“Mas masarap sa jowa mo,” Cherry Pacheco describes the java rice included in her Chicken Barbeque Platter.
What a sales pitch! Haha! After hearing that, how can I not get interested to try her cooking? It took us forever to book Lalamove but the delivery was worth the wait.
It was nothing fancy, really. Very basic comfort food but done very very well.
Every piece of chicken (all boneless thighs! woohoo!) was perfectly tender and not dry at all, every bite was flavorful. I didn’t even think about adding the peanut sauce until I was halfway through my plate because it was unnecessary. The chicken was so good even without the sauce. But I figured I had to try the peanut sauce just so I can tell her I did. Good move, it made the chicken so much more delicious. I ended up eating waaaayyy too much!
I found out that Cherry’s grandfather and father established the iconic Savory Chicken restaurant in Escolta so I guess it should be no surprise that she knows her chicken quite well.
The java rice was very tasty, I ate some of it without any ulam. I also had some with just the peanut sauce and the combination worked too.
Mas masarap nga ba sa jowa ko? I will neither confirm nor deny because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. *wink*
Aside from the Chicken Barbeque Platter, I also got a box of Walnut Brownies (also available without the walnuts).
The cracked top and the crust had a slight crisp and in between was a moist fudgy layer with a generous amount of walnuts. I knew I was going to end up eating more than I should so I decided to send some of the brownies to a friend (an ex-jowa, actually) and he enjoyed them as much as I did.
Of course, I shared these wonderful discoveries on my social media accounts. A couple of my Facebook friends were pleasantly surprised to find out that the person behind the food is Cherry Pacheco because they know her as a makeup artist – a much lauded one, at that.
When I met Cherry more than a decade ago, she was the editor-in-chief of Disney’s Princess Magazine and the editor of shopcrazy.com.ph under Summit Media. Her other hat as a fashion stylist gave her opportunities to dabble in makeup. “It’s something that came easy for me but I didn’t want to get into it until I was formally schooled,” she relates.
In 2005, she enrolled at the Center for Aesthetic Studies in Makati. After 3 years, she flew to California to take up Makeup for Photography and High Fashion at the renowned Westmore Academy. When she came back home 2 months later, she decided to concentrate on doing makeup and quit all her other roles. All these years, she has been freelancing and was also chief artist for French-Japanese brand, Paul & Joe and then later for Polish cosmetics company, Inglot.
While she has always been into food and always enjoyed cooking and serving her creations to friends who visit, to make a business of what she makes never crossed her mind.
“Both my parents are very good cooks, exposure rin kasi we love to eat out, go abroad ganyan. And then when I find something that I like, I try to replicate it at home or do my own twist. I’m not really into recipes, I like throw things together, whatever’s in the fridge,” she explains how she developed her interest.
During the first ECQ when all events were cancelled, she entertained herself in the kitchen and posted her dishes on social media. “Pampa-good vibes lang,” she rationalizes. Then people started asking if she was selling. “Wala akong space and ang hirap pa mag-grocery nu’n so talagang it wasn’t on the agenda.”
Eventually, she relented. On the 15th of October 2020, she dispatched the first order of ten Chicken Barbeque Platters. And the requests have not stopped since. “Thankfully, I have friends who love to give away food so they’ll buy in bulk then those people who receive will call me.”
I can’t blame them from wanting to have seconds, I just ordered another platter in between writing these paragraphs. Haha!
Cherry uses all premium ingredients. Japanese rice, imported peanut butter and soy sauce, butter instead of margarine, you get the picture. I guess since she’s used to cooking for friends and family, she really goes all out, nothing but the best. But her prices are reasonable. “Ayoko ng overpricing kasi consumer din ako and I make it for friends, my clients sa makeup,” she says.
She cooks everyday unless she has a commitment to do makeup. “My main job is still a makeup artist,”’ she points out.
Lead time is usually a day. If there’s a big order lined up, it may extend to 3 days. She accommodates orders in two shifts – morning and afternoon. Pick up point is in Mandaluyong.
Order your next meal from Cherry Pacheco!
Cherry Pacheco has a website, www.cherrypacheco.com.