Editor’s Note: This article is part of “Spotlight,” a recurring series featuring CNMI personalities. To suggest a person to feature in this section, email us at email@example.com.
Artesano Blog is the brainchild of Tinian High School graduate John Kenneth Casauran, with a goal to promote home cooking in the Marianas.
“I was really inspired when I saw a documentary called Cooked, where it highlighted the importance of home cooking and how we are ‘human’ because we started cooking,” he said.
He said that human beings are naturally social and eating together is part of that nature. “When people eat together, we all start to talk to each other, get to know each other better. The same is true about cooking,” he said
That’s because when humans cook, it is a craft. “We don’t just do it to feed people, we do it to express our emotions on a plate.”
Casauran’s interest in cooking goes beyond the practical aspect of mixing ingredients. With his blog, he promises not just recipes but also science and philosophy that spotlight food and cooking.
“For the science portion, I try to promote modern techniques so you can pretty much cook [an ordinary] dish…but, when you add a modern technique, it tastes the same but is essentially way better,” he said.
“I use science to get the best out of everything. It is technical but it’s pretty simple and it’s like looking at it from a different perspective. …They can also find a fusion between my Filipino [upbringing] and the Marianas where I grew up. I’m still learning the proper way of to cook local food but I try to give homage to the (Marianas) culture by cooking precisely how they would do it because I am not a fan of short cuts,” he added.
After graduating from high school, Casauran, 24, pursued culinary school in the Philippines. He calls himself a cook, a baker (or boulanger), and a writer. He currently works in the kitchen of the Kensington Hotel in San Roque.
He wants to share the things that he has learned in cooking school and contribute to the Marianas culinary scene. “I spent half of my life here and thought I should give back, share what I learned from school.”
“Although Saipan is a small community and has gone through tough times especially after super typhoons, the kindness of the people remain the same. They come up to you, even strangers, and greet you with a smile… so…I wanted them to know there are other ways of cooking, eating, and different ways to experience food,” he said.
Visit Casauran’s blog at www.artesankitchen.co or send him an mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.