INTERVIEW | Chi of Typecast
Upon arriving at an annual music festival called Brgy Tibay in Manila a few weeks ago, we were graced by the presence of our old friend Chi, bassist of the world renown rock act Typecast. This wonderful human being’s smile beams from miles away, and his warmth oozes out of any conversation you have with him, so seeing him was of course an immense pleasure.
On this special occasion though, not only were we excited to be watching Typecast perform, he also brought along a little amazing gift that we were completely not expecting. Usually when you meet band members they shower you with band related paraphernalia: CD’s, shirts, records, stickers, cassettes, etc. But Chi brought out the big guns – a couple jars of his first venture into chili! Yeah you read that right – chili!
Our homie recently took his other passion, food, into overdrive by creating and packaging his own chili sauce affectionately named El Ganador.
We had to find out more and what went from casual conversation backstage became a full fledged interview.
Yo Chi! So you’re in the chilli sauce game now?! How did all this come to be? How does one make a transition from the sweet sweet sounds of Typecast to chilli sauce?
Only a few people know that besides music, I’m also very passionate about food, cooking & all the magic & hardwork behind it.
It all started about two years ago when I came up with my own recipe and cooked some for my family and friends for a taste test…and they loved it! So I thought why not sell it to a few people in my circle? I contacted my bud Pants (our resident graphic artist at Sleeping Boy Collective, who also did artwork for us during our Sweet 16 Tour w/ Typecast) to do the artwork. My partner, May, and I put everything together from sourcing the materials, to cooking, and packaging. I sold the first batch at one of our shows and it was sold out! From there, we decided to go full swing! We set up a Facebook and Instagram page then eventually, partnered with resellers, and an online store. It’s been selling well ever since. We are really thankful to everyone, not just to Typecast fans, but to all the foodies & chilli heads for their appreciation and support. I am very passionate about making every meal a more enjoyable experience!
That’s amazing man! How did you get the inspiration for cooking in the first place?
Thanks man! My mom and my late grandma were a huge inspiration on me and influenced my love for food and cooking. Back then, my grandma took pride in her cooking. I saw her hardwork, and it made me happy to see how her cooking brought us all together, not just on special occasions, but in our every day lives as well. Seeing all this as a child and the impact food can have on a family, is still ingrained in me today as an adult. To see people unite despite conflicts whenever their is good food on the table. I just want El Ganador to be there to add some spice and a bit of a kick to any menu.
Out of your mom/grandma’s cooking – what’s your favorite dish?
Depends on the mood? But since it’s the rainy season I’ve been craving some Sinigang na Lechon, Kare-Kare and maybe some Suman w/ Tablea or Champorado haha!
And what’s your specialty in the kitchen?
I have this recipe called “Pasta De Puta”, Tenderloin Steak, Beef Taco / Nacho Salad, Adobo, Sinigang & a lot lot more! 🙂
So how did you come to decide the ingredients that make up your chilli sauce?
For the ingredients, we like to keep it simple, preservative-free, additive-free, cruelty-free, vegan- friendly, and insanely delicious with the right amount of spice without the overkill. We want to make it accessible to everyone as well so all sorts of people can enjoy it. Even the non-spice lovers love our Mild Spicy variant. All ingredients are also sourced locally so we can help all our local farmers & small time vendors.
A lot of thought went into the ingredients and making it in line with today’s climate of doing what we can for the environment. Why did you want to do it this way?
I believe it’s important, especially now, for all of us to contribute to the preservation of the environment. No matter how small, it all adds up.
Tell us about the name you settled on? Are you already working on other sauces?
El Ganador is inspired by the Mexican hot sauce and food culture. Spice, sauces, and dips are a staple in most Filipino homes, so we took it from there. The word “Ganador” in our local language can simply mean, overtly passionate on whatever you do, especially when it comes to appetite for food.
We also love skulls so we incorporated it in the artwork. Right now we are still working on how to improve our production to cater more efficiently to the demand, we always run out of stock. And yes, we’re also planning on introducing other products too.
El Ganador T-shirts
That’s great news that the feedback is so good that you keep selling out! Are you surprised by the reaction?
Sure! I mean we never once thought that these would actually sell, considering that there’s already a huge market of hot sauce makers here in the Philippines. So it’s really rewarding to know that we now have loyal customers not just musically-inclined fans & foodies, but also from the market in general.
So what’s next for El Ganador?
Hopefully, we can introduce new products or maybe a collaboration release w/ a local brand. Let’s see! We’re also working on something special for Halloween & Christmas. More details about that soon!