A Yummy Afternoon with Becky Kho

Yes! Finally, I saw my first ever work as Spot.ph's contributor posted on the website! I really had fun writing this piece simply because the person who I was tasked to interview is a friend, a wonderful colleague and above all, one of my favorite editors even back when I was still a reader of Yummy Magazine.

I would like to share with you my short yet very inspiring conversation with Yummy Magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Becky Kho.

By the way, this article is for the website's ongoing promotion with Nescafe called Gold Spots. I would like to invite everyone to show your support and cast your votes here.

Yummy is the top selling food magazine in the country. It began a year and a half ago with just a handful of food-loving editors. The magazine was well accepted by its readers and continues to convert a great number of individuals who are simply passionate about food and who now look forward to each new issue. With the growing popularity of the magazine, the name Becky Kho, Yummy's Editor-in-Chief, has become a household name. Fran Haw, SPOT contributor and Yummy's Associate Publisher, probed Becky on her thoughts on food and what sets the gold standard for her when it comes to the dining out scene here in Manila.

Aside from being Yummy Magazine's Editor in Chief, we would like to know who is Becky Kho and what does she do during her free time?

These days I have Bikram Yoga classes, so that's where I would spend my leisure time. I go around 3 to 4 times a week. I'm also a magazine junkie, that's why I enjoy my job because I really love the medium of magazines.

When did you start loving magazines?

I've loved magazines for as long as I can remember. I've enjoyed writing since I was a kid and even during college while taking up Psychology, which is not related at all, I was already writing on my own. I also wrote for the school paper both in High School and in College.

The word 'foodie' is so popular these days. It's as if everyone has turned into a foodie or aspires to be one. However, I feel that the word is still very vague. What is your personal definition of a foodie?

Someone who has a very active interest in food. Whether it's going to restaurants or eating out. Some are more kitchen based, as they want to experiment with different ingredients, play around with recipes. It's really just that - having a real passion for food.

What's your personal eating style?

For me, if I really think about my own personal eating choices, I am more likely to go towards the healthy side. I'm into whole living and wellness. Healthy dishes really appeal to me.

Tell us what are the top three things that you love about being with Yummy Magazine?

First of all, the most interesting thing is my own exploration of how food tastes. I learned a lot about layering flavors. Now I appreciate a mix of stuff like sweet and salty which makes me more willing to try new combinations. In a way that's what I also look for when dining out; I am more keen on observing the taste and seeing how each flavor comes out.

Second thing I love about being with the magazine is the traveling. One of the most memorable was the one in Bukidnon. We stayed at the Del Monte farm and we toured around the pineapple field. So we were able to taste really fresh pineapples. It's nice to see that wherever you go, just in terms of looking for food stories, there's something interesting.

Last but not the least, one of the things that I love most about this job is that our readers are so engaged. They are very generous with their comments and they are constantly emailing their thoughts. I love that they specify what recipes have they tried; they tell us stories on how [the recipes] turned out. I really appreciate hearing from them.

Who are your heroes in the food industry?

I will start with someone from our team. I think, first of all, I really admire my Associate Food Editor, Shar Tan. She's such a good cook and she's able to present it to our readers in term of a magazine story. I think that's really amazing. She creates all the recipes, cooks it herself and it all tastes really good.

I also like Gaita Fores because of the consistency of her food. It's like whenever you go to Cibo or to any of her other restaurants, the consistency of the quality is there. I'm also very impressed with how she was able to grow her business.

Online, I follow the blog of Mark Bittman. He writes for the New York Times, has a couple of cookbooks out and has a blog called Bitten. I like it because whenever you would watch the podcast he's very fun and casual. He would demonstrate a recipe and make it look so easy. Still, he's able to keep the flavors of his dishes very sophisticated but the way he does it is like the short-cut version of a gourmet dish.

Lastly, I'm also a fan of Baba Ibazeta - Benedicto of Classic Confections because I love her desserts, especially her Almond Roca.

What are you craving for right now?

Right now, I'm very much into frozen yogurts. I am out to try all types of frozen yogurts in the market right now. I guess it is also a bonus that it's healthy.

While dining out, we have our own little restaurant stories to tell. Share with us a couple of things that you first take note of when dining out?

For me, primarily, it's the food itself. Of course there are other things you'll consider like the service, the ambiance, but eventually in the final analysis it's still the food. Am I satisfied after my dining experience? Or, if I dine in a restaurant that is a bit pricey, I think that if I'm guaranteed really good food or the quality is really good then I really won't mind paying a premium price for it. I also notice how the food was cooked and the freshness of the ingredients.

Now let's talk about Gold Spots. What are your standards for spots that would make it to the Gold Spots list?

First of all, they should have good food. Well, since they named it Gold Spots so we're expecting a little bit more in terms of the service, the ambiance and also if they can offer something interesting and new. There are so many restaurants out there and nowadays we are more careful with our budget so when you dine out, you want it to be worth whatever you're paying for. A Gold Spot is a place that offers a fresh experience.

Article and Photo Source: A Yummy Afternoon with Becky Kho

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