A delicious, healthy lifestyle

DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda (The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2015 - 10:00am

It’s a restaurant and an organic market rolled into one. This is the concept behind Organico Gourmet, a new dining place in the San Juan-Mandaluyong area that is built around the idea of healthy eating.

All the dishes at Organico Gourmet — and we’re not just talking vegetables here — are made with all-natural ingredients, while the meats, like pork and chicken, are sourced from animals fed with organic feeds, meaning they were not fed with any chemicals. The dishes also do not use preservatives or MSG, thus assuring its customers that not only are they getting the best nutrition, but also the healthiest.

Organico Gourmet (which is located at 916 Luna Mencias St. in Mandaluyong, with tel. nos. 721-0692 and 0917-3790888) is the creation of chef Gloria de Vera. She came up with the idea for it because of her daughter, who loved to eat steak, ice cream and junk food and became overweight as a result. At 12 years old, she weighed 170 pounds. 

“That motivated me as a mom, and as a chef,” says Chef Gloria. “I went on the Internet and research diet plans, like the South Beach diet. I also tried limiting what she eats.”

Because of her efforts, Gloria’s daughter lost 10 pounds. So they continued with the diet for a year. “She learned to eat fish and chicken, and on her own, nag-research din siya. She decided to turn semi-vegetarian. She began eating more eggs, drinking milk, soya and eating vegetables, and in one year, lost a further 30 pounds.” 

At 16, Chef Gloria’s daughter now weighs a trim and healthy 115 pounds.

Wanting to share the benefits with other people, Chef Gloria came up with the idea of putting up an organic restaurant. Thus, Organico Gourmet was born. She took the training she had under Chef Gene Gonzales and from short courses abroad and spent endless hours experimenting and designing recipes.

“It was always a dream na mag-karoon ng restaurant,” shares Chef Gloria. When they found a space in Mandaluyong — a space that used to be occupied by another restaurant called The Frazzled Cook — they immediately set about creating Organico Gourmet. Chef Gloria brought in other collaborators, including Waw Manlapaz, creative marketer; Anton Bermudo (who designed the country chic-themed interiors) and public relations director Jemuel Salterio.

The place, as designed, seats about 70 people. Aside from the dining area which has mostly big tables for families, there is an organic market/grocery located near the entrance where people can buy organic meat, vegetables and fresh herbs and bottled spices and dip in case they want to experiment with making their own organic dishes at home.

The tagline of Organico Gourmet is “deliciously organic.” Chef Gloria explains: “We wanted food that was healthy, but also delicious.”

The dining place offers breakfast (Grilled Bangus Belly, Eggs Benedict, Angus Beef Tapa, Sausage and Pancakes and Truffled Mushroom Omelette), appetizers (Oyster Fritters, Fried Cauli Florettes, Smoked Fish Croquettes, Stuffed Mushrooms), soup (Minestrone, Three Mushroom Cream Soup, Roasted Pumpkin Soup), salad (Mixed Greens with Roasted Sesame Dressing, Mixed Greens with Truffle Balsamic Vinaigrette, Goi Ga), rice bowls (Spicy Tofu Rice Bowl, Panang Gai in Black Rice, Chiu Chow Fish in Red Rice), seafood (Grilled Prawns, Grilled Salmon BBQ), chicken (Tamarind and Honey Glazed Chicken, Stuffed Chicken Roulade), pork (OG Pork n’ Beans, Grilled Porkchops with Apple Chutney), pasta fettucine or spaghetti (Chicken and Kale Ravioli, Kale Pesto, Pasta Bolognese and Marinara), pizza (vegetarian, Truffled Four Cheese Pizza, Sardines Pizza), a selection of sandwiches and dessert (Mango Pudding, with Chia Seeds, Sweet Potato Smores and Coconut Pannacotta).

Organico Gourmet also has cold-press juices made from organic and natural fruits and vegetables (and yes, it has free wi-fi and sockets). There is also a meal program designed by its in-house nutritionist and available for delivery at P1,500 per day, inclusive of breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks and juices.

“Pinag-isipan at inaral talaga namin ang mga dishes that we offer,” says Chef Gloria. “Because our objective is not just to introduce a new dining option to people, but to help them discover a whole new lifestyle — one that is both delicious and healthy.”


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