• Dad we Love: Chef Rob Pengson

    Chef Rob bares his heart and surprises us with his collection.
  • Chef Rob Pengson

    The best clothing stores for me are…
    Adidas and Gap. I don’t wear expensive clothes or anything like that. I like Uniqlo, H&M, Giordano. But my favorite is still Adidas.

    The music that I listen to is…
    I like Macklemore, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, RNB, Rap. I actually like all kinds of music, just not country music. And I’m a big fan of OPM (Original Pilipino Music). I like Bamboo, Razorback and Wolfgang.

    The best compliment I’ve received is…
    When my wife said yes, when she said she’ll marry me. Compliment sa akin 'yun.

    My best recipe is…
    In The Goose Station it’s the Egg’s Benedict and the 24-hour Steak. At Shine Bakery which is the new one, it seems to be the duck confit, umami fries and the waffle. In Vine, our tapas bar, it’s the anchovy tapa with tomato sorbet.  But here at home, it’s breaded fried fish. 'Yun 'yung go-to dish namin: Fried Breaded Fish.

    My shortcut to feeling good about myself is…
    First is being grateful for what I have. I think whenever you’re sad; you tend to forget because you’re focusing on the problem and not on what you have. I start looking at these pictures, this little guy (Santino, his son - Ed.), my wife, my family, my friends, and what I was able to accomplish with my partners, it reminds me that maybe life isn’t as bad as I think it is.

    I also like working out. I do Crossfit and football, but I had to stop because we just opened Shine Bakery, so kain nang kain, recipe testing, taste test. But now I can’t wait to start working out again. I used to be heavy. My heaviest before was 210 when I was in high school and I decided to push myself to lose weight because I was getting basted again and again. Friendzoned! Sabi ko grabe 'to ah, ilang years na akong nafe-friendzone. Nagpapayat na ako.

    My favorite place for inspiration is…
    Church and when we’re all in bed. When I look at them at night, I think to myself, I must have done something right. I’m not gonna preach or anything. It’s just that, especially after having a child, parang the miracle of life dawned on me when this guy came around. It changed the way I live.

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    My most recent purchase was…
    Pan de sal. 55 bucks. I bought it for this girl, she’s a homeless girl who’s always by the village gate, and I’ve known her since we moved here. When I first met her, when I first gave her money, she was breastfeeding I think her first son in the street. I see her on the same spot, everyday. Every now and then I get her Jollibee with a friend, give her water from the house, sometimes I buy water from the gym, I buy an extra bottle for her. My other recent purchase is a journal, stickers for myself, a metal ruler. I bought them yesterday.

    I’d like to start / I already have a ______ collection.
    I already have a notebook collection and a toy collection, about a hundred. They contain useless notes, mind maps, doodles, dishes. I have some dishes that came from my journals which my wife printed and had framed. Some are in the restaurants. Now I’m more systematic in my journals. Now I have an index and I put page numbers, so if one page is really important to me, I’ll index it... for example, a letter to Santiago or a poem I wrote. If anyone would want to give me a nice gift, it’s got to be something I can write on or something I can write with like a nice pen. I also collect toys. G.I. Joe.

    When I want to indulge, I…
    I like beer. Dark beer.

    The T.V. show I enjoy the most is…
    True Detective. I watched it twice, the whole thing. But the T.V. show I watch the most is High-5. (laughs) In fact, kaming lahat alam na namin lahat ng kanta. And then when High-5 came here, nagkagulo kami. Sabi ko ang ganda ni Lauren! (laughs)

    Chef Rob Pengson

    When I became a Dad, I had to give up…
    I realized how selfish I was living my life and I didn’t find it selfish before, so I guess I had to give up a big part of me. That instead of me, I have to build the kid and the family. There’s me, there’s my wife, there’s my son, there’s the connection of my wife and I, and my son and I, and the all of us together. Being a dad taught me to be more generous.

    You’re a Filipino parent if you…
    If your kid’s favorite food is white rice.

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    Photos by Dairy Darilag

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