Friday, October 08, 2010

Foodie profile: Marc Nelson

I got to sit down with Marc Nelson, half of The Amazing Race Asia 2′s Team Philippines (the other half is Rovilson Fernandez).

The host of Sports Unlimited, a popular lifestyle sports program in the Philippines, shared with me his food preferences, which are mainly healthy, home-cooked meals.

He does, however, make it a point to eat junk food once in a while — but only in small amounts. 

Here’s Nelson’s answers to my questions, as published in my article here:

Describe yourself as a foodie.

I’d like to say that I’m adventurous, but that would be lying. I’m a picky eater, but not because I want to. I’m allergic to all seafood except oysters and mussels. Patis (fish sauce) is the only thing that makes those things edible to me.

I’m also not a fan of spicy food. But I’m fine with the rest.

Give me 5 things that I’ll always see in your fridge and/or kitchen.

Soy milk–I’m a bit lactose intolerant, boiled camote (sweet potato) because I love it and it’s healthy. You just put it in the microwave, add a bit of nutmeg, and it’s the best camote mash ever.

You can add it to grilled chicken breast, so that’s the third one (laughs).

There’s also whole wheat bread, and fruits, like apples.

Based on your answers and your figure, it seems that you’re quite into healthy food. But do you still eat junk food once in a while?

Right now, I’m really into healthy food. I’m happy with a good salad. But to be honest, I actually grew up not liking vegetables. I just eventually realized that I need to look after my health.

I still like junk food though, like pizza, fries, and all sorts of crunchy stuff. It’s all about moderation.

What’s your ultimate comfort food?

Meat pies! Frozen meat pies from Australia. Really feels like home. But I only eat it once in a while.

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever eaten?

I know it’s cliché, but balut. I had to eat 4 balut at The Amazing Race Asia 2, and after that, I swore I’d never eat it again.

What’s one thing that you’ll never ever eat?

Seafood, or a panda steak (laughs). But seriously, I’d never eat endangered species.

If I had to try more exotic food, I will. I’m okay with grasshoppers, crickets, frogs, kangaroo and rabbit. But if I can avoid it, why not?

Do you cook?

Yes, my mother taught me how to cook. My favorite dish cooked by my mom is a dish that’s similar to laksa (a Peranakan spicy noodle soup).

I make a good bolognese, stroganoff, and I’m great at the barbecue. My friends like my cooking. But I’m not a chef, my plating is horrible. For me, it’s all about flavor and taste.

Have you considered going to a culinary school to hone your cooking skills?

Sure, for curiosity. I like to learn things, but I also like to experiment.

If you can compare yourself to one ingredient or food item, what would it be?

I really can’t think of anything, but they say you’ll know a guy depending on how he cooks his steak, so I’ll start there.

I like my steak like I like my life – simple, not overdone, lightly seasoned, and a little bit dark. Tender in the middle, and not too spicy.


Filipino restaurant?

Abe at The Fort.

American restaurant?

Hmm…Kenny Rogers (laughs).

Japanese restaurant?

Shinjuku at Little Tokyo. Although there’s also a good Japanese restaurant along Pasay Road. I just forgot what it’s called.

Italian restaurant?

I can’t answer that yet since I’m planning to go to this Italian restaurant with my friends. But when I go to an Italian restaurant, I usually check their bolognese. I hate sweet bolognese.

Mediterranean restaurant?


Chinese restaurant?

It’s actually in Australia. My brother’s restaurant, Canton Restaurant, serves really good Chinese food.

But here in Manila, I usually go to North Park.