Batangas : Inspired at LandCo’s Leisure Communities + The Journey of the Sous Chef

chef nomer club punta fuego

After lunch chat with Chef Nomer Granados (VIDEO below)

LandCo’s Leisure Communities will always have a special place in my heart. Right after my mom’s passing, it was at Club Punta Fuego where I had moments of contemplation and healing. I also had a lot of fond times at Aquaria Beach Resort, Terrrazas de Punta Fuego and Playa Laiya with old and new friends. Their places of retreat were where I gazed upon the rich blues of both the sky and the sea and where I looked up to catch the gazillions of stars above me.

Besides the stunning view of their properties, I also enjoy the different cuisines that they offer at their restaurants. And I got more inspired at Club Punta Fuego when I learned about the story of the chef behind our recent delicious 4-course dinner.

Thankfully, I was able to grab (and convince) someone the next morning to take a video of my short conversation with the chef. I thought it was something worth sharing to others. I hope you get to enjoy the short travels that I’ll share and Chef Nomer‘s journey below. :)

friends mawi

Sunset backdrop with Rose de la Cruz and LandCo’s Ms. Mawi De Ocampo at Aquaria Beach Resort. Grateful for Mawi’s time, her friendship and all her stories. :) The other photos: Len, Rina, Diamond and I were trying to have our “groufie” at the resort’s locker room.

 Delicious Filipino Food!

food 1

Look at that! It’s my favorite Sinigang!

food 2

Grilled and Fried ;)

Playa Laiya

I enjoyed swimming here! The last time I was at this property, their swimming pool was less chlorinated and even salty! :p

group

Terrazas Beach Club’s Turtle Pool and Infinity Pool (with stunning background and yes that includes us he he) with Fifi, Len, Girlie, Rina and Gel.

halo halo

Oh yes, Cafè Sol’s “Halo-Halo” please!

Gel bayona

This gorgeous woman deserves her solo photo! :) Thanks Gel for introducing me to Club Punta Fuego. I’ll always remember our memories together!

yacht club

Remembering our good friend Queen Dy/ Diamond from U.K. and how her “frog prince” (who never became a prince charming) followed her from Aquaria to Club Punta Fuego. :D

evening

Views like this at Club Punta Fuego!

The discovery of the story at San Diego Restaurant

soup

Excuse my shaky hands! This delicious and refreshing cold soup started not just the gastronomic enjoyment but curiosity as well.

As always, dinners at Club Punta Fuego was something that I look forward to. But I was surprised that this specific dinner would be something more noteworthy. As we started with the refreshing cold soup (I forgot what the dishes were called but I can clearly remember how they tasted, which was more important), our excitement started to emerge as to what our taste buds will experience next.

(Next, we were served with somewhat like one of my favorite appetizers from San Diego RestaurantBlack Shrimp Balls in Alioli, which I had a taste during the resort’s “Sip and Savor” event.)

appetizer

Couldn’t get enough of this appetizer!

I was already getting curious about the chef who was preparing all our meals when one of the ladies asked Ms. Ronie about him. I was already having a mental image of a tall, (maybe a bit chubby and in his 40’s he he) and foreign-looking chef who prepared all these dishes for us. But even before my mental picture of him was completed, Ms. Ronie shared a story about the chef that totally left us amazed. Suddenly, the mental picture of the typical chef disappeared.

salmon

Perfectly cooked, seasoned and presented Salmon & Veggie dish.

While finishing off our main dish, a medium height, slender, young and Filipino guy in his chef jacket approached us. Then he started asking us about our food…

Imagine our surprise when Ms. Ronie introduced us to the man behind the delicious meals that we’re having! Knowing a brief background about his story, we immediately asked him about his life and food.  I also asked him if I could chat with him the next morning and record our conversation.

With a very unassuming and even timid look, he graciously agreed to talk the next day.

dessert

From one course to another, we were served with exceptionally orchestrated meals, which we finished off with a delightful ensemble of desserts.

That evening, I was a bit jittery since it was going to be my first time to do something that I really love and been meaning to do – to get to know inspiring people and to share about them. Good thing the dessert course that we shared during dinner certainly gave me the sweetest and most relaxing slumber.

The next morning at Il Jardineto

drinks

Refreshing fruit shakes at the Lower Beach Club’s Il Jardineto  

After a festive Italian lunch, it was my time to interview the chef. What’s the story behind a former construction worker and kitchen helper turned sous chef? What were his challenges and what were the key things that lead him to his dream job?

This and more as we discover the journey of Chef Nomer Granados:

Batangas : Inspired at LandCo’s Leisure Communities + The Journey of the Sous Chef from JM dela Rama on Vimeo.

cake

Finishing this article with cherry on top! “After Eight” Dark Chocolate + Mint Gelato (yum!)

I hope that Chef Nomer’s  journey inspired you today. I also pray that he’ll stay humble and determined in pursuing his other dreams. Thanks for sharing your time, story and love for food, Chef!

My quotable quotes from what I learned from Chef Nomer:

“Our background and environment will not fully determine our future and success. It’s how we’ll persevere, include the Lord and work diligently in pursuing our dreams that will make a difference in our lives and others.”

 (If you know anyone who would be encouraged to hear Chef Nomer’s journey, feel free to share this to him or her. And if you went through an interesting story or know anyone who did, comment or message me here.) 

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