Editor Rebecca Moore witnesses the chef behind Ana’s Kusina in action and finds out how her two heritages collide in her latest cooking venture…
Cornwall’s at-home food scene just got a lot more exciting, as it welcomes back Ana Marie, a half Cornish, half Filipina chef and owner of Ana’s Kusina. Launching Ana’s Kusina – which translates to kitchen in Filipino – in 2021, she now offers culinary delights in the shape of kitchen takeovers, home cookery school, luxury ready meals, and, what I was lucky enough to experience first hand… a private chef.
There’s no denying it, hiring a private chef gives you the best of both worlds, enjoying restaurant-quality food, in the comfort of your home. And I’d been told, if you ask nicely Ana will even do the dishes.
To kick things off, Ana presented pork and prawn sio mai, a delicious traditional steamed dumpling. To follow was a Filipino masterpiece… serving up a kamayan platter, which I now know is a communal-style Filipino feast.
I grazed on an array of lechon baboy a rotisserie rolled crispy belly pork; slow cooked short rib rubbed in spices and marinated in banana ketchup; Filipino chicken spring rolls with a spiced vinegar dip alongside succulent king prawns and squid, tasty chicken wings, steamed rice, griddled pak choi and a fresh pickled salad.
For those with a sweet tooth, fear not it isn’t strictly savoury. For dessert I was spoilt with a Filipino favourite… a purple yam ice cream, but Ana’s version uses Cornish clotted cream, and is served with latik, a Filipino toasted coconut milk crumb. A true taste sensation, creative and a true example of how Ana blends the two cuisines together.
Inviting Ana into your Cornish kitchen, whether you’re visiting on holiday or lucky enough to call Cornwall home is a culinary experience like no other. Mainly covering North Cornwall, Ana’s Kusina is what the Cornish food scene has been missing, and the Duchy is blessed to have such a talented chef back in the fold.