“Happiness is food shared.” ~Chef Sunny
Many chefs would tell you that it’s all about the food. For Chef Sunny, the food is but the language by which people share an experience, as history and his-story unfolds with each and every morsel of happiness. His motto, “Happiness is food shared” reflects his philosophy of sharing the good life through eating.
Sunny found himself drawn to the kitchen at an early age. Now at the age of 40, with 25 years of vast experience under his toque & whites, he still lives by his first lesson in his mother’s kitchen that “once you share food, you share your love, your passion, your culture, especially your happiness.”
His mom tells him that he was born in the kitchen. Growing up in Manila, Sunny always hung out in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother who he still considers to be the best cooks in the world. An uncle also worked as a cook on a ship, so the “little Buddha” in the kitchen was fortunate to already know his calling at a very young age, and dreamt of wearing the whites and tall hat someday.
Inspired by that dream, “someday” came quite early on, at the age of 15. When the family migrated to Australia, Sunny “did a stint in high school” before diving straight into a four-year apprenticeship at The Hilton Hotel. He continued his education studying culinary at TAFE while simultaneously working hands-on at The Hilton.
Sunny worked his way to Sous Chef at age 23 and to Head Chef at age 25, when he met his mentor, Chinese-Malaysian Master Chef Cheong Liew. He also had the privilege of leading the team at an Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) trip around India for two months at the six-star Oberoi Hotels. Back in Perth, he cooked for Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in an event called “The Great Aussie Barbie”, and regards this as one of his most memorable cooking experiences.
In-between, he traveled as often as possible (US, Spain, Japan, China, and Thailand to name a few), backpacking and working in kitchens all over the world. “That was my addiction. To travel and to eat my way through every country, to learn.”
His travels eventually took him full circle back home to his roots.
In 2005, Sunny first discovered Boracay Island on his first trip back home to his motherland the Philippines. After being away for 23 years, he searched and rediscovering Philippine culture and food, and found that his best discovery was new friends he now considers family.
The weeklong holiday turned into eight months, with yearly two to three-month trips back with his wife Yuki and eventually, their two children Kaisun and Soleil. The 10-year wait finally resulted in the inevitable when they decided to move to Boracay in 2013. Having lived by the Australian coast, it made perfect sense to live by the beach in his homeland, where he & Yuki now share valuable memories with their children, raising them with the Filipino values he grew up with.
Now, two years in Boracay and having left a successful career, he returns full circle to live the dream of having the opportunity to share his wealth as a seasoned and well-traveled chef and student of life, equipped with vast experience and incredible & exotic flavors, and inspired by his newfound Boracay family and a life in perfect harmony.
He passionately promotes what he calls his eatgoodlife philosophy of sharing the good life through healthy eating in a fun environment. Inspired from his travels, eatgoodlife encompasses and melds all the flavors of his travels into one edible harmony.
Sunny’s eatgoodlife live cooking dinner events along Boracay’s beaches was his way of sharing his passion and love for cooking with the islanders, quite simply because he wanted to cook for them, his new family. Word spread of how indescribably delicious, exciting and entertaining these themed dinners were and instantly, they became the hottest table in town!
At Subo Boracay, each of his Edible Harmony dinner events unfolds as a story of his travels, what he’s eaten, fragments of techniques through the years that are reflected on every dish.
Aside from the dinner events, eatgoodlife offers cooking classes for tourists and foodies who want to experience a different level of dining. Prepared the traditional way and presented in his own modern style, expect the unexpected with highly entertaining, educational, hands-on and interactive classes that bring out the fun of cooking.
Another philosophy he imparts is “Cuisines with no borders”. Not constrained to any single influence, he embraces and explores the diversity of every type of cuisine with openness. While respecting traditional techniques and their roots, regional flavors and ingredients, he breaks away from the rules and embraces a new age of cooking that is both liberating and exciting.
Be warned: Chef Sunny’s teaching truly inspires and his enthusiasm is infectious! And as chefs go, he too loves to yell in the kitchen, “Are you hungry? Yahoo!”
Touch, taste, eat, learn and experience the good life for yourself!