Around this time three years ago, from January 15 to 19, 2015, Pope Francis visited the Philippines. It was a wonderful affair with Filipinos from all over the country flocking to the streets just to catch a glimpse of the Holy Father. Unfortunately, I didn’t see him in person, but I was glued to my television screen that whole week, drinking in every word he said. I loved his speech for the youth at the University of Sto. Tomas and was particularly struck by this quote: “Allow yourselves to be surprised by the love of God. That will guarantee a good life.”
A few months ago, I had the privilege of meeting a woman who got up close and personal with Pope Francis. Chef Jessie Sincioco prepared all the Holy Father’s meals during his time in Manila. I interviewed her for My Pope Philippines’ November issue and was so inspired by her enthusiasm and love for the Pope. (She even visited him in Rome to personally deliver his favorite fruit: Philippine mangoes!)
Photographer Victor Guerrero captures the ever-smiling chef on camera
Chef Jessie wasn’t just inspired by the Pope—she was also moved to action. Since a lot of people had been asking about the meals she prepared, she decided to offer all the Pope’s menus at her restaurant, Chef Jessie Rockwell Club. During the shoot, we were able to try some of the dishes and they were mouth-watering. Not only did she use premium ingredients, she also prepared them with love. She personally served the food to me and photographer Vic and this really touched me. I felt so special because I was being served by the woman who served the Pope!
Beef consommé with herbed dumplings, roast U.S. black angus beef au jus served with baked potato and steamed broccoli florets, and Chilean sea bass in tomato artichoke heart sauce served with grilled vegetables and wild rice risotto—these were just some of the Holy Father’s favorite meals during his Manila visit.
When Chef Jessie served Pope Francis the flambéed mango with mantecado ice cream for dessert, she said “simot na simot” and he was even scraping the glass. It was that good.
If you’d like to try this sumptuous meal, the Holy Father’s menus will be served in Chef Jessie Rockwell Club (G/F Amorsolo Square, Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati) from January 15 to February 15, 2018. Not only will your bellies be happy, your heart will be full too because 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Tulay Ng Kabataan, a foundation for street children that Pope Francis visited.
And as if this whole experience wasn’t a big enough blessing, the My Pope team informed me that Il Mio Papa, their Italian counterpart, picked up my story and ran it in one of their issues. How cool is that? I have an article published in an Italian magazine! Woohoo!
It was such an honor to meet Chef Jessie and hear all about her experiences with the Pope. Thank you, My Pope Philippines! Check out the article published in the November 2017 issue.
And for more inspiring stories to lift your hearts and spirits, grab a copy of My Pope Philippines in book stores and magazine stands nationwide.