Executive Chef Manny did an outstanding job for the BCPMA / BCAA Healthy Chef event by appearing mid-day on CTV with weather specialist Marke Driesschen, who also happened to be the emcee for the event. Thank you very much! The pretend cooking and the magic of TV worked very well. Check out the link on the Media Notes and Publicity page (click on the small square box in the upper left corner for the full menu)
Chef Manuel Carganilla Jr. was born in in Roxas, Isabella Phillipines before immigrating to Vancouver, Canada with his family when he was 10.
Initially it was expected that he would follow in the footsteps of his siblings and become a nurse, which was not what he wanted. He had already developed a love for food from watching The Food Network and eating out with family and friends, so with that passion for cooking he made a career turn and instead attended VCC Culinary School during 2005-2006.
From there he landed a part time jobs at the Convention Center as a part time prep cook and as commis-chef at the River Rock Casino Resort during 2006-2007. He was then offered a full time position and would move up positions from commis-chef to demi-chef to chef-de-partie while simultaneously completing his Red-seal training apprenticeship from 2008-2011.
When he was offered an Executive Sous Chef (Restaurant Chef) position at Carvers inside the Executive-Inn Airport Plaza Hotel located in Richmond BC he decided it was time to expand his knowledge and skills and began training under the company’s Executive Chains Corporate Chef.
He would leave Carvers Restaurant after a few years to take a Sous-chef Position role at Hard-rock Casino Resort until he was offered the Executive Chef at The Executive Hotel Plaza in Coquitlam BC where you will find him now in charge of the daily operation of the Hotel.
Although he has a Filipino roots, he prefers to cook in “Western” style, which has French/Italian influences and keeps the traditional dishes as the comfort food he eats at home.
THE WILD FIG RESTAURANT
Located in Coquitlam, BC, the wild fig is a new concept for a fine dining restaurant, bar and lounge. Our menu features the freshest local ingredients in a vibrant array of global dishes. Savour recipes from true fusion cuisine and comfort foods with a twist to our mouth watering slow roasted prime rib. Enjoy our fresh take on a classic cocktail or try one of our own handcrafted creations. Every weekend we have live entertainment featuring local artists from a variety of genres. Needless to say there is something for everyone and we think you will enjoy what we have to offer
We had an informal Q&A with Executive Chef Manny :
What do you feel is an under rated fruit or veggie? Celery, we often used it on our vegetable sticks, stews, soups and sauces but we don’t give it enough credit. When we bring ingredients to form a menu, usually does not stand out and we take it for granted; its crunchy and solid texture but can be very tasty when cooked or braised until tender.
Best way to eat a mango, a pineapple or a kiwi? The best way to eat mango, pineapple kiwi for me would be on a parfait glass with some plain yogurt. Mix a bit of simple syrup on the fruits (diced) and top it off with plain yogurt and some honey granola; you got yourself a fine healthy refreshing breakfast or snack. A fruit or veggie you used to hate/dislike but now can't live without? A vegetable that I used to hate was mushroom. For some reason I used to hate the taste and flavor cause it would give me this headache feeling. I wasn’t sure if it’s the aroma, smell or taste after it’s cooked but it didn’t give me a good feeling afterwards. Eventually when I started home cooking at a young age and moving forward, that awkward feeling went away and it became one of the necessities I would put in my dishes and gradually started liking the flavor and the variety options of mushrooms.
Two to Three essential veggies? Three essential veggies for me would be tomatoes, carrots, and asparagus
Two to three essential fruits? Three essential fruits for me would be orange, pear and blueberries
Your three favorite spices? My three favorite spices would be Cajun spice, paprika, porcini powder
Current favorite apple and why? My favorite apple would be the Ambrosia as its unique rich and flavourful. Its versatile use for salad, dessert and also cooking
Current favorite citrus and why? My current favorite citrus is Blood-Orange as it’s got a finer sweet flavour than your typical orange. It looks darker than grapefruit but no bitter taste
Do you have a favourite local farmer? I don’t really have a favorite local farmer but our Richmond and Langley bound are both fairly good options I think
Do you compost? Yes I do organize my organic wastage at work and at home, however they’re picked up by the waste management as I don’t have space and time to process it to use for planting or gardening
Why are you entering the Healthy Chef Competition? It’s a good public exposure for the property that I run as well as the Wild Fig, the restaurant within the hotel. At the same time exposing and training my younger cooks to these events makes them better well-rounded cooks and perhaps even chefs one day WILDFIG.CA