Jennifer Aranas

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Chicago Magazine Online

News, Tips, and Inside Information from the Dining Editors of Chicago magazine
by Penny Pollack & Jeff Ruby
Frill Seekers 11/8/2006

6 questions for Jennifer Aranas, former chef-owner of Rambutan (1998-2002),
whose cookbook, The Filipino-American Kitchen, will be out in 2007

D: We miss Rambutan. Why did you close?
JA: We got pregnant and had a baby. At the time, I was looking for insight
with female chefs who had kids and how they handled it. But that’s OK.
We can open another restaurant another time.

D: Will you open another Filipino restaurant in Chicago?
JA: Not any time soon. I’m expecting a second baby next week.
So not in the near future. Maybe when all the kids are in school.

D: Is your cookbook home-friendly?
JA: We had to scale down some of the recipes in terms of ingredients that
would be easier to find. I did some substitutions with pre-prepared ingredients
because we did everything from scratch at the restaurant. I know a lot of people
aren’t going to do that.

D: Are you filling a void in the cookbook world?
JA: There are several Filipino books out there but they are more geared for
Filipino cooks. We have things like how to choose and store ingredients, and
a glossary. It is very user friendly. The book is geared toward everybody.

D: What is one recipe you would recommend for a beginner?
JA: The classic Filipino adobo. It’s very simple. It’s only six ingredients and
you put everything into the pot and cook it for an hour. That’s one of the signature dishes in Filipino cooking. 


East West Magazine, December 2006
Exotic But Familiar

The Filipino-American Kitchen