What's Raymart Santiago up to these days?
Well, he's not worried that his afternoon soap, Futbolilits on GMA-7, is nearing its conclusion.
He actually welcomes the lull.
"Wala pa. Pahinga muna," he says.
The family and sports-oriented program which stars Raymart with Jennilyn Mercado, Paolo Contis, and child actors Renz Valerio and Yogo Singh, is shooting its last four episodes.
Futbolilits is all about a team of young football players who learn life lessons through the sport. Raymart plays the role of head coach, Enrico Ocampo.
Asked about his plans, Raymart says he and a group of friends are working on opening a restaurant. Called Red Garlic Bistro Café, it is located along Katipunan Avenue and will open on October 1, Saturday.
The menu includes the actor's personal recipes such as roasted pork and steak, and his mother's homemade Spanish sardines.
Red Garlic also offers chicken salpicao, callos, and good old pasta dishes.
Raymart explains how the restaurant idea started: "Magkakaibigan kami na mahilig sa sasakyan...at lahat [din] kami mahilig kumain!
"Sabi namin, 'Bakit di na lang tayo gumawa ng restaurant natin kung saan puwede tayo magkikita-kita?'"
The 37-year-old actor's passion for cooking is well-known.
His wife, actress Claudine Barretto, attests that Raymart is no stranger to the kitchen and has taken culinary lessons.
Never one to downplay the advantages of studying in a culinary school, Raymart says a good cook must have a good palate or a knack for flavor combinations.
Red Garlic has four to five resident cooks whom Raymart and his friends consulted to create the bistro's menu.
Asked if Claudine is involved in his latest venture, Raymart says, "Yes! Sa food tasting!"