ANTHONY BOURDAIN: 4 Tips for Filipino Entrepreneurs

“I want to experience food emotionally like a child.” (Anthony Bourdain)

Chef, author and TV host. Anthony Bourdain comes to Manila and shares some lessons about street food business, and life in general.


BOURDAIN: “First thing I consider is, is it delicious? Are there a lot of locals eating there? As far as Filipino street food, is sisig street food? If it is, I love it.”

The first ingredient for the recipe of success is the YES to the question above. Is it delicious? This holds true for other ventures — is your product good? A measure to know if this is true, is when people keep coming back for your product.


BOURDAIN: “Things that are just good that people keep coming back to, year after year after year, recipes that never change. Quality proves itself over time.”

There’s nothing wrong with fusion. Classics being tweaked to make the original recipe more interesting, creative and even surprising. You can add those items to the menu, but don’t let go of the time-tested classics. Preserve original recipes the way our ancestors prepared them. This helps preserve and protect our culture and our roots.

For the all-time favorites, keep them.

For me, this can also be applied in other aspects. The quality of one’s product, I believe, should remain in tact regardless the situation. Whether the clients are good or unprofessional, whether there’s a big crowd or just a couple of patrons around, or whether the staff you work with are kind or toxic… the product’s quality should remain the same.


BOURDAIN: “I don’t think it’s necessary to make authentic food to be successful selling street food. If people want to do Korean tacos or their own second and third generation takes of those classics, that’s great!”

Selling classics doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of the story. If one can create something based on a classic recipe and invent a new masterpiece, why not? If that’s your thing, then go ahead. While authentic dishes are good for our gastronomic heritage, adapting to change can also be helpful.

That’s my take on what Bourdain was saying. For example, one can be very good at writing, but is not well-versed when it comes to technology… then he or she should learn to adapt. Many bloggers whose passion is writing have invested time and effort to learn about creating websites even if it drains the life out of them.

Yes we should focus on developing our strengths, and though we have weaknesses, adapting is a very important ingredient to success. To learn new things. To embrace courage zone. To accept our weaknesses and improve on it, to support our strengths.

I just watched the movie “Spiderman Homecoming” and learned that the actor Tom Holland who plays Spiderman, had a major weakness — his British accent. He’s good in acting and gymnastics, but the role required an American accent. Just because he had this weakness didn’t mean he’d let go of the role and say “I’d rather focus on my strengths, than work on my weakness.” No way! He chose to ADAPT and took classes to develop his American accent, while still focusing on his strengths in acting and gymnastics needed also for the role. (Sorry, is this off-topic? It’s the Spiderman hype taking over)


BOURDAIN: “Show up on time. Show the respect for the people you’re dealing with. Skills can be taught, character you either have it or you don’t have.”

Hahaha! Filipino time just came to mind. Being early is the way to go, whether others are late, early or on time. It’s difficult when you know that a certain program won’t start on time, or when you know delays will happen. Arriving early feels like a part of your life has been robbed from you when everything else is delayed and you could’ve slept some more or accomplished other things. But that’s okay. Still, be on time. Better yet, be early and be patient. As Joyce Meyer said, “patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.”

Photo courtesy of Globe myBusiness: KF See Toh, Creator and Curator of World Street Food Congress and Founder of Makansutra and WSFC 2017 Keynote Speaker and Renowned Chef Anthony Bourdain with: (seated) Globe Director for Video Content, Kat Ramnani; Globe myBusiness VP and Segment Marketing Head Debbie Obias; (standing) Globe Studios Director Quark Henares; and Globe myBusiness Digital Marketing Manager Raisa Ver.

The quotes above from Bourdain are based on the video posted by Globe myBusiness when they interviewed him for the World Street Food Congress 2017 held in Manila from May 31, 2017 to June 4, 2017. Click here to watch the video:

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