Chef Arnaldo has been cooking for as long as he can remember. “I would see [chefs] cut so fast and think: How can I do that without cutting a finger?! This is amazing! How do you do this?” he says, explaining his childhood thoughts. His exposure to the food industry began at about twelve years old when he began selling sweet tapioca drinks in the Philippines. He moved to America in his early teenage years and later finished his vocational schooling in Chicago, Illinois. He furthered his graduate education at the CIA. No, not that CIA, the Culinary Institute of America, at least that what he told us.
Chef Arnaldo is very family oriented, “they always take care of you [...] they never let you down.” His passions for family translate to his passions for College Chefs, which he expresses at the Alpha Delta Pi house at the University of Illinois. He explains that the culture of the company is extremely supportive, “you know you can rely on them [and it] doesn’t always have to be work-related.”
Being called a geek is something he’s okay with; his favorite tv/ movie genre to watch is science-fiction. If you ever catch him in the kitchen, you can hear him playing all sorts of music and, yes, even country.
To learn more about Chef Arnaldo, scroll down to a brief Q&A. Immediately below, check out some photos of the ridiculously good food that Chef Arnaldo has served.
Q: What is your favorite food to cook?
A: “I just changed to a new [food] kinda kale, quinoa, buckwheat. I like to play around with edamame [...and] Italian fusion with Chinese [like putting] soy in marinara.
Q: What is your favorite food to eat?
A: “Stuff! I like everything; nothing I don’t enjoy! I’m a meat eater so I really like steak and seafood.”
Q: What’s your favorite food memory?
A: As a child, the first time I ever cooked, I baked. I was probably seven or eight. [It was] creme brulee out of a cook book. I looked at it and thought “wow that looks good” [and] I asked my mom to grocery store. It was good. To me, it was the best thing ever made.”
Q: What do you do when you’re not cooking?
A: “Play with my son. We play Mario, Zelda, things like that, he’s ten years old. Or I read books or play games.”
Today you will find that Chef Arnaldo is proficient at quickly chopping up food, the skill he was once amazed by. The ladies of Alpha Delta Pi sorority at the University of Illinois are lucky, not only to be exposed to his impressive culinary skills, but also to his friendly, compassionate nature.
By College Chefs' Danielle Gadus