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Cravings focuses on family as it turns 30

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CRAVINGS founder Annie Guerrero (2nd from right) with her family in front of the first Cravings branch at Katipunan, Quezon City. — WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CRAVINGS.PHILIPPINES

THERE’S nothing quite like a Sunday lunch with the family, and for the 30th anniversary of Cravings in Katipunan, promos and new serving sizes are going to make you run out of excuses to miss it.

For P500, one can have a pass for unlimited salad, pasta, soup, coffee, and dessert. Separate entrees and mains such as Pork Schnitzel with Chive and Potato Salad, Rib Eye Steak with choice of fries and rice are also up for grabs. Meanwhile, the serving sizes of some dishes have been increased, to foster family-style sharing.

As for the family-style promos, Pia Guerrero Trinidad, a granddaughter of Cravings Group founder Annie Guerrero, and therefore a member of the family’s third generation in the industry, says that it was a matter of observing which dishes people valued the most. “We realized that they’re families, or groups; not really [always] blood families, but friends that come and dine family-style.

“It’s only this year that we realized that we have to gear everything towards family; even the way we serve food,” she said.

Ms. Trinidad’s mother, Badjie Guerrero-Trinidad, currently sits as CEO of the company. The company has since evolved from one restaurant in Katipunan, to several branches and several brands, including Where’s Marcel?, C2 Classic Cuisine, B&P, and Mas Tapas and Cocktail Bar. Asked how the company has lasted 30 years and even thrived, Ms. Trinidad said, “Really: passion and resilience. Especially from my mom and grandmother.” She recalls that her mother and grandmother used to check every plate that came out of the kitchen, and every plate that came back in: if something was not finished, and therefore may not have pleased the customer, they would ask that table how they could improve on the dish.

Cravings started in the kitchen of Ms. Trinidad’s grandmother, Annie Guerrero, who used to teach cooking and make pick-up platters for her neighbors. After an evening where they took an assignment to cater for 1,000 people, they decided to set up a restaurant and a catering business.




From Ms. Guerrero’s initial foray into the kitchen, Ms. Trinidad said that her family saw something lacking in the kitchen, where there were not enough skilled chefs in theirs, and in many kitchen across the nation. They then partnered with a culinary school in Canada, and set up the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA), arguably the family’s greatest contribution to the country’s culinary scene.

“Before CCA opened, people weren’t really confident that they could become chefs without going to Switzerland or the States, and getting that certificate,” she said. “When CCA opened, it gave birth to a lot of many famous chefs that we have now.”

That, to her, is how the lone restaurant in Katipunan changed the culinary scene in the country. “Through CCA, I think; that’s the biggest impact. CCA has empowered cooks to become, and to call themselves chefs.” — Joseph L. Garcia