vol. 5 Struggles

Credit: Pearl Steffie

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Pearl Steffie:
"With cooking, this is me on a plate"

Chef & Model

A chat about seafood pasta, beauty, mental health, and a food truck dream


Oct 28, 2021 | As told to Cherie Yang & edited by Mohsina Alam

What happens when you have a social media following of almost 100,000, and that gets suddenly wrenched from you?

Pearl was working as a social media influencer, alongside her day job as a chef, when her Instagram account was hacked.

That led to a complete reset—in more ways than one. She started from scratch again in building her following. But that also afforded her the opportunity to reassess her priorities and refocus on her burgeoning culinary career.

Today, Pearl still takes on modelling jobs as a side hustle, but her eyes are firmly focused on her day job—and true passion—cooking. If asked to pick between modelling and being a chef, she’d choose cooking, “in a heartbeat.”

We chat about how her two worlds intersect, and how one has fed into the other. Being a model, she says, has helped her to become more confident and overcome her natural shyness. Being a chef, especially in a male-dominated environment and working 12-hour days, has helped her to develop a strong personality that she carries with her into the modelling world.

A self-professed ‘island girl’ from the Philippines, Pearl is a long way from home now as she carves her own path in Los Angeles. It’s been a trying year as well, and we share several heartfelt moments as we talk about her experience with depression, and her path to overcoming her mental health struggles. Whilst Pearl is still active on social media, her attitude towards it has evolved. The desire to be an ‘influencer’ has now taken a backseat. Social media has become a platform to spread positivity and encourage female empowerment. (Plus sneak peeks of her culinary prowess.)

Hey Pearl, we’re rooting for that food truck dream, and perhaps a cooking show someday too.

Follow Pearl on Instagram.

All pictures courtesy of Pearl Steffie’s Instagram, unless otherwise indicated.

  • I remember one time I was 10 years old and my neighbor had a wedding. My grandpa was the chef and I just watched him butcher a whole cow.
  • &: Tell me about your love for cooking.

    PS:

    My grandfather was a chef.

    I grew up watching him cook everyday. My mom wasn't really a good cook, so it was always my grandpa who would do the cooking for us.

    I remember one time I was 10 years old and my neighbor had a wedding. My grandpa was the chef and I just watched him butcher a whole cow.

    To me as a 10-year-old kid, it was just really, really cool. How can you do that? That is amazing. It blew my mind.

  • I did acting until I was 15, and I did voice, piano, guitar lessons, but I realised it was not my passion. My heart wasn’t in it but I was just doing it because I wanted to learn.
  • &: I remember reading that you actually wanted to be an actor when you were growing up. Where did that dream come from?

    PS:

    My mom was into acting, and when I was a little kid, she always pushed me into school contests and talent contests.

    As I was growing up she trained me in acting, she was my acting coach and she was really good at it.

    I did acting until I was 15, and I did voice, piano, guitar lessons, but I realised it was not my passion. My heart wasn’t in it but I was just doing it because I wanted to learn.

    I’m not sure if it’s just a thing in Asian culture with every Asian parent forcing their kids to learn instruments and be smart and talented. [laughs]

  • Pearl at work. Credit: @pearl.steffie via Instagram

  • On my first day of culinary school, I remember I had no idea what the ingredients in front of me were...
  • &: When did you begin to consider becoming a chef?

    PS:

    When I was 21, I just felt lost. I was asking myself, “What am I going to do? I’m already 21 and I don’t know what course to take.” I hadn’t found my passion yet and I had seen all my friends going to college, while I was just sitting on the sidelines.

    My grandpa said to me, “Oh, why don't you try culinary school? Because you love cooking.”

    I always wanted to cook, but on the island, there were not a lot of options of schools to go to. I went to a private college and they offered a hotel and restaurant management course. I did that for around a year thinking that I would learn cooking, but they told me I would only learn cooking in my third or fourth year.

    I thought, “I don’t want to waste three or four more years without learning how to cook.”

    So I dropped out of college and I decided that I would have to move to the city and be at a real culinary school if I wanted to learn how to cook.

    At the time, I wasn’t really good at cooking.

    On my first day of culinary school I remember I had no idea what the ingredients in front of me were. Growing up on an island, I was used to only seeing fresh produce from my backyard. I remember seeing parsley and thinking, “I’ve never seen parsley before!” [laughs]

  • It was scary at first because I had never been away from my family. I had always lived with my family and suddenly I had moved away to the big city by myself and I had to figure out everything on my own.
  • &: Apart from being exposed to spices and food that you had never seen before, what was it like transitioning from the island to the city?

    PS:

    It was scary at first because I had never been away from my family. I had always lived with my family and suddenly I had moved away to the big city by myself and I had to figure out everything on my own.

    I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t have any friends, I was just there to go to culinary school. It was hard because I’m not really a people person and I’m really shy. It was hard for me to adjust to a big city and meet new people.

  • Pearl (middle) and her mother (left). Credit: Pearl Steffie via Facebook

  • &: What did your mum say when you went to culinary school?

    PS:

    She was really supportive about it, but she never stopped telling me, “Oh maybe you’ll change your mind in the future and you’ll want to pursue acting,” because there were a lot of auditions in the city.

    But I said, “It’s ok mum, I’ll just focus on cooking right now. [Acting] is not really what I want."

  • “I can be a celebrity chef one day [laughs]. I can be on TV and do cooking shows.”
  • &: When you decided to focus on cooking, did you feel sad or apprehensive about leaving the acting world?

    PS:

    No, not really. I felt like I could always go back to it if I wanted to. I always think, “I can be a celebrity chef one day," [laughs] "I can be on TV and do cooking shows.” It would be the perfect balance of being a chef and being an actor if I wanted to be.

  • We were fresh out of culinary school and we were like, “We can totally kill this! We can open up our own restaurant and we’ll be successful.”
  • &: What did you do after culinary school? Did you open a restaurant?

    PS:

    I did. After I graduated from culinary school, I opened an American restaurant with one of my classmates.

    We were fresh out of culinary school and we were like, “We can totally kill this! We can open up our own restaurant and we’ll be successful.”

    [laughs]

    We opened up the restaurant in 2014, I think I was 23 at the time. And then I moved to America in 2016 while still having my restaurant back home.

  • I’m always eager to learn and experience new things, like trying out different food from different cultures. That’s how I learn.
  • Credit: Bien Mesana

  • &: What made you decide to move to America?

    PS:

    Even though I had my own restaurant, I felt like I wanted more and more and I felt that I still had a lot to learn. Having a restaurant doesn’t suddenly mean that you know everything as a chef or restaurant owner.

    I’m always eager to learn and experience new things, like trying out different food from different cultures. That’s how I learn. It doesn’t have to be at an expensive restaurant, you can eat from a taco truck and learn something from it.

    When I moved to America, I started working as a chef in Miami. I worked at the Ritz Carlton hotel for two years and I loved my whole experience of working in a hotel, but in Florida there’s not much of an Asian community so I always felt homesick.

    I decided that it was time for me to move somewhere else, so I moved to LA because the food scene here is very vibrant. There’s so much culture here — Latin, Asian, European — everything is here. It’s so easy to try different cuisines if you want to.

    I didn’t know anyone when I first moved, but I’ve been here for around four years now and it feels like home. There’s a big Asian community in LA and so many Asian and Filipino restaurants here. When I miss home I just go to a Filipino store and I feel like I’m already home [laughs].

  • Ever since I left my country, I’ve never had a chance to go and visit. So it’s been a really long time. Thank God for Facetime!
  • &: Do you see your family much in the Philippines?

    PS:

    Ever since I left my country, I’ve never had a chance to go and visit. So it’s been a really long time. Thank God for Facetime! [laughs]

  • But having the skills that I have now and being a chef and being a model at the same time, I think it’s a really good skill to have because not a lot of people can do that.
  • &: How does your mum feel about you being a chef in LA?

    PS:

    She’s really, really proud. She sometimes still says, “I can’t believe that you’re a chef now.” Growing up, I wasn’t the brightest kid in the class and I never felt smart enough.

    But having the skills that I have now and being a chef and being a model at the same time, I think it’s a really good skill to have because not a lot of people can do that.

  • Pearl modelling for a photoshoot. Credit: @pearl.steffie via Instagram

  • &: Speaking of modelling, how did you become a model?

    PS:

    I had a friend whose older sister did photography when I was in high school, and she was looking for a model for her portfolio.

    She said to me, “I think you have a pretty face, maybe you could be my model.” I didn’t have any modelling experience at the time, I was only fifteen, but I said, “Yeah, we can try it out.”

    So we did photo shoots and all the photos came out great. I posted them on social media and other photographers started reaching out to me and were telling me I was good. I was loving it!

  • Being a model helps me be more open to making new friends. It helps me to be more friendly and become more comfortable with people.
  • &: What did you love about it?

    PS:

    It made me feel confident about myself. I’m a really shy person, but when I’m in front of a camera, I become a different person. I change from being shy to feeling like a beautiful and confident woman. It’s like acting.

    I also love meeting talented, creative people. Like I said, I’m shy and I’m not good at socialising with other people, but being a model helps me be more open to making new friends. It helps me be more friendly and become more comfortable with people.

    And I can say that I’m really getting good at it! Modelling helps me a lot; you’ll go to a photo shoot and you don’t know who you’re going to work with, you haven’t met the photographers before and then they turn into friends. It’s really, really nice.

  • I used to have a large following on social media and then last year someone hacked my Instagram and they asked for money.
  • Pearl in a fashion shoot. Credit: @pearl.steffie via Instagram

  • &: And you were also working as a social media influencer on the side?

    PS:

    Yeah.

    I used to have a large following on social media and then last year someone hacked my Instagram and they asked for money.

    I reached out to Instagram but they didn’t really help me. Some influencers tried to help me by sending emails to Instagram but I never really got help from Instagram.

    I had almost 100k followers and I was working with big companies, from clothes to hair products to shoes.

    This company reached out to me and they said that they were a startup clothing company and they wanted me to be an ambassador for them. They sent me a link to check out their products and I thought, “This is great, another opportunity for me.” I was reading their email and then I clicked their website link and my Instagram just got hacked.

    I had to start from scratch and I was really sad. Because of the pandemic and the restaurants shutting down, I had lost my job as a chef and [being an influencer] was the only thing that helped me pay my bills.

    It was my livelihood. And someone took it away from me. I was so heartbroken and I took a break from social media for a few months after it happened.

  • I was like, “I'm just going to focus on my career as a chef,” because social media is not a stable career and it can be taken away from you anytime.
  • &: What did you do during those months?

    PS:

    I started looking for a job, even though a lot of restaurants were not open at the time. The restaurants I had worked at were completely shut down.

    I was like, “I'm just going to focus on my career as a chef,” because social media is not a stable career and it can be taken away from you anytime.

    I told myself I could still do modeling as a side hustle, but I was not going to focus on social media anymore.

  • It came to a point where I just wanted to quit being a chef and do full-time modeling because I made more money from that. But at the same time, it wasn’t my passion. My heart is with cooking, so it’s a good thing that I didn’t quit!
  • &: If your account hadn't been hacked, would you have made the decision to focus on your culinary career?

    PS:

    At the time, I was working as a chef and a social media influencer and a model at the same time. I remember thinking it’s crazy how you make more money just by posting on your Instagram and being a model than by being a chef and working eight hours in the kitchen, which is really stressful.

    It came to a point where I just wanted to quit being a chef and do full-time modeling because I made more money from that. But at the same time, it wasn’t my passion. My heart is with cooking, so it’s a good thing that I didn’t quit!

  • I start at 9:00 AM, sometimes earlier, and sometimes I stay until 10:00 PM. It's around 12 to 14 hours of working in the kitchen.
  • &: Wow. What’s your schedule like as a chef?

    PS:

    I start at 9:00 AM, sometimes earlier, and sometimes I stay until 10:00 PM. It's around 12 to 14 hours of working in the kitchen. I work weekends too, weekends are my busiest time. You’re lucky if you get weekends off and I rarely get weekends off.

  • I make people happy with the plate that I make. It’s like an expression of who I am on a plate. If people like it, it really means a lot to me.
  • &: Your schedule is obviously very demanding. How do you keep yourself motivated?

    PS:

    Cooking makes me physically tired because of the long hours, and it also makes me mentally tired because you’re always under stress and pressure. But at the end of the day when I finish my list of tasks it feels like a relief and I'm proud of myself.

    I’m always up for a challenge. When I come to work, I look at the long list of things that I have to do, and at the end of the day, I think, “Ok, let’s see how I challenged myself today.” I always challenge myself to be faster each day and become better at my job.

    And if customers like the food, they come into the kitchen to compliment my cooking and that makes me happy because that’s what I do.

    I make people happy with the plate that I make. It’s like an expression of who I am on a plate. If people like it, it really means a lot to me.

  • I express my art in a plate that I make or in the food that I make. When I go to photo shoots, that's a different form of art. You pose, you wear make-up, you do your hair, the dress that you're wearing, it's a different kind of art.
  • &: Is cooking an art or a science to you?

    PS:

    To me, cooking is an art. When I go to photo shoots, people always ask me, “Why did you want to become a model?”

    And I always say, “Well, I work as a full-time chef.” My real job is being a chef.

    I express my art in a plate that I make or in the food that I make. When I go to photo shoots, that's a different form of art. You pose, you wear make-up, you do your hair, the dress that you're wearing, it's a different kind of art.

    So with cooking, it's like, hey, this is me on a plate. And when it comes to photo shoots, this is me dressed as a model. I'm not dressed in a stained chef’s jacket, I'm wearing a nice dress and have nice hair and colourful makeup. So it's different but it’s the same: it's art, but in two different worlds.

  • Pearl in her element. Credit: Jarrod Coleman (www.s2bphotography.com)

  • &: I love that. If I asked you to cook something that expresses yourself, what would you cook?

    PS:

    I would say seafood pasta, with white wine and butter and fresh herbs and spices. I’ll say seafood pasta because I came from an island and I’m an island girl.

    I love pasta a lot, I can always eat pasta. I’m really good at cooking it, it’s one of my specialties. For every staff meal, I cook pasta and all the employees love it.

  • Most people think that chefs eat like a king, but that's not how it is. We don’t eat good food every day, we just cook for other people, 12 to 14 hours every day. We don’t have time to cook for ourselves, and it’s really sad.
  • &: On your days off, do you cook for yourself?

    PS:

    Because I cook for 12 to 14 hours a day, when I come home I just don’t have the energy to cook for myself. So most of the time I buy takeout food. I get Asian food, pizza, burgers, and I go to food trucks sometimes.

    Most people think that chefs eat like a king, but that's not how it is. We don’t eat good food every day, we just cook for other people, 12 to 14 hours every day. We don’t have time to cook for ourselves, and it’s really sad. [laughs]

    But when I'm working, I always make meals for everyone. Other chefs don't really care about their employees, but when I go to work, no matter how busy we are, I make food for all of us.

    We're going to eat. The customers are eating and we deserve to eat too. If our food takes a little bit longer to be cooked, it’s ok. It's important that we can eat too.

    The restaurant that I work at now is a family-owned restaurant and it’s a really small community. I consider my co-workers to be family, they’re really close to me.

  • I just tell my boss, “Look, I can't work on this weekend because I have a photo shoot,” and they're very understanding and considerate about it because they know that I've been working a lot. And they know that I do modelling as my side hustle.
  • &: That’s lovely. You work long hours and weekends. When do you fit in the modelling?

    PS:

    Usually when I get projects, I tell them I need to know the date first, and I have to know at least two weeks in advance so I can work around my schedule as a chef.

    I just tell my boss, “Look, I can't work on this weekend because I have a photo shoot,” and they're very understanding and considerate about it because they know that I've been working a lot. And they know that I do modelling as my side hustle.

  • That’s when I realised that no one is perfect, even models have their own insecurities too. I feel like you just have to be confident and accept who you are and what you are as a person in order to be happy.
  • &: When you’re on a photo shoot, what emotions go through your head?

    PS:

    Sometimes being a model is kind of stressful. Usually, I do group photo shoots and work with other models. So when you show up and you see these other beautiful girls, sometimes you can feel insecure and think, “She’s taller than me, I wish I was curvy like her, I feel like I’m too skinny and I wish I was a little bit curvy.” So sometimes it makes you feel insecure.

    But I think it's just part of being a model. One time I went to this photo shoot and I was working with models of different colors and different sizes; all beautiful women. And we're all in the dressing room and you see how confident they are. We were trying on our outfits and there was nothing that fit me; I was too skinny and I felt like I just wanted to go home. But other models were telling me, “I wish I was skinny like you, because I’m curvy and it’s so hard to find clothes that fit me.”

    That’s when I realised that no one is perfect, even models have their own insecurities too. I feel like you just have to be confident and accept who you are and what you are as a person in order to be happy.

Insecurity & Happiness

The modelling world

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  • But I just woke up one day and looked at myself in the mirror with no makeup on and I thought to myself, “Yeah she looks pretty without makeup.”
  • &: Was there a turning point when you stopped feeling insecure or stopped comparing yourself to other models?

    PS:

    I used to always compare myself to other beautiful models. I wished that I had bigger eyes or a smaller nose or Kylie Jenner lips.

    But I just woke up one day and looked at myself in the mirror with no makeup on and I thought to myself, “Yeah, she looks pretty without makeup.”

    When I go to work as a chef, I don’t wear makeup at all. I went into the bathroom one time and I looked at myself in the mirror and I thought, “I'm actually really beautiful without makeup! I'm actually loving myself right now." [laughs]

    To me, beauty doesn’t have to be about your physical appearance. I think beauty is more on the inside, I’ve always believed that. To me, having a beautiful character is more important than having a beautiful face and not being beautiful on the inside.

  • Being a chef gives me this really strong personality in the kitchen because I'm surrounded by men every day. Most of the time I'm the only girl in the kitchen and I have to deal with guys all the time. So I have to be more firm to be respected.
  • &: Do you feel like you’re two different people when you’re in the kitchen with no makeup in your chef’s clothing, compared to when you’re modelling?

    PS:

    Maybe I look different, but for me, I don’t feel like different people.

    Being a chef gives me this really strong personality in the kitchen because I'm surrounded by men every day. Most of the time I'm the only girl in the kitchen and I have to deal with guys all the time. So I have to be more firm to be respected.

    People will say, “Oh, she can't do it because she's a woman.”

    And I say, “No, you're wrong. Just watch me, I can do it.”

    The restaurant industry is a male-dominated industry, and being a woman is tough.

  • "I hope you tell yourself that you’re beautiful." @pearl.steffie via Instagram

  • &: Have you brought any of that personality into the modelling world?

    PS:

    Yeah, I have. Most of the photographers are male and you hear stories from other models of male photographers who make them feel weird.

    So far, I've never had a really bad experience working with male photographers and I feel like I already know how to work with them because I'm used to working with a lot of men in the kitchen.

    Every time I do photo shoots with them, they'll be like, “You're so easy to work with, you walk in and you’re the one running the show.” I know what to do as a model and for them, it just makes the job so easy.

  • Yeah I do it for a living, but it also makes me happy and satisfied in my life at the same time, knowing that I’m living my dream, I'm doing my passion. I go to work every day and I don't feel like I'm going to work. I just show up and I'm happy.
  • &: You said earlier that being a chef is your full-time job and modelling is your side hustle. Has that always been the case?

    PS:

    Yeah. People always ask me, “If you had to choose between cooking and modeling, what would you choose?”

    And I always say, “I’d pick cooking, in a heartbeat.”

    It’s sad because in our industry right now, we are underpaid. Some people want to go to culinary school because they think that chefs make a lot of money, or that when you own your own restaurant, you make a lot of money, but that is not true.

    Most of us do it because it's our passion, it's what we love to do.

    Yeah I do it for a living, but it also makes me happy and satisfied in my life at the same time, knowing that I’m living my dream, I'm doing my passion. I go to work every day and I don't feel like I'm going to work. I just show up and I'm happy.

  • Pearl and her boyfriend, Jon Ribera.

  • &: What do you do when you need to recharge? Do you have routines and rituals when you have time off?

    PS:

    I go out, see my friends and catch up with them because I’m always so busy. We try new restaurants that we haven’t been to before. I go hiking; I’m an outdoor person so I go hiking or go to the beach or the swimming pool and recharge.

    I call my family too; I always call them on my day off, I have to make time to call my family.

    And I spend time with my boyfriend because I barely have time to see him while I’m working. It's about spending time with the people I love and care about on my day off.

    Quality time is really important to me.

  • Sometimes I still think, “Well, one day, what if I have my own cooking show?” or people tell me I should start YouTube or TikTok. It's not really my main goal right now.
  • &: You joked earlier about becoming a celebrity chef in the future and being on a TV show. Is that something that you see yourself doing?

    PS:

    It used to be a dream.

    Sometimes I still think, “Well, one day, what if I have my own cooking show?” Or people tell me I should start YouTube or TikTok. It's not really my main goal right now.

    I feel like I'm still young and I still have a lot to learn. Right now I'm more concerned with preparing myself to be the best version of myself as a chef, I still have a long way to go and so much stuff to learn.

  • I'd say, go for it and take the risk. I love taking risks; it gets scary sometimes but sometimes it leads you to great opportunities. It gets scary, but it's worth it. And you learn a lot.
  • &: If you were to meet a young chef just out of culinary school and she wanted to open her own restaurant, what would you say to her?

    PS:

    I'd say, go for it and take the risk. I love taking risks; it gets scary sometimes but sometimes it leads you to great opportunities. It gets scary, but it's worth it. And you learn a lot.

  • For example, I’ll go to a really nice fancy restaurant and I try the food and sometimes it blows my mind. I’m like, “Oh my God, how did the chef do this? How did they come up with this idea?”
  • &: What's it like as a chef, when you go out to other restaurants and you try what other chefs have created, their expressions of themselves. What goes through your mind?

    PS:

    Some people think that I must be picky when I eat out, but I am not picky at all. I go to restaurants and I try their food and sometimes I get inspiration out of it.

    For example, I’ll go to a really nice fancy restaurant and I try the food and sometimes it blows my mind. I’m like, “Oh my God, how did the chef do this? How did they come up with this idea?”

    And then I come home and I think, “I have to figure out how they did that.”

  • Credit: Jarrod Coleman (www.s2bphotography.com)

  • &: As a chef working behind the scenes, what’s it like when something gets sent back to you because the guests didn't like it?

    PS:

    It makes you question, like: What did I do wrong? Why didn’t you like it? It makes me think I need to improve and it can keep you up all night.

    Sometimes you end up not liking the food or they mess up your order. For example, I eat out with my boyfriend a lot and sometimes we don't like the food, but he always feels so embarrassed about returning the food to the kitchen. And I always say, “No, you don't have to feel embarrassed about it if you don't like this food.” If you pay for the food but you didn't like it and they didn't make it the right way that you wanted it, you have the right to return it."

    For chefs, satisfying our guests is really important. So I'd rather have my guests telling me that my steak was a little bit well-done, I’d be happy to change it to make sure they’re satisfied with the food I make.

    When it happens I always say I’m sorry and I'll make it right. I always say, “You can come back next time and I'll make it better. It’s chef's compliments, you don't have to worry about anything, it's on the house.” [laughs]

  • It's hard because sometimes I have a photo shoot and I’m just having a rough day. I still have to show up no matter how I feel. I have to do the photo shoot and it’s hard because it shows in the photo.
  • &: What about photo shoots? When you’re not nailing the shot, is that the same feeling?

    PS:

    It's hard because sometimes I have a photo shoot and I’m just having a rough day. I still have to show up no matter how I feel. I have to do the photo shoot and it’s hard because it shows in the photo.

    You’re trying to smile and do your job but when a photographer takes your photos, they notice there’s something wrong.

    They’ll say, “Your eyes are not speaking to me, or you're smiling, but your eyes, they look sad.” It’s hard to pretend.

  • I was very depressed for this whole year and I'm just slowly recovering. I’m still in the process of healing. It was tough, but that's life, you have to deal with it.
  • &: You mentioned being depressed and really upset last year when your social media account was hacked. How did you get through that really tough period?

    PS:

    It was tough for me because I’d been through a lot. I got married and then during the pandemic we got divorced.

    I was very depressed for this whole year and I'm just slowly recovering. I’m still in the process of healing.

    It was tough, but that's life, you have to deal with it. Some people say, “Oh my gosh, you've been through the ringer and back, with being in a different country, away from your family during the pandemic, you get married and then eight months later you get divorced.” It was tough.

  • Pearl on the beach. Credit: @pearl.steffie via Instagram

  • &: What does social media mean to you now?

    PS:

    Before, I was using it like a social media influencer, I was doing promotional ads and being a brand ambassador for all different brands.

    Now I use it to spread positivity, especially through female empowerment. I've been through a lot and I just want to encourage other women. I want to say that it's okay if you’re insecure sometimes and that if you’re down, that’s okay. But you have to put yourself first before anyone else because self-love is important.

    My goal right now is just to spread self-love and empowerment.

  • I want my own restaurant that is more fine dining so that when people from other cultures try it, they’ll think: Filipino food is not that bad, it’s actually good!
  • &: Is the ultimate goal for you to have your own restaurant in California?

    PS:

    Yeah, it’s one of my goals.

    Or not even a restaurant, I was actually thinking of getting a food truck. A food truck is cute and you can travel anywhere in it!

    There are not that many Filipino restaurants here and most of them are not really fine dining places, it’s more of a home-cooked style and it doesn’t look that appetizing.

    I want my own restaurant that is more fine dining so that when people from other cultures try it, they’ll think: Filipino food is not that bad, it’s actually good!

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Poppy Jaman OBE

I want to be the shoulders that the next generation of women can stand on to develop their careers and their motherhood styles.

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