As Cibo celebrates 18 years in the biz, Amado Fores remembers growing up with one of the best chefs in town, a.k.a. his mom, Gaita.
Back home to take a break from honing his skills in New York, Amado Fores, son of restaurateur Margarita Fores admits that he wasn’t a fan of Italian food when he was a kid. Ironically, his mom, who’s known for preparing some of the best Italian dishes in the country, practically forced him to eat Italian. Over the years, though, he’s learned to love the cuisine and the restaurant business. He hasn’t formally learned how to cook — but really, when you have a mom like chef Gaita, you don’t really need to worry about the food on your plate, now do you? Nevertheless, with firsthand knowledge and passion for the cooking industry, it’s safe to say that Cibo’s future is in good hands.
Amado Fores believes that a good restaurant is not just about the food, but also about the experience.
YOUNG STAR: Could you talk about the first thing your mom ever cooked you? Was it Italian? Do you still eat it today?
AMADO FORES: I actually grew up not wanting to eat anything but fried chicken. My mom forced me to eat Italian food but her efforts just didn’t work. It took quite a while before I started enjoying the cuisine. The first dish I remember she cooked for me was the penne al telefono, (which incidentally became) one of Cibo’s bestsellers to date.
What’s the best thing your mom ever taught you about food?
That the quality of food served can only take a restaurant so far. And that the experience you have in the restaurant and how the customer feels as he or she leaves are more important than just good food. She also emphasized to me growing up that commitment is the most important thing you need to succeed.
Do you remember when your mom started Cibo? What do you remember most about its early days?
I remember it quite well because I would pick her up after school and witness the progress of the restaurant. I wasn’t fond of Italian food then and would spend every weekday eating at Kimpura, located next door to the original Cibo in Glorietta. As a child, I did my best to stay out of her way when she was working, although I feel like I failed to do so (at times). Today (though), I help my mom in finding ideas for new dishes to put in her restaurants.
Amado’s mom is restaurateur Margarita Fores.
How have you seen your mom and Cibo grow these last 18 years? Did you see any big changes? What are some of your favorite Cibo moments?
The truth is, nothing has changed with Cibo, and I think that’s the best part of it. I think Cibo has remained consistent throughout the years. What I have noticed, though, is that my mom has put greater importance on supporting the organic farms in the country, which I think is a very admirable feat and advocacy. My favorite Cibo moments would be the Christmas parties of the staff which I got to attend when I was younger, as well as the branch openings because everything looked brand new. I would see just how ecstatic my mom and the staff were before a new store opened its doors.
Would you say you have the same passion for food as your mom and would you ever consider working with her?
I definitely have the same passion for food as my mom today and I do want to help her on the operations side of the business so she can focus more on the development of the food.
What, in your opinion, makes a good restaurant?
I believe that a good restaurant is not just about the food, but also about the experience.
What’s the most important cooking tip you’ve learned from your mom?
I haven’t learned how to cook just yet but I do plan to. (Having said that) I know that she hates overcooked pasta.
Cibo is currently celebrating its 18th anniversary with a special promo in all their branches. Speaking of branches, they will open a new one soon on the ground floor of SM Mega Fashion Hall.