‘Preference over authenticity’: Ninong Ry shares view on evolution of local cuisine

September 8, 2023 - 6:48 PM
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Chef-vlogger Ninong Ry preparing food for guests during his partnership with Knorr Professional (Catalina Ricci Madarang/Interaksyon)

“Preference over authenticity” is the mindset of influencer Ninong Ry on his cooking style, a different take from other people who are bent on finding authenticity in Filipino cuisine.

Ry, whose real name is Ryan Morales Reyes, shared this while preparing his version of sisig, a popular Filipino dish, at an event for Knorr Philippines. It was held at The Mess Hall in Makati City on September 7.

The variation of sisig he cooked that day was bacon sisig.

For the occasion, Ry added sugar and liver spread, which are not normally part of a traditional sisig recipe, to the mixture to be combined with the chopped meat.

RELATED: How to distinguish ‘real’ sisig from adapted versions 

He was then asked if this move was his “sample twist” to a local dish.

“Yes,” Ry said. “Specifically dito lang (the bacon sisig dish).”

“This is not authentic by any stretch. Hindi talaga. This is very far from the original,” he further admitted. “Pero this is good for me kasi I like it.”

Ry then shared that as a chef and a food vlogger, he prioritizes food preferences over sticking to know or traditional recipes.

“Ako, sorry, pero preference over authenticity. Yun lagi. Kasi yung authentic baka di niyo gusto,” he said.

“Kasi bilang chefs, most of the time you cook for others. Kelangan alam natin yung preferences ng ibang tao,” the content creator also explained.

Some Filipinos have expressed their strong opinions about food deemed as “authentic” and “traditional” to their heritage.

In recent years, local social media users have debated on what is “real” sisig, pan de sal, and chicken adobo.

RELATED: Wrong ingredients? Uncle Roger has this to say about Food Network’s ‘traditional adobo’ |‘Authentic’: Disney praised for special chicken adobo recipe What’s in a name? Online debate reveals colorful history and names of bread 

For Ry, it is important to please one’s palate first.

“Kasi, you have to please yourself first before you please others. Pero wag naman yung pinagpipilitan natin yung gusto natin,” he said.

Ry currently has 2.1 million subscribers on YouTube and 6.7 million followers on Facebook.

He became an internet sensation after he uploaded a how-to-cook video of sizzling kare-kare in September 2020. It now has 3.2 million reactions and 662 million views so far.

Ry, who also has a culinary degree, became a full-time video creator later that year.

A new collaboration with Knorr

Ry is now the new endorser of Knorr Philippines, adding to his growing list of career milestones.

During the announcement of this new partnership, Ry prepared bacon sisig and fried chicken for reporters and other guests using Knorr’s Liquid Seasoning and Chicken Powder.

His fans can also create these delectable offerings at home.

Here are the recipes of bacon sisig and fried chicken that Ry used during the event.