Chef Tatung Sarthou collaborates with NutriAsia in his fourth book, Simpol the Cookbook
If celebrity chef, restaurateur, best-selling cookbook author, and popular YouTuber Chef Tatung Sarthou were to single out one word that drives his culinary journey, that would be “simpol”. Chef Tatung, after all, has spawned a huge fan base of homecooks who all share his creed, “Kahit sino kayang mag luto basta simpol.”
This approach to cooking has defined Chef Tatung’s success through the years. His first neighborhood restaurant in Quezon City was famed for its hearty and delicious offerings. Chef Tatung quickly branched out with several casual dining restaurants that trained the spotlight on the best of Filipino cuisine, including the Tausug-inspired, blackened and coconut-infused Chicken Piyanggang.
The popularity Chef Tatung garnered from his successful restaurants led to a gig as resident chef for ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda. His stint at the early morning show inspired him to master his craft and develop a deeper appreciation and love for simple home cooking.
Chef Tatung soon gained international recognition for his efforts. He was one of the highlights of the Asia Madrid Fusion 2017 event at which he spoke at length about the undiscovered cuisine of Mindanao. One might also recognize him from the popular Netflix series Street Food for which he was handpicked as a resource speaker to discuss the evolution of street food in Cebu.
Chef Tatung currently hosts the popular online cooking show “Simpol,” which between Facebook and YouTube has over 1 million subscribers and counting. His passion for teaching and sharing wisdom knows no bounds.
“I really want to be known more as an author, a teacher, and an advocate. Being a chef is just a stepping stone for me to be able to do what I want to do, to understand what I want to understand,” said Chef Tatung. “There are more important things, such as food security and national identity.”
Despite the attention from around the world, however, Chef Tatung has never once lost sight of the importance of Filipino culture.
“Food is incredibly powerful in how it speaks to our values as a nation and a people,” says Chef Tatung. “It is important then to continually pass on our knowledge about cooking in a clear and understandable way to reach as many people as possible. Making cooking ‘simpol’ and less intimidating allows the story behind each dish to thrive in the hearts and minds of Filipinos everywhere.”
Simpol the Cookbook strips the cooking process of the flourishes and fancy hype one might see in foreign cooking shows and grounds the activity in the everyday Filipino’s experience. Clearly, Chef Tatung has made it his life’s mission to make cooking as “simpol as A-B-C.”
Chef Tatung has been internationally recognized for his incredible knowledge of local Filipino cuisine.