There are 20 things you should know about the chef behind Le Petit Soufflé.
If you follow Chef Michael “Miko” Aspiras on Instagram, the likelihood of salivating on well-plated desserts is extremely high. He has unlocked an avalanche of creative and innovative culinary ideas that manifests in every cake, cookie, soufflé or any pastry he creates. With his unwavering drive in taking Philippine food a notch higher, Chef Miko has been racking up gold medal awards in prestigious culinary competitions in the country and abroad while also growing his reservoir of foodie fans, even prior to opening his restaurants such as Le Petit Soufflé, Scout’s Honor, and Garde Manger. Most recently, he was chosen as one of the presenters of the upcoming Madrid Fusión Manila 2016.
One night, we sat down with Chef Miko to get to know him in and out of the kitchen. Here’s how it went down:
What drove you to become a chef?
It started when I decided to study culinary kasi I want to expand my knowledge and to know the basics.
How do you stay creative in the kitchen given that you create a lot of desserts in a continuous basis?
I update myself every day. I read books, and profiles about chefs and artists. I just update myself; I watch TV.
How do you balance creativity and consistency?
I’m lucky enough to be partnered with the people I work with. Charlie Paw would give me the freedom and then Kristine Lotilla would restrict me. I need those kind of people kasi when I create, I don’t stop.
How would you describe your lifestyle in terms of balancing work and personal life?
I treat my work, which is creating desserts, my life. I don’t feel like I’m working. Siguro pag nagpoproduction lang ng todo todo na mga than 15 hours, dun ko mafefeel na work siya.
Do you have those days when you just want to drop everything and leave?
I get frustrated at times, but not to the point na I’ll leave, magagalit sakin yung pastry. What I always tell my staff, this is the risk when you join me. You’re not just learning recipes from me. For me, maiiyak kayo kasi di niyo ko nasasatisfy. Pagnasatisfy ako, tigil na learning niyo. I get frustrated, but not to the point I would give up.
What is the most exciting and hardest part of being a chef?
For me the most exciting part is to share your knowledge. At start, the most exciting thing is to learn, but right now I want to share what I have been learning. It is also the hardest part to teach others, especially now that we are expanding. Making people like your food and explaining to people why you do what you do through your food are also hard.
What is the hardest and most exciting part of running a restaurant?
The most exciting part is opening a new restaurant since everything is fresh and you have a lot of new ideas. People are excited about your food. The hardest part is keeping it consistently good.
Can you recall your biggest failure?
When I compete professionally, I focus on getting the gold. I once lost and I learned a lot from that experience, which is to always give my 100%. If you only give your 99%, you will not get it. I lost and it doesn’t feel so bad. Before that, I was afraid to lose.
What’s your biggest success thus far?
Realizing that I am blessed with the talent for creating desserts.
When you’re not in the kitchen, what do you usually do?
I watch movies, talagang sinisingit ko manood ng movie. I love to shop. If JV’s here, my boyfriend, we just cook and watch DVD.
What’s your typical day like?
Recently, I run and spin. I also do errands in the morning like if may kailangan ipick sa suppliers, then I go straight here [Century City Mall]. I check Scout’s Honor and Garde Manger, then Le Petit Soufflé. After that, I usually have meetings regarding restaurants we will be opening or features. Around 6pm kailangan ko na magproduction hanggang 9pm or 11pm; it’s either at Le Petit or Scout’s Honor. After that, I answer emails.
What’s the last film you saw?
What kind of diners do you love to have?
What’s your favorite travel destination?
Australia kasi grabe yung ingredients. If you know how to bake, ang mura ng ingredients. Baking there is a luxury because of the perfect temperature; hindi ganun kainit, hindi ganun kalamig.
What’s your favorite food?
Sinigang na baboy, sour and thick because of the gabi.
What’s your favorite dessert?
What’s your favorite dessert to prepare?
Currently, I love to make corn panna cotta.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the Philippines that’s not yours?
I love Antonio’s. At Breakfast at Antonio’s, I love the sinigang na wala na sa menu!
Name a dessert place that appealed to you and is not one of your establishments.
Foodcraft in Australia, they have the best dougnuts. Meron silang Nutella doughnut, parang one cup yung nasa loob, the dough’s just enough.
What would you do if you weren’t a chef?
Be a tennis player.
In case you didn’t know, Le Petit Souffle is Booky Prime partner, which means you can now book a table through our app or the web and get up to P150 off your total bill. You can even get a surprise free dessert before your meal ends!