Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mooncake Festival 2014 - Chuseok jal bo nae!

Not been blogging for the last few years - Yes I am still eating much, and gaining beer belly... but lazy blogging also... because of some other blogs and preoccupation.

I have not forgotten celebration since it is a time to eat - one of those fave delicacies - mooncake! So here are some fotos of my favorite mooncake, gift from a dear friend. This season also reminds me of Chuseok celebration in South Korea.

Traditional mooncake

More commercial kind.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Movie to eat:The Hundred-Foot Journey

In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be.

I need to see this film and eat!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Oktoberfest 2012 in the Philippines

In six days, nations where Oktobersfest originated is preparing and will soon be rolling out their barrels of beers to celebrate. So to warm up I got several kind of beers to drink and taste.

Well, San Miguel Beer is top on my list and I wanted to try  these new flavors - Lemon and Apple. But I believe the classic taste which is pilsen would always be the one particular taste that distinguishes SMB among the rest of the beers and its newly brewed creations.

But definitely the Irish and the German will not be left-out.

I first tasted Guinness during a St. Patrick's Day hosted by Irish friends in Gwangju City, ROK. It was served frothy in a mug and it was black of course. It tasted subtle, a bitter-sweet taste. So this time around, I got curious to find out some round plastic inside the can of Guinness draught I was almost about to finish drinking.

I tried looking for answer in the can. The labels were in French, Dutch and Italian. But I came across in French the word d'une capsule flottante. So it was not a fault or mistake after all. Better still I checked on the internet what it is all about. So I came across this "no small feat" technology they've invented, a widget - that small round plastic inside the can. Enlarge the foto or better still check this site for a clearer answer-

So the next time you get hold of this beer and find the widtet, do not panic, it is a technology that will help make your Guinness beer more frothy and enjoyable to drink.

Philippines, a beer-belly nation (flaunt thy flabs!), here are some events lined up for the Oktoberfest 2012. Hotels, bars and restaurants will be offering special discounts, gimmicks and events to celebrate this beer season. Some events include:

Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

San Miguel Beer

Although, as chocophile, I have yet to find an event that pairs beer drinking with chocolate. Some nations in the west is doing this aside from pairing wine and chocolate. I really like to experience this beer and chocolate pairing, anyone interested?

Some Cerevisaphile (beer lovers) are familiar with stout (from wikipedia)

Chocolate stout
"Chocolate stout" is a name brewers sometimes give to certain stouts having a noticeable dark chocolate flavour through the use of darker, more aromatic malt; particularly chocolate malt — a malt that has been roasted or kilned until it acquires a chocolate colour. Sometimes, as with Muskoka Brewery's Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, Young's Double Chocolate Stout, and Rogue Brewery's Chocolate Stout, the beers are also brewed with a small amount of actual chocolate.[31][32]

Cerevisaphile (Cer-a-vehs-a-file) aficionado of beers and ales, 2.a devotee to the decoction of barley infused with hops and fermented, imbiber of beer on the highest order, bordering on devotion, who pursues the very finest in malted beverages.

source -

check also -

For chocolate lovers or Pinoy Chocophiles please check my blog here

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Genting Star Tourism Academy's meet-and-greet Chef Frank Roland Schmitt

I was privileged to join the meet-and-greet with Chef Frank Roland Schmitt (thanks to Nonito for the short notice invite and of course the gracious and accommodating Mr. Jeffrey Uy) who is in town to recruit new staff to form his crew for the Star Cruise's Super Star Libra. He will be doing cooking demonstration as shown in the poster above of Southern Germany Cuisine.

In our meeting with him, together with Genting Star Tourism Academy Chefs' we were shown two easy to prepare dishes and a dessert. We got to taste those prepared dishes as well. For our meeting, he intentionally chose to demonstrate easy to prepare dishes that's like any regular family fare or dishes that is usually prepared and serve by moms.

Cheese Spatzle - pasta dish, but the pasta was home made and then baked (let me know if you are interested of the recipe so I can send it to you). Spatzle  can be also herb, spinach or mushroom. For Filipinos it can be compared as a Lasagna dish.

Vienna Schnitzel - well your regular pork chop that is breaded and deep fried.

Peach Melba - raspberry syrup with vanilla ice cream and presented nicely.

Here's the Professional Brief of Chef Frank Roland Schmitt, Executive Chef, Star Cruises - Super Star Libra (SSR). The text mostly taken from a flier distributed by Genting Star Tourism Academy with some minor modifications I made.

Chef Frank Roland Schmitt is currently the Executive Chef of Star Cruises-Super Star Libra. He has been in charge of the whole kitchen operations of the cruise ship after his culinary stint in Germany and other international hotels, including the US from 1984-1986 and onboard the Norwegian Cruise Line from 1992-1994 where he held various corporate positions. From 1994-2000, he began his career with Star Cruises as its Executive Chef.
Chef Frank's training and knowledge of a wide range of cuisines, including his expertise in operations and management were key elements of his involvement in handling significant positions in both land and sea-based hospitality industries.  He was engaged in series of executive consultancies helping in the setting up of bars and restaurants across Germany.
For his passion for gastronomic experiences across the high seas, in 2010 he rejoined once again Star Cruises as its Executive Chef.
With degree in Hotel Management from Germany and an unparalleled international culinary experience, Chef Frank continues to inspire and set the mark for excellence in European and Caribbean cuisines.

Genting Star Tourism Academy is hospitality and professional development training school for those aspiring to work in cruise ship, restaurant, hotels among others. The academy's training programs are TESDA accredited. It includes Food and Beverage Services, Commercial Cooking, Housekeeping/Accomodation, Front Office Services, Bread and Pastry, etc. that is 3 to 6 months long. For those who are interested to pursue a Diploman in Hospitality Management that is based on the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) and through their partnership with  NSW Technical and Further Education Commission, a competency standard system allows their students to obtain a progressive qualification path from certificate to a degree level.

According to Mr. Christian D. Matro, Buss. Devt. Officer, the advantage of the academy compared to other culinary schools is that,  98% of its Culinary Arts graduates find employment upon graduation or even job placement during their internship with their Star Cruises' ships and group of hotels.

I requested to have a chit-chat with one of their students and I was introduced to Mr. Aziz Buenaventura. At an early age he already got introduced to the kitchen, his grandfather a well known cook and also her mom a good cook. Not contented with the usual fare of his pasta, he created his own flavors. His dream of travelling around the world made him thought that working as a chef on a cruise ship would be its realization. But now he thinks otherwise, he can be the best chef  for his own restaurant and travel the world. For that he even has a name,  Klazzico a bistro bar he would like to start when he finish his diploma course.

But what fascinates me is when he labeled French cuisine as traditional (definitely it is and has a long tradition and one of the finest dining experiences there is and even declared by UNESCO as "intangible cultural heritage"). Since his exposure and training is Australian,   maybe for him it is more apt to his gustatory style which is more modern and hip. Also, at his age and taste perhaps, the fusion of dishes espoused by most of the younger generations of chefs is the "new French cooking", a standard, style or trend  in cooking that is more vibrant and dynamic, a mix and match of old/traditional and new/modern, Asian and European and all other in-betweens of gustations and gastronomies.

It was an interesting experience for me to learn more about Genting Star Tourism Academy, their versatile chefs, students, and their courteous officers and staff. We were even toured in their classrooms and demonstrations areas where students applied their training.

Also, I got a chance to be toured to the only 6-star hotel in the countryMaxims Hotel, every room has a butler, they have three levels of casinos. On the Third Floor is the Genting Club, for members only where bets are in millions, the Second Floor is a casino for non-smokers and the ground floor which is the more rambunctious place for live-performers, bettors/gamblers, onlookers and different Asian nationalities with that all-pervading-strangling second hand smoke, yay! Resorts World is like a Nevada in Manila, a whole new world for me. A place to dine, gamble, shop, movie and theater and the many other things I failed to mention here.

For chocolate lovers or Pinoy Chocophiles please check my blog here

Related read from my good friend Renz:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lazy-easy pizza from The Peach Kitchen

The word lazy caught my attention, but by the look of it, wow, seems not easy to do and prepare.

Enjoy a homemade-lazy-but-easy pizza!

For chocolate lovers or Pinoy Chocophiles please check my blog here

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mooncake Festival 2012

I received from a good friend my supply of mooncakes to celebrate Mooncake Festival. Like my fondness for hopia I definitely love the delicate taste of mooncake. There are different flavors now available in the market but I go for the classic White Lotus Seed Paste with yolks and this time the one I have eaten shown in the photo below contains four yolks and it is so divine in taste, the yolks like a good salted egg oozes with its own rich oil. For the month of September I will be blogging about the different flavors of mooncake I received as gift.

From wikepedia

The Mid-Autumn Festival (simplified Chinese中秋节traditional Chinese中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival or Zhongqiu Festival, is a popular lunar harvest festivalcelebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people.[1] A description of the festival first appeared in Rites of Zhou, a written collection of rituals of the Western Zhou Dynasty from 3,000 years ago.[1] The celebration became popular during the early Tang Dynasty.[1] The festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar, close to the autumnal equinox.[1] The Government of the People's Republic of China listed the festival as an "intangible cultural heritage" in 2006, and it was made a Chinese public holiday in 2008.[1] It is also a public holiday in Taiwan.

One of the significance of moon cake is the overthrow of Mongol rule in China, the story below (source wikipedia - )

According to a widespread folk tale (not necessarily supported by historical records), the Mid-Autumn Festival commemorates an uprising in Chinaagainst the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1280–1368) in the 14th century.[6] As group gatherings were banned, it was impossible to make plans for arebellion.[6] Noting that the Mongols did not eat mooncakesLiu Bowen (劉伯溫) of Zhejiang Province, advisor to the Chinese rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, came up with the idea of timing the rebellion to coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. He sought permission to distribute thousands of moon cakes to the Chinese residents in the city to bless the longevity of the Mongol emperor. Inside each cake, however, was inserted a piece of paper with the message: "Kill the Mongols on the 15th day of the 8th month" (traditional Chinese: 八月十五殺韃子; simplified Chinese: 八月十五杀鞑子).[6] On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), under Zhu. Henceforth, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated with moon cakes on a national level.

Read more here about mooncake from these links - 

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Since this press release is a bit long I will make another blog entry about my experience of this blog event. I wonder how my pinoychocophile blog got invited by EON, The Stakeholder Relations Firm, so instead of blogging about Maggi in that site I am blogging it here since this is the most appropriate blog for it.

The rice cooker is one of the most important utensils used for this Maggi Magic Meals innovation and as the logo suggests.

Having been invited to the event I am posting here the event's press release. Yes I got wonderful freebies from the event aside from a great time to get to know food bloggers.

Press Release



For the average Filipino, a complete meal means only one thing: a hearty serving of viand (“ulam”) paired with steaming white rice.  Nothing spells home-cooked meal more than the image of generous servings of tender meat and vegetables slow-cooked in a rich sauce, the latter inevitably to be spooned over a hefty mound or two of rice. To help the country rediscover the magic of meals prepared and enjoyed at home, NESTLÉ introduces one of its game-changing innovations to date---MAGGI MAGIC MEALS. It is a first-in-the-world recipe solution designed for use in a rice cooker.

“With today’s busy lifestyle, many are finding it hard to sit down to a hearty, wholesome, balanced meal at home,   much less cook one themselves,” says Star Estacio, Senior Vice President and Business Executive Manager for Food at NESTLÉ. “MAGGI MAGIC MEALS offers a solution not only through mouth-watering recipes guaranteed to gather the whole family around the table, but more so through an  innovative and modern way of cooking that is so easy and efficient, it’s going to make Filipinos want to cook at home more often.”


Not just a recipe mix, MAGGI MAGIC MEALS not only offers a recipe flavoring, it also offers a simple and effective method of cooking using the most ubiquitous cooking appliance in Filipino homes—the rice cooker.  The MAGGI MAGIC MEALS pack has a dual chamber containing the MAGGI MAGIC RECIPE MIX and the MAGGI MAGIC COOKING BAG. It is a most unique cooking kit. The MAGGI MAGIC RECIPE MIX guarantees a complete and proper blend of flavors, there is no need to add anything else except the fresh meat and vegetables.  The MAGGI MAGIC COOKING BAG, on the other hand, guarantees that the “ulam” can be cooked together with rice using a rice cooker.  Once in the rice cooker, the cooking bag ensures that the meat and vegetables cook in its own juice at the proper doneness, and the sauce develops into a thick and hearty consistency. There is no need to keep checking for doneness or to keep correcting the sauce for the right “timpla.”  After 45 minutes, one can say that he/she has prepared a wholesome, balanced meal complete with rice.  For the time-strapped homemaker or individual, MAGGI MAGIC MEALS will make cooking and eating such an easy and enjoyable experience, they will want to cook at home over and over again.

Now, ANYONE can cook! 

With MAGGI MAGIC MEALS, anyone can gain instant know-how in cooking some of the most complex Filipino recipes.  Pinoy favorites like Bicol Express, Afritada, Lechon Paksiw and Chicken Pastel can now all be prepared in a method that is as easy and as simple as cooking rice.

To prepare the dish your choice, just follow these 5 simple steps:
  • 1.   Place your chicken or pork pieces together with thinly sliced vegetables inside the MAGGI MAGIC COOKING BAG (chicken has to be scored or sliced lightly  3 times per side to ensure thorough cooking; pork pieces need to be sliced into thin strips)
  • 2.   Add the MAGGI MAGIC RECIPE MIX which contains a complete blend of flavors to create a delicious stew. No need for additional ingredients, except the fresh meat and vegetables.
  • 3.    Add 6 tbsps. of water into the cooking bag.
  • 4.    Massage the bag gently to dissolve the mix, then seal the bag by tying a knot.
  • 5.   Place the cooking bag flatly on top of washed rice, then start cooking the rice as you normally would. After 45 mins, both rice and “ulam” are  ready to serve!


With an innovation such as MAGGI MAGIC MEALS, MAGGI seeks to respond to needs of the modern- day homemakers with a solution that will put their resources to optimum use. With MAGGI MAGIC MEALS, homemakers now have a new method of cooking that helps save on the cost of ingredients, gas, water and soap (less pots and pans to wash). It also frees them from the fuss and too much effort of cooking an otherwise complicated dish, and instead boosts their confidence that the end dish will be delicious. Everytime. Most important of all, it enables homemakers to make wise use of their time. Cooking with MAGGI MAGIC MEALS means that with a few smart and ingenious moves, one can devote more time for one’s family or self WHILE cooking.

MAGGI believes that cooking and eating at home is the foundation of many positive things for the family-  developing healthy food habits, strengthening family bond, deepening  family traditions. For this reason, we are committed to keep offering products and services that will enable homemakers to bring back the habit of cooking and make their meals and meal experiences truly magical.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Martha Sasing
EON, Inc. The Stakeholder Relations Firm
Tel: 632 893 5642 loc. 133
Fax: 632 892 6769