ENTREPRENEUR$H!T
Empire in the Making

Meet Nicole Ponseca, Superstar Entrepreneur, Owner and General Manager of whirlwind restaurant success Maharlika Filipino Moderno. Ponseca did not begin her journey in the restaurant biz -- rather working as an ad executive at Saatch & Saatchi when she realized New York lacked even mediocre Filipino cuisine.

Thus began her upward climb to acheive a new goal. She began taking on multiple jobs in bars and restaurants to learn about the industry and started researching Filipino food. Eventually, Nicole opened up Maharlika as a pop-up serving only brunch, allowing her to experiment with the menu and work on establishing her brand. Next came pop-up dinner and finally, a full fledged restaurant establishment!

BEHIND THE PLATE
Filipino Cuisine Served Straight Up with a Moderno Twist
Some of the most frequently used ingredients in Filipino dishes would be patis (a fish sauce), calamansi, which is a citrus, kind of a cross between a mandarin and lime, rice, and garlic. The national Filipino dish is adobo and adobo is anything that can be cooked with these five ingredients - peppercorns, bay leaf, garlic, salt, and vinegar. So we do an adobo chicken, we switch it up during the week sometimes we do a squid adobo! And most of those five ingredients are used in everyday cooking.