“There are a lot of responsibilities that we have taken on – but the one we take most seriously is preserving our native teachings and practices,” Paolo Garcia, head chef and owner of Davao’s Balik Bukid Farm and Kitchen, says.
With a love of food in his blood, Paolo studied culinary arts in the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management in Quezon City, Metro Manila. He moved to Dubai in 2009 to cook at a Lebanese fine-dining restaurant.
Return to Mindanao
Paolo’s decision to move back to Mindanao in 2012 came when his artist-sister, Willie, had the idea to start a farm-to-table restaurant in Davao province.
The siblings became familiar with the region because their grandfather had worked in the pineapple and banana industry there.