Wednesday, July 23, 2014

BGC Eats 2014: A BGC Tour for Passionate Stomachs

It's back and with a vengeance!
Surrender yourself to Chef JJ Yulo and the gang as they take you to places not only of interests around Bonifacio Global Center but also of epic gustatory experience. 

Four restaurants, four experts, one delicious food tour for passionate stomachs!

Last year, was a fun fare when foodies from all walks of life joined together exploring the foodie destination, that is BGC, with the event to highlight some of the top-notched restaurants, cafe and bars, dubbed as BGC Eats.  A couple of restaurants where brought to the mass' light and have shared a communal concept with the participants, the love for dining out.

This time, BGC Eats 2014 will again come about with a line of interesting features that harmonize with things all about food.   This year's BGC food tour will be held on the following dates (July 26, August 2, August 9, and August 16) along with special concepts and workshops.

Again hosted by the Big Brother in the foodie market, the charming Chef  JJ Yulo.  However, the tour evolved, making it more educational and interesting, just like how BGC would want to showcase it's little progressive town not only in the fields of business but also in arts, recreation and of course dining.  BGC's promo is also to catch more of the attention of those who are looking for a place to live where they can be near to all the commodities of modern and easy living.  Taguig City has truly evolved and BGC has been its capital mover and shaker.

Chef JJ will be joined by four professionals in their own fields, thus no tour is said to have a similar one.  Listed below are the only FOUR tours available with the corresponding topic of interest and Chef JJ's partner in crime.

Tour 1 (July 26) is Science
 Artha Ting, a Science geek from The Mind Museum will be there to scientifically explain the processes involved in the food or dishes that will be featured.

Tour 2 (August 2) is Photography
Meet Mylene Chung, the genious behind's lovely food photos.  Get infected with her wits and skills in shooting that food's perfect angle, and make your way to be one of the great IGers (Instagram users).

Tour 3 (August 9) is Drink Pairings
One of the topics in gastronomy that seemed to be overlooked most of the times is paring your dish with a beverage, including wines.   Good thing they were able to tap Enderun's assistant dean of Hospitality Management.  Bel Castro will  share some tricks on how to enjoy your meals better with the perfect drink to match it with.  However, this is only PG 18 (only for 18 years and above only).

Tour 4 (August 16) is Healthy Eats
This tour is perfect for vegetarians or for those looking for healthier options when eating out.  Denise Celdran of Edgy Veggie will be your guide.

How to get a ticket for BGC Eats 2014:

1. Shop and Claim – Two (2) tickets will be given for every minimum single receipt purchase of P2,000 at any BGC establishments. All purchases from the following establishment:  Bonifacio High Street, The Fort Entertainment Center, Crossroads, Bonifacio Stopover, One and Two Parkade and the Mind Museum are eligible. Eligible dates of purchase must be between July 21, 2014 to August 16, 2014 only.

2. Hello BGCitizen – One (1) free ticket will be given to BGCitizen upon proof of residence, employment or enrollment.

3. Straight Purchase – Tickets are prized at P1,500 each and can be purchased 15 minutes before the tour at the meeting point.

Gentle reminders for those who have slots:

The Tour starts at exactly 3pm and will run for around 2.5 to 3 hours.Late comers will forfeit their tickets.
Meet up point is at the Hop On, Hop Off Bus Stop which will be at 9th avenue, in front of Krispy Kreme.
Maximum of 34 participants per tour date.
Tickets can claimed at the Bonifacio High Street Central Concierge from 11am to 8pm starting July 21, 2014.
For more details, you can contact Martha Asuncion at or (02) 818-3601 loc. 3207

To get a glimpse of what you may expect on the tour dates, I was able to participate the media tour, were the BGC Hop on Hop off bus took us to certain points of fun and art at BGC.  We were also brought to 3 different places where we were able to savor some of the offerings from Gustare, Prost and Mind Museum.  Thanks to Artha for being our alive Google representative giving us facts behind the science of pastries, sausages and adapting to climate change.

First stop was Gustare, I’ve actually heard a lot of good things about this place but was never able to find it. It is located behind The Goose Station, both house in W Tower, a couple of buildings away from VASK. Gustare is owned by Ginny de Guzman, former owner of Sugar House, which started out as a commissary for outsourced desserts. It has evolved to be so much more, an experimental space with ready to eat food, cakes and even host private dinners.

Gustare photos

With the restaurant manager of Prost

Chef Ian Carandang at the exhibit hallway of Mind Museum serving his Nut Milk Ice cream to a patron

 With moi, is the creator of The Apocalypse Project of Mind Museum.

Do read my super adventurous epicurean delight at the Future Feast press event.

Will be doing separate posts of the three tour venues.  Hurry it starts already this coming Saturday.

Future Feast at Mind Museum

Last April 25, 2014, me and my girls went to Mind Museum to explore and have them gain interest in science.  This also served as our mini-celebration for my niece' 9th birthday.  The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures have been launched as well on that day.  You may read my account on that on the link below:
The Apocalypse Project - Future Lifestyles on Planet Earth

The experience completely blew us away, as we scout for questions and forage for clues and answers, the three girls including me learned so much about our environment, how animals have been gone missing, what causes change in climate and how we can all adapt with the change.

Playing, digging, running and even reading upside down and finding questions in odd places ate up the whole afternoon of our stay at Mind Museum, we didn't even mind the time.  Though, let me tell you, most of the questions are tough, I even phoned "the Dad" and texted a friend for the answer.  But all of it was so worth it!  We all even got our Apocalypse Badge.

Anyhoo, thought I just needed to share the fun and learning, for The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures will be coming to a close.  As a culminating event, they have organized Mind Burst: Future Feast.

Come on July 26, Saturday from 12 pm to 7 pm for an imaginative feast of food, music and poetry, as human creativity is celebrated with the hopes for a sustainable future.

I was just as blessed for being one of the media participants for the BGC Eats 2014, to see a glimpse of what is to happen on July 26.

The media were warmly welcomed with a speech about how The Apocalypse project came about with nonetheless than the creator herself - Catherine Sarah Young, and all of us was just as elated to see famous chefs and epicures waiting for us with their creations for us to sample.  Though we were ferociously warned as to what we will be trying out.

Did I mention you can also have the same one of a kind gastronomic exploit?  Read on as to how you can score FREE tickets to this.

The folks from BGC, Mind Museum and Chef JJYulo collaborated to host a wonderful event for all of us

As what had been announced on the BGC Eats 2014 Tour (as we headed to the last destination) rapid climate change will cause one-fourth of Earth’s species could be heading for extinction by 2050.  This will also impact our crops and livestock.  

More extreme temperature and precipitation can prevent crops from growing. Extreme events, especially floods and droughts, can harm crops and reduce yields, as US EPA reports, more extreme temperature and precipitation can prevent crops from growing. Extreme events, especially floods and droughts, can harm crops and reduce yields in wheat and soybeans.

Also, US EPA stated that heat waves, which are projected to increase under climate change, could directly threaten livestock. Over time, heat stress can increase vulnerability to disease, reduce fertility, thus reduce milk production or even hamper meat production.

The fisheries also does not posses any excuses, as our seas are becoming more polluted and acidic due to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), rendering our shell fish to decline to thrive.  Changes in temperature and seasons could affect the timing of reproduction and migration. Many steps within an aquatic animal's life-cycle are controlled by temperature and the changing of the seasons. For example, in the Northwest warmer water temperatures may affect the life-cycle of salmon and increase the likelihood of disease. Combined with other climate impacts, these effects are projected to lead to large declines in salmon populations.

Redesigning for a Sustainable Future

For the chefs and epicures who partnered with the the people behind The Apocalypse Project, this became a fun challenge, as they were asked to concoct or whip up something but altering ingredients which they have been accustomed to with something that is sustainable in the future, since these ingredients such as milk, flour, even meats might not exist anymore by 2050.

The chefs and their culinary creations as means for adapting to climate change.

1. Chef Ian Carandang of Sebastian's Ice Cream

Chef Ian magically transformed drinking milk in a whole new level.  If you like almond milk, you will also like his cashew milk (nut milk).  I'm not going to tackle the nitty-gritty of how to make a nut milk (not even almond milk) but what surprised me was how the cashew milk tasted not bad, actually it was creamy with a nutty and woody taste and less sweet.

To take it up a notch, he also made ice cream bars out nut milk, to give it a firm body, he used mashed bananas, this also gave more flavor to the ice cream, and boy, I can't stress enough how it came out to be delish and very enjoyable, but it tends to melt before one can finish eating it.

2. Kyle Imao of Kyle's Lab

This young cooking prodigy who won the first Junior Masterchef Philippine edition, have probably mistaken their kitchen as a laboratory.  Not!  Kyle happens to own the food lab at the second floor of the Mind Museum and he's getting better in inventing food that may look odd.

On his team's table are Seaweed Tempura and Croqueck...hmm, I'm not going to give away yet what you should be expecting.

3. Chef Sau Del Rosario - The Green Chef

The dashing chef, Chef Sau showing his avant garde dessert, Organic Soy Moringa and Aloe Vera Panna Cotta with Banana, Candied Ginger and the exquisitely tangy taste of Acai berry sauce.  

His creation was my favorite amongst all of them.  We all know how powerful Moringa is when we speak of health and sustainability. 

4.  Erik Capaque and Claudette Dy of EAT (V Hotel)

If you say you are adventurous, even in eating, well done, test your palate and other senses as you will discover more unlikely ingredients can actually alter common baking and cooking staples.  Claudette Dy introduced me to her Banana Cake, baked in an unorthodox way with an extremely unorthodox ingredient.  And yes, I had a big chunk chugged  down into my stomach and might I say it was just like an ordinary Banana cake and a scrumptious one at that.

Chef Erik on the other hand made "Salis-vermis Steak."

Care to know the highlighted climate change ingredient?  Clue: Vermis (as in vermiculture...)

The Salis-vermi Steak with Mushroom gravy and Sauteed Talilong (Water Leaf Weed)

5. Nancy Reyes Lumen - The Adobo Queen

Okay. so far I ate every little morsel of their samples, except this one, which till now gives me the creeps.  It's a jello with a, ____("secret").   Let me give you a clue of what's in the middle - called "balang" in Tagalog.

However, since I truly idolize Ms. Nancy, I gave this munchies a try, in fact my first bite was the "Jeepers Crisper" itself which tasted like a dried squid in Adobo flavor. 

Here's a macro shot of the crispers.  The package is actually a mix of savory rice crispies, nuts and the secret climate change ingredient.

Curious enough?

Well then. don't let this opportunity pass,  click on this link to buy your tickets:


Join BGC EATS 2014.

Kindly, stay tuned for updates on this...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Serving Kitayama Wagyu at Home

If you are a fan of Wagyu steaks and burgers then you are one affluent foodie.  "Joke lang!" 

I too have the same sentiment.  I'm not rich, though I wouln't mind to spend quite a bit specially on good quality meat.  I'm not a meat-lover but at certain times, I would indulge on fat enriched pampered wagyu beef, but what if I tell you this not so rare type of Wagyu doesn't come from tge US or UK, not even from Japan,  But don't be surprised.  Bukidnon boast of a farm that raises wagyu.

Wagyu, for those who have been living under a rock, is a Japanese breed cattle beef, 'Wa' means Japanese and 'gyu' means cattle.  It's unique taste and tenderness with its highly "marbled" beef makes an unrivalled gastronome adventure.

Talking about locally raised wagyu cattle, in the hilly side of North Mindanao, specifically in Bukidnon, Umalag Farms owned by the Ramcar Group of Companies have been raising them for years. Its meatshop along Pasong Tamo, across Makati Cinema Square is now selling various cuts of the choiced meat.  Beef marbling grades have have consistently been ranging from 5 to 8, that is for serious foodies' information.

With that...

It has now found its way through gourmet restaurants and world acclaimed chef and restaurateurs' kitchen.  I used to order dishes from the defunked Bistro Filipino of the Laudico couples, such as Wagyu Salpicao and Kaldereta.  I think, if I'm not mistaken, Chef's Rolando and Jackie, also use Kitayama Wagyu in their beef dishes at Pugon Roasters and Guevarra's.

I first had an experience with the local Wagyu, Kitayama, early last year of 2013, when we dined at  Ristorante Bigoli.  All their beef, which they use in their menu comes from Umalag farms of Ramcar Group of Companies, in which Bigoli is also a part of.

Soon, Chef Him Uy de Baron of Nomama followed suit and other restaurants as well like Malcolm's Deli, The Black Pig and more.

I have been eyeing this store since its inception.  We know that spot in Makati hosts a couple of authentic Japanese restaurants and stores.  My interest piqued even more when I saw the building being built, which I thought would just be another restaurant of the kind.  I just got blessed to have walked along that side of Pasong Tamo and I didn't let the opportunity pass so I entered and here are the photos I captured with my phone. 

Aside from Wagyu beef they have also welcomed other purveyors to sell their artisan products.  Products you don't typically find in the grocers like Bayani Brew, Fog City Creamery and Carmen's Best Ice Creams and a lot more.

Of course, I didn't come home empty handed.

So, I bought half a pack of Wagyu Beef Tapa and a package of Wagyu Maple Bacon.

Here is how it looked like after being cooked.  To perfectly cook a beef tapa, you need to slightly cook it in its marinate until it dries up and the oils from the fats break down slowly and cooking the meat in its own fat, just a drop of vegetable oil to prevent from sticking to the pan of if needed.

We loved how it came it out, the meat was tender and juicy, not salty nor sour, but with a well-balance of simple spices and probably a soy sauce based marinate.

The bacon were amazingly good as well, it has a buttery taste, followed by a kick of salt and, finally, a meaty finish.

Here is one the ways of fixing a sandwich with wagyu bacon.  on a sliced and mayo-slathered baguette, layer with kale (or other greens of your choice) thinly sliced apples, wagyu bacon and fried eggs.

Will come back for their porter house and sirloins next, and more of the tapas and bacon, for they are well loved by my pack...

Green Living at Paseo Verde

I'm sure parents would agree here that education is the most important inheritance a parent can give to their children, with proper guidance and right up bringing,  a child can never go wrong with his or her decisions. This holds true in   the case of these two students.  At a very young age they persuaded their parents to buy them a condominium unit at Paseo Verde in Las PiƱas City.

A mid rise condominium located South of Metro Manila interest the two students, Doreen Joy Rosell and Maria Jessica Bello both students from FEU,  because of its unique features that Paseo Verde offers to its unit owners. The bike facilities and electronic bike charging is just one feature that the condominium offers, it also has park and play ground of its own located in its premises. Plus the certified accreditation by the Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) and a member of the Philippine Green Building Council for its steps toward promoting a sustainable community.

Presently, the  awareness in promoting and living in an eco-friendly place is the current fad among young people today. They want to give their contribution in protecting the environment and helping it in their own way.

One of the student said that “It is nice to live in a place where you can see trees and green grasses outside your window and gives you the feeling that you’re away from the city.”

The other lass said “South is the place that are being heavily developed, soon it will or might become the new business hub, since most of the place in Metro Manila is already full. The opportunity could be right here.  And this is not a loss it could also be a gain for me, because I see this as my first investment.”

In the end, they are positively sure that after they graduated and find the right job, they know that it’s their turn to pay the rest of the monthly payment.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Corn and Coconut Granita

Here's part two of the recipes migration.  I'm starting to post the recipes that are easy to do and with ingredients readily available.

I'm betting, you will love me for this!

As for my theme on the blog - "Simplifying yumminess is what I do best!" I taught of a cool dessert or snack to serve on self-hosted dinner at home.  I took a champagne  glass, layered with grated or scraped off coconut meat, Coconut Granita *, and Corn.
Walaaah!  A dessert! A snack!  A healthy option! 

Granita (in Italian also granita siciliana) is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. Originally from Sicily, although available all over Italy (but granita in Sicily is somewhat different from the rest of Italy), it is related to sorbet and Italian ice. However, in most of Sicily, it has a coarser, more crystalline texture. Food writer Jeffrey Steingarten says that "the desired texture seems to vary from city to city" on the island; on the west coast and in Palermo, it is at its chunkiest, and in the east it is nearly as smooth as sorbet. [1] This is largely the result of different freezing techniques: the smoother types are produced in a gelato machine, while the coarser varieties are frozen with only occasional agitation, then scraped or shaved to produce separated crystals. 
( copied from Wikipedia,

How to make Coconut Granita:
1.  In a pitcher, mix coconut juice from 2 coconuts and half cup of condensed milk.   
2.  Once mixed pour on a 5" to 7" plastic tray, cover and refrigerate for an hour.  
3.  After 1 hour you will notice the top hardens a bit, scrape it off and mix.  
4.  Refrigerate for two more hours, scrape again until you achieve a slushy consistency in the ice. 
 It will be ready to serve by then.

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