What Does a Restaurant Owner Eat and Do Every Day?

February 15, 2017 01:13 PM by Wildflour Café + Bakery

(Originally posted on February 15, 2017, “What Does a Restaurant Owner Eat and Do Everyday” by Manica C. Tiglao in Town&Country, http://www.townandcountry.ph/people/inspiration/what-does-a-restaurant-owner-eat-and-do-every-day-a00179-20170215-lfrm)

Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo, co-owner of Wildflour, Farmacy, and Pink’s Manila, talks about the perfect brunch, the Ina Garten diet, and last meals on earth.

What time did you wake up today?

5:30 a.m.

What’s the first thing you usually do when you wake up?

I check my messages and do a quick scroll through social media.

What time do you head out to work?

8 to 8:30 a.m.

What was for breakfast today?

Green juice, cranberry walnut bread, strawberry jam, and butter.

You’ve helped revolutionize the brunch scene in Manila. What is your idea of a perfect brunch?

Free-flowing conversation with the ladies, interrupted by “oohs” and “ahhs” because of how delicious the food is. A view to admire also helps.

Fashion staple?

The black dress that makes me feel my best.

Newest piece of clothing you’ve bought?

A top by TC Alvarez.

What are your favorite clothing labels?

COS, Idée, Two Chic, Theory, and Jaspal.

Favorite shoe brands?

Adidas, Jimmy Choo, and Nine West.

Bag brand?

Bottega Veneta.

IMAGE Dan Harvey

Any signature accessories?

A simple yet elegant pair of pearl earrings.

What are you wearing?

A top by COS and a shower-fresh scent from Santa Maria Novella soap.

Favorite designers?

Jojie Lloren and Vania Romoff.

Muses or style icons?

Cate Blanchett, who is chic but not a fashion victim. She’s mastered the balance of being current but still age-appropriate.

Any specific diet you follow?

The Ina Garten diet. Which is, I’m guessing, no diet.

Do you work out?

I do cardio and strength training four to five times a week.

Other consuming passions?

My children, food, and travel.

How often do you entertain?

Three to four times a month.

What sort of entertaining?

Usually casual.

Entertaining staples?

Always the proper assortment of guests.

Your tips to creating a memorable meal?

Dessert, dessert, dessert.

How do you prepare for an afternoon or evening of entertaining?

Relaxing the nerves a bit. Wipe work out of your head so you can be present in the moment.

Dream dinner guests?

Ina Garten and her gaggle of gays.

What books are you currently reading?

Commanding Your Morning, a daily devotional. And I just started on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt— I’m a little late to the game but this feels like a timeless book.

What music is currently on your playlist?

I saw the trailer of the new Jackie biopic with Natalie Portman and the song “Camelot” has been on loop since. Magical.

What do you like most about your appearance?

I think it’s better to say that I’ve learned what looks best on me, and that’s a good lesson to learn.

Lunch companions?

My chefs, Allen Buhay and BJ Mantuano, at Wildflour, of course.

What do you love about being in the food industry?

Satisfying appetites and expanding people’s palates.

If you were not a chef and restaurateur, you would be…

An owner of a shop that sells cooking gadgets, utensils, and ingredients.

What made you become a chef?

Watching my grandmother prepare food for family occasions. She was spectacular.

What is your earliest memory of food?

It would have to be Christmas dinners at my grandmother’s home in Zambales.

Favorite drinks or other meal accompaniments?

Green juice made with moringa, cucumber, green apple, celery, and ginger.

Do you ever still cook for yourself?

The answer to that is a great lady called Vilma, our home cook. After a day of hopping from one restaurant branch to another, the last thing I want to do when I get home is fire up the stove.

What is the secret to your restaurant’s success?

A passion for the food we serve and the drive to create something simply delicious.

What’s your go-to order at Wildflour and Pink’s?

A simple baguette with a hockey puck-sized side of quality butter at Wildflour. At Pink’s, give me a classic hotdog.

Favorite restaurants?

Here, I like Summer Palace. Abroad, I loved Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, and Republique in Los Angeles.

Favorite chefs?

Ina Garten.

Favorite trend in food?

Locally, the one where everyone is upping their game and constantly challenging each other to do better.

Food trend you’re not so fond of?

A lack of originality.

Favorite cheap eat?

Bottled tuyo with rice.

What else are you up to this afternoon?

Checking the progress of the construction of Wildflour’s Greenhills branch.

What do you do as soon as you get home?

I look for my kids and give them a big hug.

What was the prettiest thing you saw today?

A beautifully made chocolate cake.

Guilty pleasures?

Ice cream from Farmacy.

Secret fantasies?

The one where my superpower is to eat without ever gaining a pound.

Best decision of your life?

To receive the Lord as my savior.

Greatest extravagance?

Travel and food.

Pet peeves?

Customers who are mean to wait staff, and people who cut the line.

Were you given any great advice today?

“Life is too short—have the ube cupcake.”

Have you dispensed any advice of your own?

“Life is too short—have the ice cream.”

Who is your dream date?

Anderson Cooper.

What do you wear on a hot date?

Anything simple yet feminine.

IMAGE Dan Harvey

Qualities you find attractive in the opposite sex?

Clean, hardworking, and with a sense of humor.

Value you appreciate most in a partner?


Love of your life?

My family.

Where are you having dinner tonight and with whom?

At home with my family.

What’s for dinner?

Lengua estofado, monggo, and rice.

Most memorable meal?

Rafa’s, a seafood restaurant in Roses, Spain.

What’s the most important part of your day?

Early in the morning when I have a quiet time with God.

Describe your idea of a perfect day.

One spent with my family exploring a new city.

What else are you up to tonight?

Cookies before bed and a viewing of The Crown.

What do you do and where do you go to unwind?

An energizing run.

What time are you going to sleep?

I try to keep asleep by 11 p.m.

What do you hope to dream about?

A future where we are a country less divided. And cake. Lots of cake.

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