Confession: I only began to seriously consider eating healthy when I became pregnant. Pre-baby, my gastronomic philosophy was simple: eat or cook whatever will make me ‘happy’.
The food I have served friends and family is a testament to this: from my ‘sinful’ stuffed chicken, the lasagna, the chip and dips, etc, etc. While I was never really a big fan of pork (I was raised in a household where egg, chicken and tofu were protein staples – Mom is half Japanese and grew up with our Adventist grand aunt), I fell in love with cheese, pasta, potato, and bread. This whole ‘mom rarely served pork, beef OR hotdogs’ growing up backfired when I moved out…I discovered I could have bacon, bagnet, bulalo, lechon kawali, cake — glorious cheesecake, etc. WHENEVER I LIKED.
Anyways, when I became pregnant, EVERYONE kept
bullying reminding me to eat healthy (insert annoying well-meaning reminders like: Don’t eat cake, the baby will become an obese diabetic…No sushi for you, think mercury poisoning). To my credit, I really took the doc’s (and the husband’s) advice to heart. I began to eat more fruits and veggies and less to no bacon (sniff! I miss you, old friend). Also, I began my ‘slow food’ journey (meaning, I did not visit Mcdo, KFC, Jolibee, Taco Bell, et al for most of my pregnancy).
While I am still not a health nut, I can confidently say: I have OK eating habits…I rarely have fast food.
This is why I did not even bat an eyelash when I visited Terazzas de Barako. Located inside Hacienda San Benito, a farm estate in Lipa, Batangas that produces organic vegetables, fruits, and even honey; the restaurant is billed as a fine dining restaurant with a healthy menu.
According to the resto’s executive chef, Teresa Lobb, opening a restaurant at the 22 hectare organic leisure farm and residential community is a steps towards encouraging more people to eat healthy. The trim and energetic chef, whose menu includes traditional English and Asian dishes, plans to use produce grown at the farm.
“People spend on what they put on their bodies but we tend to neglect what we consume, what goes inside,” shares Chef Lobb. “And how can you be healthy if your body is filled with chemical-ridden food?”
Lobb, whose work experience span four continents, believes that fresh and natural ingredients are key to making any menu top notch. “No matter what you cook, quality ingredients always make a better tasting dish,” adds Lobb.
While not a graduate of a culinary school, Lobb’s love for good food spurred her to learn to prepare food while working as a dishwasher at restaurants, bars and hotels in the United Kingdom and Australia. “I watched the chefs work as I washed the pots,” explains Lobb. “I just wanted to be in an environment where I could learn to cook well.”
Today, Lobb enjoys the fruits of her persistence. During her stint in Brunei as Jerudong Park and Country Club’s Polo Cafe outlet chef, Lobb was recognized by the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs for building the cafe’s reputation for fine dining. Lobb has also served as the chef of different personalities, notable of are Libya’s Prince Idris Al Sanussi, Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei and Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
Despite her numerous accomplishments, she maintains that it’s not the glamor of fine dining she loves but making people feel better by satiating their appetites. “I’m always asked, what is your greatest achievement?” says Lobb. “And I always say: your fat belly after you eat my dishes!”
For more information about Chef Teresa and her delicious food, visit http://www.terrazasdebarako.com.