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November 28, 2009

Connoisseur Duels - The Grand Food Battle

An exciting invitation comes with an exciting event and a one great ending!

That’s what happened last day at the 5th Floor of Walter Mart, Makati for the Magsaysay Institute of Culinary Arts and Hospitality, Anchor Philippines and Yehey.com’s Connoisseur Duels - The Grand Food Battle.



Geared with nothing but our “nervous” selves, food bloggers took a deep breath as Sir Laszlo took the first name from the fish bowl and announced Carl’s name as the leader of the first group, and, luckily-unluckily, Alex (moi!) as the leader of the second group. Carl’s team was the Red Team and Alex’s team, my team, was the Yellow Team a.k.a. Team Walang Iwanan.

Each team consisted of 6 bloggers, and I’m lucky enough that I have teammates who knew a lot about cooking.

We were given an hour to prepared three dishes – appetizer, main course and a dessert – then a bunch of ingredients to make this happen.

Part of any game is a surprise, and the surprise in this competition was our secret ingredient which was also our top ingredient for the day – TADAH! – Anchor products.

We had Anchor butter, Anchor crème, Anchor cream cheese and many more – AS IN MANY MORE!

Our team had a few minutes to discuss what were going to prepare, so while the time was ticking and the tension was rising up, our minds kept reminding us the criteria that we had to achieve and the taste of the food that we were about to prepare.

The criteria for judging were (1) Use of Anchor Products – 35%, (2) Taste – 25%, (3) Creativity – 25%, (4) Ease of Cooking – 15%.

Since we had 6 members in each team, and as the Yellow team’s team leader, I divided our group into three – the Team Appetizer who were Me and Tita Anna, the Team Main Course who were Earth and Jonel and the Team Dessert who were Marissa and Joan.

After an hour of cooking and running and cooking and talking and tasting, the time has come…. JUDGING TIME!

Round 1: The Appetizer.



Our group prepared a soup, the Filipinos famous soup Sopas. We used Anchor butter as an alternative to the cooking oil and the Anchor crème as an alternative to the evaporated milk.



The other group prepared a pasta dish with red sauce.

Round 2: The Main Course.




Our team prepared Butter-Fried Dory with Anchor butter and Anchor crème garnish. Earth added some garlic and spice to make the garnish saltier and to have stronger flavor. Then Jonel added some of his artistic prowess for the plating to make this dish looked so nice!



The other team, to our surprise, also had Dory. As you may notice the only difference was the plating. And with regards to the taste, it’s up to the judges.

Round 3: The Dessert.



Our team had fruit salad. I took the courage to prepare this one on the plates, and I’m happy with its outcome. Actually, this was our first dish. It was so easy to do. We used Anchor crème to make it creamy, and then we added some brown sugar to add some sweetness. I always believe that a perfect dessert is always be sweet.

But!

To our competitors’ surprise, we prepared two desserts!



This dessert was made from broas and fruits. Marissa added some crème to it and vanilla to make it more delicious.



The Red Team had fruit salad too, but the one they had had an apple in it.

The judges were chef from MICAH, a guest chef and one from Anchor Philippines. (I’m sorry I forgot their names!)



After a few minutes of deliberation, Sir Laszlo told us that the competition was very tight, having a 3-point difference.

And the winner is…


*drum rolling*



THE YELLOW TEAM!



Our team!

Woohoo!

We were so happy, but we also congratulated the Red Team, for I, loved their dishes too.
Their pasta was really good!



The winning team got a certificate of winning, gift certificates from Italiannis and Anchor goodies.





It was really unbelievable, and we couldn’t thank you enough Anchor Philippines, Magsaysay Institute of Culinary Arts and Hospitality and Yehey.com for this one great experience that we had.

We had so much fun, really! And the best thing about winning the competition, our dishes will be featured in Anchor Recipe’s website which is http://www.anchorrecipes.com.



Again, thank you to the organizers and sponsors and to our fellow bloggers for this fun and friendly competition.

I do hope that there’ll be more events like this one, and I do hope that I’ll get a chance to join again!

Thanks, thanks, thanks!


Happy eating!


P.S.

They also gave us the apron and toque that we used that day, and there’s this one person who was so happy to have it…



My niece, Nickaella!

Now, she’s playing in the house like Janice de Belen and sometimes the girl in Diner Dash! Hahahahaha!



More pictures here!

November 25, 2009

Heavenly Chocolates

I just had a memorable Sunday when I got to attend a simple yet very informative food tasting event at Heavenly Chocolates.

Located at Roces Avenue, just a few steps from McDonalds, Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City, this small yet very cozy, very heavenly place (for me!) is a perfect hangout place for chocolate lovers like me!



Mr. Benjamin Pedro, one of the owners of the place, prepared a little talk/seminar about chocolates, something I’m really fond to learn. Even though I had some infos about the origin of chocolates, the talk he shared with us was something unique since he worked in a chocolate factory in Singapore. (This made me wonder if he already met Willy Wonka.)



The best part of this gathering was, of course, the food tasting! And you may be wondering what they prepared for us…

Oooh… Here!

I got a chance to taste the four flavours of the world famous Sachi Black! Oh, yeah!



First, he gave me a bite size of the Sake. A nama chocolate mixed with the Japanese wine sake. I found this chocolate a little salty, but by the moment it touched my tongue, it melted quickly and the wonderful bouquet and flavour of sake covered my tongue so nicely.

Second, I had the Red Wine. The first one was really good, but this next one was the best! Just before I had a bite of this nama, I can already smell the sweet bouquet of the red wine in this chocolate. Just like the first one, it melted in my mouth so nicely and spread its wonderful flavour evenly in my mouth. And out of the four flavours I had that day, this was my favourite! I love the sweetness of the red wine combined with the bitter-sweet taste of the nama.

Before I had my third and my forth nama chocolate that day, they presented to us the new member of their menu, the Suman in Mango Puree and Hot Chocolate!



At first, I found it kinda weird to have my suman in a soury mango puree, but when I tasted it, the flavour is quite challenging for my palette. It’s delicious, no doubt about it, but the twist, I dunno how to explain this, its really unique. And sipping some hot chocolate made this set really exciting to eat!



Their Hot Chocolate was made wonderfully. It hit my chocolate meter right to its center! Very good!



This Suman in Mango Puree and Hot Chocolate  set is perfect for the coming holidays with its flavor and very nice color, Suman in Mango Puree and Hot Chocolate – a must-try for this season!

The third nama chocolate I had that day was the Champagne flavour. The sparkly white wine mixed with this dark chocolate was so nice. It wasn’t that itchy to my throat, which is why I liked it. I dunno how that happened, but it wasn’t itchy, really. Maybe the white wine made something to this dark chocolate which balanced the itchy effect. And though you may not have the white wine bouquet, this chocolate was my second best for the day.

Lastly, just before the end of the small talk that we had, the Mr. Nice Guy Mr. Benjamin also shared to us the Vodka flavoured nama chocolate.

This piece had a strong flavour of vodka, which made my tongue a little numb. The bouquet of the vodka was also strong, which gave me a doubt to bite it. I’m really not a fan of vodka, I’m sorry. And even though, I took the courage to have it and fortunately, it didn’t ruin the nice taste of chocolate. But if you have like vodka, you should try this. I’m very sure vodka-lovers would love this one.

I believed that these nama chocolates will cost you Php350.00 per box, which is not bad at all. And if you are planning to give something to your love ones this Yuletide season, Heavenly Chocolates also offers alternative gifts for you and your love ones to enjoy!



Thanks to Mr. Benjamin Pedro and to the whole staff and crew of Heavenly Chocolates, it’s been a very pleasant and informative Sunday!

Thanks! And see you again next time!



127 Roces Avenue (corner T. Morato)
Quezon City, Philippines, (beside Taste of LA)
666-2208
1:00 pm - 10:00 pm





November 24, 2009

Thank You, Toblerone!

Once again, the world famous chocolate brought us, Filipinos, together with its one-of-a-kind awarding ceremony – the National Thank You Day Awards.



Held last November 21 at the Music Hall of SM Mall of Asia, Toblerone presented to the public the winners of its 1st National Thank You Day Awards’ Spread the Sweetness of Gratitude Photo Competition.


Remi Ann Sta Cruz's My Best Playmate Ever


Pat Laroco's Smooch and Pooch



Jordana Queddeng's Walang Iwanan


Saying “Thank You” nowadays seems so hard to do. And now with this unique way of showing gratitude to every little good deed that we received, saying thank you will just be like breathing.

This event was so heart-warming, seeing people cuddling and appreciating this wonderful gathering that this Swiss-made chocolate prepared for us.

The attendees of this event had a great night watching one of the country’s leading band True Faith performed their touching song “Sweetest Thank You.”


True Faith


Also present tothis gathering were Maxene Magalona, her father, Francis “Kiko” Magalona was one the of the nominees, DJ Mo Twister of 89.9, Carlo Licuanan, Brand Manager, Cherry Ching, Graduate Trainee for Marketing and Mr. Elio Machillanda, Category Marketing Manager of Kraft Food (Philippines) Inc.


 



 
I and my fellow bloggers were really lucky to be part of this spectacular event. We had a great time enjoying the Christmas-y, happy atmosphere of the surrounding. We also had a chance to write on the Freedom Wall our thank yous to those people who made this country so nice to live in. We also had a chance to have the free photo taking and printing courtesy of Foto Loco.



 





It was indeed a very successful event where all of us left with this big smile on our faces and lots of Toblerone chocolates in our hands! Hahaha!




Thank you, Toblerone!

May we all have a wonderful reason always to say “Thank You!”


More pictures here!

November 23, 2009

Hotdogs Galore

Luckily, I got to attend a fun and exciting event last November 14 at the SM Mall of Asia, Music Hall – The 7-Eleven Big Bite Match.



With 25 competitors vying for the title of the very first Filipino Gurgirator, the event was filled with such an appetizing mood with a lot of free stuff given that day.



Free Slurpee


Free Big Bite Hotdog

The program was hosted by the fantastic duo of Maverick and Ariel, which gave the whole atmosphere more fun and excitement.


Maverick & Ariel


The 25 eating machines were given 10 minutes to munch hotdog sandwiches as much as they can, and a minute to digest all the remaining food in their mouth.










Excitingly, at the end of the 11-minute match, there were two eating machines tied for the first place, having 13 hotdog sandwiches in their tummy.

Tied in the first place were Kyle “The Beast” de Guzman and Leopoldo “Black Hole” Quinto, Jr.


 
Kyle “The Beast” de Guzman

 

Leopoldo “Black Hole” Quinto, Jr.

After some few minutes of judges’ counting and deciding about the tie-breaker, they finally decided to give the two eating machines another round of Big Bite Match.





For 5 minutes, they have to munch the five hotdog sandwiches that were prepared to them.



And at the end of the day….



The guy from Baclaran, Leopold “Black Hole” Quinto, Jr got the title and 500,000 pesos!







His fans club (Oh, yes, he had fans with him!) and family were so delighted for his winnings while Kyle and his gang were also happy to take home the 2nd place title and 150,000 pesos cash prize.

As for me, it was such a fun night cheering for the guy I barely know. Hahaha! And I really enjoyed some other free stuff.




Thanks, GMCI and 7-Eleven! More powers and see you all again next year!


More pictures here!





November 19, 2009

The Tiger and Wii

Last Saturday I got to attend a very fun and lovely event, the Tiger Energy Biscuit and Nintendo Wii event at SM North EDSA, Annex, Cyberzone area.




The event was attended by mostly kids and their parents and some Wii fans, like me, who love to enjoy sport in a “techie” way.

The event had five different sports for kids to enjoy with.

There were virtual game arenas for tennis, boxing, sword fighting, cycling and basketball where over a hundred players will battle it out to become the Philippine’s First Tiger Virtual Games Champion.



The kid in me kicked in the moment I saw these cool mascot that were entertaining other guests. Oh, I really love mascots!



The fun part was that when I saw the expression of the kids while playing Wii. Oh, they looked so funny, which showed that they were enjoying this fun event.




There were kids who punched as if they were on a boxing ring like Manny Pacquiao and there were some who bat like Serena Williams.



It was so heart warming to see little kids enjoy such event and playing each sport with such sportsmanship.

The day ended with the top three kids on each sport as winners, while the rest got some goodies from Tiger Energy Biscuit.

How I wish I bring someone along to sneak some minutes and play some Wii games. I really, really, wanna have one of those consoles! Hehehe.

Thanks to Tiger Energy Biscuits and Nintendo Wii!

More picture here: http://axle16alex.multiply.com/photos/album/366/The_Tiger_and_Wii
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