By Krizia Daya
New York – It used to be that New York city never sleeps. As a child, I would never have guessed that the subway would be closed for overnight cleaning. We, New Yorkers, used to take such privileges for granted. I remember my first trip to LA, and most restaurants closed by 11PM. It was one of the reasons why I chose not to relocate there. I need my 2AM pizza delivery.
But COVID19 shut everything down. The world changed. While on lockdown, we realized many challenges and discovered opportunities too. Many people could not cook well, providing those who are great at it the opportunity to become instant entrepreneurs.
During the pandemic, a demand for home-cooked meals rose, and they had to be delivered as well. People were in search of the best ube and cheese pan de sal created by their own friends. Small businesses, like Ai’s Kitchen, Mrs. Bernabe, Chef Cecile Lai, and Boondat Sarap, responded to these demands and thrived through word-of-mouth and social media.
Ai Aromin, founder of Ai’s Kitchen, recalled how offices closed and how difficult it became to pay bills. “I needed income. I decided to pursue my passion and started to cook various dishes for friends and family. What has kept me motivated is discovering new recipes…along with meeting new people every day.” Ai’s specialty and best seller is her kare-kare (oxtail in a peanut-based sauce).
Even closer to home, some took it upon themselves to learn how to provide solid meals for their families.
For those still struggling with cooking, JCI Philippine-New York, in collaboration with Krizia Eats, is producing short video tutorials on how to cook some favorite meals. The first featured Christef Cook’s Made from Scratch Pasta. Upcoming episodes include Elaine Schroeder’s lumpiang shanghai, as well as surprise delicacies from Ai Aromin and Cecile Lai. These videos are available on the JCI Philippine-New York Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Instagram accounts.
With the pandemic not really over, home-made food delivered at your door is a way to survive.#