ARSENIA Dellosa Estinos is the 42-year-old wife of a businessman husband and also owns horses for the racing circuits in Cavite and Batangas. Mother to two girls aged 12 and 8, she started her food business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A stay-home mom who loves to cook, she started making her family’s favorite seafood dishes that they used to enjoy when dining in seafood restaurants before the lockdown last year.
A native of Bacon (now merged with Sorsogon City), Sorsogon, Arsenia began concocting mouthwatering meals, incorporating her favorite gata (coconut milk), a staple ingredient in many Bicol dishes.
Arsenia has since dedicated her time to cooking with the help of her only brother Joseph Estinos, sourcing out only the best and freshest seafood from Capiz.
She eventually shared her dishes to friends – including make-up maven Gio Flores, himself a self-taught “chef” – so that they, too, can indulge in their favorite seafood dishes in the comfort of their homes and workplace.
Word of her to-die-for dishes spread around quickly and now has a growing roster of clients, mostly from the corporate world.
Her bestsellers? Laing (shredded taro leaves cooked in coconut milk with crab and fish flakes) topped with shrimps; ginataang langka (unripe jackfruit with coconut milk, shrimps and crabs); Bicol Express (pork with coconut milk and chili peppers); and crab with sotanghon.
Arsenia’s long menu also includes kinunot (flaked stingray), and other gata dishes including string beans and squash (with crabs), puso ng saging (banana heart), labong (young bamboo shoots), sigarilyas (winged beans), tilapya with petchay (Chinese cabbage), chicken adobo sa gata and sinantolan;
Seafood with sweet chili sauce, butter and garlic sauce; seafood kare-kare, hilabos seafood, and an array of ginisang (sauteed) vegetables and all-time favorite meat dishes like menudo, mechado, sinigang, paksiw, kaldereta, bistek, bulalo, adobo and kare-kare.
For side dishes, Arsenia has lumpia (spring rolls) with flaked crab meat, adobong balut and adobong penoy. Desserts include cassava cake and suman malagkit (glutinous or sticky rice).
With orders growing by the day, Arsenia admits she can feel the stress sometimes but all is wiped out when she gets rave feedback from her clients, plus the fact that her earnings are well spent. She has been allotting portions helping typhoon victims in Bicol last year, as well as hiring additional staff for her busy kitchen when she expands her business very soon.
Arsenia has created a Facebook page (RC Bicolana Kitchen) where interested parties can order online, as well as through mobile # 09989920608.