Check Out Lifestyle Blogger Michelle Aventajado's Cozy And Welcoming Kitchen
The sky is bright white when this shoot with lifestyle blogger, writer, and teacher Michelle Ressa-Aventajado was done in her Ayala Alabang residence one afternoon. We spot her briskly walking around her house, decked out in a linen dress and pumps. Accommodating the crew who had just wrapped up the shoot, she asks, “Did you want some more water? A knife for your sandwich?”
She hadn’t even eaten yet. “If anyone welcomes you into her home, one’s sacred space, you’re special. If you’re sitting around my table, I will serve you,” she explains, alluding to her kind of hospitality. “I think I picked that up from my mom, and I take pride in that.”
Passion for Cooking
This child of a Filipina mother and American-Italian father was born and raised in New York. She took her interest in cooking from her mom, who manned the kitchen. And it’s through this hobby—no, craft—that makes her an excellent lady of the house.
“My mom wasn’t a cook but she really enjoys cooking. Our dinners, lunches, and breakfasts were always homemade and served family-style. Most of our celebrations were at home, and we have had all the generations in the kitchen—my grandmother, my godmother, my mother, myself, and even the titas—all prepping and helping my mom.”
Her passion for cooking became more focused when she became a mom herself. Michelle met her husband Nino in the Philippines. They have been married 17 years and have four children. At their home in the south, Michelle takes the effort to cook for her family every day. Being a fitness enthusiast, she picks the healthier options for her family as much as possible.
“For breakfast, I choose something, like tapa, that our helper can make without me,” Michelle says. “By the time the kids are done showering, their breakfast is on the counter and I’m making lunch. Before they leave, I would take a picture of the meal on Instagram.”
Michelle does all the magic in her kitchen, the cabinetry and appliances of which are planned around the kitchen island. This, in turn, does double duty as a bar which hosts three stools. Around the counter is where her family usually sits together while she cooks, making this the bonding area.
The kitchen is where Michelle feels closer to her family. Aside from serving American and Italian food reflecting her roots, she also experiments with the food she prepares. Her latest cooking venture is Asian food. The goal, she says, is to delight the taste buds of her loved ones every morning.
For her job, she hosts events and works hand in hand with the brand’s partner chefs. Michelle is one of the women behind the series of cooking events called “Mommas Who Brunch,” the other one being Sabrina Go, which invites moms to prepare and bond over their love for cooking. She notices a movement where, she says, “Many people don’t enjoy going out as much and would rather entertain at home. That reflects the type of kitchens we’re building now. They reflect entertaining in the home more. Indeed, the kitchen is the center of the home.”
Michelle bought the house almost furnished, which included the kitchen and the cabinetry in it. She liked how the cabinets circled the area, each of which the woman of the house has stacked accordingly with kitchen necessities. The entire property caught her eye whenever she and husband Nino would pass by it every time they drove their kids to school at De La Salle Zobel. It was designed and built by Arnel Dayanghirang.
Michelle bought the stove and oven from Teka in Alabang Home Depot.
Michelle bought the stools from IKEA Stools at S&R. The kids would gather around the countertop for breakfast every morning before they go to school. As a blogger, the table also serves as the platform for her Instagram posts. Check her posts at @mommanmanila to see her delectably healthy culinary creations.
Photographs by Paola Aseron, courtesy of Metro Home & Entertaining