22 Prime is one of the best steakhouses in the Metro, ranking 1st among steakhouses, and 7th among all restaurants in Pasig on TripAdvisor. We managed to drag the man behind the best-tasting steaks of 22 Prime out of the kitchen to ask him 18 questions, hoping we could answer why his dishes never fail to capture hearts and appetites over the years.
What was the first dish you ever cooked?
How old were you then?
15. It was summer vacation and I had nothing better to do, so I decided to help my mom in the kitchen.
Whom did you inherit your cooking skills from (unless you’re just a natural)?
My Lola. She used to run a “Carinderia” beside a “sabungan” (cockpit) back home in Isabela Province. It was a hit, mainly because the “sabungan” always brought people in, but also partly because she cooked really well.
How long have you been in the industry?
I usually start counting the years from the moment I fell in love with cooking— I was fresh out of college and just helping out in my Tito’s restaurant. From there, I set out to Dubai, back to the Philippines, out again to Maldives, and then back again to the Philippines, working in various hotels as a professional chef. I’ve learned a lot everywhere I went—cultures, cuisines, life. I still find all those lessons very useful every day as the executive chef of Discovery Suites, as a dad of two, even as a human being. All of that would add up to over 15 years.
Name 3 things that without them, a kitchen wouldn’t be considered a kitchen.
A sharp knife, a gas range—the one that comes with an oven underneath, and a wok because there’s a lot of cooking methods you can do with it.
If you went camping in a forest with limited resources, what would you cook for supper?
Stew. It’s easy and warm for the stomach. The meat I’ll use depends on what I manage to catch.
Name 3 spices you can’t live without.
I definitely can’t live without black pepper; cumin because Indian cuisine is my favorite; and chili powder.
What is the weirdest meat you’ve ever cooked?
Back in Dubai, I used to cook Camel Chili. It’s like Chili con Carne but with camel meat.
What is your favorite cooking method?
Sous vide, because aside from being able to incorporate flavors into meat easily, you also get to achieve your desired texture and doneness perfectly.
If you we’re to cook for a Michelin star chef, what would you prepare?
I won’t cook Western, they’d already have mastered that. I’d much rather impress them with the cuisine that I grew up knowing. I’d prepare Twice-cooked Duck Adobo with “Sinangag na Adlai.”
Who are the most significant people you’ve cooked for?
Back in Maldives, I got the chance to prepare a 5-course meal for a royal couple from Europe. I remember the lady particularly asked for some fried ice cream for dessert. I also got to cook for our former president Gloria Arroyo. She was just ordering room service, but knowing that she’s from Pampanga, I sent her some complimentary Sisig Spring Rolls.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as a chef?
When I was in Maldives, an Italian guest asked me if I’d like to be the chef of his private yacht. I declined but that offer, for me is the best compliment.
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“Chef Gerwin prepared a wonderful meal for us that the whole family enjoyed. Our char-grilled Tomahawk was perfect for the meat lovers in my family. Served family style, with all the right sidings, and a great bottle of red wine.” -@mommanmanila 💙📷: @manila.gent • • • • #discoverysuites #22prime #steak #steakhouse #manila #good #goodfood #delicious #yum #yummy #easter #dinner #lunch #stayandspring #delicious #food #grilled #staycation #hotel #hotels #chef #goodeats
If you were to dine at 22 Prime, what would you order?
I’d have some Seafood Soup, Tuna Quinoa for my salad, Grilled Rib Eye for my main course, and for dessert, the Cheese Platter.
What wine would best go with it?
I’d have two– Talamonti “Trebi” Trebbiano d’ Abruzzo and Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon.
Name 3 dishes 22 Prime is best known for.
Tomahawk, Surf n’ Turf, and Lobster Bisque, but everybody knows that already. Ask me what else they have to try.
Okay, name 3 dishes people ought to try.
Roasted Airline Chicken, Baked Lapu-lapu Fillet, and Spaghetti Prawns. They’re underrated, but for the few who’ve tried them, they’ve become a top choice.
What beverage would go with any dish at 22 Prime?
I’d say a good glass of beer.
If Discovery Suites were a beverage at 22 Prime, what would it be?
Whiskey, *laughs* because we’re an 18 year old hotel, but the longer it ages, the better it gets.