My First Cooking Class Session at Manila Culinary & Hospitality Academy

I admit I am someone who does not really know how to cook as my only "cooking" experience is microwaving it. However, I finally got curious on what happens in the kitchen. I have to thank Manila Culinary Hospitality & Academy as I finally got to learn how to cook (sort of). I brought along the blogger group in this once in a lifetime blogger's cookout. 




Demo Chef Myrna Palma starts us off with a simple lecture about cooking methods. She asked all of us what we love to cook. I actually got nervous when it was going to be my turn because I have no experience whatsoever in cooking. I ended up telling everyone that I only love eating so I wanted to learn cooking for a change. Guess what? I ended up getting two points for being honest.




The kitchen of MCHA is huge and is fully air conditioned. I actually brought extra clothes because I thought we were going to be sweating real hard like what I have seen in other kitchens. It was a good thing that did not happen as they are also complete with cooking equipment necessary for a fun cooking session.




There were cooking knives and other familiar materials were available so there won't be a problem of looking for kitchen utensils to use. Be careful with the sharp ones though as they won't apologize if you blade yourself with those things. If you are scare of sharp objects then this obviously is not for you.





Chef told us that we'd be making Chicken Cordon Bleu which is ironically one of my favorite dishes. We ended up getting divided into groups as one group was in charge of the chicken, another was in charge of the potatoes and another was in charge of the vegetables. I realized that there are so many people involved in making one small meal.




After that, we finally got our hands dirty. I actually learned that you don't cut vegetables right away. You have to grate them first. I think gloves are needed in procedures like this though. After cutting carrots, I wonder how rabbits feel whenever they eat carrots in whole.










The entire team had a great time cooking and I saw everyone was so serious with the tasks they were given. They really enjoyed being chefs even for just one day. It was great to see people of different professions get their hands dirty.










Voila! #teamaldouscooks ended with a masterpiece Chicken Cordon Bleu. Congrats to the entire blogger group for this dish as I really think we should teach their chefs if it ends up getting added to the menu of 7 Flavors. Kidding aside, Chef Myrna did a good job of assisting each team with the process.





Be sure to check out their Facebook page for their upcoming courses as enrollment is currently ongoing now for Culinary Arts Fundamentals for 60 hours every Saturday morning from 8AM to 1PM. Chef Boy Logro himself will also be conducting a Fruit & Vegetable Carving Workshopo on August 9 from 1PM to 6PM.



Manila Culinary & Hospitality Academy
663 J. Wright St. Brgy. Batis, San Juan


Customize your Steak Meal at Rustic Box Steakhouse



The newest food park in town The Yard at Xavierville has food stalls with eye-catching concepts. One of them is Rustic Box Steakhouse and it is a place where you can customize your steak meal. I had a rare opportunity of being able to sample a couple of their dishes and it was a no brainer for me to say yes.



Since they take their steaks seriously, they are open to any comments and suggestions from customers who were either happy or sad with their steak. Well, I am proud to say I was more than happy with their steaks and I am definitely coming back soon for more. There are 4 easy steps before you enjoy your steak. First, choose the steak then the sauce then how it is cooked and finally the sidings. I have to tip my hat over to BFFs Iza Sarmiento and Tin Salapong-Licudine for coming up with this wonderful concept because it means you are in control of your steak meal.


Surf n Turf

When I looked at their menu, I quickly chose Surf n Turf because of my love for shrimp. If there is anything better than eating shrimp, it is eating it with rib eye steak. The sides I chose were dirty rice and macaroni ragu. I loved the presentation of their meals too. Eating it on a wooden board is kind of refreshing and it puts a different type of enjoyment to the experience. I had it cooked well done and I could really tell that it was excellently cooked. I have to give compliments on the chef for this wonderful meal. 

The macaroni ragu and dirty rice are sides you must try. Macaroni Ragu is basically mac & cheese in tomato sauce and I loved their version. The best part about the meal is the rib eye steaks were very tender. I just wished there were more shrimps but that would be asking too much. 


Blue Marlin (P200)

Since it was late at night, it would be wise to eat fish for dinner so I also had Blue Marlin. At only P200, it already comes with plain rice and one side dish. That is such a good deal at that price tag.The fish was fried to perfection and corn is the perfect side dish to go along with it too.

Be sure to bring your friends whenever you are craving for steaks at Rustic Box.


Rustic Box Steakhouse
The Yard, 83 Xavierville Avenue
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Sweet Concoctions at the Milkshake Lab



Located (literally) right in the middle of The Yard at Xavierville is the Milkshake Lab. It won't be hard to find them because they are the only air conditioned food stall in the food park. It can get a little hot when you stay long in the Yard so when that happens, drop by to enjoy the air con there along with their wonderful milkshake and smoothie concoctions.


 White Chocolate Macadamia (P150)

I was glad when I had one of their best sellers in the White Chocolate Macadamia. The macadamia nuts are right on top along with a cookie and an injection (once again literally) of white chocolate. Any time is always a good time to have this milkshake. I was tempted to drink it fast like it was water too.



 Melon Smoothie (P80)

Guess what? They also don't have milkshakes, they also have fruit smoothies that are so milky it sent me to the farm. I chose my favorite fruit Melon and it turns out I did not make a bad choice no matter which fruit I chose.


Red Velvet (P150)

With owner Jillian Hizon's pastry background, I expected the Red Velvet Milkshake to be nothing short of magnificent and it was. It tastes exactly like the Red Velvet cake we have grown to love. In fact, I thought it was even better. There's even some red velvet cake bits on top that's definitely the icing on the cake (no pun intended).

I am no scientist but I can't wait to try the other milkshakes and smoothie concoctions over at the Milkshake Lab. Look out for new items soon to be added on their menu too. Their milkshake brings all the boys (and girls) into the Yard....at Xavierville. Damn right!


Milkshake Lab
The Yard, 83 Xavierville Avenue
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Cold Hard Facts about Team Aldous Quiz Night 6


The 6th Team Aldous Quiz Night held at Borough is in the books and it was a beauty. 4 teams battled for Supremacy but only one can come out on top and it was the Contouring. A team name that spoofed a recent movie (I'm not saying which). We definitely had by far the best poster here even though it came out a day before the event so kudos to Pri for creating it. Most of the bloggers who participated actually ate at Borough before so that says a lot about the popularity of the restaurant.


 Titas of Manila

Jen leads a group of captains who are all first timers which happens for the second straight quiz night. She captains a team which should not be bragging about their average age (umm, lets not talk about that). Joining her 3rd consecutive quiz night, Bettina now has had 9 different quiz night teammates which is third to J9 at 11 and Jayce at 12.


 Lion's Den

Lion's Den is actually the most experienced Quiz Night team entering the event as Jessa (Wingman I, Grilla II) is appearing on her 3rd quiz night and both Manfred and Allen are appearing on their 2nd with only Shiela as the rookie. However, as the end result determined, experience is NEVER a factor in these quiz nights. It is all about the will to win.


 Batang Kaladkarin

Considered as the overwhelming favorite coming into tonight, Mga Batang Kaladkarin featured two former quiz night champions in J9 (Uncle Cheffy and Wingman) and Christine (Grilla 2) as they proved that after leading the Name that Tune category. However, we found out at the end of the night it is not wise to underestimate the eventual champions....


 The Contouring

Congratulations to The Contouring as they are the first quiz night champion with the fewest members (3) as the previous one was 4 which happened three times. The hardest part now is obviously splitting the prize of P2500 Borough Gift Certificates ( 5 P500 GCs) among three winners which is mathematically impossible. I don't think Einstein can even solve that problem.




After all the fun and games, we all still remain friends. See y'all in part 7!



Borough
G/F, Podium


Datu Puti Adobo Movement takes next step at Mercato Centrale

NutriAsia's Dati Puti merged with Our Awesome Planet and Mercato Centrale to present the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge to take the Datu Puti Adobo Movement to the next level. The Datu Puti Adobo Movement was created last year and its mission is to push adobo to become our pambansang ulam. It is a movement that has been recognized my important people especially when Bohol First District Representative Rene Relampagos filed House Bill 3296 to formally declare it as the national dish. The Adobo Movement has supported the bill by launching a petition here.

IMG_5276

For the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge, each Mercato vendor was tasked to create its own Adobo dish. They were tasked to combine any Adobo dish with at least two of the three Datu Puti main products: vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce. 14 entries were selected and were based on various criteria including taste, creativity and the use of Datu Puti products.

Located at 7th avenue and 25th street, Mercato Centrale is the right place to host the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge. Ever since it started as a food market every Friday and Saturday from 6PM to 3AM, Mercato has become the destination for urban foodies for its variety of delicious choices. Each vendor has been carefully selected by the founders of Mercato, RJ Ledesma and Anton Diaz.


 
Foodies were given a chance to become judges by sampling the Adobo dishes of the 14 finalists. Each judge can vote for 3 merchants who they think had the best Adobo dish. At the end of the night, the results were revealed and there were an overwhelming amount of people who voted.

The event was hosted by Pop Talk's Tonipet Gaba and the festivities were brought to life by musical performances from Up Dharma Down and Ebe Dancel.

Ebe Dancel


At the end of the night, The Oinkery won 1st place, Dayrit's won 2nd place and Bakmi Nyonya won 3rd place. The Oinkery's slow cooked Pugon-smoked Pork Adobo glazed with rich Cebu style sauce with fresh mangoes on the side won the hearts of foodies. Dayrit's Pork Adobong Laing Pinangat came in a close second as it combined two popular Filipino dishes in adobo and laing. Bakmi Nyonya was able to combine Indonesian style cooking with Babi Kekap Adobo Nyonya as it is the classic Filipino Adobo we have grown to love infused with Indonesian spices. Not to be outdone, Lariza's won the People's Choice Award for its Seafood Adobo featuring crab, shrimp and mussels cooked Adobo style topped with cheese.



What about you? Do you agree with making adobo the country's national dish? Will you sign the petition and join hundreds of Filipinos pushing for it at adobomovement.com?

Prepare for the Datu Puti Adobo Movement on June 11




The popular Filipino dish Adobo is going to get the spotlight it deserves with a series of mouth-watering events on June 11.Part of this gastronomic lineup of events is the Adobo Challenge, Datu Puti’s search for the best version of the Adobo among a lineup of budding food entrepreneurs.  



The Datu Puti Adobo Movement was initially created to push for Adobo to be our pambansang ulam. It is a movement that celebrates the cultural heritage of the Adobo dish. According to the Datu Puti Adobo Movement, all Filipinos across the regions have their own take on the dish, inspired by how the traditional comfort food is prepared by their families based on the their flavor preferences and their access to local ingredients.  



The Datu Puti Adobo Challenge represents the next phase in the Datu Puti Adobo

Movement. After the warm response to the advocacy in 2015, 2016’s Datu Puti Adobo

Challenge is poised to drive more enthusiasm and sustain support for the cult fave dish. More specifically, the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge dares Mercato Centrale’s food vendors to stake their claim for the best Adobo dish in town. 

    
To qualify, the vendor’s adobo dish must use any type of meat or vegetable, and marinated in or cooked with at least two of the three main Datu Puti products: vinegar, soy sauce, and patis (fish sauce). Accepted entries will be evaluated based on the various criteria, including: creativity of concept, which looks at the story behind the dish as well as originality, branding, and cooking technique; innovation, noting the use of unique special ingredients and Datu Puti products; and Philippine culinary heritage, including how it adopts and represents regional cooking styles.


Mercato Centrale’s finest vendors will showcase their Adobo recipes at a gastronomic showdown at the Mercato Central Saturday market in Bonifacio Global City on June 11, the culmination of the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge. 



Join the Movement on June 11 and enjoy the taste fest during the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge. Rate sheets will be tallied based on the sampling served to a select pool of judges. Then, at the end of the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge, three winners will be declared, taking into the account the flavor, story, and heart behind their Adobo masterpieces. In addition, a People’s Choice Award will also be given to the crowd favorite, based on the preferences of the foodies on site.



All Adobo winners will be awarded start-up funds in cash, so they can include their winning dishes in their regular Mercato menu for at least 12 nights. The People’s Choice awardee, on the other hand, will receive over P3,000 worth of Datu Puti goods.



Aside from the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge, the celebrations at Mercato Centrale on June 11 will also feature a celebration of homegrown talent, all in full support of the advocacy behind the Adobo Movement. The party will be hosted by familiar foodie Tonipet Gaba, and the feast will be made even more festive with musical performances by musical idols UpDharma Down and Ebe Dancel.

             

Drop by Mercato Centrale (along 7thavenue and 25th street, across The Forum and in front of the “Between the Lines” art mural) in BGC Taguig on June 11, Saturday, to witness a showdown and showcase of the best of the best of our homegrown talents onstage and behind kitchen doors.  



Celebrating a Birthday at Todd English Food Hall


This year, I decided to hold my birthday salubong along with my blogger group at Todd English Food Hall and what a great idea that was. There is nothing like bonding with ze bloggerkada over good food while having awesome conversations. Of course, lets not forget that it takes place at Taguig's number one restaurant. It is no secret age is not exactly my favorite topic so out came the food and that was what we talked about all night.


 Frito Misto


 Lobster Guacamole


 Tuna Tartare

The 3 appetizers we got were awesome which is what everything was in Todd English. Everything was simply magnificent from the interiors down to the service of the staff. It is great how all 3 of them contained seafood which makes them a bit healthy. It is definitely a MUST to sprinkle the lemon onto the Frito Misto for that complete taste as it was a mistake I made in the past to not do that when lemon is present. From the looks of it, it is hard to find the lobster in the Lobster Guacamole but when you do, you will be glad you did. The Tuna Tartare has got to be the most photogenic dish of the night.


 Bronx Bomber, Fig & Prosciutto and Chorizo & Shrimp

Todd English's flatbread are a country favorite and I quickly found out why when we indulged on their 3 best sellers. My favorite one is the Chorizo & Shrimp as it combined the most popular meat topping with the most popular seafood topping. What more can you ask for?


 Spinach Salad


 Simple Salad

The two salads did their part in making sure the vegetarians were satisfied properly. Unfortunately, nobody was a vegetarian but they did enjoy their salad as I am not a salad fan. It is not because I don't like the taste but it is because I would want to save my appetite for the main courses.


 Pork Dumpling

The pork dumpling had ponzu reduction and it is what sets it apart from dumplings of other restaurants. I will definitely try the other dumplings on my next visit as this one gets two thumbs up from me. 


 Agnolotti Veal



 Brooklyn Meatball Spaghetti

The meatballs were big and sawft with a capital W in the Brooklyn Meatball Spaghetti and the red sauce is one of those things that will make you come back here for the pasta. It made me want to try the other pasta dishes at Todd English as everything just reads perfection in this place.


 Wagyu Fried Rice

Everyone was watching their diet by not eating much rice for dinner but the Wagyu beef strips were just too hard to resist. This fried rice has got to be one of the best fried rice dishes of all time. I have to give compliments to the chef but I'm sure a lot of people already did that to the legendary Chef Todd English.
 

 Miso Glaze Salmon



 TE Pork Chop


 Steak and Marrow

The heavy meat dishes did their part in getting us full enough to become sleepy. Both meat were tender since we are talking about world renowned chef Todd English here, you can only expect nothing but the best and we got just that.


 Truffle Fungi

My favorite dish of the night has got to be the Truffle Fungi flatbread. My eyes lit up when I saw on the menu it combines truffle vinaigrette and mixed mushrooms. Despite being the last main course dish served for the night, it was still devoured until there was nothing left.



There were actually mouth-watering desserts that came out but the battery of my phone died. I will leave it up to the rest of the team to share their wonderful experience about the desserts of Todd English.

Thanks to everyone who celebrated my birthday with me and of course Todd English for making me have a memorable one on my special day. We now know why you are the number one restaurant in Taguig.



Todd English Food Hall
SM Aura, Bonifacio Global City
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