The ‘slow burn’ of the young
Chef Chryso Morales was executive chef of a resort-hotel in Boracay and consultant to a hospitality school that was thinking of putting up a culinary center. All was well until, well, the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Now, he is among those displaced in the tourism industry.
A couple of months after losing his livelihood, another personal tragedy occurred: his grandfather passed away. Chryso, who was very close to his grandfather, remembered how his lolo would always encourage him to put up his own food business.
In remembering his grandfather, the young chef turned his grief into gold.
As a tribute to his lolo (whom they called daddy), Chryso put up Slow Burn Mnl (short for Manila) together with his brother Dale and their friend Matthew Ignacio in September just a couple of weeks after his lolo’s passing.
Dale and Matthew, who are still in college, handle the business side while Chryso works his magic in the kitchen.
I am sure their lolo is watching over them and is very proud.
Their mom Liza Hernandez Morales, a veteran in the food and hospitality industry, is also very proud. Chryso says he was first inspired to cook due to her kare-kare.American with an Eastern twist
The young chef developed his kitchen skills by working at Shangri-La Fort and Somerset Alabang before moving to Boracay. Today, he specializes in American, specifically Southern cuisine, but he makes it his own with touches of Eastern flavors.
For instance, Slow Burn Mnl offers Turf & Surf. Yes, that’s a T before S because the star here is from the land and not the sea: smokin’ ribs.
Chryso’s signature twist is that he offers this with garlic shrimps and what they call “truffled umami rice,” aside from French beans and cherry tomatoes. The rice is mixed with different kinds of mushrooms and spices and then topped with truffle oil.
For pescetarians, they have the alternative of Surf & Surf, which is seared salmon fillet served with grilled shrimps and squid ink rice.
At the moment, they only have these two specialties that come in party trays good for four to five pax or half-trays good for two to three.
It is Chryso’s objective to give customers restaurant-quality food to enjoy at home in this “new normal” of social distancing.
Typhoon food drive
Aside from this boom of new entrepreneurs, another good thing that has come out of this pandemic is the transformation of millennials from being a for-the-’gram to becoming a truly compassionate batch.
They are not just keyboard warriors but volunteers IRL (in real life), reaching out to help others beyond expectations.
Just last Friday, immediately after Typhoon “Ulysses” left, Chryso and his team did a food drive for 90 dormers of the University of the Philippines who had no food as the facility that provided their food could not do so because their power was out. A few months earlier, they also donated their income to a friend whose parents were hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Real stories like these make us keep the faith and restore our belief in humanity, in spite of the tragedies of the year made worse by incompetencies in various places.
These young are the future. Seeing how they are rising to the challenges of today, it is evident that there is hope. The future is bright.
Slow Burn Mnl, for orders, call or message 0906-4281533 or message their social media pages: facebook.com/slowburnmnl or @slowburnmnl on Instagram.
More from the author at margauxsalcedo.com. Follow @margauxsalcedo on Instagram and Facebook.com/MargauxSalcedo Eating 2020 album.
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