House specialties

Oh, the pleasure of having one real good professional chef cook for you! Fortunately, many chefs are now venturing into the area and offering consumers, particularly those living in their neighborhood and have access to their good cooking skills.

One such chef is Victor “Vic” Barangan, whom I have known for quite some time. For the longest time, he was corporate chef of the Richmonde hotels, where he refurbished the menus of its restaurants and constantly introduced new and exciting items. Just recently, he left Megaworld to finally concentrate on his own cottage food business and hotel and restaurant consultancy firm called The Crooked Fork. The business has been registered since October 2023 and now does full blast consultancy and offers special food items via an online ordering system.

Chef Victor Barangan of The Crooked Fork.

“We chose the name The Crooked Fork because it best describes who we are. It suggests curiosity and humor to what we offer and bring to the table,” says Chef Vic, who now does food consultancy work with La Condessa on Tomas Morato Street, Quezon City, and Crescent Moon in Antipolo, Rizal.

Chef Vic now also does what he does best — cooking comfort food, which is available for pick-up and delivery in standard serving sizes.

“Our food orders started as requests from friends, and it usually differs depending on what’s in season or what I feel like preparing and sharing with people. I usually experiment on dishes that feature ingredients which are at their peak of freshness and flavor during a particular time of the year. I also like working on comfort dishes that are tricky to make at home to provide ease and a trouble-free dining experience for my customers. They appreciate being able to enjoy such food items without having to go through the trouble of preparing them,” says Chef Vic.

Adobong pusit.

The Crooked Fork’s current offerings are a reflection of all these “prerequisites” — adobong pusit, burong hipon and smoked bangus.

Take adobong pusit, which he estimates will be available only until the end of May this year. Hailing from Nueva Ecija but with Pampangan and Ilocano roots, Chef Vic explains, “Pusit (squid) in our province is seasonal and might not be available anymore in June.” So his regular customers, who know the love and effort that he puts into every dish that he cooks, are taking advantage of the season and ordering a lot of adobong pusit so that it is always sold out when he offers it. And because Chef Vic does his cooking only in small production batches to keep the freshness of the ingredients and maintain product quality, The Crooked Fork entertains orders weekly via the amiable chef’s Instagram account, where he usually makes an announcement regarding what is available a week before he starts taking orders. Any changes in what’s available, he also announces on his Instagram account, although orders are also coursed through 09193304620.

Tinapang bangus.

The burong hipon is another very interesting item. In this one, Chef Vic draws from his Kapampangan roots, as it is prepared Pampanga style. It is called Balobalo in Pampanga and is fermented rice with shrimps. It has a salty and sour taste profile and, because it is a buro, a slightly pungent aroma. Best eaten with fried or blanched vegetables, fresh lettuce and fried fish and pork.


As for the smoked bangus, Chef Vic personally does the smoking on the freshest catch of bangus (milkfish), so it should be one of the freshest and tastiest tinapang bangus you would ever taste.

Chef Vic will soon be offering other new food items which he has been working on these past few months. Watch for it!