Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Valenzuelano of the Month: Chef Mark Joseph Bartolome of Brgy. Malanday, Valenzuela City

Food is life and One Valenzuela believes that you will also agree with this notion. With that said, isn't it also interesting to know life behind the plate? Today we got the chance to know more about a young and vibrant chef of Valenzuela City who is making waves in TikTok - Chef Mark Joseph "Marky" Bartolome. 

Can you tell us more about your culinary journey?

“I first started when I finish schooling at De La Salle-College of St. Benilde with the course of BS-HRIM majoring in Culinary Arts. Then I got absorb by our school's full operating hotel upon completion of my Internship there. Worked there for a couple years as a full-time, entry-level cook.

Afterward, I applied and got hired as a chef in a 200-seater restaurant in Singapore which specialized in Mediterranean Cuisine. Did my time, and went back home to work at a 5-Star Hotel in Ortigas Center called EDSA Shangri-La Manila.

After some time, I thought about working as a chef on a cruise, so I applied to an Agency called Magsaysay. I did all the necessary requirement process and got accepted in a German-based Cruise company called AIDA Cruises.

From then on I worked my way up and finally went home to settle down and open my own restaurant called 171 Bistro.”

Your videos po on TikTok are really super cool! What made you try the app?

"My TikTok handle is Chef Marky under the link @chefmarkjoseph and my total number of followers as of today is 50.1k with a total of 270.7k likes. My video with the highest views now has a total of 1.53million views.

My videos are all about cooking and being a chef. I do cooking videos, tips in working and applying as a chef on land and sea, and other stuff related to my profession. I strictly stray away from doing Tiktok challenges like dancing and more dancing, simply because I wanted my page to look and feel professional as it is.

The only reason I could really think of on why I started doing videos on TikTok is because of boredom really, boredom brought by the Community Quarantine and the threat of Corona. I never thought about documenting what I cook before, but when I saw some videos made by other chefs I suddenly had the urge to do it as well. It was hard at first, nagkakakanda bulol-bulol ka in uttering words, pero in time talagang masasanay ka.

Honestly I enjoy it really - everyday iba ulam namin. What I actually shoot is our lunch and dinner for the day. 

My goal right now is to inspire younger generations na you can be anything you wish to be as long as you work really hard for it, especially sa mga younger aspiring chefs, I always tell them that you really need to be passionate in order to be great kasi most of the days talaga, love for your craft is the only thing that would get you by."

You own a local restaurant in Valenzuela City. Please share more about it to us.

"The name of the Restaurant is 171 Bistro. We got the name 171 from the address of our establishment. Bistro basically means small-casual dining restaurant in French. We opened our doors way back in July 2018. 

We specialized in Mediterranean Flavors and Pinoy Bar Favorites. Our best selling items are the Seafood Paella, Paella Negra, Beef Tenderloin Salpicao, Grilled Mix Seafood and Grilled Tuna Panga. We also sell beers, liquor and handcrafted cocktails.

Just before the lockdown, we do have an acoustic singer every Friday. Closed on Mondays, we only do dinner service. We also accept functions, Meetings, banquets, weddings, debut, christening, etc.

171 Bistro is located at 171 I-Fernando St. Malanday, Valenzuela City." 

Do you have any favorite food? Comfort food?
"Me and my dad really liked the movie Ratatouille, meron isang scene dun na sobrang natuwa tlga kami because of the reaction of Anton Ego when he ate the Ratatouille dish of Remy. What actually transpires is Anton Ego got a nostalgia about his mom, kasi yun pala niluluto ng Mother he was still young. My Dad actually came up with an idea for me to find out what a person's "Ratatouille dish" is and try to cook it for them.

So because of this, I'll always remember this old restaurant sa may lumang City Hall, I forgot the name pero 7-11 na sya ngayon. Anyway, my mother works at a office just beside it, everyday after school in SLCV, I will walk by the restaurant before going to her office at palagi kong naamoy talaga yung Grilled T-Bone Steak nila, most of the time kakain kami dun, thus, in turn made me love it. Pero what really hits me is the way I always remember those times whenever I'm eating or cooking a steak. Fun childhood memories we all wish to look back.

For the comfort food, I am a Fried Chicken lover. It is a meal I could eat twice in a day, pero different brand naman. The best fried chicken for me is Popeye's, ang saya lang they finally returned in the Philippines. Southern Fried Chickens are really the best, the way they coat and season it is like no other. Plus ang sarap pa ng mashed potatoes nila and the Cajun Rice. Panalo!

Honestly I grew up eating KFC, fam-favorite siya talaga. Word to describe it is unique, sila lang gumagamit talaga ng pressure-fryer kaya soft and juicy on the inside while crispy on the outside."

How does cooking make you feel?

"As written in my social media profile: Cooking is not just my passion, it is also my obsession.

Cooking for me is a way of expressing myself to others. It is actually forming to become a bridge for me to inspire others especially the ones who wish to undertake the same track as mine."

Got a message to fellow Valenzuelanos who are into cooking?
"To those who love to cook and to those who dream of becoming a chef, please keep on pushing the boundaries of cooking, constantly try out new flavor combinations, always aim to innovate. Never stick to a certain recipe, create your own, and build your own. Finally, be curious enough to discover different cuisines because you'll be surprised at how fulfilling it is to learn other cultures."

Follow and watch Chef Marky on TikTok here: www.linktr.ee/chefmarkjoseph
171 Bistro's Facebook page can be seen here.
New Youtube account here.

Thank you very much, Chef Marky for this very engaging discussion on food and life. We are truly grateful as well to be with you as co-admins in the Sarap sa Valenzuela Community. If you would like to be part of this food group that celebrates eating local, supports local food entrepreneurs, and forever curious about places in Valenzuela City, do join us here. Why? Dahil sadyang masarap maging Valenzuelano.

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