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A Great Harmony of His Passion, Food and Music

Chef Mario Llorente Babol a.k.a. INDISH TEMPO

Barcelona, Spain

Words by: Mye Mulingtapang | Photos by: Pepe Chavez

Food in the Philippines with a passion for flavors can be a little bit excessive for Europeans. Most of the recipes involve the use of spices and chili. Street food is an integral part of the local cuisine too and in any location, it will not be difficult to find stalls where you can taste the local delicacies.

 

For Filipinos, food is also an occasion for celebration and there is no shortage of events with rituals that involve the consumption of a specific dish. Filipino cuisine has been largely influenced by various international cuisines, from American and Spanish to Asian, particularly China, and Malaysia, and this is partly due to the country’s colonial past. There is a myriad of specialties but Filipino cuisine is still considered behind the rest of Asia.

Chef Mario
Chef Mario Babol (Photo by Pepe Chavez)
Chef Mario Llorente Babol  no longer pays attention to this observation and has taken steps for Filipino food to be known in Spain. Just like what his fellow Pinoy Chefs do in other countries so as not to remain in the shadows of other Southeast Asian cuisines known in other parts of the world.

“Many people do not know Filipino food and culture because they have not tried any or they have not experienced what it’s like to be in the Philippines”, said Chef Mario.

Chef Mario is glad that now there are so many highly recommendable Filipino restaurants abroad where other nationalities can taste and experience authentic Pinoy food.

He has also taken his passion in cooking to the social media stage. He takes pictures of his dishes and posts them on Instagram and Facebook.  Using everything he learned in cooking from previous jobs he is now introducing Filipino gastronomy in Barcelona and all over Spain through vlogging where he combines food and music.

“My passion for rock and roll music has also inspired me to cook. So for me music and food are inseparable”, added Chef Mario.

For Chef Mario music and food are always in perfect harmony, one at the service of the other as a source of inspiration, metaphor, or accompaniment. When there is no music in his kitchen, he feels that there is always something missing, it is like a must-have ingredient.

“When I hold my guitar, I’ll start making guitar riffs to complete new tunes. I also do the same in the kitchen with the sounds of knives, pots, spoons, boiling broth, splashes of oil as if they were the members of my band, essentials so that I can make delicious food”, exclaims Chef Mario.

From linking riffs and tunes, Chef Mario can easily crossover to combining different culinary traditions or techniques into a single dish. An example is his cheesecake recipe which is total gastronomic madness. He used an ingredient that is considered a local culinary excellence in the Philippines and abroad among overseas Filipinos, Ube.  It is also used for the preparation of many Filipino traditional sweet and savory dishes.  This tuber with delicately sweet flavor reminiscent of coconut and pistachio and a pleasantly intense purple color has now gained popularity and media visibility.

Follow Chef Mario on social media and know more about him

Ube Coco Cheesecake

Chef Mario’s Ube Cheesecake is something distinctive from the usual NY cheesecake recipes out there, beautiful to look at and good to eat. Check out his recipe below.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Eurasian Fusion, Filipino
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

  • oven
  • food processor
  • medium bowl
  • springform pan
  • parchment/baking paper
  • stand mixer/hand mixer
  • spatula (preferrably silicon spatula for smoother outcome)
  • tinfoil/aluminum foil

Ingredients
  

Crust Ingredients

  • 180 grams crushed cereals
  • 100 grams unsalted butter melted
  • 50 grams granulated sugar

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients

  • 4 pieces large eggs
  • 200 grams granulated sugar
  • 400 grams sour cream
  • 150 grams coconut milk
  • 700 grams full-fat cream cheese
  • 5 ml Ubeness® Purple Yam flavoring and food coloring
  • pinch salt
  • crushed green candy lime pops

Instructions
 

The Crust

  • Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 347°F (175°C)
  • Using a food processor, pulse the cereals into crumbs.
  • Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined.
  • Line in a springform pan with baking paper, allot at least 2 inches allowance on top around the pan.
  • Firmly pat the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 5 minutes then set aside while preparing the filling.

The Cheesecake Filling

  • Beat cream cheese, a pinch of salt and sugar in the bowl with a stand mixer or handheld mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium-high speed.
  • Then beat with the cream cheese until completely smooth.
  • Add the sour cream, Ubeness purple yam flavoring and food coloring, and then beat until fully combined.
  • At medium speed, add the eggs until blended. Do not overmix to avoid the cheesecake from deflating and cracking when cooling.
  • Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with heavy-duty tinfoil then place the crust.
  • Pour filling into the prepared crust using a silicone spatula.
  • Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 34-45 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit, undisturbed, for 45 minutes inside the closed oven.
  • The cheesecake should still be a bit wiggly. Carefully remove from the oven, then cool cheesecake completely uncovered at room temperature for minimum 6 hours upto overnight.
  • Gently run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen the cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife on each slice.Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Store cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Keyword cheesecake, purple yam, ube, ube cheese