Geraldine Zialcita The Anchor of Their Soul.
Geraldine Zialcita The Anchor of Their Soul. | Foto: Geraldine Zialcita The Anchor of Their Soul.

The Anchor of Their Soul.

Por: Diego Cerón

7, October, 2022 en Business Concept

The Anchor of Their Soul by Geraldine Zialcita.

For the De Asis family, food is synonymous with family matched with their secret ingredients of love, joy, and a celebration of life.

Cristina, the matriarch of the family demonstrates her language of love through food. Growing up, Cristina was exposed to her father’s fishing business. “My father started his fishing business when I was five years old. At twelve years old, my older brother and I would spend our early mornings literally getting our hands dirty shucking scallops and removing shrimp heads in our mother’s kitchen. It was only natural that my mother had me shadowing her while she prepared family meals of mostly seafood,” Cristina shares.

With a strong yearning to take care of people, Cristina’s childhood dream was to be a doctor. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy, and although she didn’t become involved in the medical field, Cristina has helped numerous people acquire jobs and unleash their potential in the food/restaurant industry. She raised three beautiful and talented children in Bacolod, Philippines, confirming they are the best thing that has ever happened to her and is indeed her priceless possessions.

Extending her love for cooking, Cristina exposed her three children Nico, Krishia, and Danielle to the comforts and delights of food―an interpretation of love and joy―a festivity of life.
Nico, the eldest son of the family enjoyed playing basketball in grade school and was part of the school team who often dreamed of playing in the big leagues. Yet, at fourteen years old, Nico found his true calling in cooking. He had high hopes of traveling abroad, and eventually working as a chef, and owning his restaurant. Little did Nico know, he was already manifesting what was yet to come.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

Krishia, the second to the eldest child dreamed of becoming a ballerina. She would march down the hallway in a tutu and her pointe shoes and do a pirouette. While dance has always been her first love, Krishia has always been fond of learning new languages, different cultures, literature, history books, and mythology. Unbeknownst to her, Krishia, would later on, stumble upon the marketing field proving to be her strength and strongest asset.

Danielle, the youngest daughter of the family knew what she truly wanted from the very start—to own her own business. The universe was building bricks to form the foundation to pave the way to her true purpose.
Since inspiration is the grain of creativity and imagination, the family share where they draw their source.

“Traveling with my family provides precious bonding moments. It is during my travels when I am most relaxed and where I gain new insights. The thought of bringing those new ideas home and making them work in my local environment excites me to no end,” Cristina affirms.

“I find inspiration in my travels, books, people I love, chefs I admire, nature, seasonal produce, concepts, ideas, happy moments, and daily life,” Nico shares.

“I’m usually inspired by the things I see or experience when I travel. Traveling is sacred to me and it is always humbling to see that the world is so much bigger than we imagine it to be,” Krishia relays.

“My inspiration comes from the people I love and the things that catch my attention. I put a lot of myself in my craft and it’s translated in the things I make,” Danielle states.

Food translates to a broad meaning for people and the De Asis family, food is a manifestation of their love. Cristina appreciates how food gathers people together, evoking pleasant childhood memories and the warmth of camaraderie. She recognizes how food can easily transform a lousy day into something special. For Nico, food is sustenance, pleasure, a lifestyle, and a way of life. Krishia acknowledges that food is a form of communication that connects people in the simplest yet most heartwarming of ways. Food tastes better when shared with loved ones. Danielle affirms that food symbolizes her reconnection to the memories that she wants to relive—the milestones she has celebrated, the people she has shared a meal with, the homes she has entered, and the places she has been to. Food is nostalgic and brings her back to her fondest memories.

The family grew up surrounded by delicious cuisines. Cristina immersed her family in gastronomical adventures which injected fond memories for her children and also shaped their lives.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

“I feel fortunate to have a mom who cooks well. As a kid, I would often tag alongside her in wet markets and she has taught me a great deal especially when it comes to seafood. She is an adventurous cook and always seeks to learn new recipes often venturing out of her repertoire of dishes. I remember my mom regularly purchasing cookbooks of different cuisines and trying out recipes. I would oftentimes be the recipient of trial-and-error dishes. I’ve always enjoyed the eating part. From a young age, I found myself browsing her cookbooks. In hindsight, those might have been the moments that planted a seed in my mind which steered me into becoming a chef,” Nico defines.

“I feel very lucky to have a Mom that cooks so well. The most celebrated part of our home is our kitchen. I have been to a lot of places but nothing hits home like a mother’s cooking. The comfort I feel with every bite is indescribable,” Krishia connotes.

“Growing up, I remember being so excited to open my pembrera at lunch and see what my mom has packed for me. Food is my mom’s language of love. When I was living in New York, my mom visited me and I would come home to her cooking big batches of meals to stock up my fridge for when she leaves. No matter where life takes me, my mom’s cooking is a reminder of who I am and where I came from,” Danielle reveals.
Since food is what unites the family together with love, joy, and harmony, they give us a glimpse of their favorite dishes and cuisines.

“My favorite dishes are Roast Goose from Yat Lok in Hong Kong, oysters steamed in sake from the Sapporo Nijo Market, and Callos a la Madrileña from a random hole-in-the-wall tapas bar we stumbled upon in Madrid. My favorite cuisine is Spanish because I mostly cook Spanish recipes, but I also enjoy Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern recipes,” Cristina says.

“Soups have always had a special place in my heart, Cansi from Sharyns, and Pochero from Sabel’s in Cebu. Noodle soups almost always hit the spot for me, be it a Braised Beef Offal Noodle Soup in Hong Kong, Laksa at Penang’s Chowrasta Market, Bacolod Batchoy, to Miso Ramen in Sapporo. Other notable mentions, are Bacolod Chicken Inasal from Nena’s in Bacolod, a seafood dampa style meal in Hyksos Restaurant in Bacolod, Rigatoni with Foie Gras, Marsala, and Truffle from Acquerello, in San Francisco, Lobster and Chestnut Ravioli and Lobster Velouté from Le Louis XV in Monaco, and Callos a la Madrileña from San Mames in Madrid. Outside of Filipino cuisine, I consider Cantonese cuisine my first love as it is the first cuisine I was exposed to. French cuisine for its seasonality and is the base of my training. I love eating the food and I am in awe of the rigor, the attention to detail, and the technique they put into each preparation,” Nico elaborates.

“Aside from my Mom’s cooking and our local cuisine, my favorites are the Roasted Pigeon and figs with stuffed profiteroles from Restaurante Iván Cerdeño in Toledo, the Falsa Lasagna de Txangurro and the Tarta Dispersa by Restaurante Sacha in Madrid, the Lechazo Asado from Asador Chuleta Balcon del Duero in Burgos, and Cocido Madrileño by my Spanish foster, Mama Eva. I love Spanish cuisine because Spain was my home away from home at one point in my life. Italian simply because less is more. Japanese because Tsukiji is heaven on earth,” Krishia details.

“Dessert is the best part of a meal. Desserts I wouldn’t mind having, again and again, are the Tarta Dispersa from Restaurante Sacha in Madrid, the Pistachio Cake from Antico Caffé Greco in Rome, Profiteroles from Cafe Constant in Paris, the New York Cheesecake from Two Little Red Hens in Manhattan. I love anything Asian because anywhere with a bowl of rice is home. I love Japanese and have never had a bad meal in Japan, not even in the airport or convenience stores. Cantonese is also one of my favorites,” Danielle illustrates.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

In 2007, Cristina established Bacolod Chicken Parilla restaurant in Manila to introduce the much-loved Ilonggo dishes. Bacolod Chicken Parilla served to lay the groundwork for what was yet to unfold in the lives of the De Asis family. “Bacolod Chicken Parilla was born out of our love for Chicken Inasal and sharing the authentic Inasal experience with Manila. To achieve the most authentic Inasal, we source our vinegar from Negros which we ferment and ship regularly to Manila. The restaurant is also known for home-style Negrense dishes that are not easily available in Manila. Most notably, the Cansi―the Negrense version of Bulalo Soured with Batuan, Laswa—a rustic vegetable soup made distinct with the use of fresh baby shrimp that we ship from Bacolod,” Cristina briefs.

Nico was the pioneer batch who graduated from Enderun Colleges with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Hospitality Management specializing in Culinary Arts. Nico credits his mentors: École Ducasse’s best Culinary Head Chef See Cheong Yan, Chef Marc Chalopin, and Chef Cyril Ermita who have molded the art of cooking for him. During his senior year, Nico was chosen to stage under revered monsieur, French Chef Alain Ducasse at his Parisian flagship restaurant La Cour Jardin au Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, and at the prominent Makati Shangri-la hotel.

“After my stage in one of Alain Ducasse’s restaurants in Plaza Athenée Paris, I came to admire him more not only for being a chef but also for being a master at spotting and nurturing talent within his brigade. Being a trailblazer and trendsetter in the industry and being able to open and run multiple restaurants with varying concepts all around the world. I also admire my mentor Chef See Cheong Yan for being able to nurture and inspire young cooks like myself to forge a better career path and sound life decisions,” Nico briefs.

On April 2013, with his family’s guidance and assistance, Nico spearheaded Terrasse Bistro which offers French and European cuisine inspired by the bistros in Paris. Rated as one of the top destinations in Bacolod, Terrasse Bistro is known for its elegant aesthetics that sets an inviting tone to indulge in. They do other meat preparations as well as seasonal dishes where Nico uses the finest local seafood and produce, prepared with French technique. “After a couple of years running Terrasse, we decided to add our catering arm, Banquet by Terrasse, finally giving in to the requests of many of our clients,” Nico informs.

Spreading his wings further, in February 2016, Nico decided to pay tribute to his heritage by launching Portiko, a Filipino/Asian cafe and bar concept. Located in a repurposed 60s-70s era house, Portiko provides a spacious venue for special occasions like birthdays, debuts, state dinners for foreign dignitaries, and a popular nightspot for the young and young at heart. With a strong local following, Portiko’s most sought-after dishes are Scarface―crispy pig’s head, Sizzling Cansi in Batuan Gravy, and many more. They also offer Asian specialties. “If I had the chance to cook in someone’s kitchen, it would be of Paul Bocuse. I would cook for him Kinilaw or Filipino Ceviche, a recipe by our family cook of over 40 years, and Portiko’s Scarface or crispy fried pigs head.” Nico smiles.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

With a burning passion for sharpening his craft, Nico often travels abroad to keep abreast with the methods and trends of the best chefs. This has enabled him to engage in several stages de cuisine in Michelin-starred restaurants in New York. With the right grounding from his mother and the help of his two sisters, Nico has been able to express his passion and creativity through his love of food. “I use my creativity sparingly as I don’t want to be creative just for the sake of being creative. Before I get creative, I try to understand the core of the dish. I never compromise on flavor and always put myself in the shoes of my audience/diners to figure out what emotions I want to evoke from them through my food,” Nico explains.

“Being a family-run enterprise, we are obligated to take on different roles outside of cooking. From Purchasing, R&D, PR, logistics, and office work, to dishwashing. We make it a point to not shy away from menial jobs to set the culture within the company and inspire our team that no job is too small or a task too big as long as we work as a team. I’d be the first to admit that there are many flaws and shortcomings on my end and I’m fortunate that I have a strong support system and a family that covers the bases when I could not,” Nico imparts.

Although running a chain of restaurants requires hard work, flexibility, and determination, Nico loves all the angles of his pursuits. “First and foremost, I enjoy cooking. I also appreciate the lifestyle of meeting new and interesting people as well as developing genuine relationships with clients over the years. Through the restaurant and most especially our catering arm, Banquets by Terrasse, I find it very humbling at the same time incredibly rewarding to be able to be entrusted by our clients to cater to their life’s most important milestones.” Nico smiles.

After all these years, Nico has grasped ample knowledge, skills, and experience in his culinary career. “I’ve learned to be more patient, to work smarter and more efficiently. I learned to always value the team around me and surround myself with the best people. I always remind myself that you are only as good as your last plate since we should always be on our toes and seek to continuously improve our craft,” he says.
Being in the restaurant business imposes challenges, but with the support of his family, Nico has been able to overcome these obstacles. “We have encountered various challenges in the short period we have been restaurateurs. The most difficult and longest would be the pandemic. Currently, with the industry getting back on its feet, it’s still an uphill battle for us as we tackle a worsening Philippine economy, product shortages, staff shortages, skyrocketing labor and fuel prices, global logistic delays of products, and many more,” Nico vocalizes.

The restaurant industry was severely impacted by the pandemic from people losing their livelihood to being forced to innovate their strategies. Nico and his family extended their efforts to help their cooks, waiters, and staff cope during this crisis. “The pandemic taught me that life is short and you must hold dear to your loved ones. We learned to be resilient as well as to give back to the community and be the best version of ourselves. Our team at Portiko held a community kitchen last March 2020. We started a donation drive where the community in Bacolod would donate goods to the restaurant which our team prepared. Portiko had sent out over 12,000 meals for 10 days. The meals were distributed to hospitals for medical staff, firemen, law enforcement, and various frontliners that stood between us and the virus in the early stages of the pandemic. The pandemic also taught us to be more kind to ourselves. Being from a toxic and high-stress industry, we are often consumed by this broken system. The pandemic taught us to reevaluate what’s most important, to keep things simple, and go back to basics,” Nico unveils.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

During the height of the pandemic, the world stopped and people were lost, confused, and hopeless about what lay ahead. The De Asis family sought comfort in what they knew best―food. While people tried to search for meaning during the lockdown, Danielle discovered her silver lining―baking. “I started baking Cinnamon Rolls, Croissants, and Chocolate Chip Cookies and sold them to friends and family. I didn’t have the manpower to carry out certain tasks. I had to learn how to do everything, from baking to logistics. I taught myself how to code my website to bridge the gap between suppliers and consumers by modernizing our systems during the lockdown. I never anticipated the growth and positive reviews. It has been such a rewarding experience,” Danielle expresses. “The pandemic provided valuable lessons about food, work, and life. I discovered that a potato can be cooked in a million different ways. I learned to appreciate the simplest of things. For work, I learned that there is no better driver than necessity. We had to pivot and think of more creative ways to keep the business afloat, especially for the people that depend on us. In the most difficult situation in life, you have to make it out stronger,” Danielle adds.

Danielle graduated from Enderun Colleges with a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management with a Specialization in Culinary Arts. She interned in Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen in New York where she had the opportunity to experience the most efficient system in his restaurant. “We were a machine. A perfect mix of passion and business.” Danielle smiles.

Danielle has always been in awe of Cedric Grolet’s hyperrealistic confections and being able to focus on one ingredient as the main character to maximize flavor. “If I had a choice to bake in someone’s kitchen, it would be Betty Crocker’s. I would love to show her how I made her box brownies when I was little. She was my childhood hero until I found out she wasn’t real,” Danielle grins.

Focusing on the intricate details and never cutting corners to deliver the best fresh and tasty delicacies are Danielle’s strongest pursuits. Danielle’s sweet indulgences are a manifestation of her creativity and passion. Her love and learning of the craft are evident in every bite. “The food I make is a window to my soul. A lot of it is based on my mood or my current cravings. As cliché as it may sound, my job does not feel like a job. I like how every time is a different experience. It never gets boring. The kitchen is no place for someone who cannot handle the pressure. A lot say that working in the kitchen is going to be the best and worst time of your life. Usually in the same night, often in the same hour,” Danielle voices out.

Blazing the trail and with the help of her family, Danielle is taking her concept to the next level. Soon to open, Gorda Pastelería Artesania, her brainchild, will feature all the lavish desserts and pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth together with main dishes to fill your empty stomachs. To complement Gorda, they will be opening a gifting studio, Fêtes & Folk which showcases unique items ranging from natural wines, homeware, and body care, to premium chocolates, specialty teas and coffee, and many more.

“Gorda and Fêtes & Folk is a culmination of our ideas and individual skill. Nico pushing hot plates, Krishia curating gifts, and me letting the dough rise, all being overseen by our Mom. We create brands that complement, and never compete while giving our clients a different experience each time. We are currently building Gorda’s and Fêtes & Folk’s first physical store. I am so lucky to have my family guiding me. The biggest challenge for me is living up to expectations and being at par with the brands we’ve created before. We take a lot of pride in the work that we do so we hold ourselves to a high standard. I think it all comes naturally. My mom raised us three on her own and that alone made us close. As siblings, we acknowledge each other’s strengths and weaknesses, that’s how we tackle day-to-day tasks and challenges. At the end of the day, we share one dinner table so we just make sure that no matter what happens in the business, we remind ourselves that before anything, we are a family,” Danielle emphasizes.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

While Cristina, Nico, and Danielle are busy cooking and baking, Krishia manages the marketing arm of the family businesses. Krishia graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in European Studies Major in International Relations, Double Minor in French and Hispanic Studies from Ateneo de Manila. “I lived and studied in Spain when I was sixteen years old. I stayed with a foster family for a year in 2008 then returned in 2012 for my internship at the Philippine Embassy in Madrid,” Krishia informs.

Krishia represents the brand vision and defines its mission in maintaining aesthetics, quality, and consistency. Whether she’s meeting with clients, posting the latest announcements on social media, or screening for new products to add to their upcoming Fêtes & Folk’s studio, Krishia takes pride in offering deluxe quality and services. She values the concept, packaging, and delivering the right message to their consumers. Krishia focuses on establishing the right branding.

“We like to keep things simple and never a hard sell. It’s just not who we are as a brand. Instead of posting promos on social media, we like posting real-time videos showcasing a bountiful spread of hors d’œuvrés, a sea of Danielle’s mouthwatering pastries, or an exquisitely plated dish by Nico. We never post anything we haven’t already done. No promises in our content—just results. When we first opened Terrasse in 2013, we decided not to have any social media accounts for the first eight months. We wanted to promote it by word of mouth―the purest, most organic, and yet the most fulfilling way possible. We were fortunate that we garnered a following and here we are nine years strong and still moving forward. That was a time when we built ground up, how we presented ourselves and our brand to our consumers, how we forged relationships with suppliers and clients. With Terrasse, we didn’t hit the ground running, but we made sure that we created a brand with a strong foundation and a vision that transcends the idea of starting a business just to earn a profit. Terrasse enables us to forge our legacy,” Krishia declares.

At the forefront of the businesses, Krishia understands the joys and pitfalls of operations. “I love that my job doesn’t feel like a job and I get to do everything with the people that matter most to me. And the eating part, of course,” Krishia quips. “Dealing with people for me is as simple as it is complex, be it with staff or customers. To create a personalized touch, I am always reachable because clients feel special when you are accessible to them. A single reply can lead to great rapport and longstanding relationships with clients,” she adds.

With the rise of social media and digital marketing, Krishia remains genuine in her marketing efforts to show their clients the real deal. “I post not only on our business accounts but also on my personal account, that way clients can also see that I am as much a consumer as I am a business owner. Showing that duality assures them that I know the market or I have tested the product and that it means I am sold on the things I sell. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be vouching for them. Credibility is priceless and takes the most time to build,” Krishia defines.

Krishia uses her skills and assets to promote organically, communicate effectively with clients, and inject harmony into her team. “Lack of communication is the cause of conflict ninety percent of the time. Based on my experience, at least, there is nothing a smile and a good conversation can’t fix. I would describe myself as the dark horse in the catering department. Cooking is not my forte but I can say that my strengths are in logistics, coordination, and branding. I always say the devil is in the details and don’t leave a stone unturned. And they say I have my Mom’s eyes—we see things others cannot. I love being on the field. Outside the kitchen, I hold the battle standard.” She smiles.

Being part of the family business, Krishia complements their abilities and balances their differences by trusting one another. “We acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and respect each other’s field of expertise. Cariño brutal is our love language. We are each other’s staunchest supporters and unkindest critics. You know what they say―the more you hate, the more you appreciate!” She winks.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

The pandemic taught Krishia meaningful values about food, work, and life. “During the lockdown, I felt even closer to my family and I realized that the most important things that matter in life don’t have a price tag. We live and grew up with my Mom’s side of the family. Food became our favorite pastime. Cook-offs and themed dinners became a staple in our home. Work was put on hold but we were able to rest because at the rate we were going pre-pandemic, rest was necessary. It allowed us to find our center again. Work became more mental than physical. It was during this time that the concepts of Gorda and Fêtes & Folk were born, and the time of Terrasse premium take-out boxes to survive the dining disaster. The pandemic was a very challenging time for all of us and we just channeled our energy into developing new concepts. There was nothing else we could have done except hold tight, stay positive, and keep our minds open to find ways to adapt to the new normal. The pandemic was a dark time for the entire world but for us, business-wise, I think of it as slingshot―one step back, three steps forward,” Krishia reveals.

Staying true to her vision of helping people, Cristina handles the human resources side of her restaurant chains which can be the most challenging area in the industry. “Advising my children on how to navigate this sensitive area of the business is one of my key responsibilities. I also make sure to point out the details in our operations they might have missed,” Cristina states.

As the leader of the family, Cristina values her role and responsibilities. She operates with love and joy, taking the road less traveled to be always true to herself and what she offers. “I find pleasure in looking up new recipes, experimenting in the kitchen, and watching my family’s reaction to the taste of the new things I come up with. What gives me the most joy is the gratification and fulfillment I feel when I get positive feedback from the people we serve. Although I may not be a chef by training, I have survived in this industry because I have chosen to be original and truthful in all that I do. Being a chef or having the capital to open a restaurant is not enough. Authenticity and ingenuity coupled with hard work and the passion for what you do is the recipe for success,” Cristina discloses.

Despite all the accolades, Cristina is no stranger to the growing pains of managing a chain of restaurants. She works hard, maximizing her abilities to deliver the best quality standards for the consumers. “The biggest challenge has always been the Human Resources side. Directing your entire staff to work as a team like a well-oiled machine takes a lot of skill, patience, and understanding of human nature. Each time I stumble upon good employees I make sure to treat them well because good workers are hard to find nowadays,” Cristina unveils.

When Covid-19 struck the world, the pandemic affected so many people especially the food and restaurant industry since they were forced to close during the lockdown. It was during these fragile moments, were people cherished the basic things that matter in life. “Gorda was conceptualized during the dark moments of the lockdown and amidst all the economic uncertainty of this pandemic. I learned that good things can emerge from a bad situation. Transforming a crisis into an opportunity is very gratifying. You need to be adaptable to change to work things out. Our family was badly hit by the first and most dangerous wave of Covid-19. Almost losing a few of our loved ones in one go shook me up pretty bad and made me realize how inconsequential material things are. Realizing how things can be stripped with a blink of an eye is quite frightening and we should value what matters most,” Cristina reveals.

Bouncing back stronger and wiser, Cristina’s priorities have always been her family. Working together, having fun as a family, and most of all loving one another have kept their relationships solid. “Each of my three children has their strengths which beautifully complement each other most naturally and have been very advantageous to our business. As their mother, I instinctively act as a mediator when minor conflicts arise,” Cristina relays.

In a nutshell, they are a generational family that truly defines the art of food and values the significant principles they have learned while growing up.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

“My mother always told me that your current mood when you’re cooking will reflect in the taste of the food you make. She also taught me that the value of food increases when it is shared with others. I imbibed the principle of hard work from my father who taught very clearly by example. Both my parents trained my siblings and me to work hard very early in our lives,” Cristina informs.

“My mother taught me about persistence, a thirst for learning, always putting out quality work, and giving your best effort,” Nico conveys.

“Mom often mentioned food always tastes better when shared. Experience is the best teacher in life and you don’t need a business degree to be an entrepreneur. She advised me to always find a solution to a problem instead of whining about it,” Krishia expresses.

“Mom taught me that no one will be as passionate about your business as you. You have to be able to do everything yourself. It isn’t always perfect, but there is always something you can do about it. My mom never takes no for an answer.” Danielle winks.

When they’re not busy performing their tasks and responsibilities, the family finds ways to keep a healthy work/life balance.

“I pore over my recipe collection. It is my happy pill.” Cristina smiles.

“I enjoy eating out with my wife and going out for drinks with friends. I travel when the schedule permits. I love fishing or 4×4 off-roading. I read cookbooks, write menus, and keep on the lookout for the latest trends,” Nico says.

“Striking a balance between work and life is easy when you enjoy what you do for a living. Your happiness should always be at the helm of everything you do. When your work becomes your lifestyle, then you’ve made it. Reading is my refuge from the madness that we call the events industry. I enjoy my quiet nights with my dog as much as I enjoy a day or night out with my friends,” Krishia says.

“On free days I nosedive into a screen. I’m either watching a movie or gaming. I also enjoy spending time with my closest friends and have one or two bottles of wine,” Danielle says.

Aside from Terrasse, Portiko, Gorda, and their catering arm, the family also opened Le Fou Banquet Bar, a mobile banquet bar as an attachment to their catering arm, and Fêtes & Folk Gifting Studio where they provide corporate gifting and gifts for all occasions. As they forge ahead in their career paths, Cristina hopes to expand their catering operations and see her three children successfully open a few concept restaurants to add more variety to the Bacolod food scene. Nico’s goal is to improve the three concepts they have created and expand their catering arm in the next two years. He is conceptualizing several projects and contemplating venturing into fast-casual restaurants. Although Krishia loves to be organized and certain about some things, she loves the spontaneity of what life has to offer. Danielle is in her ideal state of bliss and will continue creating her delightful concoctions while enjoying the journey.

The Anchor of Their Soul.
The Anchor of Their Soul.

They conclude their story with a tad of wisdom.

“You will be successful and find joy if you follow your heart and passion,” Cristina advises.

“Find a good mentor. Dream Big. Invest in yourself, whether it’s education or working for someone that you aspire to be. Be patient. Never stop learning and always stay curious. Go after the dreams that scare you the most,” Nico closes.

“Focus on your craft and your growth because there is no other business than your business. Always be humble because you will never know what life throws at you.” Krishia smiles.

“Passion and hard work will take you places,” Danielle notes.

Food runs deep through the veins of the De Asis family symbolizing the art, passion, and love that shines through them. The growth, experiences, and love they have for each other mean more than what a price tag could offer. Working together, facing difficult challenges, and celebrating many milestones are what they truly live for. Cristina, Nico, Krishia, and Danielle interfused their ingenuity, hard work, and passion, to utilize food as a medium to inspire, entertain, and make an impact in people’s lives.

As the family continues to live their vision of building a significant legacy, they will never forget their humble beginnings in the food industry and how food has always been the anchor of their soul.