Nor Doming, actor and director-cinematographer, makes sorbets, too

This actor (and director-cinematographer) makes sorbets, too
By Walter Ang
April 13, 2013
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Nor Domingo
Actor and director Nor Domingo has sweet side to him outside of the theater world: he makes tropical fruit flavored sorbets.

Domingo was recently seen in Philippine Educational Theater's "Haring Lear" (a Tagalog adaptation of Shakespeare's "King Lear" featuring an all-male cast) as Goneril and a restaging of "Care Divas" as Jonie.

Lest audiences assume Domingo only portrays female characters (Goneril) and cross-dressing gay men (Jonie) on stage, he was also in Marie Eugenie Theater of the Assumption's "The Crucible" as the unmistakably male John Proctor.

"I am also a cinematographer for television commercials and films," he says. Last year he shot two full-length features: "Sta. NiƱa" for Cinemalaya and "Slumber Party" for Cinema One Originals.

Projects aside, being married with two children, he'd always felt being a freelance actor and cinematographer "wasn't 'stable' enough to raise a family."

More 'normal'
Domingo as Goneril in
Peta's "Haring Lear"
"For many years, I've been thinking of starting a business. A few years ago, I decided to take the plunge and do something more 'normal.'" He searched the internet for information on how to make sorbet, acquired an ice cream maker and started experimenting.

Last year, he finally got hold of a batch freezer and started Pepito's Pinoy Sorbet. Usually served as a palate cleanser during multi-course meals, sorbet is considered a light dessert for the figure-conscious and lactose intolerant since it contains no fat or milk .

Sorbet is made the same way as ice cream: freezing the ingredients as they're being mixed. While ice cream usually contains milk and has air whipped into it, sorbet has neither, resulting in a denser and more flavorful product.

The brand is named after his son Pepe. "We changed it to Pepito's to make it sound more Italian since the original idea was Italian Ice." Gourmands note that Italian ice is grainy, while sorbet has a smooth texture.

He'd been toying with changing the brand name to Pepe & Pilar to include his daughter's name but "the name Pepito's has already started to spread because of our friends and family who have tasted our sorbet, so we can't change the name anymore," he laughs.

His children are the real impetus behind this endeavor. "Cinematography work takes so much of my time away from the family. It breaks my heart every time I leave and the kids would look sad and ask when I'm coming home. So having a home-based business keeps me here with them. They sometimes help me out, too!"

Fruity flavors
Pepito's Pinoy Sorbet
guyabano (soursop) flavor
Domingo studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York City. Upon his return to Manila, he studied filmmaking at Mowelfund Film Institute where one of his instructors informed him that Peta was looking for actors. "I auditioned, was accepted and I haven't stopped acting since."

When he was living on Staten Island, he always had Italian ice or sorbet during the hot summer months. He had always dreamed of bringing that to Manila but didn’t have the means then.

"Sorbets are mainly made from fruit juice, water and sugar," he explains. "We get fruits, juice it, mix it with water and sugar then put it in the ice cream maker. I use a 6-quart batch freezer we imported from the US."

To make his product unique, Domingo uses local fruits to flavor his sorbets: sampaloc (tamarind), passion fruit, dalandan (Philippine orange), pineapple, and guyabano (soursop).

"We would like to help the Buy Pinoy campaign, promote the country's fruits and help the local industry in our own very small way."

The existing flavors are sourced from a supplier. For other fruit flavors, Domingo usually purchases from what's available in the market. "So it's a bit difficult to mass-produce some of our flavors except for the ones we are selling now."

Pepito's Pinoy Sorbet
sampaloc (tamarind) flavor
Actors are used to working with directors and stage managers who run the backstage machinery of theater making. In this case, Domingo's sorbet-making is fully supported by his wife of 13 years Pia.

"She actually runs this show but, to quote Walter White from [TV show] 'Breaking Bad,' 'I am in charge of the cooking.'"

"I make the sorbets myself while Pia helps keep everything organized! She was at one point a wedding cake maker and now runs a packed lunch service for school kids, so she knows the how-to's of the food business. She was the one who told me to make a spreadsheet for my recipes, how to keep track of expenses, how to cost our product, started the Facebook page, etc."

Given the scale of Domingo's operations, he can only produce small batches by advance order and all orders are for pick-up only at his residence in the Greenhills area.

But foodies have something to look forward to. "There are establishments who have shown interest in selling our sorbets in their stores in Quezon City, Makati and Alabang."

Pepito's Pinoy Sorbet is available at P190 per pint. Half-gallon (4 pints) and one-gallon 8 pints) orders accepted, at least three days in advance. Call 925-5817, 0920-907-2901 to 02.

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