Abot-abot ang papuri ng Hollywood star na si Drew Barrymore sa close friend at private chef niyang si Pilar Valdes, isang Pilipina.
Si Pilar ay isang “self-taught” chef na naka-base ngayon sa New York City sa U.S.
Bukod sa good friend at personal chef siya ni Drew, si Pilar ay regular guest din sa The Drew Barrymore Show, ang talk show ng Hollywood A-list actress at producer.
Contributor din si Pilar sa Rebel Homemaker, ang cookbook ni Drew.
Sa mga nakalipas na episodes ng The Drew Barrymore Show, laging binabanggit ng American actress kung gaano sila ka-close ni Pilar.
Very open din si Drew tungkol sa malaking papel ni Pilar sa kanyang buhay.
Unang lumabas si Pilar sa talk show ni Drew noong October 21, 2020, episode. Itinatampok siya sa cooking segment.
Inilalarawan ni Drew si Pilar bilang “very special to me,” at “incredibly talented chef and we’ve been side by side now for about three years, and she’s also my dear friend.”
Ibig sabihin, nagkakilala ang dalawa noong 2017 o 2018.
Pilar Valdes (right), the Filipina who is Drew Barrymore's private chef, close friend, and regular TV guest.
Kuwento ni Drew, go-to person niya si Pilar pagdating sa healthy diet.
Si Pilar daw ang naging susi ng Hollywood star para mapangalagaan ang figure nito.
Paglalarawan ni Drew kay Pilar: “Someone that I’m always in the kitchen with, Pilar and I bonded early on wanting to make food, because I’m a pendulum… heavier, lighter, heavier, lighter. No pretty little middle.
“And to be lighter, I had to do that chicken-and-broccoli thing, and I don’t think that that’s sustainable for happiness.
“And so, when I really would go off the rails, I would do dishes that weren’t chicken and broccoli," lahad ni Drew.
“So, with Pilar, we figured out how to make all these craving dishes, but in the way that’s really healthy and great for digestion, and keep the weight off.”
Sabi ni Drew kay Pilar, “I’ve been doing this now for a long time with you and I’m happy.”
Dugtong ni Drew, “I love you. I love the life I get to live because of you. I’ve learned so much with you and from you.”
COMMON DENOMINATOR of drew & pilar
Mismong si Drew, namamangha sa itinakbo ng pagkakaibigan nila ni Pilar, na mula sa magkabilang panig ng mundo pero pinagtagpo ng pagkakataon.
Ngayon raw ay itinuturing ni Drew si Pilar as "one of my dearest friends."
Inilahad ito ni Drew sa January 12, 2021 episode ng kanyang talk show.
“Pilar and I literally spend almost every day together, and we love food, and we love laughter, and we love travelling the globe.
“We’re very into the flavor, the study.”
Sabi ni Drew kay Pilar, “You’re self-taught, I’m self-made. Because it proves you don’t have to have a degree.
“You don’t have to have had a certain economic or cookie-cutter journey.
“You can find yourself wherever you are in the world.
“You’re in Manila, I was here, and here we are together.”
Sagot ni Pilar, “And food has brought us together.”
Drew and Chef Pilar were to be singled out, it would be culinary.
Ani pa ni Drew: “Pilar and I are the biggest cookbook junkies.
“We’ve built our collection together. We speak in cookbook, and visuals, and Instagram, and posts, and references and tags and sharing.”
Noong April 21, 2021, naging guest muli ni Drew ang kanyang “culinary partner” na si Pilar.
Ini-launch noon ni Drew ang kanyang cookbook na Rebel Homemaker, kung saan contributor si Pilar.
Binalikan ni Pilar ang kuwento nila ni Drew bilang magkaibigan at magkatrabaho.
Sabi ng Pinay chef, “It’s been such a wonderful journey when we started working together.
“We like cookbooks, and sharing stories, and talking about food.”
Minsan daw, naibahagi ni Drew kay Pilar ang pangarap niyang gumawa ng cookbook.
Ngayong ay nabigyan na ng katuparan ito, kasama si Pilar.
Memorable para kay Drew ang pagtatagpo nila ni Pilar dahil noon ay dumaranas si Drew ng major adjustment sa buhay.
Sabi ni Drew kay Pilar, “I met you at a point in my life when I was living in a rental apartment.
“I was moving from Los Angeles to New York.
“I was looking to start a new endeavor so that I can be home with my kids.
“I was like, ‘I’ll start a company. I’ll write a book. I’ll do anything,’ like how can I be a mom first?
“And my life felt like very unanchored, and there was a lot of transitions, and I met you at that time.
“And we ended up dreaming and finding an anchor together, and you, and food, and our friendship was a huge saving grace for me.
“And something that I can hook into when my life felt so floating.
“And here we are three years later. And I feel like our lives are so anchored, individually and together.”
Sabi naman ni Pilar, ang pagtatagpo nila ni Drew ay “serendipity and a whole lot of luck.”
This year, Drew launched her cookbook Rebel Homemaker, where Pilar is a contributor.
Sa sumunod na pahayag ni Drew, mahihinuhang malaki ang naging papel sa kanyang buhay ng Pinay chef.
Sabi ng 50 First Dates actress, “I do think for anyone that’s out there, who makes a connection with someone, and you want to do something together—go for it.
“Because I couldn’t do this alone,” pagtukoy ni Drew sa kanyang cookbook.
WHO IS PILAR VALDES?
Base sa LinkedIn, ang business-and-employment-oriented online service, si Pilar ay graduate ng University of the Philippines noong 2000 at may Bachelor’s Degree in Cinematography and Film/Video Production.
Meron din siyang Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, mula sa Sarah Lawrence College, sa Bronxville, New York.
Si Pilar ay co-owner ng Kickshaw Cookery, isang catering service company sa New York.
Ayon kay Pilar, late na siya nang simulang pasukin ang mundo ng culinary.
“After graduating from college in New York City, I worked in the field of non-profit and philanthropy for ten years,”lahad niya sa Singapore Tatler noong July 16, 2021.
Noon pa man daw, may mga senyales na siyang tatahakin niya ang culinary, gaya ng hilig niyang magluto kapag nagpapahinga mula sa trabaho, o kaya ay gumagawa ng tinapay sa madaling araw.
Lumaki raw siya sa pamilya kung saan malaking bahagi ang kusina, at madalas ay host sila ng kanilang pamilya sa mga gatherings.
Habang lumalaki, hindi raw nakahiligan ni Pilar ang pagluluto, pero natuto raw siyang magluto nang pumunta sa New York noong 2000.
Ito raw ang paraan niya para may makain at mawala ang homesickness.
Sa simula raw, isa siyang “pretty horrible home-cook.”
Pero hindi raw niya ito sinukuan.
Madalas daw ay siya ang nagluluto kapag bumibisita sa kanya ang mga kaibigan.
Dagdag pa ni Pilar, “What I would do is read cookbooks all the time, picking out flavour combinations that excited me, and techniques that agreed with the way I liked to eat.”
Madalas din daw siyang kumain sa labas hangga't maabot ng kanyang budget para pag-aralan ang lasa ng mga pagkain.
Kasama ang isang kaibigan na may passion din sa pagkain, itinayo nila ang Kickshaw Cookery noong 2010.
Pero dumating daw ang pagkakataong kinailangang itigil muna ang negosyo matapos lumipat sa Texas ng kanyang business partner.
Nang alukin daw siya ni Drew na maging private chef at maging bahagi ng The Drew Barrymore Show, nag-alangan si Pilar.
Pinagdudahan daw ni Pilar kung kaya niya ang hamon, lalo’t isa siyang private person.
Pero binigyan daw siya ng words of encouragement ng Hollywood actress.
Kuwento ni Pilar, “I was second-guessing myself when she just said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ve got you. You’re an amazing cook, and I’ve been on TV all my life. We got this.'”
Malaki raw ang pasasalamat ni Pilar sa pagkakataong ibinigay sa kanya ni Drew.
Dahil hindi naman daw talaga siya nag-aral sa isang culinary school at hindi rin nagtrabaho sa isang restaurant, “I always recognise that there are gaps in my culinary knowledge,” ani Pilar sa Singapore Tatler.
“But with a lot of reading, eating and leaning on people who have been in the industry for a long time, I’ve grown and made my own way.”
Umaasa si Pilar na base sa kuwento ng kanyang buhay, makakuha ng inspirasyon ang iba upang sumubok at matuto ng bagong kaalaman.