Cociñoni is a home-based food delivery business of Gelo Barretto, an enterprise he began when he returned to Manila from San Francisco in 2016, after having lived there for 2 decades. An amalgamation the word cocina (kitchen in Spanish) and Barretto’s childhood nickname Ñoni, Cociñoni offers menu items that are inspired by Korean and Thai cuisine.
An admitted food nerd, Barretto tells us that his bibles are the cookbooks of Chefs David Chang and Andy Ricker. Cociñoni in particular is influenced by the latter, specifically Ricker’s years in the 80’s backpacking through Thailand (Barretto mentions Ricker’s popularizing the dish Kai Yaang). The journey of Ricker was retraced by Barretto in his quest for a deeper understanding of Thai cuisine, and the influence of Barretto’s own travels travels on his menu are significant, with Kai Yaang and Som Tam being highlights of his menu.
While hot food make up the bulk of the Cociñoni menu, the one item that you can stock up on and store in your fridge for months is his homemade kimchi, and it’s not something to be missed. His kimchi offers light-handed finesse to the favorite side-dish, so that it results in a finely seasoned, tangy and refreshing fermented concoction that is a delight to munch on on its own.
Though Barretto has no formal education in the culinary arts (he went to art school, he explains), he has what he refers to as an ‘artist’s mentality’, an approach that he applies in the kitchen. Though cooking started out as a hobby when he was just 15 years old, one influenced by his father who studied culinary arts, it soon after grew into his passion.
From modest fried rice and omelets he made as a teenager, to now making what people both in and out of the food industry are declaring the best homemade kimchi they’ve ever had, Barretto is quickly growing a reputation for his Asian cuisine. While his food is currently only available for delivery and pick-up in the Alabang area, we’re looking forward to stores stocking up on his kimchi soon.
A home kitchen that makes Korean and Thai-inspired food for delivery and pick-up in the Alabang area.