Look, Cardinal Tagle A Chef At The Vatican?: Tips on How To Cook “Simpleng Fried Rice” a-la Tagle!
Opening one of my social media apps this morning, the first thing that caught my attention was a video posted by Pontificio Collegio Filippino (Collegio) featuring Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the prefect for the Congregation of the Evangelization of the Peoples. Normally, Collegio’s daily video streaming involves the Holy Masses and other spiritual talks. But today was different. They have a “special edition” feature, showing the Cardinal’s prowess in culinary, another hidden talent of his!
In the process of preparing the food, the good Cardinal clarified that he would love to cook food for the day and partake it with the other priests residing at the Collegio. (Briefly, the Collegio is a college for diocesan priests mainly from the Philippines, although there are priests from other countries as well, studying at pontifical universities in Rome. It is also where the said priests reside while studying at the Pontifico and while on duty doing pastoral care activities.)
Cardinal Tagle candidly informed his viewers that the reason behind the said cooking special segment is to honor and celebrate the 64th wedding anniversary of his parents (“Manuel and Milagros”) who are back home in Cavite, Philippines. He also mentioned that his parents were married at the Malate Catholic Church or the Our Lady of Remedies Parish Church, and since the Aristocrat Restaurant’s just a walking distance away from the Church, their reception was held in the said restaurant. For those who are not aware of these places, Our Lady of Remedies Church (or Malate Church) is a parish church in the district of Malate in the city of Manila, Philippines. It has a baroque-style architecture overlooking Plaza Rajah Sulayman and the Manila Bay. On the other hand, Aristocrat Restaurant is a well known restaurant in the Philippines because of the quality of its dishes and its long presence in the food industry, about 80 years already. It has been recognized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) as an icon of Philippine cultural history! Oh! These two places (the Church and the Restaurant) have a special place in our hearts too with my bff!!! What a sheer coincidence!
Going back to Cardinal’s menu for that particular day. He cooked the “Simpleng Fried Rice”, with a touch of the Cardinal’s hands (hence, My Useful Tips coined it as “a la Tagle” style) consisting of rice of course, oil, garlic, fried scrambled eggs, some green peas (?), and the main ingredient was the very sumptuous chorizo or chinese sausage, all mixed together with the rice. Thereafter, he marinated the chicken with lemon and soy sauce (same preparation as mine) for the chicken barbeque which was placed in the oven (!) and the halo-halo as their dessert. Halo- halo is a popular Filipino cold dessert which is a concoction of crushed ice, evaporated milk and various ingredients including, among others, ube, sweetened beans, etc. But instead of crushed ice and evap milk, the Cardinal used frozen milk. Actually, the Cardinal merely wanted to replicate the famous and the most ordered menu at Aristocrat such as the Java Rice with the Chicken Barbeque and the halo-halo to celebrate his parents anniversary. Wow Aristocrat!? You just got a free advert for your resto from the Cardinal himself!
In closing, the Cardinal reminded his viewers about the importance of keeping the Filipino spirit and camaraderie particularly if we are far from home. He also stressed on the importance of maintaining communication with our family back home to continue the healthy relationship and to remind us about our simple joys in life!
For me, that was a rare opportunity to see the Cardinal cooking! Real thing! As he said, the said cooking edition will never happen again! Happy64th Wedding Anniversary to your parents His Eminence!
Chow guys, or should I say, ciao guys! Have a great day y’all!