Chef couple shares recipe to mixing marriage, work

Posted at 04/06/14 9:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Setting boundaries is key to a successful relationship, especially when the partners spend most of their time working together in a kitchen.

Chefs Robert and Sunshine Pengson have made sure that boundaries are set before putting up their food businesses, among them The Goose Station, Shine Bakery & Café and OTKB.

“It is very important to set boundaries right from the start, just so you don’t step on each other’s toes. Although it is inevitable sometimes, it is important to have a different set of responsibilities,” Sunshine said on ANC’s “Shoptalk.”

Robert and Sunshine Pengson on ANC's "Shoptalk." Photo from ANC Shoptalk Facebook page.

Sunshine said it also helps that she and her husband have different personalities because it also means having different strengths.

“I’m more organized, I like to plan ahead. Rob will make five different plans, but when he’s there, he’ll do something completely different,” she said.

“You have to think on your toes sometimes,” Robert said.

They've also managed to keep work and home separate, and are able to avoid discussing business matters at the dinner table.

"We don’t want to talk about it at home...it’s difficult. But we've been able to pour it out instead during man comm meetings. So at home you get to recharge your batteries," Robert said.

Aside from their personal projects, the Pengsons are also co-owners of gastropub Hungry Hound and cocktail bar Niner Ichi Nana, all of which are getting rave reviews from food critics.

The couple said aside from hiring talented and creative people, it helps that all their businesses are located in one area: the Bonifacio Global City.

They said they use the same philosophy on raising their kids and running businesses, such that developing ones are required more attention, while the ones that have been brought up well are given more freedom to run on its own.

Robert added that being passionate in what they do has made their endeavors click, but that is not the only ingredient.

“You should know your principles and values. It can’t be all about just making money because if it’s all about just making money, that’s when the disagreements can get serious and escalate into something else. What’s important here is doing the right thing, you want to be a good example to your kids. Of course in every business you have to make money, but it’s also how you make money that’s important,” he said.