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‘Simpol’ solutions to cooking challenges

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In 1996, an idea hit chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou. He wanted to let people know they don’t have to spend a lot on delicious, satisfying and healthy meals for their respective families.

At the time, other chefs had been shifting from fancy to real-life cooking, using ingredients readily available to create simple but yummy food. He put up a show on YouTube called Simple — which was all about basic, no-frills, doable dishes.

The show added to his busy schedule as a resident chef of a morning TV show, operating two restaurants, developing recipes and doing cooking demos for sponsors.

When the pandemic struck and the Luzon lockdown was imposed in March 2020 which shuttered the food and beverage industry, Tatung thought of ways to deal with the crisis.

Killer Alimango sa Aligue.

He converted a part of his house into a kitchen studio to shoot videos of easy-to-prepare dishes for his YouTube show, whose title he tweaked as Simpol.

The show became a hit. His subscribers soared to 15 million viewers per month. Chef Tatung rose to YouTube fame.

Now he’s a best-selling cookbook author, too! Simpol the Cookbook, released in Christmas 2020, sold out in one week. Stocks have since been replenished, and the book continues to sell fast on Lazada and Shopee at P350 per copy.

Chinese-style fresh lumpia. / PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF DOLLY DY-ZULUETA

The featured recipes teach readers how to cook chicken, pork, beef, vegetable, seafood, rice and noodle dishes inspired by Filipino classics and global favorites.

The ingredients are grouped in their order of appearance. Instructions are clear and straight to the point.

Chef Myke Tatung Sarthou.

Adding fun to cooking
And with the twists that he introduces into familiar dishes, he encourages everyone to think out of the box and not be afraid to try unconventional combinations of ingredients and cooking techniques.

He added fun to cooking.

“Simpol the Cookbook is not just about simple recipes; it is also about embracing a more open mindset so we are able to focus on what is doable in our lives — ‘simpol’ solutions to everyday cooking challenges,” says Tatung.

Spanish-style bangus.

Each recipe comes with a QR code that, when scanned, provides the link to a video showing Tatung demonstrating how the dish is cooked, with tips on how to inject twists to make the recipe different.

How cool and ‘simpol’!

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