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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pinoy Chef Anton Amoncio is one of the finalists of Asian Food Hero

Asian Food Channel (AFC) started in 2005, is Singapore’s leading food focused channel that celebrates the unique Asian culinary experience with the added touch of global flavor. AFC entertains viewers with a range of local and international content from reality, lifestyle to travelogue program formats. It is available in more than 10 countries in Asia Pacific. The channel’s online engagement are through website and social media platforms.

Asian Food Channel is part of Scripps Networks Interactive, one of the world’s leading producers of lifestyle content.

Chef Anton is very excited to go to Singapore and represent the country. He is still in shock that he was chosen to be one of the Finalists. Chef Anton presented videos of his signature Filipino dishes like Tinola and Fried Chicken Adobo sa Gata. On finals night on October 20, Chef Anton will definitely be cooking another signature Filipino dish.

Chef Anton is an only child. His mom has two rules in the kitchen, (1) “You like to cook; you cook, but don’t mess it up.” (2) “You make mistakes; you live with it and do better.” There was also one extra rule, do not touch the knives when he was young.

Whenever his parents were away, his grand mom, aunts and uncles took over in taking care of him. Unlike other kids, Chef Anton preferred to stay at home. He started his love for cooking when he was 7 or 8 years old. His grandmother always brought him in the kitchen to watch over him while she cooked.

Anton's constant exposure to his grandmother's cooking started his love affair with food.

Tinola which his grandmother used to cook for him every time he is sick or injured is his comfort food. It is also his recovery soup until now. Everything that his grand mom whips up in the kitchen are his favorite dishes because they are all magical.

Chef Anton has one food he will not touch - dinuguan. His unpleasant experience happened when he was young. At a restaurant, the waiter informed him that the soft luscious chocolate looking chunk was chocolate. A chocolate lover, he ate the uber tender chocolate, when in reality it was coagulated pigs’ blood.

Chef Anton has a lot of respect for other chefs and cooks all over the world, but it is his grandmother whom he considers his ultimate Food Hero. So, when his grand mom learned that he is part of the Final 4 in the Asian Food Hero contest, she was very happy.  His grand mom watches his shows whenever she gets the chance to. Chef Anton hopes that he can make his grand mom proud.

As a person, he believes that he needs to constantly improve himself and be better. "Learning is constant," he says. "You always need to improve yourself constantly or you get dull."

If he will be compared to a kitchen tool, it will be a chef’s knife. "In order for the knives to be of great use, you have to constantly sharpen and maintain them for them to be in tiptop shape," explains Chef Anton.

The content of his refrigerator varies but he will always have chicken because according to him it is very versatile. And there would always be tomatoes, garlic and onions too. "They are my trinity," he says.

Asked what it means to be a chef, Chef Anton explains, "Chef is a title given to cooks that have paid their dues in the kitchen."

A graduate of the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA) after a two year music production schooling at De La Salle Benilde, Chef Anton learned about teamwork and communication while working in the kitchen. He says, “You can have a group of extremely talented chefs working together but if they don’t communicate and basically don’t operate as one unit, they will fail.”

He’s not sure how he differs from other chefs, but he says that he is playful when it comes to food. He loves building relationships with other people through food as well. He wants to be remembered as someone who touched other people’s lives not just in his dishes but also as a person.

Chef Anton first appeared on TV in 2009, on ANC’s Mornings where he endorsed a pasta brand. He is the owner and chef of Antojos Manila, which serves Filipino dishes.

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