There’s this relatively new food company that produces frozen ready to eat food that’s been quietly making ripples among the lucky patrons fortunate enough to have come across them while surfing the world wide web.
Dubbed Comfort Food CDO, the home-based enterprise started in late 2017 brought by love for food and as a means to help couple Baba Pelaez and Francis Manaloto raise extra income for their wedding.
“We started selling sisig to friends lang mga late 2017 pang extra income for the wedding, then in 2018 we started selling na pud ang Bicol Express which became a second source of income,” said Baba. ‘Then last year lang gyud pag covid na we released the Binagoongan kay for a time wa koy makuha supplier sa lubi na reasonable price since tanan is just delivered. Sunod-sunod na dayon ang Callos then ang Asado.”
At present, their menu is still limited to five specialties: Sisig Kapampangan, Bicol Express, Binagoongan Kapampangan, Callos and Pork Asado Macao Style. However, what makes this line-up special is they are all family heirloom recipes handed down from across generations.
“Our Sisig Kapampangan was taught to me by my uncle, mama’s brother (mom Beng whose family is Kapampangan),” Baba said, adding that hubby Francis is also half-Kapampangan. As most Filipinos are aware, the Kapampangans are renowned for their culinary chops not only all over the country, but in overseas Filipino communities as well.
Besides the Sisig, Baba also inherited their Binagoongan Kampangpangan style, also from her Mom Beng’s side.
“Our Bicol Express was approved by my mother-in-law who is Bicolana, while our Callos is my Lola Edith’s recipe who taught Mama, then si Mama taught me,” Baba said. “Amo na dayon gihimo among version based on the original.”
However, Baba admits she’d had to put a contemporary twist to the Callos to make it suitable for multiple production.
“I had to improvise kay si Mama mag tudlo puro based sa dila ang spices,” she laughingly shared. “Dili namo puwede baligaya so amo gitimbang ang tanan [ingredients] para consistent.”
Babapreviously worked at Lifestyle Network of the ABS-CBN Cable Channels and Print Media Group before coming back to Cagayan de Oro and still works as marketing manager and photographer for their Studio 8 photographic services specializing in food photography.
She admits catching the cooking bug a bit late when her parents lost their kusinera and her mom couldn’t cook because of an injury.
“I wish I was older when Lola [Edith] was still around and cooking.”
Edith Pelaez (nee Fabella) was the wife of former Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez, and mother of her father Eduardo “Bong” Pelaez, the sixth of the couple’s nine children.
A silver lining in this current pandemic is that this home business was able to grow and adapt to the “now normal”. Business owners have ventured into new opportunities. Comfort Food has partnered with Ate Girl, a new enterprise of friend Angela Dayrit Kho which does deliveries, groceries, bills payments, and the like.
“Wala mi gawas-gawas balay and we can fully operate with the help of their services.” Ate Girl also helps them do groceries online for her parents who have similarly confined themselves to their house nearby.
For the time being, Baba and Francis still have no plans to expand their present menu, but will offer seasonal “off the menu” items such as guinamos and calamansi pie.
“Ang qualification namo sa ako bana dapat maka piyong pag kaon for it to be part of our menu,” Baba said, “Something that we both like gyud, hence the name [Comfort Food]. “That’s why pud di kaayo mi gadali daghan dishes e baligya.”
Their latest menu addition (Pork Asado Macao Style) is a break for their initial heirloom recipes but made the grade after hurdling the couple’s ‘hugnes’ test.
“Siya ang pinaka-bata di pa siya heirloom kay 2nd gen pa lang, but it is truly a comfort food. When I made it pag tilaw sa akong bana naka hug gyud siya!”
Comfort Food Kitchen CDO’s is based at J.V. Seriña St., Barangay Carmen and can be reached through their Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/comfort_food_kitchen_cdo/, email address email@example.com, Messenger https://www.facebook.com/Comfort-Food-Kitchen-106764217844695/ or call 0917 813 6393 from 10:00AM to 5:30PM.
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