January 30, 2023

This “urban Baguio cuisine” diner started as part of the five “theme concept” restaurant cluster of the Ketchup Food Community at Wright Park in 2012. Each restaurant of the community had their own unique specialties.

It was then known as the Green Pepper Gourmet Stop together with Happy Tummy, Rancho Norte, Canto, and Rumah Sate. Managed by a group of enterprising Hotel and Restaurant Management mentors, their restaurants focused on Cordi-Filipino popular gourmet foods.  

However, the Ketchup Food Community closed in 2017 and the restaurants were forced to move to other locations.  Laarni Andam said the partnership was forced to dissolve. In 2019,  a new concept and partnership was formed and is now called  Green Pepper Dos located at the 3rd floor of Leonard Wood Terraces at Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City. The very first venture of Laarni was the “Honey in the Rock Coffee Shop” at Porta Vaga mall.

Gourmet food  preparation and management is not new to Laarni.This pretty lady  has a Hotel and Restaurant degree at the University of the Philippines and a Master in Business Administration degree at the University of the Cordilleras where she used to be the dean of the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM).

In fact, the UC-HTM became the partner of the Baguio Museum, when it conducted the U.S. Embassy sponsored project, “Crossroads: from Eco to Chili”, in 2016. It was a chili burger making competition with an environment exhibit. She has 25years of experience in teaching,  culinary training,  skill assessment, hospitality services, consultancy in business planning and operations management. She is an expert in menu planning, project mechanics, commercial kitchen management and operations and recipe standardization.

Laarni is a restaurateur, managing partner and chef of Green Pepper Dos. She was a faculty and subject head of the College of HRM of the University of Baguio in the late 90s and now a full-time faculty at UC. And yes, she is the sister of Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2001, lawyer Zorayda Ruth Andam. So that explains the sisters’ beauty and brains combination for you.

When asked how the name Green Pepper came about, “Green is the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy and is often associated with growth, harmony, freshness and the environment,” replied Laarni. “Pepper is one of two integral seasonings used to enhance the flavor of food, hence the phrase ‘season to taste with salt and pepper’.                

She adds: “Pepper also refers to the reddish hot tasting spice prepared from varieties of capsicum which is used extensively in Filipino cuisine while its sweet counterpart has been cultivated extensively in the Cordillera highlands.  Dos is our version 2.  We took some of our original specialties from the first restaurant but integrated a fresh, new concept.   The name manifests our commitment to sustainable food consumption with an added spice of life.”  

Green Pepper Dos is accredited by the Department of Tourism and has earned numerous citations and recognitions from the DOT, the Department of Social Welfare and Development for its quick response to “feed the frontliner” program in relation to the pandemic. It was also honored thru a resolution.  It was an avid participant to various programs of the DOT such as the Mangan Taku, SMEX Madrid Fusion, World Street Food Congress and has been featured in several articles and TV shows like the “Ten Pinaka,” and the list goes on and on.

“Our philosophy is to be a sanctuary that offers fine food, great local gourmet and bistro favorites characterized by refined preparation and aesthetic presentation of well-balanced meals,” says this beautiful mentor-business woman.

“The urban Baguio cuisine was envisioned to use local, community-sourced ingredients.  We make a conscious effort to prepare food that utilizes natural, organic, farm-sourced ingredients, and whenever possible, ingredients that are sustainably produced.  We are committed to preserving the culinary heritage of the Cordillera highlands and we are willing to embrace other culinary cultures that reflect our diversity as Filipinos.With an urban menu, food becomes the link between the earth and people.”

Laarni gives samples of Green Pepper Dos creations in her photos. The other staffs  members are Francis Mikael Buangan, Charlynne Buangan, and Mark James Balwayan . Yearning to savor Cordillera fusion cuisine? Drop by Green Pepper Dos with telephone number 248-2280. You can also order delivery via foodpanda. Happy eating.