Quick Recipes and Easy

Interview with Online Chef Jon Salonga

Online cooking is pleased to present online chef Jon Salonga from Calgary, Canada. In this interview, Chef Salonga discusses his like of food and the inspiration for his self-produced cooking show “Chic Magnet.”

OC: How did you get into cooking and what inspired you to do your own cooking show?

JS: I worked as a server during high school and thought it’d be a fun thought to become a chef. After that thought tanked when I learned just how stressful it really is, I dropped out of the
cooking arena after successfully completing my culinary education. A few years after that I just chose it would be fun to make my own cooking show.

OC: How do you come up with your show thoughts?

JS: I get a lot of questions-simple ones, really-about cooking fundamentals and technique, so I do a lot of shows based around that. Because a lot of people I know watch the show, I try to tailor the contents to fit their needs. Basically, if they want
to learn how to poach eggs, or make basic sauces, and I did a show about advanced techniques like using a rotisserie or fundamental knife maintenance, I wouldn’t have an audience!

OC: How would you describe your cooking style and what
influences your cooking?

JS: I’ve got a pretty eclectic style and really try to embrace all aspects and angles of food: When I find something that works for me, I’ll incorporate it into my own style, and if something doesn’t float my boat, I’m not going to produce it. I am trained and educated in classical French cooking techniques, and by virtue of a year abroad in Thailand I also have basic Thai and other Asian influences.

At the end of the day, the balance between flavor and labor intensity is what influences my cooking, and it’s never about, “This style,” or “That style.” It’s really about what works and what is practical!

OC: What do you like most about doing your own show?

JS: Being on camera, goofing around a small bit, and showing that even screwballs can make sexy food. I also like the freedom to take it in whatever direction I see fit.

OC: What have been your greatest challenges in putting your show together?

JS: Coming up with shooting schedules and excellent times to edit the shows down! On average, every hour of footage gets cut down to half an hour, where I’ve gotta figure out things like transitions, which parts I can edit out and which ones will make the final cut, and generally how to achieve the best flow with minimum waste. All in all, every show might take 2 to 3 hours for shooting alone, including cleanup, and my post-production editing takes anywhere between 4 and 8 hours.

OC: What is the weirdest food you have ever prepared?

JS: A Filipino delicacy called balut, which is the partially developed fetus inside of a duck egg! I was absolutely horrified when my buddy cracked open the top of the shell,
pulled the small guy out by his beak, and with a swift drop, uncurled the wings from it’s body.

OC: If you have a favorite thing to cook, what would that be?

JS: Packaged ramen noodles with whatever leftovers I can cram into the pot: who said that convenience food couldn’t be somewhat wholesome?

Sample Menu:
Roasted cherry tomato salad with balsamic vinaigrette reduction
Butternut squash and apple soup with curry and maple syrup
Thai Mussaman curry with potatoes and jasmine scented rice
Sticky rice with mangoes and sweet coconut cream

Be sure to check out his show at: shows.onlinecooking.net/chic.php shows.onlinecooking.net/chic.php or livejournal.com/users/chicmagnet livejournal.com/users/chicmagnet

Paul Rinehart is the founder of onlinecooking.net Online Cooking.

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