Just a Tad Salty
Home-cooked meals from a Kapampangan self-taught cook.
Ysca (Is-ka), as she is fondly called by family and friends, grew up in the culinary capital of the
Philippines--- Angeles City, in the province of Pampanga. As a young girl, she was surrounded by
women who cooked all the time. Her mother, grandmothers, and aunts. She recalls,
“I just watched while they cooked. Nobody really taught me the art of cooking,
but I was always interested in it.” To which she considers herself a home-grown, self-taught cook.
“When we cook, we do not measure or follow recipes.
It all depends on our taste preferences. As for me, I like my food just a tad salty.”
Ysca's love for cooking is more than a passion. It is her therapy.
“Cooking keeps me focused and distracted at the same time.
I am not sure if that makes sense at all, but that is what it does for me.”
As a healthcare professional and a mental health advocate, Ysca knows too well the importance
of finding balance in life, of having a place of retreat when life becomes a little too hectic and demanding.
“My kitchen is my refuge. I go there and find a sense of calmness,
at the same time get a form of energy where creative juices start flowing.”
When Ysca is not in the kitchen, she is busy with her private practice as a healthcare professional.
She is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and has worked in the field of psychiatry and mental health
since she started her career in the healthcare industry in 2001.
She holds a Doctorate degree in Nursing Practice from Duke University.
She is a mother to 2 young adult children who enjoy her cooking and
“are my number one critic when it comes to my cooking.”
Together with her children, she explores different cuisines dining in various establishments both
local and abroad. From the carinderias and turo-turos in the Philippines, to the street food of Bangkok,
the food trucks in the San Francisco Bay Area and the sought-after Michelin-star restaurants in California and beyond,
notably her taste for food varies and covers a gastronomic and culinary expanse.
Ysca loves to travel when time permits and loves spending time with her cat MeeMoo
who is “everybody’s baby at home." She also likes going to the gym to work out and re-energize.