Prime rib eye, lamb chops and T-bone steaks are just few of the many specialties of grill master Chef Maran Mariapin. An executive sous chef of the Makati Shangri-la, Chef Maran has earned years of culinary experience in various parts of the world.
How did you end up cooking here in Manila?
I travel a lot for work. I went to Sabah then I went to Singapore. From Singapore, I went to Dubai. Then two years ago, I got a call from Manila to work here in Makati Shangri-la.
What did you have for dinner last night?
I had a Yellow Cab pizza.
Where do you eat during your days off?
Every Sunday is my off day. I usually just cook at home. On my days off, I like cooking Chicken Biryani. My favorite food is Char Koay Teow (stir-fried ricecake strips ). It's a famous food in Penang.
Name three of your most favorite ingredients in the kitchen.
Olive oil, garlic, and chili.
His specialty: Oxtail assam pedas with roti jala and pineapple pickle
If you were to win a ticket to anywhere in the world and you're free to eat anything you wish for, where would you go and what would you eat?
I'll go to Singapore and then I will have a baked stingray fish.
Which among your specialties is a sure crowd pleaser?
I'll cook a braised lamb shank with rosemary polenta and a veggie puree.
Any tips for aspiring chefs?
I think one should get the basics right. You can do whatever type of cooking: molecular, modern, what have you. But first, make sure that you'd get the basics right. If you can't peel onion and garlic, the PROPER way, then, you know. After getting the fundamentals, then you can play around.
What happens now is a lot of “chefs” get their trainings and then jump in the industry right after. I think you have to soak yourself for a few years. You have to feel it. With the young generation, the problem is, they get bored fast. They want to be the top chef right away. You can't. You must endure peeling 20 kilos of onions for three months. That's how you soak yourself.
This is what I tell the people who train under me: You have to learn five new things everyday. It doesn't mean you have to learn cooking. You just have to learn something. Even me, I come to work with this purpose.
How about those who are just cooking at home. What tip would you give them?
Cook a new dish every day. Do not stick with what you know already. This way, your diners won't get bored and you won't get bored.
Chef Maran is "The Prime" in Circles Event Cafe's on-going Superhero Chef promotion. Every night of the week is a feast at Circles Event Café with a highlighted cuisine presented each evening, featuring the authentic specialty dishes of each superhero chef. Guests may vote for the superhero chef of their choice by filling out a raffle stub every time they dine at Circles Event Café between August 6 and September 9, 2012.
Guests may feast with a luscious spread of grilled favorites, featuring superhero Chef Maran “The Prime” Mariapin, who takes on grilling duties for Saturday evenings’ Off the Grill. Vote for him and get a chance to win a lunch or dinner buffet good for 20 persons.