Chef Jessie Sincioco shares with us the dishes she served Lolo Kiko during his visit to the Philippines.




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Photos from EatSmarter, Cooking Classy, and Flickr

When he’s at home in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis sticks to a modest fare of skinless baked chicken, salad, fruits, and a glass of wine. But when he travels, Lolo Kiko’s hosts like to indulge him with a few of his guilty pleasures. Admirers of the Holy Pontiff know of his sweet tooth as well as his love of pizza! 


For his visit to the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015, the task of feeding the Pope went to Chef Jessie Sincioco, who prepared a special menu for Lolo Kiko during his stay at the Apostolic Nunciature.

According to Chef Jessie, the goal wasn’t just to whip up delicious dishes for His Holiness, but “to make sure he has enough energy because his schedule was so hectic. He’s non-stop,” she told ABS-CBN. 

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This framed photo of Chef Jessie and Pope Francis hangs in a place of honor at her namesake restaurant in the Rockwell Club. (Photo by Victor Guerrero)

Mission achistoricsweetsballroom.complished. Chef Jessie says Pope Francis always cleaned his plate—a sign of the man truly walking his talk. “Throwing away food,” the Pontiff famously declared, “is like stealing from the tables of those who are poor and hungry.”

Here are some of the sweets and savories Chef Jessie served Pope Francis during his stay in Manila! (Read: CBCP formally invites Pope Francis to visit the Philippines in 2021)

Breakfast: Bread, cold cuts, yoghurt, and fruit

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Photo from The Independent

A light yet well-rounded way to start the day, the spread included Pope Francis’ favorite focaccia (crusty Italian bread) as well as his choice of meats, fruits (seedless to aid digestion), and dairy. 

Soup: Beef consommé

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Photo from EatSmarter

Chef Jessie turned the warm broth essence into a meal in itself by adding herb dumplings. Apparently, Pope Francis enjoyed it so much, he requested for second and third helpings! 

Main Course: Chicken Chimichurri

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Photo from Cooking Classy

A nod to Pope Francis’ Argentine roots, the dish is spiced up with chimichurri, a green sauce or condiment made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar. As for the chicken, Chef Jessie made sure to tuck in extra portions under the chicken breast. 

Dessert: Flambeed Mango a la Mode

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Photo from Flickr

Served with Mantecado Ice Cream, this sweet ending to a hearty meal was more than well-received by Lolo Kiko.

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Chef Jessie says in an interview, “He really liked ice cream. He scraped the bowl clean.”