This is how Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach prepares her breakfast. She opens her fridge, takes out the Beef Gyudon bowl she ordered the day before, and microwaves it. She swears by the thinly sliced beef, poached eggs, red onions with dashi broth.
The Beef Gyudon is part of the Japanese menu she launched in Pia’s Kitchen World Cuisine recently. Wurtzbach arrived in a pink dress at the test kitchen of CloudEats in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The beauty queen said Pia’s Kitchen is a dream come true. She studied culinary at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies in San Juan.
“I was a personal chef in the United Kingdom, but I took a break because I missed show biz. It’s been a while since I got in touch with my culinary roots,” she said.
Wurtzbach worked closely with chef Carlo Miguel on the concept for her menu. She was very hands-on because she said she didn’t want to put her name on a brand whose products she is not a fan of.
They started the meetings in December over Zoom while she was in the UK. When she got home, Miguel sent several bowls for tasting, but they had one face-to-face tasting session at the test kitchen of Taguig.
“I have a passion for cooking. I included the dishes that I love and want to eat. Ang gaan katrabaho ni chef Carlo. I was very honest, I told him if I wanted to change the sauce or add something,” she said.
Wurtzbach requested to keep the menu exciting, hence Miguel suggested making a destination theme with a menu that changes every three months. The featured places will be countries and regions whose cultures she enjoyed.
“I really like to immerse myself in the culture, not just through sightseeing but also by tasting the food. My family and friends know how much I love to eat. I love rice,” she said.
Miguel said that even if they will change the menu often, they will keep her favorites and the bestsellers. Wurtzbach said that the changing menu is possible because they don’t’t have a physical restaurant where they have to keep a specific theme.
“Time has changed. You have everything in the comfort of your own home. Before, it felt like when you had something delivered, it wouldn’t be fresh. That’s not the case anymore. You can enjoy restaurant-quality meals at home,” she said.
Part of their research was making the riders go out for 40 minutes—the average time it takes for food to be delivered—just to check the food quality when it arrives at the recipient.
The rice meals come in paper bowls with a spill-proof lid. All the sauce and dressing come on the side.
Wurtzbach is especially proud of the freshness of the Salmon Teriyaki Salad when it arrives. It comes in a clear plastic bowl that keeps the ingredients fresh. The salad is composed of seared salmon glazed in teriyaki sauce, quinoa, mango, red cabbage, romaine, red onion, cucumber and Asian dressing. She said that this is her kind of salad, flavorful, with a lot of texture and a little sweet.
She named the Chicken Katsu Curry as her favorite. It features breaded chicken thigh filet, pickled red onions, pickled jicama and carrots and Japanese curry. Even those who are not fans of curry can enjoy the meal. The curry served on the side means you can choose to enjoy the chicken katsu and all its umami-flavored glory on its own.
When asked if her customers will ever get to taste recipes that Wurtzbach came up with, Pia said that they might in the future. When she was studying, she said that she especially enjoyed making desserts.
“Maybe it’s time that the universe tasted these,” she said. For now, the only dessert available is the Portuguese egg tart, which is Miguel’s favorite.
Miguel announced that Pia’s Kitchen will go to Southeast Asia next and will feature the Beef Rendang bowl whose recipe came from Miguel’s Indonesian mother-in-law. The new menu will drop in July.
The rice meals and sandwiches can be ordered via GrabFood under Pia Wurtzbach’s Kitchen.