Hi, I’m Amber & I am half Filipina.
My mum Aurora, grew up in Tondo Manila and moved to the UK in the 70’s when she was only in her early 20’s to start a new life and to be reunited with her sister. She passed away a few years ago, so Ross and I wanted to keep her spirit alive through her love of cooking. There’s nothing she loved more than feeding people up with enormous Filipino banquets.
We started planning Aurora Kusina back in 2018, researching, developing and lots of planning. In 2019 we were lucky enough to go to the Philippines twice that year to see my family. Our close friends joined us too, to soak up the beauty of my mama’s heartland, and of course we did a lot more research (AKA eating, eating & eating!). Last year, we were all set to start our new adventure - but the cosmos had other ideas. Although we would’ve loved to have started this journey a little earlier, I think everything happens for a reason.
Throughout lockdown we were running a small delivery service from our home kitchen, where we met so many amazing people. Old friends and new started ordering, we were in absolute awe - we can’t thank them enough for their support throughout this time. Now it’s time for Aurora Kusina 2.0 - we can’t wait to see new and familiar faces!
I’m Ross, one half of Aurora Kusina.
I have been a chef on and off for 15 years and for us to start this venture is a dream come true.
I say ‘on and off’ as I’ve also spent much of that time as a musician, having been lucky enough to tour and record all over the world, which I’m still grateful to be able to continue to this day with my band Lonely The Brave. Music and food have always been my passion and gone hand in hand.
I’m so excited to finally be doing this passion project with my wife, Amber which has been in the works for a while now. After our kind of ‘soft launch’ through lockdown, we’re now so happy to be working with Tapestry Brewery and to have more plans as we progress ahead.
I fell in love with the food of the Philippines 10 years ago, at the same time as falling in love with Amber. While we were dating it would be a weekly thing to go to her and her mum’s house for dinner. I had never seen such an array of food, all cooked out of sheer joy and a love for feeding people, by Aurora. BBQ chicken wings or ribs, Adobo, Sinigang, Kaldereta, Pancit and many dishes more... plus a tower of freshly fried lumpia which I soon got addicted to. From the first bite I was hooked and instantly intrigued about this cuisine which at the time, I knew nothing about. Since then it's been a journey of learning, traveling, eating and constant discovery which will continue forever.
I feel incredibly passionate about Filipino cuisine and it’s finally the time for us to bring our take on it to Bristol. We have been building to this point for a long time now and it just feels right. With the passing of Aurora we never really got to cook with her. Amber even says that growing up she was never allowed in the kitchen, apart from doing the very important job of taste testing. So it’s been a relearning of things for her and to pass on to me over the years which has reconnected Amber to her mother and her heritage. We want to do this food justice not just for the people that eat it but also for Aurora who all of this is for.