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Showing posts from April, 2017

Le jour des livres 2017

Coming from French class at AFM, my brain's still working in French but I stumbled upon an event sponsored by Instituto Cervantes, the centre for Spanish culture and language education. It's Dia del Libro, absolutely a haven for bookworms and who Pogs refer to as "culture vultures". 

As people weaved in and out of book stalls and rows upon rows of painting reprints at the Ayala Triangle, they were serenaded by the Manila Symphony Orchestra. It played classics by Spanish artists... I am not a classical music expert but I definitely enjoyed the live musical performance. 

As the event faded to a close, I was ended up buying a few books. It's the day of books, after all... might as well indulge myself on a few hardbound books rather than PDFs.

Aurora Filipino Cuisine

Since La Cocina de Tita Moning bid farewell last year, I've been looking for restaurants that presented Filipino food with a historical angle: heirloom recipes, old house, local ingredients. Yes, there's Café Ysabel but it's closing its doors soon too. 
As I was scanning Facebook posts from food bloggers, I noticed that many of them are actually featuring restaurants in my province. There's Calle Arco in Pagsanjan, also one of my go-to's in Laguna, but I am not counting it because it doesn't have the heritage feel I am looking for. There used to be Raha Sulaiman, also in Pagsanjan. It has the old house feel that attracted me to try the food out years ago but I felt that the restaurant was struggling with its identity back then. I'm not sure if it's still there and if it has finally found its niche in the restaurant industry in a town teeming with yummy food. There's Sulyap, a restaurant in San Pablo that checks all my heritage restaurant boxes. But…

Tasting rice in style

On rare occasions, I get a request from Management to "cater" snacks for the Board of Trustees. This was one of those occasions... But there's a caveat: I wasn't supposed to prepare the typical, academic rice tasting session. The DDG-R, Jackie, wanted me to approach this as food service rather than an experiment.
So inspired by Madrid Fusion Manila 2017, I prepared vision boards to inspire me about the pegs. What the colour motif would be; what would be the presentation style; what would be the rice varieties to be featured...
Good thing I got Ana, Tita Nollie, and Ate Lucy to help out in mise-en-place. It was so much fun seeing my idea come to life in a span of two hours. The table was so different from the other set-ups I've done before that this latest one was actually Instagrammable! I was surprised!
Will we do this again soon? We'll find out.

Coffee, anyone?

During my visit to the Madrid Fusión Manila 2017, I chanced upon a coffee-tasting session hosted by Chit Juan. You know, the Chit Juan! She used to be the CEO of Figaro, who now is what is known as a social entrepreneur. More importantly, for the purposes of my visit to this coffee-tasting session, she leads the Philippine Coffee Board and is one of the experts on the nuances of flavours in that cup of joe.
As I took my seat, I noticed that the participants were provided with granola bars and other healthy goodies (goodbye junk food!) that would help cleanse our palates in between coffee samples... after all, coffee is known for its strong flavours. As someone with very sensitive taste receptors (which make bitter food and drink, like coffee, taste extra bitter for me), the bits of side munchies might not be enough to cleanse my palate.

What I needed was lots and lots of water. Thankfully, a bottle of water was given to each participant. I was finally able to rest easy.

And so as the…

Third time's the charm: Another gastronomic journey at Madrid Fusion Manila 2017

This year marks the third time that the Philippines hosted Madrid Fusion Manila. It was also my third time to be in it. But this time I wasn't a member of any exhibit team. I was there to learn a bit more about Philippine gastronomy and culture, and to visit my friends in the food industry. While Tita Nollie and Ana were with the representatives of the Department of Agriculture (heirloom rice was featured in their booth after all, I chatted with one of the organisers, Joel, who instructed me on how to claim my badge. This year's theme, based on the display outside the exhibition hall, was all about sustainability and food... it's about time because food production should always be viewed from a systems perspective, rather than with a more narrow focus... if we want to help farmers improve their livelihoods. I recognise, however, that this kind of mentality belongs more to people who are involved in influencing policy... not necessarily (but highly valuable) for scientists…