Describing herself as a 'passionate amateur of anything food', Trissa Lopez recounts her food (mis)adventures through her blog, Trissalicious.
The part-banker, part-frustrated cook spent her childhood in the kitchens of her mother and grandmother, who managed an established Spanish restaurant in the Philippines. Trissa's heritage has inspired her to unite with other Filipino bloggers to put their country's cuisine on the map.
What’s the goal of the Kulinarya Cooking Club?
Back in 2009 I met some fellow Filipino Bloggers and found out that we all had 1 thing in common. We wanted to showcase Filipino Cuisine. Filipino Food in my opinion is very Multicultural in itself. Our ancestors took inspiration from different cultures such as Chinese and Spanish to create a cuisine that is full of flavour, simple and unique. Katherine (from acupcakeortwo.com) , Trish and I wanted this unique cuisine to be more recognised in the mainstream. We also wanted to learn a few tips and tricks along the way.
Why isn’t Filipino cuisine as prolific in Australia as say, Thai food?
I think a lot of people have an impression that Filipino Food is just a replica of other cuisines. But it really isn’t. It’s completely different. This is why Kulinarya is so important. People need to taste Filipino Food so they can see why we love it so much.
How can we help your cause?
I feel that by telling the world about The Kulinarya Cooking Club, it is giving us a chance to show the world about the food us Filipinos love so much. It will in turn change the perception that people have about Filipinos. Most of us can sing and dance but did you know that we can also cook??
Can you devise a menu and recipes for people to make as their first ever foray into Filipino cooking?
I'd have to say Adobo as a main dish and leche flan for dessert!
What's your cooking style: use whatever's in the pantry, or do you plan your meals well in advance?
It's a mix I guess. Most of the recipes in my blog are planned well in advance - with lots of inspiration from my cookbooks, magazines and my favourite blogs. For example, before I made a brioche recipe on my blog, I must have looked at over seven cookbooks before coming up with my own version. Daily meals however are usually whatever's in the pantry.
How have your dining habits changed as a result of your blog?
Ha! My husband says we eat much later now because he has to sit around and wait for me to finish taking pictures! But really, I used to be a creature of habit, I could go for weeks eating the same thing. Since blogging, I've become more interested in trying new things - it's a great way to get inspired.
Are you often call on to cook for the family?
Yes! At least once a week.
What has your family taught you about food?
Your food always tastes better when you are doing it to show your love for someone.
From your blog, it's clear you love all types of food. But what cuisines are you partial to?
I would have to say Filipino food hands down. It's such an underrated cuisine but there is so much to love about it.
Tell us a cooking tip you've learned recently.
If you've cracked an egg and some shell has gotten into the egg, take a piece of the remaining shell and use it to scoop up the cracked egg shell. It works so well!
What commonly inspires you to try a new recipe and post about it on your blog?
Quite a number of times I've eaten at a restaurant and have had a really good dish - it's during those times I think "hmm... I wonder if I can make this myself? - it was during one of those times I was inspired to start a section on my blog called "Dare Me" where I ask readers to dare me ask for recipes they enjoyed eating at a restaurant.
I also am inspired a lot by my Mom. I call her the Blog Monster because she is always cooking and saying "please, can you post this on your blog?"
You mentioned you wished Sydney had more food trucks, as in the US. What would you ideally want them to serve should they pop up?
In the Philippines they have roving food trucks that serve a variety of cured meats with garlic rice and topped with a fried egg. There are a number of cured meats you can choose from but my favourite cured meat would be the Philippines local spicy sausage called Longanisa. The meal is wrapped in banana leaves so it's still steaming when you open the parcel and it's fantastic. I would happily stalk any food truck serving that.
Who chefs do you admire, both local and international?
I like David Chang. His food is exciting and he likes to push boundaries.
Is there one dish which intimidates you so much you have yet to attempt it?
I tried to make a souffle once - what a flop! I haven't tried again! I'm also learning to grow my own produce now. I've got a little garden I've created on my balcony. That's very intimidating to me.