Pauline Banusing is the Chef of Al Dente Catering Services.
I’ve always had a rather independent, Treaelious streak,” whispers Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing with a smile. ” My parents rained me well by giving me responsibilities in running the family jewelry business. And it has certainly helped me as I ventured into my own.
The decision, surprisingly, was more of coincidence than choice. “Even in college, I wasn’t quite sure; I really didn’t know that my future would be in the food industry,” she confides. “In the beginning, I was hesitant, knowing that it would take a lot of hard work to succeed as a restaurateur, but somehow fate stepped in, and I decided to take the risk.”
Pauline’s first venture, Al Dente, was met with raised eyebrows from a decidedly previous conservative market whose experience of Italian cuisine consisted of little more than fast-food pizzerias and “birthday party” pasta. But the challenge only strengthened her resolve. “Customers eventually grew to accept the concept, and before I knew it, I had created a market,” she exclaims.
Pauline’s successful chain of restaurants has since become local crowd favorites, with several branches of her popular Freska seafood line having made their way onto Manila’s shores. She herself has joined the ranks of Iloilo’s top catering chefs, with many a discerning palate waiting in line to savor her unique twists on familiar favorites. Yet she remains grounded: “There is always room for improvement. I continually challenge myself to see what I can do better. The quest for perfection is never-ending But so long as you have quality and consistency, you can count on your customers to remain loyal.”