Andre R. Malarky is the Head Chef and General Manager at Dos Mestizos in Boracay (a gorgeous island in the Philippines). Dos Mestizos serves traditional Spanish fare. Picture lentejas con chorizo (lentils with chorizo), callos (tripe_, gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), authentic croquettes and lengua estofado (tongue stew). He has created a Paella menu with 5 different types to choose from. Paella Negra is a local favorite. We recently ate at both Dos Mestizos and Bakers Brothers and fell in love with both places. Andre was sweet enough to agree to answer some of our questions and promised to feed us again next time we hit up the island.
FE: Did you cook growing up?
AM: Instead of helping my dad in the garage I always found myself helping my mom in the kitchen.
FE: Who in your life has influenced your cooking the most?
AM: My mom has been the first and largest influence, followed by my chefs in the various restaurants I’ve worked. Without their guidance I wouldn’t be where I am now.
FE: What made you decide you would become a professional cook?
AM: It was a fluke actually, I was in high school thinking of pursuing a career in psychology when my mom said to me one day “why don’t you become a chef” and I laughed at how absurd that sounded. Once it got stuck in my head I never looked back.
FE: What misconceptions do people have coming into the field?
AM: I once had a student working in my kitchen. During the lull before service we asked him “why do you want to be a chef”. His answer, “for the chicks and the money”. Haha. Little did he know how wrong he was. Working in a kitchen is a brutal experience. Long hours, low pay, working all holidays and every weekend, burns, cuts and insane coworkers. It’s kind of like working on a pirate ship. However with all the shit I wouldn’t want to do anything else. This industry is unique, creative, fast paced, independent with opportunity to work anywhere in the world. And it is definitely fun.
FE: Best cooking tip for a novice?
AM: Practice, practice, practice! Watch all the cooking shows you can and practice, with each try you will gain confidence and get better. That’s a fact!
FE: Which three cooking tools or gadgets are your favorites?
AM: My trusty chef knife, a spoon and a cutting board. With that you can do about anything.
FE: Funniest kitchen incident?
AM: Watching my girlfriend trying to fry chicken. A lone drumstick marinated in soy sauce floating in oil was a hilarious sight. She has never cooked since…
FE: Favorite food to cook with?
AM: Rice. I love rice. You can do so much with so many different varieties.
FE: When at home, what do you like to eat?
AM: I’m an admitted fast food junky. I love pizza and fried rice. I can do wonders with mac and cheese.
FE: Your favorite cookbook?
AM: Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard. Great book, innovative and fun.
FE: Is there a specific etiquette in your kitchen that you pride yourself in?
AM: Respect. Everyone in my kitchen must show and have respect for each other.
We want to thank Chef Malarky for his time and for sharing his recipe for Gambas al Ajillo
6pc shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 head garlic (small), cut in half
1pc fresh chili, cut in half
Good Spanish Pimenton
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
On low heat lightly fry the head of garlic and fresh chili in olive oil until garlic is golden. Season shrimp with a pinch of salt, pimenton, black pepper and olive oil. Remove the garlic and chili from the pan and turn heat to high. Sear shrimp in hot pan, add the garlic and chili, deglaze with Sherry. Serve in a hot cazuela. Enjoy!
Dos Mestizos is located at Calle Remedios, Sitio Mangayyad, Manoc Manoc, Boracay, Malay, Aklan 5608 362885786