The Filipino Food Blogging Event

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE

FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE

(Coaching the student division of the Pasta and Noodles category and Winning Silver)

4:00 am Friday, September 20 2002, text messages started pouring into my mobile phone like a “tsunami” from my students and faculty members. The messages were informing me that they were in school since 3:00 am inspecting in a frenzy the ingress and egress prepared the previous night for the competing teams for the Chef on Parade (C.O.P.).

I donned my whites at 4:30am and met up with the advance party of faculty members of O.B. Montessori at PTTC (Philippine Trade and Training Center) at 7am namely the ever superbly reliable and extremely efficient, my assistant, Mrs. Evelyn Bermudes.


The competing team for Filipino desserts (sophomore graduating class 2003) was headed by Divine (Miss Universe) Duque, Chenee (Nervous) Hernandez, supported by the ever super-hyper Dominic (Doms) Tagayum. All the students were pumped up with adrenaline yet paled with fear and anxiety knowing this was the most prestigious culinary event of events! Chenee even wore her whites inside out that she could not button her jacket!

As early as the first week of August, I selected my pasta team headed by ladies man Jessie (Chick boy) Paredes and the petite and cute Bea (Speedy) Yenko. They practiced 6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day. They concocted and tested recipes like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde create a winning formula. I shared Bea and Jessie’s fatigue, frustrations and triumphs. Uncertainty had prevailed upon us indeed.

The chef judges, some of them my co judges of previous culinary events, started arriving at PTTC mostly in their immaculate whites, adorned by colorful embroidered logos of their names and establishment. We exchanged the usual pleasantries. Clearly, it dawned on me that I was not a judge of this event. My guts started to tighten like a deadly embrace of an Anaconda.

By midday, we received the disheartening news that we did not make it in the Filipino dessert category. Most of the judges were expats. How in the world could whitey's judge a filipino desert...my educated guess is MAMARU! If these chef whiteys were competent at what they did, then what the hell are they doing in our country? Why not in theirs? Go figure...


We drew the slots for our pasta team landing at batch 4 which would start at around 5-6pm. I immediately knew we were in trouble. We even went to the extent of bringing the ingredients of our pasta back to the van and kept the air condition running.

The pasta category kicked off late at 2:30 and I was worried sick that by the time it was our turn to compete, the judges palate were fatigued.

The contestants were given 15 minutes for mis en place, 30 minutes to cook and plate for 5 servings and 10 minutes to clean up. The tandem of Bea and Jessie worked fast and furious as soon as the marshals gave the go signal. I was awed by their precision of movement like poetry in motion that they finished mis en place, cooking and plating, and cleaning up in 30 minutes flat.

We waited in anticipation well into the following evening and I impulsively wanted to chew on coffee beans. Uncertainty, anxiety and sleepless nights engrossed me before the announcement. Then it just happened, I heard the familiar school’s name “Silver goes to O.B. Montessori!”

It was only then that I experienced what it was like to be from the other side of the fence.


Currently, I am confident with my students at UST ITHM HRM! You share with them everything there is to know, train them endlessly and hope that all the skills KICK IN during culinary competition crunch time.


So far, I am tickled pink with the results.


CIAO!

By COCINERO On Monday, June 23, 2008 At 3:01 PM

Announcing LP 25: Make Your Own Bento

Lasang Pinoy 25: Make Your Own Bento

My most recent post on the bento inspired me to host this April's themed Filipino food blogging event Lasang Pinoy. It has been quite a while indeed ... Lasang Pinoy is already on its 25th round-up, a silver celebration if you wish.

It is for this reason that I am inviting all Filipino bloggers and readers to participate in my merry theme entitled Make Your Own Bento. 'Make Your Own Lunchbox or Baon' if you like, just as long as it depicts a combination of Filipino food that closely resembles a Japanese bento - the healthier and more creative, the better.

Read more »
By ajay On Monday, March 31, 2008 At 12:13 AM

LP 24: Loco Over Coco - The Round-Up


We went crazy over coconuts last February for Lasang Pinoy!

As an event-ender, the round-up of entries for LP 24: Loco Over Coco has been posted at Bucaio: a sumptuous buffet of coconut-based dishes. We have a complete array of creations, from drinks, to traditional and inspired dishes, to fabulous desserts.

Click here for full details!
By Kai On Tuesday, March 18, 2008 At 8:39 PM

LP 24: Loco Over Coco

Anywhere you go in the Philippines, from the lengthy coastal areas surrounding the more than 7,000 islands comprising the archipelago, to the inland valleys and rolling plains, up to the rugged mountain ranges, solitary hills and volcanoes rising up to the heavens that rig the land, the coconut tree is a ubiquitous presence.

So much so that in any place in the country, from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi, coconuts - that is to say, all the various parts of the coconut - figure in one way or another in the regional/ethno-linguistic cuisine.

So you have the fiery ginataan (savory dishes cooked in coconut cream) that is the distinctive feature of Bicol dishes, or the sweetish and garlicky lumpiang ubod that is the specialty of the Bacolold-Silay area, to name a couple of the more commonly known coconut-themed regional fare. How about grandmas imbibing tuba in the early morning southern sunshine?

But coconuts really do feature in the day-to-day lives of most Filipinos, and mostly in the ordinary, taken-for-granted ways that we almost forget how very tightly our diets (at least, in the pure Filipino sense) are entertwined and based on this tropical palm. We even have various terms for the coconut fruit depending on its level of maturity.

We slake our thirst on the refreshing coconut water, blend it into a cocktail, ferment it into natural vinegar, or take the fermentation a little further to turn it into an alcoholic drink.

We eat the meat straight from the shell, or toast it, or spoon it or break it into strips to mix in salads, or grate it to add flavor to any rice concoction, or sweeten it into macapuno to eat it on its own or again mixed in a fancy dessert.

Even coconut fruits past their prime are valued – they provide the cream in which anything fancied can be cooked, be it a savory or sweet dish. We also have bukayo - sweetened coconut - in all forms, color, texture and style, depending on the region. And of course, mature coconuts provide the meat from which santana, or coconut oil, is expressed. Did you know that coconut oil may yet be the healthiest oil in the world?

We eat the trunk, too. Well, actually, it’s the young shoots of the tree, called ubod.

Strictly speaking, we are now past the edible parts, since we really don’t eat the next one, but the intricately woven wrapper in which suman, patopat, or puso are encased and steamed come from strips upon strips of young coconut leaves.

And in the rural areas, dried coconut husks are the preferred pang-uling – charcoal – for a proper grill.

On top of this, the coconut is not called the tree of life solely on the basis of the food it provides. Because it also sustains life, by providing its durable trunk – to stand as the foundation of a small nipa hut, or to elevate a batalan in which food is prepared for a meal, and afterwards where the kitchen and dinner utensils are washed.

Essential components that sustain a family, helping turn a house into a home.

And the left-over spines of the leaves are gathered and bound to become walis ting-ting – brooms – to sweep away the camachile or banana peelings, and other litter on the floor or on the lawn. This last has even been transformed into a symbol of unity for the country – inspired by the Filipino proverb Matibay ang walis, sapagkat nabibigkis. Roughly translated, though a bit far-fetched,“there is strength in unity,” but that is the essence of it.

And so it is with this sense of unity – by the food that transcends time and boundaries – that all Filipino bloggers across the country and all around the globe, as well as other bloggers and writers who have an affinity, nay, a passion, for Filipino food, are invited to join the Lasang Pinoy community in celebrating the fruit of life and the tree from which it springs, for the 24th edition of Lasang Pinoy.

  • Anytime during the month of February you can write about or feature a photo of anything that involves the coconut, cooked or uncooked, edible or inedible. You can write about a time-honored tradition, or create/invent a new one for the succeeding generations. You can write about the coconut’s presence in your life while growing up in the Philippines, or what it has meant for you living elsewhere. Maybe discuss how coconuts are treated in your host country, dwelling on its status as compared to how it is valued in the Philippines.

  • As an added feature, bloggers are requested to list at the end of your post any previous post/s, if any, involving the coconut. If you find you cannot come up with anything on coconuts for this month (which I dare say is impossible!), you can submit the list of previous posts as your entry.

  • Non-bloggers are very much welcome – you can ask any of your favorite Pinoy blogger to host your article. Or you can email it to the host at sweet(underscore)bucaio(at)yahoo(dot)com, but just make sure to send it by February 22.

  • Bloggers can post their entries anytime during the month of February (which includes any post before this announcement), then notify the host about your post/s via an email to sweet(underscore)bucaio(at)yahoo(dot)com with the subject LP24. A round-up of all posts to close the event shall be posted in the host's blog by the first week of March.
Please use the icon above, courtesy of Mang Mike, to mark your post/s, or display it on your sidebar for the month. Please also link this announcement so that we can have maximum participation.

So let’s start using those coconuts!

LP 24: Loco Over Coco hosted by Kai at Bucaio.
By Kai On Monday, February 18, 2008 At 11:42 AM

Lasang Pinoy 23: Crockpot Cooking

Crockpot Cooking Lasang Pinoy

It's the tool for lazy cooks everywhere, an electric pot that cooks at low temperatures- meaning that you literally "set it, and forget it"! The crockpot, or slow-cooker, is designed to cook food over a period of 8 to 12 hours, so you can turn it on before leaving for work, and come home to a house smelling of pot-roast....mmmm.

It was my husband who introduced me to the crockpot. He uses it for everything from adobo to oatmeal (saw it on Alton Brown) to chocolate fondue. Yes, I know I'm a lucky girl. Anyway, we have two now- and they're definitely two of the most used appliances in our kitchen.

This January, the theme for Lasang Pinoy is Crockpot Cooking, and I'm pleased and excited to announce that I'll be hosting it on my food blog, Super Sarap.

I do hope you'll join in- and even if you don't have a crockpot or slow-cooker of your own, just use a regular pot to cook something over very looooow heat!

Please submit your entries by January 31, 2008 at midnight (Manila time). Email me your links, posts and images at lorraine AT supersarap.com.
By Lorraine On Sunday, January 13, 2008 At 8:49 PM

LASANG PINOY

    Lasang Pinoy, which could mean ‘tastes of something Filipino’ or short for ‘the Filipino taste’ is a monthly food blogging event to promote Filipino food. It is a product of email brainstorming sessions of several Filipino food bloggers who thought it was time for a Filipino event in the tradition of Is My Blog Burning. The blogger organisers of Lasang Pinoy and participants strive to make the events reflective of Filipino culture.

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    Lasang Pinoy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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