Chinese New Year Binondo Food Trip


We spent the eve of Chinese New Year in Manila’s Chinatown called Binondo. The atmosphere was very festive with fireworks, crowded streets and vendors everywhere. First we went to check out the rows of food stalls  beside the creek called “Estero”.  Food looked really sleazy but incredibly tasty. We couldn’t find an empty table so we walked back to Ongpin street.  We wanted to go to Sincerity  Cafe and Restaurant at the Lucky Chinatown building  but traffic was building up.

Our next option Wei Ying Restaurant along Benavidez street was an excellent choice. I ordered my favorite roast duck with white chicken. We also had roast duck mami, asado mami, siomai, shrimp chong fan, spareribs rice, chicken feet, lomaikai, and  linyong pao. Food porn! We only spent P1250 for 4 people !

image wpid-20150218_233945.jpgwpid-20150218_234253.jpgwpid-20150218_215301.jpg

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The Ice Cream Binge

I indulge myself with ice cream after finding out that I lost something valuable. In my frustration I binge on speculoos cookie butter ice cream, with choco lava cake crumble, salted caramel popcorn and cherries in syrup.  Feeling a little better now after creating this delicious cream1

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Exhibit of the Sacristy of the Papal Entourage 2015 of Pope Francis to the Philippines

The exhibit is open to the public until February 6, 2015. Due to popular demand, the Office of the President and Chancellor of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde is happy to announce the extension of the exhibit “Sagrestia: The Sacristy of the Papal Entourage for the 2015 Apostolic Visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines”.

Viewing time:
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
1:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Room 808, 8th floor of the Angelo King International Center (AKIC)

With the blessings of the Vatican and in cooperation with the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines, the exhibition features the various vestments, vessels, linens and liturgical books used by the members of the Papal Entourage. The highlights of the exhibit are the skull cap, Book of Ceremonials, and chalice used by Pope Francis during his Holy Mass at Continue reading

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Pastry Chef Ewald Notter in Benilde 2015


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Where did the Vatican Cardinals and Papal Bodyguards stay during the Papal Visit in Manila 2015?

popeHotel Benilde  Maison De La Salle  was secretly home to Pope Francis’ Papal Entourage last January 14-19, 2015 in Manila.  The presence of the high ranking Vatican Cardinals and Swiss Guards or papal bodyguards remained confidential during their stay.  Now that they are away, here are pictures from the devoted team that handled the delegation.

pope9As early as January 12 classes in SHRIM were cancelled. Those of us not part of the Papal Visit 2015 were asked to vacate the building. Security was very tight and  only members of the Benilde Papal Team were allowed in the premises. The whole hotel was closed for the congregation.  The different entrances even had metal detectors and x-ray machines!

Congratulations to the  Secretariat Team headed by Ms. Lettie Delarmente. They worked very hard  to show our guests the true meaning of Filipino and Lasallian hospitality. The
culinary team was headed by executive chef Mae Belgira Montalban of the De La Salle- Continue reading

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Exciting 2015 Menu

nye food (2)Several of my father’s very good friends passed away last 2014, and with ALL my siblings being abroad I was unsure of the menu for the party. Pappy is a stickler for tradition; he insisted on welcoming the New Year’s Eve with an abundant feast. So I cooked my usual turkey, a leg of lamb, lengua, potato salad, and we purchased a lechon (roasted pig). Inviting people was the easiest part. I did not make paella which was included in the regular repertoire, not realizing our regular guests would miss it.  It was a joy to see people enjoy my food. Complements such as “put up your own restaurant” continue to haunt me today.

Over the holidays I watched the movie “The Hobbit” and then did a “Lord of the Rings’ trilogy marathon.  This may seem funny, but this quote from LOTR is my New Year’s resolution:

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” – Gadalf the Grey 
J.R.R. Tolkien)

It is so much easier to stick to tradition and stay in our comfort zones, but there is an adventure waiting out there for all of us.  My theme for 2015 is CHANGE. So I resolve to: Continue reading

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The modern Filipino menu challenge

wpid-20141204_154246“The great thing for chefs, the great blessing for chefs, and for people that care about food and cooking, is that the most ecological choice for food is also the most ethical choice for food.”- Chef Dan Barber: A foie gras parable (TED TALK)

My Filipino Cuisine students exceeded my expectations during their final exams this term. The challenge was to create a menu using local ingredients; and to produce Filipino  food in an elegant way that would be very much appreciated by foreigners. We did a lot of brainstorming and I was so happy and proud of their execution. Student Alfred Sango and his team did a wonderful job!



Tempura of eggplant, winged beans, and okra on pumpkin sauce with anchovy emulsion. This starter was inspired by a local Ilocano vegetable dish called “pinakbet”.

wpid-20141204_154319.jpgFish paupiette stuffed with tuna and salmon on a scallop shell, cheese gratin and cherry tomatoes with moringa (malunggay) pesto. Served with mesclun and blanched sweet potato (kamote) leaves with vinaigrette, salted duck eggs and sauteed scallops. Right before serving we used a smoking gun and trapped the smoke in another glass acting as a cover to the salad. When the guest removed the glass, the escaping smoke created a dramatic effect.

Homemade Christmas ham with savory sapin-sapin ( layered mashed purple yam, sweet potatoes, and yellow potatoes), with queso de bola crisps and dried pineapples. The dish is served with pineapple demi-glace and sauteed vegetables. The inspiration behind this dish is Noche Buena or the midnight Christmas feast with traditional ham and queso de bola. Yuga’s ham recipe won an award during the Young Hoteliers Expostion competition.

wpid-20141204_160858.jpgfilcui class (2)Tablea chocolate mousse topped with Baguio strawberries, mango gelee, brownies and caramelized pili nuts

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