Edmark Bustos, a native of Baguio City, is a nurse by profession. He took
up Nursing at the time when it seemed to be a lucrative profession for
Pinoys who dreamt of making it big in America where there was a big demand
for nurses. But when he graduated, there was already a glut of nurses
abroad and nursing jobs were scarce especially in the U.S. where he stayed
for a while searching for a job. This was where he was able to rediscover
his real passion.
Some of his friends who took him and his young wife into their homes had
stacks of cookbooks. He had time in his hands so Edmark whipped up dishes
from whatever could be found in the refrigerator.
But he didn't end up doing that. Instead, he went back home an opened a
small dining place with a take-out counter and a very lean staff of four.
Unfortunately, he was forced to close his small restaurant because the
other residents were complaining about the growing traffic in their
residential area. He found another space that measured only 100 sq. meters.
Friends and family donated tables and mono block chairs to help him get
started, and then he was well on his way.
After only 6 months, customers started pouring in and slowly, Edmark
started growing his operations with more personnel, none of whom had any
culinary background. Word of mouth combined with dedication and passion got
the ball rolling for Edmark.
Amare La Cucina, the name he chose for his restaurant, literally means love
the kitchen in Italian. He specializes in great Italian food, and with no
culinary background at all, his success in the kitchen is nothing short of
Amare La Cucina did so well in Baguio City where residents and visitors
line up every day just to get a table that he knew he found his niche. This
one in Bo.Kapitolyo is now his second branch.
This is probably because he made the Amare La Cucina a great dining
There are now quite a few Italian restaurants in town and Edmark knew he
had to make a difference. Mos of these Italian restaurants have the right
ambience, the right food offerings, but Edmark's Amare La Cucina offers
something more than just the food. They are offering a unique dining
experience as well.
These kids are having the time of their lives doing pizza from scratch.
A pizza expert is always on hand to guide them every step of the way.
Here this pizza maker expertly throws up the dough to show the kids, and
us, how to do it right.
After spreading the sauce on the prepared pizza dough and topping it with
it's time to bring it into the brick oven.
What is great about having such a large oven is one can pop in so many
other dishes as well like these juicy, tender ribs which, Edmark says, was
his Dad's idea. What is also surprising is how fast a pizza can cook.
After 2 to 3 minutes, the pizza can be taken out of the oven, the cheese
bubbling and the crust crispy on the edges.
The sense of humor is just part of the fun that Edmark injects into the
Amare La Cucina dining experience. And here, Edmark has prepared a spread
of Amare La Cucina's best sellers. (video)
Amare La Cucina can accommodate as many as 160 hungry diners, and the place
is open for events as well. With the success of his two restaurants, Edmark
hopes to open one in Clark and perhaps in San Juan, La union in the very
near future. For residents in the metro, your best best for now is this one
in Barrio Kapitolyo.
That was our feature this week here in Places, Amare La Cucina in Bo.
Kapitolyo in Pasig