The sour and sweet flavors, when combined, will spark a perfect taste. To husband and wife Jay Marc Prieto and Kim Cudia-Prieto, these flavors sum up their story—a journey with sour paths to reach the sweet victory.
The Australia-based couple has been married for eight years. Their love story started way back in the Philippines while they were studying at CCA, Manila.
“It all started with the sweet taste of turon during our Filipino cuisine class which was during Level 6,” Kim recalled. “We had a mutual understanding at that time, then Jay asked me to taste and check the turon he was making.”
It was, for them, love at first bite.
She said she didn’t imagine that eventually Jay will be the “one.” There are a lot of differences between them and their personalities are opposite—Kim is an extrovert while Jay is the silent type. They were even competitors in classes. But a common love for food sparked romance between them and the rest is history.
“We are now more open to one another and have a deeper connection which was unimaginable before,” shared Jay.
In 2008, the couple left the Philippines for Australia to pursue their dreams. Initially, the couple was only focused to pursue their careers as chefs. Nine years later, they opened their restaurant called Lolo and Lola, which is one of the only two Filipino restaurants in Canberra.
“We call ourselves as ‘self-proclaimed’ Filipino food ambassador here in Canberra,” Kim said. The couple is introducing Filipino flavors to the palate of Australians.
“Surprisingly, Canberrans aren’t afraid to try out new flavors,” said Jay.
The couple shared that Lolo and Lola was two years in the making. The idea started from an ensaymada that she offered to guests during her daughter’s second birthday party. One of the guests really loved it that she ordered four dozens to bring to another party. From there, the word spread.
The couple started delivering pastries door-to-door, then they joined the Sunday market. Eventually they had a food truck, until it progressed to become a full restaurant with a menu of Filipino staple dishes.
One reason for their food venture’s success is their synergy and dynamics as a couple. It also helps that they created a comforting and welcoming vibe of a Filipino home in Lolo and Lola.
Soon, the restaurant was recognized by Australian Good Food Guide. Lolo and Lola was awarded “Reader’s Choice – Best Filipino Restaurant in Australian Capital Territory 2019.”
The recognition serves as an indication that they are on their way to achieve their goal of spreading the popularity of Filipino food in Australia.
Kim shared, “The success and opportunities that we have right now are because of CCA. It has been there for us from the beginning and this is where we got the knowledge to succeed especially in working abroad. I still remember one of my chef instructors telling me treat ingredients with respect also, more importantly, to treat others with respect regardless where they come from.”
CCA Manila main campus is located at 287 Katipunan Ave., Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Call (02) 281-8566 for more information.
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