Date Posted: March 14, 2016

Right to good food: Cyma’s Goco shares secret to success

Right to good food: Cyma’s Goco shares secret to success

A firm believer that ”good food is a right and not a privilege,” Chef Robby Goco went out of his way to ensure that Filipinos get the best of Greek cuisine in his restaurants.

Speaking to ANC, Goco, who came from a simple family, shared how he used his skills in baking to earn extra as a young student.

“It was very simple. I think I was seven years old, I started attending baking classes,” he said.

He then started selling the brownies he baked, first to his mother’s co-workers and then eventually selling his baked goods at food fairs.

“I knew there was money in food. My whole grade school and my new high school, I did it on the side. If I wanted a new bicycle, I bake,” Goco said.

Upon graduating from high school, Goco knew he had to study culinary arts. He packed his bags and went to the United States.

He studied culinary arts for two years in California Culinary Academy, doing odd jobs to support himself.

Upon graduating, he tried working in different restaurants in the US before returning to the Philippines.

Despite his degree from the US, Goco knew that it would be difficult to land a position as a chef in local restaurants, especially since most restaurants at that time already have their own systems in place.

“Franchise restaurants from the US have their own systems already, and you’re not coming in as a chef. You’re coming in as a kitchen manager, and I don’t want to do that. So my target was really to open my own restaurant, do my own thing. That was a stepping stone,” he said.

Goco started working on a 25-year-old steak house, Tequila Joe’s in 1997.

His training in California helped him adapt to different situations and circumstances in relation to his job.

“We were trained in school that you will be able to be dropped in any point, any place in the planet and still be able to cook a great meal. If you don’t have a particular ingredient, you should shift,” Goco said.

Eventually, Goco moved on to introduce a new cuisine in the country, after a friend told him that it is the only way he can make it in the Philippines.

“A friend told me, “Robby, you should own a cuisine in the Philippines. That’s the only way to make it, to own a cuisine. If you can’t bring in a franchise, create something.”,” he said.

Following his friend’s advice, Goco packed his bags and stayed in Greece for two and a half months to learn everything he can about their cuisine.

Upon returning to the country, he opened Cyma, which was first launched in Boracay.

As to its the location, Goco has this explanation.

“I launched in Boracay. Why Boracay? Just in case Pinoys don’t accept my cuisine, the foreigners are there to come.”

Despite his initial fear that his restaurant would not be accepted by Filipinos, Cyma eventually grew and now has nine branches.

For Goco, he prefers a slow growth for the restaurant in order to protect his standards.

“Slowly but surely, of course. I don’t want to be too aggressive. I don’t want to franchise. I’m protective of my standards,” he said.

Source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/lifestyle/v1/03/04/16/right-to-good-food-cymas-goco-shares-secret-to-success

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