Food Tastings: Deliciously Healthy

The Philippines has the distinction of being the country that celebrates the Yuletide season the longest. As early as September, the Christmas songs come on, and the fairy lights are not that far behind. Know what else the season brings? Feasts! It’s pretty much an excuse to indulge, but who says that only rich, calorific meals have to be available for devouring? Healthy and delicious can be in your holiday goals, and polishing up on those lean recipes is exactly the goal of Food Tastings: Deliciously Healthy.

Food Tastings Deliciously Healthy

The third leg of the series—the first covered Italian food, while the second was all about Filipino favorites—features good-for-you recipes that coincide with the release of FOOD Magazine’s August-October issue. Hosted by Cynthia Patos of Lifestyle Network, the cooking demo on September 13 at Eastwood Mall’s Atrium will feature Chefs Matthew Bates (Early Breakfast Club), Roby Goco (Green Pastures), DJ Santos (Tefal), Nancy Dizon-Edralin (ICE Culinary and Saporro), and Anthony Macaraeg (Fit Burger).

 

Limited slots available, so be sure to register HERE on the double.

 

*Food+World+Me is a media partner for the Food Tastings series.

Food Tastings: Let’s Cook Pinoy!

Haven’t you heard? Filipino food is the next cuisine that’s going to gain popularity on a global scale, if it hasn’t already. This is a long time coming, seeing as so many Filipinos can be found all over the world. Plus, the food is a unique melting pot that includes Spanish, American, and Chinese influences in the mix. (What’s not to love?) So if you want to discover or re-discover the makings of Filipino cuisine, now’s the time to sign up for the second leg of Food Tastings, a cooking demo session by Lifestyle Network and Food magazine.

Food Tastings

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Food Magazine Offers Free Cooking Classes For Its 20th Anniversary

Aside from the makeup workshops I attend, I try not to pass up opportunities to go to food events. Having a background in culinary arts, the idea of upcoming bazaars, expos, and demos still excite my foodie sensibilities. Even at the home-front, finding new recipes to try out is just as exciting as finding the next HG (Holy Grail) beauty product. I live for moments when what started as a kitchen experiment turns out to be a dinner table success. That’s why I’m psyched to join Food Tastings.

Food Tastings

ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc.’s Food magazine takes the food trip up a notch in its 20th anniversary as it serves fun-filled free cooking classes throughout the year for foodies and kitchen-savvy people. Loyal readers are in for a treat as four cooking classes titled “Food Tastings” will be presented by Food magazine and Lifestyle Network. For the Food Tastings series, Food magazine partners with the crème de la crème of the industry as it taps professional chefs as mentors for the cooking classes.

The first leg of the series on March 21 (Saturday) titled “A Pizza and Pasta Class” will be all about the legendary tandem of Pizza and Pasta. This event will feature easy-to-make home pizza and pasta recipes taught by renowned chefs Nancy Dizon Edralin, Portia Baluyut, and a chef behind great pizza selections of Project Pie. It will also let participants have the chance to get their creative juices flowing with the Pizza Creations activity to be held at Project Pie Tomas Morato, the official venue partner.

The rest of the classes in  “Food Tastings” will run throughout the year, having participants explore recipes on health and wellness, hearty breakfast meals, and delectable sugar rush gift ideas.

Interested participants can register, reserve a slot, and sign-up for updates HERE.

 

*Food+World+Me is a media partner for this event.

Buffet: Tricks of the Trade for the Common Eater

Buffets… Formidable, Mouth-watering, expensive… And throughout the years of being an avid fan of the service style that is buffet, I have come to know some “tricks of the trade” that would maximize my dining experiences. It’s funny that I’ve developed my own formula for such an occasion, but I’ve seen a lot of people go and eat something they don’t have to leave home to find. (Read: waste of money). So let me share with you some tips for making the most of your meal:

 

1. Make the Necessary Preparations

If you know in advance that you are going to an eat-all-you-can restaurant, you can prepare by a sort of “detox” through the earlier part of the day. *Eat “diet” foods like oatmeal or fruit. That’ll fill you up but empty out pretty fast, so that you get to the buffet with a nice whet appetite. DO NOT, however, think of fasting to starve yourself. An empty, rumbling tummy just backfires badly, and you do not want to experience empatso while on a FULL stomach. It. Just. Plain. Sucks.

 

*It’s basically practicing the principles of a healthy diet (i.e. choosing foods that fill you up, though they rest on the digestive system lightly), but using it in reverse. lol

 

2. Treat the Buffet like a Personal Degustation

Take only a small serving of each dish, so that you can taste the whole buffet. Then you can go back to the dishes you liked best. Part of the experience is the appreciation of the spread, and you can’t do that if you’re not game to try what the place really has to offer.

 

3. Choose Food Wisely

Consider the quality of what you are eating. Pick stuff that you don’t usually have at home (perhaps imported/exotic items or dishes that take lots of time and effort to prepare). But don’t forget to eat your favourite food, regardless of if it’s only a simple dish. It is, after all, still about your enjoyment.

Are you set on consuming carbs? Do you have to have rice with all viands? Having little or no rice/bread will leave so much space in your system to try other foods, especially in a round-the-world cuisines buffet like at Spirals or Circles.

 

4. Don’t Fill Up on Drinks

Go with water, and only a little bit. Take a few sips if you find your throat dry or if you think you might start to choke. Skip sugary drinks that can only serve to bloat.

 

5. Have Your Tanggal-Umay

You may start to feel like you’ve been consuming too much of the same thing and all the food starts to play heavily on the palate. This is commonly known as umay. And it can happen any place, any time. But you can use the available food around you to your advantage by munching on something with a distinct, palate-cleansing taste. This is your tanggal-umay.

Some places (like Spirals) will offer sorbet. But in cases that it is  not there, you can always grab a small morsel from the dessert or salad table. Preferably, something tart or sour. Or something like Oolong Tea, which I swear by for post-meal umay.

Note: When you’re full, you’re full. There is a difference between suffering from umay and being stuffed to capacity. Having a full palate is definitely different from having a bursting gut. Know which is which and when to stop and take a breather. This isn’t an eating contest anyway.

 

6. Consider Skipping Dessert

Unless you’re in a 5-star hotel with highly experienced pastry chefs, the desserts in most buffets aren’t all that good. The cakes tend to be either dry or bought from industrial cake suppliers. –Though the ice cream is pretty decent, albeit generic. (Nestle, Selecta, etc.)- Often, the desserts are a non-committal “Meh…” at best, so maybe you should do without them and save more room for tastier dishes.

My personal exception is made, however, for creme brulee. I find that this is usually a safe bet in restaurants, since the mousses tend to taste like airy, jellied milk (if the cream they use is too light) and puddings can get too dense/sticky. A custard dessert is often well-executed because a lot of people are familiar with making leche flan.

 

7. Live with Yourself Afterwards

Obviously, you’ve done your pigging out. Now it’s time to deal with the consequences. Here are your options: a.) Burn it off at the gym; b.) Diet for the rest of the week; or c.) Sit your ass down, but handle the guilt.

 

 

Places that I would love to see having affordable all-you-can-eat specials:

  1. Krispy Kreme – At 200 calories a donut, you’d definitely hate yourself the next morning. It’s a lot like the Haagen-Dasz ice cream buffet, since that brand supposedly has some of the richest ice creams inAmerica.
  2. Frozen Yogurt (Red Mango, if possible) – Red Mango yogurt is so creamy, it’s practically ice cream!

Do I Have a Right to Order?

Dear Resto Owners, Invest in staff training.

I have noticed a funny thing that goes on in Chinese restaurants here in the Philippines. You enter the establishment, the service staff chirp out whatever greetings they can muster, they seat you, and then they bring the menus.

The thing is, when I’m with my parents, the waiter always manages to “forget” to hand me a menu, regardless of how empty or full the restaurant may be. This irks me, since these waiters see that there are X number of people sitting on their table, and none whom are menor de edad. And so I have to flag down the waitstaff and ask for my own copy, which obviously takes longer than if they just gave out the proper number of menus in the first place.

Is it because I look young? Then I guess I should be flattered… But honestly, a hungry person isn’t in the mood for flattery.

Frankly, I am not fond of the service culture of a lot of Chinese restaurants here. It’s the 21st century. Grandiose illusions of hierarchy are dying. Dying.

It may have been acceptable to hand out limited menus if the situation was that of a big party and/or the host is considerably older than the other guests. (i.e.: If grandma and/or grandpa were present.)

It’s not even right to reason that the typical Chinese restaurant isn’t a fine/upscale-dining operation, since patrons can easily spend as much as they would at, let’s say… an Italianni’s. (Just order anything with crab, lobster, or X.O. sauce and watch the bill skyrocket!) Despite being a casual-dining Italian resto, they have impeccable service. (Particularly, in their Gateway Mall branch.)

I understand that it’s really a cultural thing, but realistically speaking, the generation of customers coming into these places are shifting to the younger set. We are not only conscious of the food, but also of the whole package (ambiance, service, etc.). How often have I seen these waiters look irate or impatient and not at all accommodating.

How are we expected to bring our friends, dates, colleagues, etc. if the service culture still sucks? Like it or not, it actually matters.

 

*Image from http://onproductmanagement.net