Selina Ocampo of Mise

After a long day, don't we all want freshly cooked meals but have little to no energy left to give? Enter, Mise, a delicious variety of easy-to-cook meal kits to make your cooking experiences easy, seamless, and gourmet!  We recently caught up with Mise's founder, Selina Ocampo  to discuss the dish that started it all, the galette, her seasonal approach to cooking and how she found her passion and drive through food. 

Q&A with Selina Ocampo of Mise

Q: What made you pursue a career in culinary? Did you always know this is what you wanted to do?

A: I only realized my love for food much later in my adult life. It wasn’t a love at first sight kind of thing. Like most graduates, I was searching for meaning and passion. I dabbled in psychology, a little in fashion- I was extremely lost. I was a senior in college and luckily came by good advice from my dad. 

“Money can always come back to you but time never will.” So I took a leap of faith and applied to culinary school. Best decision of my life. 

Q: Tell us about your latest venture, Mise. 

A: Mise was born from the struggles of ECQ cooking. Derived from the culinary term, mise en place, a process in which ingredients are organized and prepared. Mise is a meal kit with partially prepared ingredients and a quick 3 step process which provides a simple and stress free way to help you prepare home cooked meals. Like many home cooks, I experienced the grunt of the dishes and an ungodly amount of prep. Mise was my solution to minimize the production, the prep and all the extra trips to the sink. 

Q: What was your inspiration behind the menu?

A: My menu is based on my longing for travel and familiar flavors. However, there are a few dishes that were made for certain people and places I would like to pay tribute to. It is essentially my love letter to my memories. 

Q: Which dish are you most excited about and why?

A: The leek galette is by far my favorite. I find it bold and a little daring with all the layers of flavor combinations. 

Q: Why galettes? What was the inspo behind this? 

A: I don’t consider myself a baker. I’ve dabbled in pie once, hopped on the banana bread wagon, tried making a cookie here and there. It’s not something I’m good at. However, with the help of a good friend, she gave me the courage to try my hand at desserts and pastries. Without her, I wouldn’t have done this at all. 

Almost every week we would meet up after work and play around with different recipes. When we made our first galette, it spiralled into an obsession. Every week we played with different stone fruits and fillings. Soon after, I started tinkering with different forms of fat and flour. This obsession quickly turned into adventurous savory fillings. 

Q: When are you most inspired?

A: When I’m alone and rifling through old cookbooks and travel photos. 

Q: Describe your creative process.

A: I have a ratty notebook that is covered in stains and probably smells like onions. I write lots of thoughts and random ideas that I like to revisit or rework. I usually read and cross reference different techniques and ratios of what it is I’m trying to create. Then I write a recipe of my own and test it out. It’s quite tedious. It takes me a few tries. 

My favorite time to R&D is alone in the early mornings. There’s something calming about a clean and empty kitchen. 

Q: How important is food sourcing to you? 

A: I find that most commercialized organic produce is a little expensive. My hope is that the government puts their time and focus on agriculture and gives it the push forward it deserves. There are plenty of farmers and trail blazers who are true to their craft but need the support and funds. 

Almost 85% of my ingredients are local. When I first moved back from New York, I constantly complained about local produce. This was coming from someone who didn’t look hard enough and think outside of the box. I believe that if you look hard enough and let yourself explore, everything you need is already within reach. 

Q: What are some of your favorite local vegetables that you think everyone should start cooking with?

A: Red Radish. It has a fantastic peppery flavor and is great to grill, steam and/or pickle with. 

Q: What is your go-to meal to make on a lazy day?

A: Pantry Pasta. It will save your life. In a recent trip, I fashioned myself an angulas, sun dried tomato linguini with a buttery garlic sourdough crumb- situation. Tore some fresh basil, spritz of lemon and busted out a nice extra virgin olive oil from my most recent travels to Napa. This was probably my fancier attempt on pantry pasta. But usually if you have garlic, anchovies, whatever frozen bread scraps, dry spaghetti, lemon and some kind of herb- you’re golden. 

Q: What are your top 5 pantry items?

A: Anchovies, chickpea, sun dried tomato, extra virgin oil, and kewpie mayo. 


Q: What are your top 5 kitchen tools?

A: Chef's knife, microplane, mandoline, the le creuset pot my mom bought me for my birthday, and a weighing scale.

Q: Who are some of the people you look up to the most in this industry?

A: Gilbert Pangilinan, The Fores family, Joanne Moronia 

Q: How has your upbringing and exposure to this industry influenced you  today? 

A: I grew up around restaurants and round table discussions for exciting concepts for different business ideas. My family encourages and breeds creativity amongst themselves and their children. They’re a great source of inspiration with multifaceted perspectives in business and style. I am extremely lucky to have them in my corner. 

Q: What do you wish you could tell yourself 5 years ago?

A: Keep eating 

Q: Any advice for fellow female entrepreneurs in the food industry?

A: Be patient, gird your loins, don’t cry in public and don’t settle for anything less. You are a magnificent KWEEN. GET. THAT. BREAD and BRING HOME THE BACON.

Selina loves...

Restaurants in Manila:

Kai, 12/10, A mano, People’s Palace forever, 

Hai Shin Lou

Local Vendors:

Malagos Farmhouse, Papaya Tree Farms, Kai Farms, 

Future Fresh, My mom's little garden in our backyard

Wine selection:

Amizetta, Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, 2017

Tignanello Toscana, Tuscany, 2014

Whatever red you got as long as it’s shared with friends

Places to Visit:

I suggest you stay home, order Mise and wash your hands.

Selina Ocampo shares with us her recipe for Cold Peanut Sesame Soba, click here to get cooking

To learn more about Mise, click here.