About Me


Feature in Metro Society Magazine (2014)
Featured in Metro Society Magazine (2014)

So let us get started. My name is Jonathan Beam, and I’ve been a lot of different things in my exciting life. Salesman, Electrician, Cook etc. I love to read and play the guitar, and I need music, art, and creativity in my life. Food is my passion. I didn’t realize it was so crucial to my happiness until I tried to do things that were strictly money-motivated. Food is what I look forward to the most, I don’t have to try, I don’t have to force it. It is my unfaltering fascination with it that turned my “hobby” into my forte.

Photographed by Filbert Kung (outtake from Metro Society shoot)
Photographed by Filbert Kung (outtake from Metro Society shoot)
I am from the South. Born in Baton Rouge in the heart of Louisiana Creole-Cajun country, and raised watching my single Mom cook.  I moved around a lot, but in the small towns of Arkansas, I learned everything there is to know about real country cooking aka comfort food. It is there that I also discovered the kind of pride working with my hands can instill in a person.
Another move and I found myself in Houston, where I was schooled in Texas pit BBQ. A few years later, I found myself in the trendiest L.A. kitchens where I was educated on all things farm fresh, only the way California can. I’m a strange fusion of some of the best food cultures in the States. My palate longs for spice and flavor, and creative yet simple meals. Real food. I’m not a picky eater but when you grow up on the other side of the globe things taste different. Ever since I came to the Philippines late last year, I’ve really missed these familiar flavors. Even if some of my favorite restaurants are here, I’ve taken matters into my own hands and have been cooking my own translation of American classics, fusing together the diverse food cultures I’ve been exposed to.
Don’t get me wrong. Filipino cuisine is tasty. Some of my favorite dishes to eat are cultural classics like tinolang manok, pork adobo, sinigang, and of course, rice. The ingredients here in Manila are beautiful as the city itself. The hot, humid weather and the fact that the ocean is my backyard reminds me so much of being back in Louisiana. The ingredient selections I had there are super similar to what I have here in Southeast Asia. The majority of the dishes in Filipino cuisine are either composed of pork, chicken, or fresh seafood.  The classic dishes here are influenced heavily by Spanish and French heritage just like in they are in New Orleans.
Speaking of New Orleans, I’ve missed Creole country.  I get misty with the nostalgia of a roux-based dish, or gravy made in an iron skillet.  Or a crawfish boil with spices so hot, it makes you sweat. From the years I spent in Houston, I often crave sticky slabs of ribs, a dry rubbed brisket, and a mountain of potato salad, Texas BBQ style. Have you ever had Boudin links wrapped in aluminum foil hot out of the steamer?  Or soft shell crab tacos loaded with avocado and green garlic?  I want those flavors in my life. I want cayenne and jalapeno, and the sacred Cajun trinity (celery, onion, bell pepper), the key to almost every Cajun dish done right.  I want to see those colors on my plate.
I would have never expected moving to many different cities would have affected my life so positively. It has exposed me to so many wonderful food traditions and has made me the cook I am today. I have watched all my different experiences working in countless jobs, not just restaurants, become tributaries toward growing my food hobby into a promising profession. It drives me to keep moving and keep evolving. Coming to Manila has exposed me to a whole other set of rules, recipes, and culture to add to my personal food journey.
In many ways, I am starting over in Manila, and it’s both scary and exciting. With all my experiences, however, starting from scratch has never felt so right. My blog, Clean Slate, will be a documentation of this new chapter and I am excited to take you with me as I experience it.

11 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Oh, Jonathan! I’m afraid I’m going to have to come back here often! Do you know what frid rattlesnake balls are? (rattles). Do you have a good recipe that might include lump crabmeat by any chance?

    Thanks for visiting my online writing studio — which only serves up food for thought. And for folwing work!

    I’ve nominated you for the “Thank God you’re not another fashion Diva (not that there’s anything wrong with that) Award” — which only exists in my head. Cook on!

    — SM

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    1. Hahah thanks Skip! And yes, I’ve seen a few rattle snake dishes in my day. Tastes like chicken right? 😛
      There are two recipes that come to mind when you mention lump crab meat. One is a gumbo, which just so happens to be one of my next recipes I plan to post. The second lump crab dish I love is an idea I got from a trip to Vegas. The Bellagio Hotel serves an amazing crab cake eggs Benedict that I would love to try to replicate. Maybe I’ll splurge on some crab and attempt it.

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      1. Actually, it’s a combination of cream cheese, jalapenos and Monteray Jack cheese. The mixture is formed into small balls, and coated with garlic breadcrumbs, then deep fried. It’s a staple appetizer at the Texas Roadhouse chains. I thought adding lump crab meat would be an incredible addition. The Roadhouse recipe is online, by the way.
        The two dishes you mentioned make me salivate! Are the recipes on your blogsite?

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      2. I spent a few years in Houston and surprisingly never had them..sounds pretty delicious though, like the perfect pub grub during a game. I will definitely cook up a batch soon, sounds like my kind of man food. As far as the other two recipes I mentioned, I will have something up on the gumbo soon (it’s on the calendar) so keep a look out. 😉

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  2. Hi Jonathan, thanks for following Marisa’s blog! We have our passion for food and our love for New Orleans in common. Cooking and eating there in the eighties has formed the person I am today. Look forward to reading about your experiences in the Philipines.

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Clean Slate is a Food and Cooking Blog by Jonathan Beam. Featuring recipes, cooking tips, and restaurant recommendations.

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