Food Network Obsessed

Jordan Andino on Why You Need Spam in Your Life & Filipino Food Staples

Episode Summary

Chef Jordan Andino clears up what it means when he was named “hottest chef” and describes what his twenties were like as he was navigating his career. He shares his experiences learning from his father in the kitchen, and the first dish he ever nailed perfectly. Jordan shares how formal culinary education sharpened his business acumen and his thoughts on being a successful chef and entrepreneur. Jordan reveals the meaning behind his restaurant name, Flip Sigi, the hallmarks of Filipino cuisine, and the food staples you will always find in a Filipino home. He then talks about his new Food Network show, Raid the Fridge, and what staples one should always have to throw together a great meal. He talks about his “tough love” approach to judging and if he’s ever had stage fright while filming.

Episode Notes

Chef Jordan Andino clears up what it means when he was named “hottest chef” and describes what his twenties were like as he was navigating his career. He shares his experiences learning from his father in the kitchen, and the first dish he ever nailed perfectly. Jordan shares how formal culinary education sharpened his business acumen and his thoughts on being a successful chef and entrepreneur. Jordan reveals the meaning behind his restaurant name, Flip Sigi, the hallmarks of Filipino cuisine, and the food staples you will always find in a Filipino home. He then talks about his new Food Network show, Raid the Fridge, and what staples one should always have to throw together a great meal. He talks about his “tough love” approach to judging and if he’s ever had stage fright while filming.


Start Your Free Trial of discovery+:


Connect with the podcast:


Follow Food Network on Instagram:


Follow Jaymee on Instagram:


Follow Jordan Andino on Instagram:


Learn More About Raid the Fridge:


Find episode transcript here:

Episode Transcription

[MUSIC PLAYING] JAYMEE SIRE: Hello, hello, and welcome back to Food Network Obsessed. This is the podcast where we dish on all things Food Network with your favorite Food Network stars. I'm your host, Jaymee Sire, and it feels so good to be back. I've missed you all so, so much.


Of course, Food Network Obsessed was taking a break for a few weeks over the holidays and during the start of January, but we are back in 2022, and bringing you new weekly episodes with more Food Network stars. So make sure you're following us wherever you listen to podcasts, so you don't miss a thing.


Our very first episode of 2022 is a great one. Today, we have a Filipino chef on the podcast sharing his passion for southeastern Asian cuisine, his New Year's intentions, and why you should give spam a chance. He's a chef entrepreneur, TV host, and now a judge on Food Network's brand new show, Raid The Fridge. It's Jordan Andino.




Jordan, welcome to the podcast, and happy New Year. How did you celebrate the holidays this year?


JORDAN ANDINO: This year, it was pretty mellow. I just went with the wife's family to Jersey on Thursday and Friday of Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve, Eve. And then Christmas Day flew to Canada, and then met up with my family there. And it was just spending time with people. It's something that after the past couple of years has been a little bit more difficult, so I'm like, all right, cool, let's see people, spend quality time.


JAYMEE SIRE: Yes, very, very important. Are you a resolutions person? And if so, can you share any of yours you have for 2022?


JORDAN ANDINO: I'm not a resolutions person, I'm more of like-- or maybe they're called resolutions, but I just like, every year, I like to set goals for myself. So--


JAYMEE SIRE: Mm-hmm. Like intentions.


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, yeah, intentions. And it's not like, all right, be a better person this year, because I always try to be. But I would say, this year it's just about focusing on the right things mentally in terms of my professional life, my personal life, and having a better work-life balance, because typically there's no balance, it's just work.


And then I would say also just trying to hit some fiscal goals within my businesses, I would say is the other thing. Other than that, I just want to have fun and enjoy the air here. I have a feeling this year might be a big one.


JAYMEE SIRE: I hope so. I hope that for all of us really, and we're, hopefully, going to talk about all of those things you just mentioned, your work, your TV career, your personal. So let's kick it off with some personal questions. You were named one of Zagat's 30 hottest chefs under 30 in 2016. Looking back, what did your 20s look like when you were working to just establish yourself and your career?


JORDAN ANDINO: It's funny-- OK, so a quick note on that, people always--


JAYMEE SIRE: Yes, please.


JORDAN ANDINO: People always think about-- they bring that up. It's brought up before, and it's specifically meant hottest careers, like this person is trending upwards in their career. But people all along have always gone back and forth on the meaning of what does it mean to be Zagat's--




JORDAN ANDINO: --hottest. And I'm like, well, listen, it's the career. It's the career. But I'll take if it's the other way. But when it comes to my career and goals and whatnot, and what I'm setting forth before I was 30 till now, I'm now 33. I've had this path in my life, and I've always set long-term, or what I thought were long-term goals.


When I was young, I was like, I want to own one restaurant and be executive chef in New York City, and be a chef restaurateur, and just live life in New York City. And I was young, I was like 10, 12 dreaming that. So when I got that when I was 26, I was like, OK, so I own a restaurant in the West Village. This was my life goal, and I was like, aah. I was like, I think I need to set some more loftier goals here.


JAYMEE SIRE: Expand that a little bit, yeah.


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah. So now I'm more about, I want to be a champion for the Filipino culture, heritage, and country. I want to speak up for second gen immigrants that have come here from various countries. And also I have goals of becoming a Michelin star chef myself.


I think media is fun, and I enjoy being a personality on both on TV and for brands and whatnot. But my heart is in cooking, and I was very, very fortunate to find that when I was super young. And so that is definitely what I-- although, I'm not pursuing it as intensely as I used to be right now, I know that inevitably, I'm going back to that.


JAYMEE SIRE: What is the most valuable lesson you think you learned during your 20s?


JORDAN ANDINO: There's so many lessons, but I think my number one lesson that I take with me day in and day out is that you're only as good as your weakest link within your own organization. So if you're an entrepreneur, if you're someone that wants to grow, even just a single business, you're only as good as the best person who's there when you're not.


And from there, there's a lot of ancillary lessons that I've learned one of which being, no one will ever care about your business ever more than you. And for some reason, you take that personally. When you're young or when you just start your business and people don't care as much, they don't try as hard, they're not giving it their all day in and day out, you're like, yo, what are you doing? Just come here and work and be passionate and love it.


And no one's ever going to believe in your dreams other than yourself. So that's one thing that I learned from knowing that, OK, if that's the case, then you've got to find the next best thing. And that's where finding amazing people, dedicated people, people who believe in what you're doing, believe in you. And that's been the hardest thing to find both in my personal, professional relationships. It's hard to get people to buy into your vision.


JAYMEE SIRE: Yeah, that's super important. I mean, you mentioned that this has been a dream of yours for a very long time. Is there anything about the lifestyle of a chef that you didn't really expect?


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, you know what's funny? Yeah, growing up you think, yeah, I'm going to cook, I'm going to have a restaurant, and it's going to be great. And then you don't realize that the better you become as a chef, the less you cook. And I was like, this is terrible. I would like to just cook and experiment and be creative and innovative, and work the line. And then have a beer with the team afterwards or whatnot. And it's not like that at all.


If you want to have multiple restaurants of different concepts in different cities and get your brand and grow your name, it involves very little cooking as a matter of fact. And I'm just like, oh, well, that sucks. But it's fun, it's cool, and it's a great opportunity.


JAYMEE SIRE: What parts of it do you love?


JORDAN ANDINO: It's only really one reason, and obviously, it has a lot of different characteristics. But the reason is whenever I'm cooking-- we as chefs, we have the ability to create something that people can enjoy. It's not just about the food, we're creating an experience where people who come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnicities, cultures, areas, ages, thought processes, everything. But you can join them together over food, doesn't have to be good, can just be food. Food and drink, and a good time, and you create that. And after that, who knows what's going to happen at the end of that dinner or that meal or that experience?


And the fact that I can create that kind of magic, because when you're there and you hear the clanking of the cutlery and the plates and laughter and yelling and boisterous behavior and scratching of tables, and it's just it's alive. You created this environment, this room that experiences may never be had again. And to be able to create that is why I'm a chef to this day.


JAYMEE SIRE: I mean, you alluded to it that you really started cooking at a young age with your dad. What do you remember just about being in the kitchen with him?


JORDAN ANDINO: Coming from a Filipino, Asian family, you're pretty much just always wanting to impress your parents and please them. That's number one. And then number two, my dad being a chef and an Asian chef, you're just like, all right, I'm never going to win this one, so you grow up.


So my mom and I moved to LA. She was going to pursue modeling and acting when I was 10. And then so every summer, winter, fall and spring break, I would go back to Toronto where my dad was a chef, and then spend time with him. But he's a chef, so how often are you going to spend time with him? You're going to do it, if you want spend time with him in a kitchen.


So I did that, and it was tough. I would say the beginning of our relationship up until the past 20 years, that's been a little tumultuous at times, but it's because he expects and demands greatness. And because of that, I know what the benchmark of what I want to be and what I want to do in my professional life and career. And I also have an expectation of what I want my cooks and my employees to act and treat their job.


And so I learned from him what it takes to be passionate, ambitious, and goal-oriented, and also that it's not all fun and games. If you want to be successful, nothing is going to replace hard work.


JAYMEE SIRE: Do you remember the first meal that you just nailed?


JORDAN ANDINO: Mm-hmm, yeah, absolutely. I was 10 years old. I was visiting back, I was in pastry at this restaurant called North 44 in Toronto. It's now closed, unfortunately, and my dad was the-- he was a CDP at the time, chef de partie for all of you who don't know, which is a position within a kitchen like salads or hot appetizers, or dessert. Those are all CDPs.


And when I was there, my dad's working, so he's like, hey, go over in dessert and pastry, they're not going to hurt you there. You can't really harm yourself, and you can just learn and watch. So I was back there. I remember I made like 11 or 12 of them for paying customers, and I was 10. It was a apple crostata with a cinnamon ice cream, caramel, a vanilla caramel, and then a vanilla cookie swirl. And I made all elements of it throughout the day, and then end up selling 12 of them throughout that evening.


And so that was my first thing. And I was like, oh my god, I'm making these for customers, and they're paying for it. And a 10-year-old made it, and it was amazing.


JAYMEE SIRE: Have you made that recently at all?


JORDAN ANDINO: You know what? Fun fact, I've never made it since then, and now--




JORDAN ANDINO: --now that you said that I'm going to make that for my next dinner that I'm doing, 100%.


JAYMEE SIRE: I think you have to. I think that-- and you got to tell the story, I think that's great.


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, yeah.


JAYMEE SIRE: Was it easy to choose your career path? Did you know that this was for sure what you wanted to do, or did you kind of consider some other options?


JORDAN ANDINO: No, I never considered anything else. I mean, when you're growing up, you're like, oh-- I was doing construction or gardening on and off for some-- and then I would even model when I was younger, and I was just like, all of this is not for me.


My dad, another fun story, I was like 13 or 14 now and another visit. I'm full on working the line, I'm working the fry pizza station. It's a similar station, although, typically not, it shouldn't be. But that's the station I was working. And I was working that station, and we had a successful service. My dad brings me out, and I'm a little 14-year-old. He looks around, he goes see all these people? And he brings me to the side. I'm like, yeah, what about them? They're all my coworkers and my friends.


He goes, you're better now than they are and maybe will ever be now. And so think about that when you're choosing your career. And I was like, wow, A, is that a compliment? I was like, whoo, that's crazy. But also the second part of that is like, wow, I didn't realize that I had a calling or that I was good at anything. And that's when I realized, oh my god, I think I could actually make a career out of it. And so that's when I really went deep into pursuing my culinary career, although it really started when I was 10.


JAYMEE SIRE: Yeah. Speaking of your modeling career, I loved you posting some of the old pictures over the holidays on your Instagram. That was good stuff. I think you could have done it. You were kind of being hard on yourself, but it was good stuff.


JORDAN ANDINO: It was. I mean, I had to try. My mom, that's really what she did, is, and will always do for her life. And so it's an industry that I've been around. And I've done some stuff in the past, and I'm like, this is fun and whatever. But it's just, I'm a very passionate person, and I'm not going to do something unless my heart is in it.


JAYMEE SIRE: Well, clearly your heart has been in culinary. You attended Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. What were you able to learn there that you didn't learn in the kitchen with your dad?


JORDAN ANDINO: You are a knife, right? You start out dull, and throughout the years, you are constantly sharpening and honing your blade, your craft, you. As I was doing that, I realized-- as a young teenager, I was like, I may have this raw skill, but I need to be polished as a business person in order to succeed in my life. And I guess you would chalk that up to my family reinforcing that kind of model in my head. And so I was like, all right, I got to go somewhere that's going to help polish my business end because I have the raw skill to run a restaurant.


You know I had a tumultuous relationship growing up with my parents. So my dad being in Toronto and me being in LA, I was like, all right, where's the furthest I can be from my mom and my dad? And I was like, oh, Ithaca, New York. That's it! So that's why I chose Cornell. It's one of the reasons, but also because it's one of the best hospitality schools in the country, world, I don't know which one.


I learned to be polished there, I learned to be sharp. I learned the business acumen that I needed, the industry and networking abilities that you need to have. I learned how to present yourself amongst different types of cultures and groups, because as much as I am myself no matter what, there is a way to kind of maneuver yourself socially and in a networking sense to honestly help get what you want. And taught me how to run a business. And now as we sit here, I have five restaurants.




JORDAN ANDINO: I never thought I'd say that.


JAYMEE SIRE: How much of being a successful chef is being a savvy business person?


JORDAN ANDINO: I think being a successful chef is separate than being a savvy business person, because I think there's successful chefs all over the world. And success is also a very subjective term, and you can be successful in many different ways. But I would say that in order to be a successful chef, you have to either be a successful business person or know a successful business person, or someone that's savvy.


So I'm very, very fortunate that the people whom I've worked with, I have partnered with to this day are dedicated, passionate, ambitious people, whom I can trust that help run all my businesses. Because there's no way I could do it all alone. In fact, I'm legitimately, I would say per organization, I am just 20% of every single of the organizations that I'm part of.


JAYMEE SIRE: I mean, you've lived all over as you've mentioned, Toronto, LA, New York City now. How have all these different places really helped shape your culinary career, and your culinary point of view?


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, I've lived in Metropolitan cities for my whole life. And I've really enjoyed it because it's allowed me to experience just small elements of all these different cultures from Bangladesh, Mexican, French, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino, Malay, Cambodian.


There's just so many different foods and places and people that I've experienced because of where I've lived. I've just been inspired by all these different flavors, and I constantly see food as an ever evolving and developing creature that you can pull different things from. And combining different cuisines and flavors and ingredients is something that's so much fun for me. And I'm just fortunate that I've been able to grow up in places that have had all this access to different cultures that have allowed me to taste, and really grow my own palate and my own I would say, exposure to those different foods.


JAYMEE SIRE: And you own a Filipino taqueria in West Village, Flip Sigi. First of all, where does the name come from?


JORDAN ANDINO: Flip Sigi, funny enough, Flip is actually a derogatory term for a Filipino. I'm not going to say what it means now, but I will say that older generations of Filipinos, they don't really appreciate it. But I think it's a word that as the true and horrible meaning dies out, it's a word that we as Filipinos can retake and claim as ours. And I think that's why I'm proud to do so, and I also like to live life slightly on the edge a little bit.


And so Flip just means Filipino, and Sigi, it means a bunch of different things. I spell it a little bit more phonetically. But it could mean, yell or scream or hurry or let's go, or means go. So essentially, the name means, go Filipino. And of course, I wanted to name it that and just embrace what Filipino culture is, but is not authentically from the homeland. I want people to experience what my vision and my lens is of what I see Filipino as it is, and what it can become eventually too.


JAYMEE SIRE: So what is that? What cultures come together to influence what we see on the menu at your restaurant?


JORDAN ANDINO: Well, so Flip Sigi, it's a Filipino taqueria, so it's like Filipino foods, Mexican, American vessel. So like sandwiches, tacos, bowls, burritos, but with a little bit of Filipino love sprinkled all about-- I've said that about 1,000 times, and it's just--


JAYMEE SIRE: You're good at it, you got it down.


JORDAN ANDINO: It really comes too. And essentially, here's where it came from. I took all of the conversations and lessons that I learned from all of my Hispanic coworkers. I've learned so much, pretty much from anyone that can speak Spanish from any Spanish-speaking country, I've learned so much about their food.


And I don't know what it is, but I have this magnetic tie to that. And I just enjoy the food and the processes, and the love and the passion, the fireness that goes into the flavors and the techniques. And I learned that through the people I worked with, and then combine that with what I grew up eating with my grandmother and my family.


And I was just realizing, I'm like, wow, not only are the words the same, but the foods can very much translate and effortlessly go in and out of each other's cuisines, and substitute each other. And still taste delicious, and be authentic on either side of that Filipino or Spanish coin. But I definitely take a lot from Mexico.


So I think that Filipino food in general, it's an amalgamation of Filipino cuisine, Chinese, as well as Spain-Spanish cuisine. So it evolves, and takes all these different ingredients and also techniques, and creates this delicious, just flavor bomb of sour, of sweet, of tangy, of spicy, that all goes perfectly over rice.


JAYMEE SIRE: There you go.




JAYMEE SIRE: If somebody is going there for the first time, what should they order?


JORDAN ANDINO: Well, if we're going to Flip Sigi, you merely got to get my number one dish, it's a burrito. It's called a Cali burrito. And in it are crispy French fries with pork and chicken adobo, which is meat that's been braised in soy, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper for about three to six hours, depending. Then we shred that, put that in the burrito with guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, some cheese, and then wrap that up. Get it nice and toasty and crunchy, and it might be one of the best burritos you've ever had. So that's def--




JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, that's definitely one of the things you've got to get. And then next is also on the burrito side, it's called my plan b-rito. And it's a way to cure that weekend hangover or any hangover. And it has longanisa, which is like a sweet barbecue Filipino sausage, hash brown, bacon, avocado, spam, which is really one of my favorite canned foods ever. Foods, not even canned, foods ever. Cheese, roasted tomato jalapeno, chipotle, salsa. I said hash brown egg, and just wrapped in a burrito, and it's just the perfect way to start your day.


JAYMEE SIRE: Yeah. I remember we did an Instagram Live early in quarantine, and I remember you talking about that, and sounds-- I still need to try it, but now you're opening another location in Jersey City soon. What kind of challenges have you faced just expanding the business?


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, I mean, there's a lot because you realize, and it's hearkening back to your first question about me and what my lessons are that I've learned from my 20s into now. And it's as you expand, you realize that, oh, I got to fill this role. I need to be able to rely on someone to train these people. And that's when you realize you might be missing some crucial roles. So that's why you got to either incubate your talent that you have already and help train them, and give them some tutelage and mentorship and guidance, or you've got to hire from outside.


But both work well. But I'm just learning that if I'm going to grow, I need a large group of people that can help me grow. And so that's why it's tough because right now I'm expanding, yes, to Jersey City. That will be opening in about less than a month, and then I have Chicago also opening in about less than a month, almost simultaneously. Then I have Chelsea, which will be opening in about two months, and then I have this other spot that I'll tease now that I'm involved with that will be opening in the West Village, and it's my foray back into fine dining.


JAYMEE SIRE: Well, does this have anything to do with-- I know you mentioned it earlier in this conversation that you have this passion to bring a Michelin star to Filipino cuisine. Is this going to be along those lines?


JORDAN ANDINO: This will be the first step towards that. I think after-- So I'm fine dining trained, and then I went over to Flip Sigi, and I've had Flip Sigi and lived in the more fast casual world for the past six years. So I can't just jump right back into a fine dining concept or just any upper scale dining concept, and think that I'm going to get a Michelin star, I'm not that ignorant.


So this is my first way to get back dip my toes in the water, my little toesies in the water to see if I can still handle it, still want to do it, still have the passion for it. And then after this one, then yes, this will be the precursor to what I hopefully consider will be the first Michelin star, or at least one of the-- not even first, one of the Michelin stars in Filipino cuisine.


JAYMEE SIRE: Why is that important to you?


JORDAN ANDINO: I think that Filipinos have been pooh-poohed on for a long time, and honestly denigrated by many cultures throughout my cultures and countries history. And I think it'll feel-- and it already has felt really good to champion Filipino cuisine and people. And so I think that in at least food is a way that I can impact, leave a legacy, and also make Filipinos proud to be Filipino.


And I think, 1, 2, 3, whatever it is, Michelin stars in Filipino cuisine is not the only way, but it's a nice way to, like I said, leave a legacy, and put a stamp of approval. And understand that just because this isn't your eurocentric fine dining that we've seen and grown accustomed to, that doesn't mean you can't create amazing flavor, and give impeccable service. And show people that even in a third world country, that the most delicious and beautiful, and taste-defying things can come from.


JAYMEE SIRE: That's really beautiful. And by the way, this is our first time of diving in deep on the podcast with a Filipino chef. So I am curious just to talk to you a little bit more about that. What are some of the hallmarks of Filipino cuisine, whether it's ingredients or method of preparation?


JORDAN ANDINO: Well, some of the defining characteristics of it is number one is whole animal fabrication. So what that means is because we as Filipinos don't necessarily have abundant access to freezers and refrigeration, then everything we use, we got to use that animal and fabricate the entire thing. So we're using everything from the hooves to the eyes, the feet, the cheeks, the tongue, the brain, the stomach lining, the stomach, the blood, everything, as well as your loins and your tenders and your thighs and your butts and all the other parts.


So what that means is you have to also try to use ingredients that can help take down some of the metallic flavor, some of the gaminess or some of the awful flavor that you get from what you use. And so with that, we're using strong ingredients, onion, garlic, ginger, vinegars, sugars, some spicy peppers. So that way it can temper some of those really intense ingredients.


But furthermore, you're going to get a very big braising and fried type here, because you can do those two things over a long period of time. It also sustains the food longer once it's cooked. So Filipino food and our techniques are born mainly out of necessity rather than of convenience. And so I would say if you're going to eat Filipino food, and you're listening to this and you've never heard about it before, you can expect to have definitely a balance of sweet and acidic things.


So tanginess but sweet and acid, pretty much everything that you have. Get ready for some pork, baby, because we love our swine. Other than that, we also got to have rice with pretty much everything. We love our plantains, and we very much love adobo, which is something I mentioned before. It's the national dish of the Philippines. It's braised any meat, beef, pork, chicken, fish, take your pick, but you've got to have vinegar. You've got to have soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and pepper.


From there, some people add coconut, some people add ginger, some people annatto seed. There's a lot of different ways to do it, but that's really your base of the national dish of the Philippines.


JAYMEE SIRE: Would that be like your favorite Filipino comfort dish as well, or is there something else that really brings it home for you?


JORDAN ANDINO: That's definitely one of my favorite dishes. I love me some lumpia, which is like a Filipino spring roll, fried spring roll. I love me some sisig, which is pork jowl fried with ginger and onion, and shallot and garlic, and then serve crispy and sizzling.


I also got to tell you I love a good sinigang, which is this-- it's typically beef, but it can have fish or pork broth. It's like our heavy soup, and it has a bok choy, a Chinese long bean and taro root and yam and carrot and onion. And it gives you this tamarind, sour, but also like a consomme where it's light. So it's not too heavy of a soup. You pour that over rice, and just gives you the most amazing flavor. I'm salivating as I'm describing it to you.




JAYMEE SIRE: Same. And I know you want justice for spam, which became a common household staple in many Pacific island households after it was introduced during World War II. And we have a producer who is actually obsessed with spam musubi. So selfishly, she wants to know what are some other things we can do with spam.


JORDAN ANDINO: All right, ready?




JORDAN ANDINO: So if you love spam, and everyone should love spam because it's just so delicious. Don't knock it till you fry it. This is not spam ad, anyone, I just love spam. So because we do, it's called spam, eggs and rice. You're going to make Jasmine rice in the morning, slice the spam out of the cans, so it's thin long kind of wooden planks similar to like-- it should look like a card, like a playing card, but a little bit thicker.


Then you're going to fry it in just a little bit of vegetable oil, both sides. Fry it on medium high for about two minutes each side, get it nice and crispy. Then you're going to throw in that same pan where you rendered some of the spam fat out of, you're going to throw in two eggs, serve sunny side up. Put that on top of the rice, then put about a 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, some sriracha. Break that up, and there's your spam, eggs and rice in the morning. Believe me, you are not having a better breakfast than what I just described. Impossible.


JAYMEE SIRE: It sounds amazing. You're going to have spam and rice in a Filipino household. What are some other fridge and pantry staples that we could find in a typical household in the Philippines?


JORDAN ANDINO: OK, so you're always going to have garlic just chilling. In any form, you got garlic, it's there. You're going to have your bay leaves, you're going to have your annatto seeds, which is just, it gives-- it gives you a saffron kind of flavor and also color, but in terms of the flavor that you're going to get, it's different in that. It's a little bit more richer. It's obviously a seed, so it has that heavier spice kind of to it. It's sound like a flower.


And then you're also going to have vinegar. Datu Puti, if you don't have that, then you're not Filipino. I think every Filipino listening this can attest to Datu Puti vinegar, it's delicious and amazing. And it's a sugar cane vinegar, and it's just, it's not sweet, but it has this immense and impeccable kind of pucker sour that makes you go, woo every time you eat it. And then you're also going to have some sort of pig, the belly, the jowl, the butt, the tender, whatever, or the whole pig, which we call lechon, and we roast that on a spit.


So there's a lot of different things that you can have. But typically, those base spices that I started with are what you're going to constantly see in a Filipino fridge or pantry.




JAYMEE SIRE: When we come back, Jordan talks all about judging the new show, Raid The Fridge on Food Network.




Well, speaking of staples, let's talk about your new Food Network show, Raid The Fridge.




JAYMEE SIRE: So it's kind of the essence of a food competition show, but the surprise ingredients lie within actual people's refrigerators. So intriguing and scary all at the same time. What were your thoughts when you were approached to judge this show?


JORDAN ANDINO: I remember flying to Atlanta then knew my host would be a comedian, and then Jamika, who we've actually met in the past before. So I was like, I love Jamika. I didn't know what to think about Dan Ahdoot. I was like, this guy seems funny. I love that he's on Netflix, and has his comedic side, but also was on another show. He brings a fun dynamic, new type of host to the Food Network lineup.


And not just that, the concept is amazing. You're taking fridges from all around the country and making any chef cook with it. And it's funny, because how many people go, if you're a chef, come to my fridge and see what you can make up? And people ask me that all the time, and I'm sure you have had it, all chefs have had that at some point. So it's such a fun concept, and it's more so than ever, it connects the home through TV, through media, and then brings those personalities into someone's home because everyone can relate.


And mostly everyone can relate with all the different fridges that we had in the show. Like everyone can relate to it. So it's nice to see real chefs cooking with real ingredients. Because sometimes you see black garlic and white Alba truffle and uni and caviar, and you're like, all right, really, I got this in my fridge? No, I have baking soda to help from that, I have Dijon that's been sitting there forever. And so it's cool to use these real ingredients, and that you see in the show as well.


JAYMEE SIRE: How often are you surprised by what's inside these people's fridges, or are you just kind of like, yeah, that's kind of what I expected for a college kid?


JORDAN ANDINO: I mean, honestly, I think the show does a great job in representing at least what I personally would think would be in the fridges once you see the outside. You see the avid outdoor goer, you see the college student, you see the bachelor, you see the partier. And you're like, all right, here's what I think would be in. And typically as a chef, we're guessing.


And I remember Jamika and I, we would be on the show guessing what's in there, and we'd always get at least like 2 to 5 ingredients regardless, every single time. And it's fun because it's accurate, it's real. These are real people. And it's a unique challenge that I've never seen on a cooking show, and I think that's what we need to keep it fresh, and also to keep us engaged. And I think this show is definitely up there for that.


JAYMEE SIRE: What's the strangest ingredient you've encountered on the show, and what's the most common?


JORDAN ANDINO: OK. Well, I mean, the most common is just going to be-- there's always going to be some sort of vegetables, even if you're like not-- let's say you're just a meat fanatic, you're going to have some sort of garlic, onion, fennel, carrot, celery piece in there. So regardless, you can always rely on some sort of veg, which is going to come forth throughout everyone.


There was actually a couple-- it actually may have been on the recent episode, I don't remember because I don't know where the ingredients came from. But one of them was this meat or something from the South, and it was like this meat dish-- I don't remember what it was, but it's fun because as a chef learning about these ingredients from different cultures and regions within the United States is fun because I don't know what that is. And like I said, I love being exposed to new things.


JAYMEE SIRE: What's the most impressive dish that you've tasted on the show?


JORDAN ANDINO: Oh, there's a bunch, there's definitely a bunch. I remember just even just tasting tacos or just tasting-- I remember there was this one kind of like maple glazed vegetable dish that I have from one of the chefs. I remember it's just impressive to see how creative and unique, and also the depth of flavor that you can get in that amount of time with ingredients that you typically wouldn't use.


And it's different from a show like Chopped where-- black box cooking is what we call it in the industry, where you don't know what you're having or cooking, and then you have to create something with it. It's different, because these are everyday items, and I think that resonates with mostly everyone watching, because these are things that everyone has. So it helps get people more creative, and I've just-- I don't remember specific dishes, I just remember being blown away by the flavors that the chefs could actually create.


JAYMEE SIRE: And you recently shared what's in your fridge on Instagram. You had some butter, lots of spicy condiments, lots of hot sauce, a lot of leftovers, and some very old pretty much rotten bananas. So what kind of dish could a contestant really make with the ingredients found in your fridge?


JORDAN ANDINO: In my fridge you're always going to find, yes, you're going to find leftovers. That's a number one. And it's funny because people think as a chef that I'm going to be cooking crazy gourmet meals day in and day out. Fun fact, not the case. I love cooking but I know what flavors I'm going to garner with myself. I don't need to make those. Yes, I'll set time aside to be creative, but I pretty much know if I'm going to make a steak, what the steak is going to taste like. So I love to order. So that's why you're going to have all those leftovers.


So you're going to have any from like leftover spring rolls to pho to ramen to like some sort of fried rice dish. Sometimes always dumplings in there, but then you're also are going to have old fatty cheesy sandwiches, maybe some spaghetti in egg plant palm. In my fridge, you're also going to have some of those fruits because I like to blend and make smoothies, but sometimes fruit gets lost in the fridge. It's a big fridge, you get busy, you don't know where it goes, and you pull out a black banana.


So I think you're definitely in my fridge if you're going to cook with it, get ready to see spice, and get ready to use some ingredients you've probably never heard of before in there too.


JAYMEE SIRE: Just in general, what staples do you recommend people having on hand if they want to experiment a little bit more, cook a little bit more?


JORDAN ANDINO: That's a really good question. I think if you want to experiment or just you like to cook and you don't know what to keep, keep things that are obviously shelf stable. But I would say experiment with different types of hot sauces, that way you can get your palate used to the variations of the capsaicin in different peppers. So start there, and a lot of people don't like spice. So now here's a way to test it with yourself. That's one.


Number two, I always love to have some sort of pickled or brined substance, whatever it is, capers, pickles, pickled onions, whatever it is in there because, A, it lasts a long time, and it adds a nice acidic element to sometimes balance out certain things that are sweet or spicy. So I think that's also a fun way to go about it. And then I also-- you have to have a fat.


So whether it's like lard, whether it's margarine, butter or whatever, you've got to have some sort of fat in there, because I grew up, fat is flavor, especially when we talk about cooking. I always have some sort of creaminess whether it's straight cheese, shredded grated, Parmesan, a whole block of Reggiano, creme fraiche, sour cream, yogurt. I always have those things in there because those can help round out flavors. They help prolong an immense flavor that you like to have, and it rounds it out. And it also, once again, it's fat, and it tastes delicious.


JAYMEE SIRE: You're obviously no stranger to being on TV. You hosted Late Nite Eats, we've seen you as a judge on Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, Worst Cooks in America. Do you feel more at home as a host or a judge or maybe a contestant?


JORDAN ANDINO: It's funny, as a contestant, I've never won anything ever. Like straight up ever. So if you know you want someone to win, just hire me because I guarantee, I will come in second as a contestant. I just killed my competitive ego, by the way.




JORDAN ANDINO: But when we're talking about a judge, I think judging is incredible because you get to-- it's a full circle thing as a contestant, so I'm so appreciative and so grateful any time I'm asked back as a judge. And then hosting is fun because you get to experience everything without the pressures of it.


So they all have their highs and their lows, but I would say as I've moved-- I would say I'm hosting more than I'm judging now. I just adore it because I like to share my perspective and my enthusiasm and love for food with people, and I think the best way to do that is through hosting.


JAYMEE SIRE: What is your philosophy as a judge in trying to shape that feedback so it's constructive for contestants?


JORDAN ANDINO: That's a great question, because typically, I'm really harsh. In a kitchen and as a chef I have high expectations, and I demand a lot. And I've seen what greatness is through my own training. So I expect that. If you're going to be trying to deliver and try to win $10,000 or move on to a next round or open your own restaurant or what have you, I'm pretty tough.


So I think for me, my challenge is trying to not be as tough, and treat the contestants the way I was treated in kitchens growing up, because believe me, it wouldn't fly, actually. So it's mainly just tempering my expectations, and turning my criticisms into constructive feedback for them. Because sometimes I'll eat something or I'll see something, and I'm just like, nah, get the hell out of here with that garbage. And then everyone's like, Jordan, you got to-- come on.


JAYMEE SIRE: You can't say that.


JORDAN ANDINO: You've got to give them something. I'm just like, fine, here's what I saw, and then I'll have to do it. But it's funny because, because I'm happy, go-lucky, energetic, outgoing, people don't expect me to be a harsh critic when it comes to my food. But not just my food, any sort of business that I do. Whatever I'm doing, I expect greatness, I expect effort, and I expect people to deliver with the passion that I do. And I lead by example.


JAYMEE SIRE: Do you think that that tough love comes from your dad?


JORDAN ANDINO: That tough love comes from my dad without a doubt, but it also comes from all the chefs that I grew up with in kitchens. Because when I say grew up with, I literally worked with some of the best chefs in the world all before the age of 21.


JAYMEE SIRE: That's wild.


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, I definitely took a lot of that with me in that expectation of greatness. But I've also come to realize that that was a different time, this is a different world that we live in now. And it's unfair for people or for you to expect people to see things through a certain lens, because, A, maybe they don't want to, which I respect. Or maybe just because they have and exposed to it, so you've got to be patient. And that's something that I've learned as I've grown as well.


JAYMEE SIRE: Well, clearly, the cooking part came naturally to you, what about TV, did that come naturally or did you have a little stage fright at first?


JORDAN ANDINO: No, funny, I've never had stage fright. I love doing TV because I don't care. And I care, but I really don't care. If someone comes at me and they say something negative about me online or even to my face, I'm just like, that's your opinion, respect it, peace, and I just move on. And then if I hear that same criticism multiple times, I'm like, OK, well, ding, ding, maybe there's a trend here that's happening, maybe you should listen.


Honestly even on the good side. Hey, you did a great job, thanks. But I also brush it off. I'm just like, all right, whatever. Both are going to come. When it comes to TV or even just being on camera. So if anyone listening that is filming something on the computer, on the phone, or in front of a big studio, it's like just be you. Be your best authentic version of you. And if people don't like it, then maybe you're in the wrong industry, but also people are going to resonate with a more authentic version of yourself.


So me not caring is that's truly what I am. So I was like, I'm going to say this, I'm going to say whatever I want to say. And I'm going to say it, and I'm going to continue moving on. I'm not going to sit here and criticize myself and think about all the things I could have done better when, all right, that's in the can, that's done. Let's move on and try to improve and be better the next day. And that's how I look at being on TV.


JAYMEE SIRE: Well, it's a lot of fun to watch. We're looking forward to seeing the rest of the episodes for Raid The Fridge. And this has been so much fun chatting with you. We're going to finish things off with some rapid fire questions, and then one final question for you, so.


JORDAN ANDINO: I love rapid fire, go.


JAYMEE SIRE: OK, let's go, personal mantra.


JORDAN ANDINO: Work hard not smart. Oh, I'm so sorry, yeah, actually that's probably what is, work hard not smart.


JAYMEE SIRE: What are you reading or watching right now?


JORDAN ANDINO: Watching, Clickbait on Netflix, reading, it's right here the new Anthony Bourdain book that his publisher redid with posthumous with his words.


JAYMEE SIRE: Favorite restaurant in New York City aside from your own.


JORDAN ANDINO: That's such a tough one. I'm going to name multiple New York restaurants, Great NY Noodletown, L'Artusi, and Los Tacos No. 1.


JAYMEE SIRE: What about go-to spot for late night eats?


JORDAN ANDINO: Actually, the Great NY Noodletown or Halal Guys.




JORDAN ANDINO: Halal Guys, if you're listening to this, I love you, and I have been since 2006.


JAYMEE SIRE: They're the best.


JORDAN ANDINO: Yeah, they're the best.


JAYMEE SIRE: What are you looking forward to most this year?


JORDAN ANDINO: This year what I'm looking forward to most is growing and expanding my businesses to the point where I can say I have an empire.


JAYMEE SIRE: When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do?


JORDAN ANDINO: When I'm not working, I love to work out. I love to be active, and I love more than anything in the world, socializing. I need friends, I need going out, and I need people around me.


JAYMEE SIRE: And you need your dog, Gnocchi. What's Gnocchi's favorite treat?


JORDAN ANDINO: Gnocchi's favorite treat without a doubt are dehydrated chicken skins.




JORDAN ANDINO: He loves them.


JAYMEE SIRE: Do you make those or do you buy them?


JORDAN ANDINO: I absolutely don't make them. I buy them.


JAYMEE SIRE: If you could go viral for anything, what would it be?


JORDAN ANDINO: If I could go viral for anything, it would be something to do with championing Filipino culture or cuisine.


JAYMEE SIRE: What's your favorite flavor combination?


JORDAN ANDINO: Favorite flavor combination is acidic and spicy.


JAYMEE SIRE: So last question, we ask everybody the same question on Food Network Obsessed. Of course, everybody has a completely different answer. So this would be, what's on the menu for your perfect food day? So we want to hear what you're eating for breakfast, what you're eating for lunch. If you can throw some snacks in there, if you want, and then, of course, dinner and dessert. So there's no rules. You can travel, time travel, spend however much money you want, it's your day.


JORDAN ANDINO: Got it. Perfect food day, I'm going to wake up and I'm going to eat spam and bacon, eggs and rice. I described it earlier, so I'm just going to pan sear both of them, make some Jasmine rice, and then make 3 sunny set up eggs, 6 pieces of bacon, 4 pieces of spam with my dark mushrooms soy about 1/2 a tablespoon, and then some sriracha. Mix that all up over the yolk, eat that. That's my breakfast.


For my midday snack, I'm going to have a green smoothie. I love green, so give me celery, kale, parsley, green apple, lemon juice, some agave syrup, spinach, and just blend that all up and give me some deliciousness. I love that as a mid-day liquid snack. Then I'm going to have dim sum right after this, and fried dim sum. I'm going to have some hogao, I'm going to have some shumai, I'm going to have some pie quiche. And then I'm going to have some of the shrimp rolls and the softness with the sweet soy, that.


And then for lunch, I'm going to go to two places. I'm going to go to the Halal Guys and get a mix over rice platter with extra white and 4 drips of the hot sauce, because it is super hot. If you ever go, be careful. And then after that, once I let that settle, I'm going to go over to Los Tacos No. 1 and get the pork adobada quesadilla tacos, contodo with rice.


From there, I'm going to have a post lunch snack, I'm going to go have soup dumplings. I love xiaolongbao. Pretty much anywhere that you can get them, just give me like 14 pieces and I'll have all 14 immediately. Then I'm going to go to dinner, and I'm going to go to either-- I'm just thinking New York for now, but I'm going to go to Via Carota or L'Artusi. I want some Italian. I want some fresh enchilada verdes, and I want some cacio e pepe, but I also want some whipped ricotta. And I want-- transport me to Italy, baby. Give me all of that.


And then for-- that's my pre-dinner, and then my post-dinner, I'm going to go somewhere like this place called Pho Hung in Toronto, and it's Vietnamese. So I want some pho, and I want some vermicelli noodle salad with some sauteed onion, sliced beef, and a fried crispy spring roll with a sweet chili, some bowl of sweet chili, honey sauce right all over that. And then I'm going to break that up with a avocado milkshake also from the same place.


And then I will immediately fly back to New York, have a slice of Joe's Pizza. And then drive to Philly and have a cheese steak. And then finally-- and then late night--


JAYMEE SIRE: This is epic, by the way.


JORDAN ANDINO: This is epic. And then late night, I'm going to go to Great Noodletown, and I'm going to order crispy pan fried noodle with a seafood slurry, salt and crispy fried pork chop with ginger scallion sauce, and a salted cod fried rice with szechuan chili paste on the side. I'm going to have all that together, and then I'm going to finish this with a pint of matcha ice cream, and some late night sushi.


JAYMEE SIRE: Oh it's a late night sushi. You do not skip a beat through all of that. That was definitely the most-- I think that's the most food we've ever received on an answer for that question. So congratulations for that. Congratulations on the new show, and thanks so much for taking the time. This has been so much fun.


JORDAN ANDINO: Of course, Jaymee, it's good seeing you, and thanks for having me everyone.




JAYMEE SIRE: What a way to start the year with such a warm and friendly interview, and such an epic food day. I love Jordan's energy, can't wait to see that Michelin star one day. You can catch more of Jordan on Raid The Fridge, Tuesdays at 10:00/9:00 Central on Food Network.


Thanks so much for listening. And make sure to follow us wherever you listen to podcasts so you don't miss a thing. And of course, if you enjoyed today's episode, please rate and review. We love it when you do that. That's all for now, we'll catch you foodies next Friday.