(This feature was published in GMA News Online last August 22, 2014)
A slender lady dressed in a chef’s coat brought a plate of fries over to a young boy seated beside his older sister from across our table. It seemed such a casual act that I didn’t think the lady was a celebrity chef. It was, in fact, cookbook author and television host, Bal Arneson who stars in both the “Spice of Life with Bal Arneson” and “Spice Goddess” in the Asian Food Channel.
I love watching all kinds of cooking shows and I’d seen this particular chef create delicious-looking Indian cuisine in her shows. In some episodes, I saw her two kids, 20-year-old daughter Anoop, and 10-year-old son Aaron, help her in the kitchen. It was obvious how their close family ties played a big role in the program.
The chef and her children were recently in Manila for the “Bal Arneson Spice Adventure” tour. Based in Vancouver, Canada, they traveled a thousand miles across the world for their Asian tour, which included stops in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Of mangoes and kare-kare
It was their first time to step foot in the urban jungle of Metro Manila and their eyes were glistening with excitement. While in Manila, they explored the streets to sample local fare.
“We’ve been checking out the street markets. So we’ve been eating just street market food because I’m like, ‘don’t take me to fancy places, just take me to the streets where locals eat,’” disclosed the down-to-earth chef.
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