May 29, 2024

If you are craving lechon, you can satiate your yearning with Le Cusina Den’s lechon Cebu seasoned with traditional herbal sauces.
The emerging resto is a stone’s throw away from town, located at 55 Legarda Road, which has a commanding view of the central business district operated by four internationally trained chefs under the Kulinarista Food Solutions namely: Chefs Adrien Michael Tagumpay, Jennifer Licudine, Delfin Abad, and Joven Egtapen.
Its menu comes from four different concepts: Hernan’s Kitchen, Le Cusina Den, the Pastry Lab and the Subwich factory.
Their goal is to be the benchmark food corporation to help aspiring restaurateurs develop their own concepts and ideas. With four multi-talented, young entrepreneurs with gastronomical experiences, need I say more?
My son Nash once asked me where he could find restaurants in Baguio with good panoramic views that he could recommend to friends in Manila, and all I could think of were That Little Café in Legarda and Figaro Coffee Shop at SM Baguio.
Then lately, I thought of Lemon and Olives Taverna at Outlook Drive and the Baguio Craft Brewery at Marcos Highway. Of course, there might be others that I am not aware of.
Recently, we visited the Café in the Sky at Mount Sto. Tomas in Tuba, Benguet. This cafe will have another story.
I asked Adrien, who is like my anak-anakan, how his passion for cooking started.
He shared: “ I began cooking po snacks for my siblings when I was seven years old. I also used to help and watch my lolo Hernan (Adrien’s idol, mentor and best friend) prepare and cook dinner for the family everyday. My love for cooking paved the way for me to start my first restaurant in Tagaytay called Hernan’s kitchen in 2010. It was followed by Route 55, same location as Le Cusina, in 2012. Then Subwich factory was underway in 2016 inspired by my former Sandwich factory. Den Abad opened Le Cusina Den in 2020 to survive the pandemic selling bilaos for delivery and pick up. We formed a partnership after, to improve our food concepts. We were later joined by Jennifer and Joven.”
Jen Licudine is Adrien’s partner. Adrien has five kids who are all interested in cooking but has yet to acquire their dad’s gourmet passion: Aliyah 16 years old; Amory, 15; Andre, 13; Gabby, 10; and the youngest Arrow Mikael, 2.
His brothers, Mulong Laguisma, Ricky and Arvin Tagumpay help him with the business.
How does Adrien develop his recipes?
“My ideas grow from the heart po and then I innovate. I also read a lot of cookbooks, watch cooking shows, eat out, and read my lolo Hernan’s recipes for inspiration. My sellable items are roast beef, ribs, wings and very recently, modern Filipino,” he said.
As an added icing to the cake, Route 55 was once featured in the famous show of Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil called “Forevermore,” where Adrien played a very short role.
His favorite dishes at Le Cusina Den are modern Filipino, bulalo, roast beef kaldereta, and lechon manok.
For Route 55, it was strawberry habanero ribs, chicken wings with 14 choices of sauces and glazes, and roast beef with truffle gravy.
His partner Den Abad owns Baguio Vacation House, but had to look for alternative ways to survive the pandemic, since his hotel had no guests. Thus, Le Cusina Den was born.
Den converted two of his rooms into a kitchen and to help frontliners, he gave away bread and pancit. That was when people started to order bilaos of pancit, fried chicken and spaghetti.
Den hired Adrien to develop his menu further and they came up with Asian bilaos (an assortment of Korean, Japanese, Singaporean, Malaysian, Thai, Chinese and Pinoy food in a bilao). Their businesses merged and transitioned to plated semi fine dining food.
At present, Adrien does consultancies for restaurants which are starting and also for those which are already in existence while managing Kulinarista Food Solutions. He is also a trainer, a champion of several competitions and had been invited to several national television shows for cooking demos like “Umagang Kay Ganda”.
His company has helped 30 other restos in Luzon and Visayas. The company is in the process of developing more concepts for franchising and company operations.
Adrien said his partners are really good at their own crafts and specialties. The resto is still under renovation, but will still give you a good view of Baguio.
Watch out for the reopening of Route 55.
By the way, we visited Le Cusina Den the other night and was attended to by a very good server named Ivan.
Craving for lechon? Go or order at Le Cusina Den through mobile 09171591836.