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Home (Foodie) for the Holidays

THE SAN Miguel Foods Culinary Center’s cooking show has moved online, with the first episode of the sixth season of Home Foodie, launched on Saturday. That is not the only change.

While appearing on free TV in the past, operations this season moved to YouTube, with the maiden episode featuring Caldereta with Rustic Mashed Potato Casserole.

While last season, celebrity couple Drew Arellano and Iya Villania were part of the show, this season the show’s cast is decidedly homegrown as it includes San Miguel chefs Llena Tan-Arcenas, Rene Ruz, Victor Paulino Miranda, and Martin Narisma. “Given the challenges of taping during this pandemic, we have decided to forgo free TV and will invite celebrities in future seasons instead, when it is safer for all,” said Ms. Tan-Arcenas in an e-mail to BusinessWorld. She also serves as Culinary Services Manager for the Culinary Center.

Since the show has started airing in December, holiday recipes featuring San Miguel brands are to be expected.

There’s Mr. Narisma’s Veega Bolognese using San Miguel’s Veega Meat-free Giniling, for example. “It’s the perfect meat-free alternative for those watching their weight this holiday season,” said Ms. Tan-Arcenas. Mr. Ruz is demonstrating how to make a bibingka, using San Miguel’s Mix and Bake Bibingka. Mr. Miranda will make a kare-kare on crispy noodles, using Purefoods Ready-to-Eat Kare-Kare (kare-kare is a stew in a peanut-based sauce).

“The recipes were conceptualized based on the food preparation/kitchen personalities of the team. We are using a lot of ready-to-eat, ready-to-cook and premix products in Season 6,” she said.

An added feature for this season is that viewers will see QR codes of the recipes and recipe tips popping up onscreen, on top of the usual pop ups on Home Foodie’s website and other social media pages.

There have been several adjustments in shooting during this period, even though the shoots were done in the San Miguel Foods Culinary Center. “It was very challenging shooting a cooking show during the pandemic, given our limitations in both manpower, resources, and logistics. But we pulled it off despite having only one cameraman. The culinary team has really learned to multitask in video production,” she said.

San Miguel has come to the fore as an essential during this pandemic, and we’re not talking about their charity projects. The pandemic has bid us all to save and to stockpile, and one of the country’s oldest names in food has been an easy choice when roaming in the supermarket. Ms. Tan-Arcenas noted their newfound significance in feeding the nation during these changed times, with San Miguel Foods brands like Purefoods and Cook Express launching ready-to-eat products to help ease meal preparation. “A lot of consumers still work from home and ironically, work longer hours despite being home. They do not have the energy nor enough time to prepare slow-cooked meals for the family daily,” said Ms. Tan-Arcenas.

Watch the first episode of Home Foodies here: https://youtube/NHBNkWWwhKU. — Joseph L. Garcia

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