California East Bay native Eric Pascual has had a burning passion for food since he was a child. Every summer, he’d fly to Oahu, Hawaii to stay with his aunt in the small town of Moanalua Valley. It was there that he would spend hours shadowing his grandparents in the kitchen, watching them cook and prepare rich, aromatic feasts for the family. His grandfather, who migrated from the Philippines to Hawaii to work on a sugar cane plantation, grew up hunting fresh game to use in his traditional Filipino recipes. Eric’s early exposure to all things food has only fueled his passion today in San Francisco, where he spends his days tasting and creating unique menus to share at his Feastly events.
1. What is food to you?
Food a way to stay healthy and create memories with friends, family, and new acquaintances. It has not only been an outlet for me to relieve stress, but also to express my creative side.
2. How and when did cooking come into your life?
Cooking came into my life as far as I can remember. I started by watching my parents and grandparents. Some say that I share the same passion for cooking as my grandfather.
3. Who is your food role model?
I actually have two food role models, my mother and Anthony Bourdain.
4. What do you love about hosting with Feastly?
I love being able to share my passion for food and cooking with different groups of people, as well as receiving positive responses and feedback about my meals.
5. What are you cooking goals/dreams right now? And in the long run?
My current goal is to continue sharing my style of cooking by hosting one to two meals a month and writing recipes for unique dishes I prepare. In the long run, I hope to help grow The Lumpia Company– a local company I co-founded with close friends to distribute hand-crafted Filipino-style egg rolls–to a nationally-recognized brand, to have a published cookbook, and to take over (or co-host) one of Anthony Bourdain’s shows.
6. Favorite meal/feast you’re ever had? (Yes, in your whole life, if you could choose one!)
It was a friend’s wedding dinner in the Sarangani province of the Philippines–known as tuna capital– held at a resort on a secluded mountaintop with an amazing view of the ocean and mountainside. The meal started off with a large whole tuna freshly caught that morning, sliced sashimi-style. I’ve never tasted fish so fresh in my life, and afterwards it continued with 5 delicious courses of Filipino food.
7. What’s your most memorable moment hosting strangers at a dinner party?
It was “Slow-cooking”, one of the first few meals that I hosted through Feastly. The SF Chronicle did some coverage on the meal and sent one of their writers and a photographer. I had so much excitement, anticipation, and nervousness leading up to it. Afterwards, it was so rewarding to see a group of people that I just met genuinely enjoying the meal that I prepared.
8. What’s the one thing you always keep in your fridge?
9. What is the go-to dish you make for yourself when home alone?
Scrambled or over-easy eggs.
10. Weapon of Choice (in the kitchen):
A 7 inch Damascus Santoku knife.
11. You’re stranded on a desert island. You can only have one ingredient, but unlimited amounts of it. What is it?
12. A fun food fact:
Chicken McNuggets taste better after midnight.
13. What’s the cheesiest food pun:
Sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am I to dis-a-brie?
14. Like the Sriracha craze of 2014, what’s a food trend that you’ve heard of lately?
Filipino food. Within the last year there has been an increasing awareness in Filipino Food, through organizations and events such as the Filipino Food movement and Savor Filipino.