Chef-actor-content creator has more in store

A creative person since childhood, Gerick Manalo always thought out of the box in facing the hurdles and obstacles that stood in his path. Today, he successfully juggles a prosperous career as a chef, actor, and content creator.

Raised in a conservative family of seven in Santiago City, Isabela, young Gerick had a compulsion to be in the kitchen. He would closely observe his restaurateur mom prepare home-cooked meals. “The introductory fascination pushed me to pursue a career in the food industry,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Tribune.

Thus, he obtained a Culinary Arts degree from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. Here, he strengthened his core foundations to soon be an integral member of the family food business. It has since expanded to multiple branches and is now ready to entertain franchisees. He believes learning is an unending process. “We have to live and adapt to it,” he declared.

“With my early penchant for international cuisine, my first internship was at the Vatel Restaurant Manila, an authentic French fine dining hideaway. I then honed my skills as a junior chef at Sofitel Manila,” he recounted. “In 2018 I took another course at The International Culinary Center in New York City, USA,” he continued.

Now armed with new techniques, skills, and knowledge, Chef Gerick has since chased a route to be a content creator on Facebook and Instagram. “I plan ahead of time. It has to be well thought out. I rehearse and I do not rush to shoot. I never compromise quality,” he firmly stated when asked about non-negotiables on his projects.

Simultaneously, the young culinarian has delved into television acting on GMA-7.

“I recently enrolled in The Actors Academy to help me improve my acting skills. I realized it’s a totally different craft in an entirely different world. I am happy and learning a lot being an actor!” he confessed.

When given a chance, he would love to be on a cooking show with fellow Benilde alumnus Chef RV Manabat, the social media superstar who unselfishly shares his budget-friendly recipes and runs his notable eponymous café in Biñan, Laguna.

In Chef Gerick’s free time, he engages in obstacle races and physical activities to maintain his fitness goals. “I also experiment other recipes that might be a valuable addition for my cooking videos.”

Looking forward, some collaborations are brewing with the brands he endorses on social media. He likewise plans to put up an all-day breakfast restaurant. “So watch out and stay tuned!” he interjected cheerfully.

Let’s hear from Chef Gerick:

On True ID Philippines:
I hosted the Guilt — Free Foodie in True ID Philippines, an Indonesian video streaming franchise. The show featured healthier alternative recipes for enthusiasts. It was a challenge, but it was a fulfilling experience. We managed to pull off a great series for the foodies out there.

On ASMR cooking:
Lately, I’ve been doing some ASMR cooking, which focuses on the sounds and sensations during food preparation. I recently uploaded some of my samples on YouTube and Instagram accounts. It’s really fun to find what drives you to be creative. The final output will always be the reward for it, especially when you produce your exact vision.

On pressure:
The pressure probably comes from social media dilemma that most of us experience today. We tend to seek affirmation and acceptance from our audience. This may lead to anxiety and depression. We have to remember that these are all manifestations of the expectations from society. But at the end of the day, our only competition is ourselves.

On advice to aspiring chefs:
You have to have the heart and the know-how. But above all else, we must remember that we cook to share happiness by showcasing the amazing world of the human palate, culture and creativity through our common bond: Food.

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