIO

They spent many years bonding in the kitchen together—young Nikki once made a botched batch of cookies after putting in too much salt. And though mom Jannette is Nikki’s biggest critic, she has always been supportive of her daughter’s decision to become a pastry chef. These days, they can’t be in the kitchen together like before for fear of turning it into a full-on battlefield, but Nikki, who is chef de partie at Raffles and Fairmont Makati, says that she would have never become a pastry chef without the influence of her mother.

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