The idea of growing your food became an enticing concept for a lot of people recently, as prices of produce started to rise, it's a good idea if you want to save money but still manage to eat healthily.
"Farm to Table" is a new cooking show by GMA News TV, and its goal is to help people learn about the ways of growing your food and at the same time, ways to cook different dishes from it.
MasterChef Pinoy Edition winner, JR Royol hosts the show, giving the audience a peek of how their favorite dishes are prepared, starting from its planting process to its harvesting then finally to ways of cooking and to your table.
"It's the foundation of the show... to spread the planting culture. The more people we encourage and inspire to start tilling soil and planting, the better," he said to Inquirer in a virtual conference.
Royol said that though eating a delicious meal is the final goal, its process is just as fulfilling. He hopes to spread that feeling to the audience as well.
“The fulfillment you get from the whole journey is something words can’t describe properly. Eating good and healthy food can make us happy. Eating is the final step, but watering the plants and protecting them, and then bringing them to the table is also an amazing process. And it’s a feeling I want to spread,” he said.
The show is close to Romulo's heart as growing their food became an integral part of his life. Saying that it sustained him and his family in times of financial difficulties.
“My dad lost employment as an overseas worker in the early 2000s. We didn’t have income so we decided to move to La Union, where he initiated farming. We were able to survive because of that. We weathered our darkest days, financially, by planting our own vegetables,” he said.
“My mother was also into planting as early as the 1980s. The process is something I intimately connect with,” JR added.
He won the title "MasterChef" in 2013 by creating his signature dishes that are inspired by his Igorot and Bicolano heritage. He plans on visiting different farms around the country to look for locally produced ingredients from its rural communities. Then prepare the food following how the locals would prepare it themselves.
By doing so, the show reflects a way of how JR's life had been from moving place to place and adapting to different cuisine cultures as he was growing up. “My Bicolano and Igorot roots laid the foundation for my culinary career … But I also wouldn’t be in this position if our family didn’t have to move from one place to another,” he said.
“I thought it was disadvantageous at first. After our house in Benguet was burned down in 1989, we moved to Batangas, then to Oriental Mindoro, to Las Piñas, to Cavite, to La Union. Such experiences exposed me to different cuisines, and helped lead me to this job,” JR added.
He also hopes that in the near future, celebrities would join him in his show and enjoy the planting culture as well. “Sky’s the limit. We have no categories as to who we should invite. I would love to work with celebrities and share their best practices with viewers,” he said to INQ.