by Ivan Anthony A. Adaro | March 9, 2022
Moments shared with food are an inextricable aspect of Filipino culture. Complimenting each meal are silent condiments beside both lavish and simple viand. The famed patis (soy sauce), vinegar, or catsup, brightens the bland tabletop. And with the Filipinos’ picky taste buds come the innovation of hot sauces to spice the locals’ taste buds. Mang Kaloy Hotsauce is no exception to this.
Gian Delfino is a chef consultant and the owner of BZS Condiments Manufacturing. After completing his culinary training in 2010 at the Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts (MIHCA) in Manila, he started his career as a first-line chef and went abroad to different countries in Asia until 2017. For him, it was his memories from his childhood that inspired him to love cooking.
“Ever since I was a child, I really loved to cook. I can still remember growing up in a small apartment in Cotabato City where we used to live before, surrounded by family and relatives who are good at cooking. For me, that was my turning point and motive to become a professional chef someday,” said Delfino.
About Mang Kaloy Hotsauce and his company
Delfino is the chief consultant of his own company, the BZS Condiments Manufacturing, which stands for his children’s names — Bella, Zeb, and Sophie. Under BZS Condiments, they have two products, Mang Kaloy Hotsauce and Silly Juan. The bestseller, Mang Kaloy Hotsauce is a Filipino-inspired name and has an eye-catching logo inspired by his face.
Their physical store located along Flores Avenue near Escaño Park is more of his playground as a chef. He said that this is where he lets out his creativity and at the same time, maximizes the local resources and produce we have in the Philippines.
BZS Condiments also opened a concept store named “Mang Kaloy Street Food Style Fried Rice” — Chinese-inspired fried rice but infused with Filipino flavors. This is where people can also buy their hot sauces from Mang Kaloy and Silly Juan, with a chance to taste their sauces for free.
Mang Kaloy Hotsauce started after they joined an exhibit for the pre-Christmas bazaar last year. To persuade the masses to try their hot sauces, he thought about what types of food he could probably sell to the masses to showcase their hot sauces. This birthed his idea of selling fried rice. “As a chef that has worked for the past five years, mostly at pre-dominant Chinese country, I am confident that I have enough knowledge about Oriental-Style cooking that’s mostly focused on Asain Cuisine, and this will be one my assets. So, we sold fried rice along with our sauces,” said Delfino.
When asked about his motive and what really pushed him to open his own food business, Delfino shared that he has been doing business since 2017 after he came back from his last job in Macau. Deciding to stay in the country for good, he really wanted to start his own business here, regardless of the challenges, just to be close with his family. “It was not easy. There were many ups and downs especially since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but we are so thankful that we are still standing tall”, he said.
About Their Food and Hot Sauces
Delfino described their food, specifically their fried rice, as “the modern version of Filipino-Chinese cuisine.” He furthermore added, “We Filipinos love Chinese food. In fact, we have our own Filipino comfort food inspired by Chinese cuisine like pancit and lumpia. But our food is not only the standout here, we also have the best spicy condiments that perfectly complement our food, especially our famous fried rice.”
Their sauces are made from purely natural ingredients without preservatives. He generously shared that their sauces are made from real fruits and different varieties of hot chili peppers. Most of their sauces are naturally fermented to allow them to have longer shelf lives, and as much as possible, he wants to make it more Filipino-inspired when crafting their hot sauces. He also wants to let the whole world know what local harvests we have and transform them into hot sauces since most of the masses are fond of spicy foods and flavors. As Mang Kaloy is his chef’s playground, all these sauces are experimental, he shared when questioned about the intention behind the style and production of these sauces.
He also continues sharing that their sauces are unique and that all of these condiments are best sellers because they were created to contrast and complement each other. “We used different varieties of pepper so that each variety has a different effect on flavor profile and heat. But if I have to choose the sauces that stand out from the rest, it is our Mang Kaloy Passion-Mango Hotsauce, Haaa Sauce, and Wai Lami Sauce.”, he stated.
More Than Just Eating
Delfino envisions having Mang Kaloy Fried Rice and Mang Kaloy Hotsauce not only here in Dumaguete, but throughout the whole country. He hopes that Mang Kaloy Hotsauce will be recognized on the international stage as a Philippine Artisanal Hot Sauce that focuses on the flavors of the Philippines.
“I don’t want that only our hot sauces alone will be recognized as this business does not only revolve around hot sauces. We want to be remembered by the masses as progressive Filipino condiments — all the while being able to continue helping local farmers, especially chili farmers,” said Delfino.