February 23, 2024

Photos by Mark Hamada

Amare La Cucina has brought an innovative yet traditional technique to cook and eat food that everybody craves for any time of the day.

There are varieties of food firms in the highlands of the Cordillera. As you go around the City of Baguio, choosing your next stop to dine might get a little tricky. Approaching up north, to visit some of the famous landmarks, Amare La Cucina awaits to serve you Baguio’s one and only brick-oven pizza.

This is where you would get the real feel of being in Italy and where you would witness the authenticity of cooking inside the “pugon” (Filipino term for brick oven).

The word “Amare” may sound peculiar for some because we commonly encounter the word “Amore” which means love. Amare is just the same; it means “to love” hence, Amare La Cucina means “to love the kitchen”.

This was derived from the traits of the owner himself; a man who has the passion to experiment different dishes; thus, a man who loves the kitchen. Furthermore, the name Amare was deliberately a combination of the Bustos siblings: Alvin, Marianne, and Edmark.

Humble beginnings

This firm, like all others, started with a small space and a small market. It first opened at DPS Compound where the ancestral home of the owner stands. The operation of the restaurant started on July 2013 until September of the same year. However, since DPS Compound was a residential area, the Bustos had to relocate their business. Thus, through the persuasion of the young and persevered Edmark Lester Hombrebueno Bustos, Amare LaCucina reopened in January 2014 at Villamor Drive Barangay Lualhati, inside EGI Albergo Hotel. Edmark Bustos was neither into a scope of culinary nor an HRM course. He graduated BS Nursing and is a registered nurse in the Philippines and in the United States. Besides, he was not affiliated with cookery or food and beverage services. Ever wonder why he put up this restaurant and why its market continues to grow and become more competitive?

All because of one man’s passion: the passion to pursue his love to cook and come up with the best taste there is to offer, paired with his effectivity in training and handling his people. He also started from scratch; he was not aware of the technical know-how of hand-stretched dough,brick oven food and such. Luckily, through proper planning and negotiation he was able to open his very own food firm, the firm that gives you the utmost satisfaction, the firm loved by many: the “Amare La Cucina” restaurant.

Amare La Cucina might look empty at a first glance, but once you have settled yourself inside, you would enjoy the cozy ambiance as you savor your food. This restaurant would make you forget the breeze of the City of Pines outside and take you to an all new experience.

It would keep you warm and rejuvenated, thus, if you dine with a friend, family or a group, Amare La Cucina will give you a moment for a better conversation and quality time together.

If your buds drive you curiously of Neapolitan Pizza, it might be silly to think that we can go back to the early ages. We can no longer go back thousands of years ago, but we can go to Amare La Cucina to savor their authentic Neapolitan pizzas. Definitely, their pizzas are like replicas of what was known to be a food of the Naples; diet crude bread that was baked beneath the stones and topped with cheese, tomatoes, garlic and sometimes basil. One thing you would enjoy the most is their gooey and luscious dough which are freshly made every day.

All original recipes

All the dishes offered by Amare are original recipes of Edmark Bustos and, among the choices, brick oven pizzas are on top of the list. Try something new, something different, something that will give you authentic Italian flavor; try the foie gras pizza. This pizza is not like any other, it has an incomparable soul because of the truffle oil and its main ingredient, theduck liver. Nonetheless, if you crave for a meaty flavor, try their sausage, pepperoni, and mushroom pizza. This will satisfy your lust for meat, at the same time gives you a healthy balanced diet because of the fresh-cut mushroom buttons and other herbs that tops your pizza.

Further, if there is a particular pizza flavor that tickles your mind, no need to worry because add-ons are made available so you may personalize your own pizza. You should not just indulge on your food though, get involved! Amare la Cucina will make your dining more exciting than expected. The only pizzeria in Baguio with hand stretched and hand tosseddough does not limit your exposure and learning experience because their pizza making area is open for everyone.

You may watch how your pizzas are done and the best part is, you get the chance to be the chef of your own dish. You may prepare your own pizza indeed, and thepizza makers will be happy to help and guide you. Amazing!

They won’t take away the spectacular “old-school cooking” experience you would get from their restaurant. Their woodfired ribs is another “must try” dish. This recipe, so as the skewers, are also cooked inside the“pugon”. It may sound impossible that the charcoal taste brings out a hit on the dish. If you addthe wood-fired ribs among your orders, you won’t regret your stay. However, there are also dishes that are prepared in an off-limit kitchen but that does not make a difference, rest assured that these are served fresh. The seafood pasta, frutti di mare is one of the best pasta they offer.

It has a complete seafood and Italian body; from the toppings, to the sauce, to the noodles. If you are not into red sauce based pasta, no problem, enjoy the relish of oil-based pasta. It looks simple to the naked eye but blasts with delicious tones, and that is the alasardines pasta.

Aside from all these, you might want to compliment all your other orders with aunique vegetable salad, served with mixed fresh greens and other vegetables, the Marianne’sspecial.

You must also try their mint iced tea. This will surely revitalize your day. Further, one of the recipes that you must not miss is their amazing dessert, the nutellapizza.

It’s definitely going to suite your cravings for something sweet and refreshing. These are just some of many more choices of food by Amare La Cucina.

So, what are youwaiting for? Try this wonderful experience and dine now. (Photos by Mark Hamada)