|Chef Ed Quimson has cooked for several top restaurants including La Tasca and Via Mare. Here he poses with his paella. Photo from the chef's Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – (2ND UPDATE) Chef Ed Quimson, whose creative interpretations of Spanish and Filipino cuisines such as the paella tinola graced the tables of many of the country’s most popular restaurants, died early Sunday morning. He was 48.
Quimson, who was confined at a hospital where he was recovering from an angiogram operation last week, died at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday from “congestive heart failure that led to a heart attack,” according to his close friends.
In his long career in the food and beverage industry, Quimson, who already had a heart bypass operation years ago, had been the chef at several restaurants, notably Via Mare, the well-loved Spanish restaurant La Tasca and his own Chef’s Ed’s. Most recently, he opened Petra and Pilar with Katrina Ponce-Enrile in Makati and Tres Cuisine at the SM City North EDSA.
Culinary professionals and foodies alike immediately took to Quimson’s wall on Facebook to mourn his passing,
“Today is a sad day because we just lost one great CHEF who moved and shaked Filipino cuisine by his inherent love for food and acquired chef's skills. I am speaking of Chef Ed Quimson who passed away this morning. This news was told to me by Sonny Francisco as told to him by Splendido people. Chef Ed was a consultant chef of Splendido and was in the culinary domain of Katrina Ponce Enrile who treated him very closely like family. We mourn Chef Ed's passing not just because he is a BIG presence in our food and beverage world but because he was everybody’s Teddy Bear,” veteran food writer and stylist Nancy Reyes Lumen wrote on Facebook.
Ian Carandang of Sebastian’s Ice Cream described Quimson as “a brilliant chef who has influenced so many of the chefs working now, both in savory and in pastry.”
“He was an influence to me, as a sorbetero, to be more adventurous and creative. And more importantly, he was a dear, dear friend. When I made the Green Mango Sorbet and bemoaned about how expensive it was to buy the sweetened bagoong that paired with it, without hesitation, he stood up and made a recipe for Sweet Bagoong that was even BETTER than what we were using, without expecting anything in return. He was like that, always ready to share his knowledge and experience with anyone who wanted it,” Carandang wrote on Sebastian’s Facebook page.
“He will live on in the many dishes he pioneered, and I am HUMBLED and THANKFUL that we have a small piece of that with the Green Mango & Bagoong Sorbet, which thankfully you all love and have made a part of the regular menu. I will always make sure everyone knows that this vital component was something HE came up with. Everyone who enjoys the Green Mango & Bagoong pays tribute to him in our own little way. And as long as people remember him and enjoy his dishes, he will never be forgotten,” he added.
Blogger Lori Bautista Baltazar said, “I miss you too much already, Chef Ed Quimson. I hope that now, you'll find the happiness and health and all the food you want. Today, I'll make your Iberian Chicken in memory of you.”
“I am too emotional right now mainly because I was not able to say goodbye to you my dearest friend. You were my food soulmate and inspire if all our 'aways', we always ended up creating the best food together. You were the best traveling buddy I could ever have,” Ponce-Enrile wrote.
“Why did you leave me so soon???? So for the next couple of days till my birthday I will cook all our favorites... Sadly I will not be getting a call from you asking me 'Kat what do you want to eat today for your birthday?' Cheffy...I love you and I will see you not just too soon... So when I look up I will smile because I know every time I stand in front of the stove you will be there saying BRAVO!” she added.
Food writer Margaux Salcedo also wrote on Quimson's wall: "What a sad day for the culinary world. He was one of our best. I will always remember his Paella Tinola (can taste it now as I write!). For me personally, I will always be grateful for his encouraging words when I was starting out as a food writer. It was also at his restaurant Chef Ed's (in Salcedo) where I got my first taste of the Doreen Fernandez Writing Awards and met all these people I admire in the food writing community. We will miss you CHEF ED! Now you are reunited with the great Doreen."
In a 2004 interview in the Philippine Star, Quimson credited Fernandez, the late food writer, and three other women for his career in food.
He said it was his mother Betty Gonzalez Quimson, who showed him how to chop without looking and for “teaching me cooking styles and techniques.”
He also mentioned his mother’s best friend Rosario Wolff “for exciting my taste buds at a very young age,” and his grandmother Consuelo Tuason de Casas “for showing me the world.”
He said it was Tuason de Casas, then living in Madrid, who sent him money so he could enroll in a culinary school. However, Quimson said he used to money instead to tour and work in the kitchens of Europe "where his natural talent was honed."
Quimson’s wake will be held at the Sanctuario de San Antonio in Makati.
Reyes-Lumen told ABS-CBNnews.com that in honor of Quimson, they are planning a “Chef's eulogy and ‘passing of the toque’ ceremony.”
She also invited all chefs, cooks and foodies to also send in their tributes through facebook “so that we can present it to the family when we hold the chef’s ceremony.”