Providing home cooks with economic, healthy solutions

CHEF MYKE SARTHOU of and Rosalyn Simba, Business Executive Officer – Food and Dairy Culinary Business Unit at Nestlé Philippines at the signing of a memorandum of agreement to create a show focusing on homecooking.

FOR YOU, it’s instant food. To chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou, it’s about restoring human dignity.

On April 23, in Mr. Sarthou’s restaurant Lore in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Maggi, under Nestlé Philippines, announced its partnership with the celebrity chef, restaurateur, and award-winning cookbook author. Under this collaboration, Mr. Sarthou will star in a new cooking show by Maggi and Nestlé Cream that will teach Filipino home cooks how to prepare homecooked meals. Beginning next month, he will host a 12-episode live cooking show on Maggi’s Facebook, YouTube, and Tiktok accounts.

Mr. Sarthou can be contradictory. On one hand, his restaurant Lore and his first prize-winning cookbook Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter advocate for heritage cuisine, which comes with it the idea of slow cooking and the preservation of tradition. On the other hand, his YouTube channel and subsequent cookbook series, named Simpol, advocate for easy cooking techniques that anyone can do. Mr. Sarthou, by the way, is releasing two new cookbooks this year: a new edition of Philippine Cookery, and a partnership with Maggi that might be titled Simply Simpol.

In an interview with BusinessWorld, he said, “While others may frown on the idea of me working with a company like Maggi for products such as Magic Sarap (a flavor enhancer) and all that — I really see it as an economic solution in providing families a means to feed their family healthier and more delicious food.”

While Mr. Sarthou will be cooking for Maggi, he will also help out with their Sarap Sustansya Advocacy campaign, which teaches young people in public schools about backyard and urban gardening (through a partnership with the Department of Agriculture), as well as cooking. They have also reached out to more diverse communities, such as army spouses. Raine Calma, Service Pillar Head for Nestlé Cream, Carnation and Maggi said, “If wala silang kakainin, useless din iyong brands namin (If they have nothing to eat, our brands are useless).” This year, they’re targeting to reach 3,000 schools across the nation.

When we pointed out his own heritage advocacy, he in turn pointed out the more urgent problem of hunger. According to a survey from Social Weather Stations, 14.2% of Filipino families “experienced hunger or lacked food at least once in the past three months,” even more than last quarter’s hunger incidence of 12.6%*. “Sometimes, the first thing that families kind of sacrifice is the quality of food that they eat at home,” he said.

“One of my advocacies really is about food sustainability. One thing that’s really a core of what I’m doing — that’s why I teach people how to cook ‘simpol’ — is that I think it’s (the) right of a Filipino to eat deliciously no matter what economic background you have.” — Joseph L. Garcia