Filipinos Success’ Stories:
Kaya Ko; Kaya Mo!
If I can; You surely can!
This column, Kaya Ko Kaya Mo brings to our attention another culinary success, River Cree Resort and Casino’s Chef de Cusine, Juan (JP) Dublado.
Juan Dublado is one of Edmonton’s reknowned chefs of Filipino descent.
Where did his passion for cooking first start? His inspiration came when he first moved to Edmonton. When he first moved to Canada, he worked in different corporate kitchens. “I realized that I liked to cook and discovered that I’m pretty good at it,” he said.
At the time, he looked up to chefs who inspired him to pursue cooking. He recalls, “I wanted to be one as well some day.”
To follow his dreams, he took a culinary course at SAIT, and gained some experience. “I worked in different kitchens since i moved to Canada. I went to SAIT and took the 2 year professional cooking program, then I worked 5 years at the best restaurant that I know of, which is River Cafe in Calgary.”
In his journey to become a professional chef, his career was marked with struggles and obstacles. “It’s been a long and hard journey, long hours, late nights, missing out on family functions, neglect of health. It takes a different kind of person to love this profession, not many are willing to sacrifice a lot to become a Chef, you have to love what you’re doing in order to succeed.”
As a chef, the aim is to create perfection in every dish. For Juan, “[E]ach dish has to be perfect, always evolve and learn from mistakes.”
To work at such a fast-paced and demanding job, chefs have to learn how to handle stress. However, Juan has learned how to hone skills to overcome the stress in the kitchen. “Working in kitchens my whole life taught me just to be organized and not stress about a busy service, I’ve done thousands of them. Just be organized in your head and take it one step at a time.”
When asked what advice he would give to young aspiring chefs who want to follow a similae profession, he says, “My advice would be, never stop grinding and pushing yourself to be better every single day[.] [I]f you’re not learning from your current work place its [sic] time to move on and find something better, its [sic] a very long and hard journey just keep your head down and listen to your Chef, and most importantly, Love what you do.”
When asked what advice he would give to his 18 year old self, he says, “I would advise the 18 year old me to push even harder and keep doing what you’re doing and be more friendly to people and don’t let anything stop you to achieve your goals.”
As Chef de Cusine of River Cree, Juan Dublado curates a selection of Western fine dining meals.
It comes as a natural question to wonder if this Filipino chef would open a restaurant to display Filipino cusine.
When asked if he plans on opening a Filipino restaurant one day, he answers, “Yes, that is the next goal for my career, to celebrate Filipino cuisine through my restaurant using locally sourced ingredients with Filipino flavors.”
Finally, when asked what his favourite dish is, Juan answers, “My mom’s Goat Kare Kare.”