Saturday, February 16, 2013


After a successful comeback in 2011, the Philippines’ foremost culinary event, Chefs on Parade (COP) will be staged again at the SMX Convention Center slated from February 28 to March 3.
Participants of Chefs on Parade

COP 2013 promises to be more exciting as new competitions have been added .  Breakfast Making (Professional Division) will involve whipping up an Asian breakfast tray consisting of fresh fruit, cereal or bread, a main course, and juice, coffee or tea.  “We feel that breakfast is a meal that’s often taken for granted,thus breakfast making is conceived,” says Chef Gabby Prats, Chair of COP 2013’s Competition and Judging Committee. COP 2013 Chair Philippe Bartholomi adds, “No other local culinary competition has included Breakfast Making, so Chefs on Parade is the first to have this.” 

Another first is the Iron Butcher Chef Challenge wherein contestants will be asked on-the-spot to cut up a carcass according to standard and special cuts. “This will be conducted under the supervision of sponsor Meat and Livestock Australia who suggested it to bring up the skills of local butchers,” Bartholomi explains. 

                Other new competitions in the Amateur Division include: Flair-Tending which  will have participants preparing original alcoholic cocktails flair-style, i.e., tossing and juggling glasses and bottles up in the air. On the other hand, the Dream Team Competition will entail live cooking and presentation of a three-course menu with artistic execution of table setting, food and wine-pairing and service. 

COP 2013 also marks the return of the memorable Professional Ice-Carving Competition.  All in all, there will be 30 mixology and culinary competitions on both the professional and student divisions, showing once more that Chefs on Parade is the “ultimate Asian showdown.”

The four-day extravaganza is also composed of trade exhibits, cooking demos, workshops and other gastronomic activities. Organized by the 60-year old Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines (HRAP), Chefs on Parade aims to develop the skills and artistry of amateur and professional chefs, as well  as showcase the Asian culinary landscape and  promote Philippine tourism.

COP 2013 is supported by De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde, Meat & Livestock Australia, Nestlé Professional, Unilever Food Solutions, Del Monte, Oleo-Fats, the Department of Tourism (DOT), Kitchen Aid, Mama Sita, La Filipina, Trade Net Events and Management International, Allied Metals, Multi-Mach, Technolux, Imarflex, Enderun Colleges, the Asian Food Channel, GMA News TV, Total Gaz, Imacron, The Puratos Group, Resorts World Manila, Allegro Beverage, Liquid and Liquid Creations, Plan Z, Manila Bulletin, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Hospitality News Magazine, Olive Magazine, Flavors Magazine, Cook Magazine and F & B .

 For more information about Chefs on Parade 2013, contact the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines secretariat at tel. 816-2421, fax 816-2419, email or, or check out,, and

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Koh Samui Thai Cuisine

There are two facts I know about Thailand. The people has close likeness to us Filipinos. The only thing that is different was they are one of the countries in Asia that was never colonized. It is my second time to eat Thai dishes. One was from a seasonal Thai buffet a hotel hosted.

Years later, I got to experience Thai dining again on a Chinese New Year. This time at a Thai cuisine called Koh Samui. Named after an island in Thailand, it is located at Hobbies Of Asia along Macapagal Blvd. not far from the World Trade Center. The cuisine's emblem is an elephant. In Thailand, an elephant is considered an iconic figure which is why you will see two elephant statues guarding the entrance.
Ampalaya shake

As I entered Koh Samui, I met up with other food bloggers who are already in the restaurant. At our table, there's already appetizers served. There's already some home made crackers. I was asked what drink I fancy. Besides the Thai milk tea, there are something new to consider. I tried their ampalaya shake because I am curious what it taste like. Ampalaya is known for its bitter taste but with health benefits. When I took a sip, there was an after taste but the bitterness was tolerable. I never expected that ampalaya will taste this good as a drink.
Pineapple rice

While waiting for the dishes, I took the time to take a look at the function area upstairs. The function areas are ideal for private functions like corporate launches or parties. I will feature the dishes that really fancied not only my sense of taste. The Pineapple Fried Rice is done in a presentable manner. It is served in a pineapple's outer layer topped with tomatoes and vegetables which gives the rice that rich flavor. How the dish was served makes it almost hard not to consume.
Chicken Pandan

The Chicken Pandan is Koh Samui Thai signature dish. The chicken is wrapped in pandan leaves before cooking which gives the chicken not only the flavor but an aroma as well. It is served best with a sweet chili sauce.
Deep Fried Lapu-Lapu in Mango

One of the dishes that got not only my sense of taste craving but my sight as well was the deep fried Lapu-Lapu with mango. It was the first time I see a dish that uses mango as a sauce. Even as we finish the dish, we still kept on scooping some of the mango sauce.
Signature Grilled Honey Chicken

The next signature dish we tried was the Charcoal Grilled Honey Chicken. The name actually speaks for itself. I know we've been eating chicken as long as we remember but this dish really has flavor not only from the honey but probably from the way it was grilled.

What's a Thai cuisine without its Tom Yam. Many Filipinos are familiar with Tom Yam as an instant noodle flavor but I bet most never tried the real dish. Just the mere taste of Tom Yam Gung's spicy and sour unique combination and just the smell of its distinct herbs and spices makes me crave for it while writing this.
Pad Thai

Also common to Thai dishes is their Pad Thai. It is really good that I almost forgot that I am monitoring my diet. In Thai dishes, it's OK to use your hands for eating just like us Pinoys. In dishes like the Golden Curry Crab, it is no exception. It's alright to pig out since crabs are not easy to eat. The curry sauce can also be dipped with slice bread.
Grilled Lamb Chops

It is also new knowledge for me to find out that lamb chops are is not limited as a Western or Mediterranean dish. Koh Samui also serves Grilled Lamb Chops. Koh Samui Thai Cuisine can give you a cross-cultural experience in fine dining. Ideal for any occasion. Like KohSamuiThai on Facebook for more promos. For more food trips, like the L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

W.H.A.T. Food Blogs 100th Post

One of Jelly-G's drinks.
This marks my 100th post for this food blog and I am thankful for those who spent time reading this. In appreciation, I am giving away 4 Thai Milk Teas free courtesy of Jelly-G if you tweet this link with mentions to me @Mark_Templar. It also helps to follow me and @jellygdrink on Twitter as added points. Jelly-G is located in Glorietta 4 food court, Market! Market!, Ali Mall and opened recently at 500 Shaw Zentrum.
Jelly-G at 500 Shaw Zentrum

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This Year's Valentine's at Goldilocks

This Valentine season, what could be more perfect than enjoying delicious, heart-inspired treats with your special someone? The country’s number one bakeshop offers an array of cakes and pastries that are sure to delight the hearts and taste buds of everyone, including the Double Dutch and Chocolate Caramel Decadence premium cakes. Specially designed for Valentine’s day, these irresistable masterpieces will make you fall in love with its luxurious blends of rich chocolate and creamy flavors. Another bestseller in this season of love are the new Red Velvet Bites, whose colorful toppings provide the perfect balance to its rich and creamy taste.

Race to romance at your nearest Goldilocks branch, or call 888-1-999 Go-delivery today

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Event Coverage: 4th Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge

Umami is a universal accepted word that is one of the five basic tastes. Most don't know that there is such taste to describe it.  It literally means savory. To Filipinos, it is "malinamnam". It was first discovered by a Japanese professor Kikunae Ikeda and described it as "umai" meaning delicious and "mi" meaning taste thus the word umami.

One of the participating school
What food gives us this particular taste? Glutamate is the source of anything that we taste as savory. Its sources  ripe tomatoes, mushrooms,cheeses and more. Most don't realize that the humans first encounter with umami was breast milk.
Umami Bento Meal entry

Since Ajinomoto is made from purely glutamate crystals, Ajinomoto hosted the 4th Umami Culinary Challenge. The participants are from different educational institutions from all over the country. The students created their own umami bento meals and umami Fiipino dishes.
Cooking demonstration

To identify for ourselves the umami taste, I got the opportunity to observe a cooking demonstration using the right source of glutamate in the ingredients. Using salmon cooked in coconut extract and olive oil with mushrooms, I was able to find out that umami was really the taste that I grown to like for quite a long time.
Various participating schools

The purpose of the event is not only to promote the use of Ajinomoto products but also to promote proper food nourishment and to showcase the culinary students' potential. The 4th Ajinomoto Umami Culinary Challenge was held at SMX Convention Center last February 2, 2013.
The winning participant