Present Kings of Bartending

Since the cable TV viewing public seems to have a big appetite for food programs, celebrity chefs nowadays are a dime a dozen.   Cooking shows are like a hit record that has been so overplayed it sometimes reaches a viewer’s point of irritation.  And the irony of it all, has anyone actually moved in their kitchen and followed the recipe that these Celebrity Chefs did in their cooking show?

Another irony about the immense popularity of F&B (food and beverage) on cable TV is that only Chefs has already achieved the status of being a “celebrity” and no bartender seem to have reached such a status.  Though considered as a highly competitive profession, I have yet to know a Celebrity Bartender!  I have yet to even read about a person with killer innovativeness on cocktail concoctions and inventions.

The same is true here in the Philippines.  Unlike their culinary counterparts, recognized Filipino bartending greats unfortunately does not have celebrity statuses.  And the Filipino bar and mixology scene seem to have remained quiet, dormant and snoozing.

This is until two young Filipino bartenders recently gave pride to the country in the bartending arena.  Edmond King Mercadero and Genvic Silpao recently won the South East Asian Bartending Competition held last September 29, 2017 at the Sofitel Manila.

I was fortunate enough to have witnessed how both lads performed.  Edmond King was suave, cool and gracious during the Classic Category competition while Genvic was brisk, lively and electrifying during the Flairtending event.  It was no big surprise when Edmond King was adjudged the Champion in his category while Genvic came as a runner-up because of the height and degree of difficulty of throws he did in the Flairtending class.

present kings of philippine bartendng

Both young lads have yet to earn a PhD in cocktail revolution yet Edmond King and Genvic are starting to create a name for themselves in the world of mixology and bartending.  Both are actually due to compete further in the international bartending stage later this year.  Edmond King will again represent the Philippines and is due to compete at the World Bartending Championship in Copenhagen while Genvic will be in Kaohsiung Taiwan to also represent the Philippines in the 9th Gang-Dou Asia Cocktail Competition.

With no names popping up when you think of the Philippine bartending scene, I guess it would be reasonable enough to say that Edmond King and Genvic are the present Kings of Bartending.

Cheers! Toma!

A Retro Party Video That Deserves 680 Views

Does a person who signed-in or owns a YouTube account can already be considered a YouTuber or does it take a certain degree before someone be considered as one?  I for one owns a YouTube account and I have signed-in my account for more than 5 years already, but still, I don’t consider myself as a legit YouTuber.  For me, a rightful YouTuber is someone who has at least a couple of hundreds of subscribers, posts videos on a regular basis and the number of views of their videos are in thousands (if not in millions).

I have high regard and admiration to these group of internet geniuses.  I am continuously boggled by the fact that these YouTubers were able to tap and has been consistent in tickling the interests of the video viewing public. I have yet to grasp and discover their seemingly elusive formula.  And I’m clueless on how the hell they do it!  Like a pathetic old fool, I have been doing YouTube but one video has yet to reach a thousand views!

Anyway, let me post the latest YouTube video that I did with the help of my officemate (Rey Ferrer) who introduced me to a new world of video editing.  This video is about the recent company party that I organized.  With the hardships and challenges of organizing a company party attended by 680 people, this video I suppose deserves to reach at least 680 views.  Enjoy…

peace!

peace!

Kapag ang bidyong ito naging bayral, maanlilibre ako ng miryenda! 

Retro 60s and 70s Party Teaser

In the company that I am working for, Employees’ Night Party is held yearly.  Instead of the annual Christmas Party as observed by other companies, we prefer to hold the party after the season has simmered down.  It is because during the Santa Holiday Season out group of restaurants are the busiest entities in the metro.  We are actually the servers in others’ Christmas Parties!

And after the busy service during Christmas season, we seem to be ready for a Halloween Party because everybody looks like a zombie by the end of the season.  Nevertheless, during the kris kringle season, I would publish posters counting down the number of days prior to the day of the Employees’ Night so as to build up some excitement.

retro-posters

a collage of “countdown” posters i published in the office

Employees’ Night is held usually on the second or third week of January.  And every year, a theme is appointed.   This year’s theme is Retro 60s and 70s.  The styles, fashion and music of the 60s and 70s era.

Every year my co-employees looks forward to our Employees’ Night.  Almost all of employees would participate in donning in an outfit based on the party theme.  I am just as excited as the rest of them.  And to add more excitement, I created a cute video which features some of my co-employees who has lived during the cool 60s and awesome 70s…

Thank you peeps for submitting your cute cool retro photos! I love them all.  Let show everyone how an awesome party should be done.  See you at the party!

Eksayted na ko…

The Abe Wing of the National Museum

Last Tuesday night, the few pieces of artistic neurons present inside my cranial cavity were happy to have witnessed one historical event in the “Philippine art scene”.  I was present during the formal turnover ceremony of artworks of Emilio Aguilar Cruz to the Philippines’ National Museum for Fine Arts.  The event was coined as the biggest donation in the history for an art collection by an artist to the country’s national museum.

And from the poignant speeches I heard during the ceremony, this generous and selfless act was decided upon so that future generations of the Philippines would be able to see and appreciate contemporary yet refined works of Filipino visual art. This is aside from the fact that these valuable pieces would definitely be protected, preserved and maintained by the state.

EAC Gallery (Abe Wing) photo grabbed from National Museum FB page

EAC Gallery (Abe Wing)
photo grabbed from National Museum FB page

Aside from the formal turnover of donation of EAC art pieces, the program also includes the formal inauguration of the Emilio Aguilar Cruz Hall. Also known as the Abe Wing inside the National Museum, this hall exhibits the donated paintings, sketches and water colors done by EAC.

Activating the art connoisseur in me, from among all the art pieces hanged inside the Abe Wing, the two works of art that charmed and bewitched me were:

portrait of a lady, 1989 (oil on canvass)

portrait of a lady, 1989 (oil on canvass)

This painting is a true representation of a Filipina beauty.  Though the only color used was the varying colors of brown, the monochromatic shades – from lighting, to the clothing and to the color of the woman’s skin – were all so fascinatingly beautiful and captivating.

Paris, 1980 (watercolor on paper)

Paris, 1980 (watercolor on paper)

This watercolor is small but very engaging.  The colors are so alive you would wonder whether such piece was recently been done when in fact it is already 35 years old. Onlooker would be able to appreciate it more if seen from a considerable distance (which for me is a typical EAC style).

Like any other great works of art found in the museums around the globe, EAC’s art pieces would someday, in some foreseeable future, shall become valuable tools for the next generation to better understand its past.  Kudos to the family of Emilio Aguilar Cruz for such a generous donation!

Koloring buk ko kaya tanggapin kung i-doneyt ko sa nashonal myusiyum? 

Lorenzo’s Way Desserts

Costillas De Ternera Guisada, Spanish Garlic Chicken, Paella Negra, Lengua Estofada and Prawns in Creole and Hollandaise Sauce are some of the sumptuous main dishes found in Lorenzo’s Way restaurant, one of the refined casual dining establishments in Manila.

These highfaluting and pompous sounding dishes may be the some of the best main courses for human consumption but for me the main course remain to be the last dish served in any meal.   As what the common saying goes, “save the best for last”!  That would simply be the dessert.

Having dessert perhaps is like all the other events and circumstances where the so called “last” is considered the highlight.  Aside from sex, cases in point would be a beauty pageant, an awards night, a bingo social and even the Filipino tradition of Santacruzan in which the last part is considered the best part.

Lorenzo’s Way restaurant happens to serve my most favorite desserts!

extra-ordinarily creamy yet classic, Leche Flan

extra-ordinarily creamy yet classic, Leche Flan

blissful with this Pecan Pie

blissful with this Pecan Pie

Gigil Tart. It was immediately sliced as soon as it's served for we could no longer wait, only to realize that we haven't taken a photo yet!

Gigil Tart. It was immediately sliced as soon as it’s served for we could no longer wait, only to realize that we haven’t taken a photo yet!

my favorite! choco banana volcano,

my favorite! choco banana volcano,

Unlike responsible adults, I would rather skip the starters but never the dessert.  Two reasons I guess is the enticing visual appeal as well as that of the pleasurable palatal sensation it generates.

Mapapa-klap yor hands ka sa sarap!

The Best and Most Favorite Filipino Restaurant

It is a common notion and a customary aspiration that if you are in a foreign land, you would want to taste the best and most favorite that such locale or country has to offer.  Meaning, if you are in France you would normally want to dine in the best or most preferred French restaurant.  Or if you are in Italy you would of course aspire to eat at the best or most popular Italian restaurant.  But when in the Philippines, has it been determined which would be the restaurant where to taste the best and most preferred Filipino cuisine?

The Filipino cuisine is experiencing a renaissance in the world cuisine stage. The world is now discovering that the Filipino cuisine is not just the exotic “balut”.  Thus, it is essential to determine in today’s generation which Filipino restaurant in the Philippines is the best and the most favorite.  Here are two trusty basis for this.  One for being the best while the other for being the most favorite.

One would be based on the selection made by MBKRS which is short for Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secret award.  MBKRS is a biennial awarding body considered by a lot of Filipino foodies and food establishments as the most prestigious award that recognizes excellence in city dining scene.

Two would be based on the honor given by the recently concluded Choice Awards 2015.  A new food-scene recognizing body which was established and organized by popular and “powerful” food bloggers in the Philippines.  This award does not recognizes the best of the country’s food and food establishments but instead honors the most commonly preferred and most favorites.

These two recognizing bodies has bestowed honors to food establishments in various categories – best or most favorite: buffet, Italian resto, Spanish resto, burger joint, coffee shop, steakhouse, Chinese resto, and a lot more.  But these recognizing bodies being based in the Philippines, I would personally consider their choice or their award for being the best and most favorite Filipino Restaurant would be the most prestigious.  It’s like bestowing the Best Picture award during the Oscars or the Golden Globes of Philippine dining scene!

Few people I guess knows that there is one Filipino restaurant (in the Philippines) which has received and has been awarded by both these recognizing bodies.  MBKRS in 2012 awarded it as the “Best Filipino Restaurant” while the first Choice Awards held this year (2015) chose it as the “Most Favorite Filipino Restaurant”.

That restaurant is Abe.

at the trinoma branch

at the trinoma branch

at the serendra branch

at the serendra branch

Award wining!

Keeping, Serving, Enjoying The Traditional Kare-Kare

kare-kare overload

kare-kare overload

The Filipino cuisine is at its renaissance in the present generation.  And because of this global upwelling, it is frustrating to note that there have been lots of Filipino restaurants popping up in the metro that has gone modifying and fusing the tasty traditional Filipino dishes with the western or other Asian cuisines.

The grassroots and nature of the Filipino cuisine is about being economical.  Ingredients were based on what the environment offers.  Filipino dish is not about just taking, using and eating the best part of an edible fruit, plant or animal.  It is about the development of dishes utilizing every edible part of an edible element present in the environment may it be a fruit, a plant or an animal.  That is why western world would often perceive Filipino dishes to be bizarre and outright disgusting.

Because of this perception, to tweak Filipino dishes in terms of plating and visual presentation so as to not scare people and achieve global marketability is okay for me.  But the complex taste and palatal balance of the traditional recipe that Filipinos of the past has concocted and developed must remain.

the chosen one!!! the authentic good old kare-kare

the chosen one!!! the good old traditional  kare-kare (i obviously erased the labels…)

It is good to know then that the LJC Restaurant Group, a leading group of restaurants in the country continues to serve traditional Filipino dishes.  Though I am not the final authority regarding the taste of traditional Filipino dishes, I have been fortunate to be chosen as one of the lucky Filipinos to taste and determine which among their Kare-Kare is the best!  Aside from adopting the chosen best Kare-Kare for all their outlets, this project by the LJC Group in way ensures that the good old Kare-Kare (stewed oxtail in peanut-based sauce) is available for the present generation to enjoy.

This project only shows how the LJC Restaurant Group is serious is keeping the traditional Filipino cuisine.  No wonder the LJC Restaurant Group operates the leading and best Filipino restaurants in the country, i.e. Abe (which now has 6 branches) and Bistro Remedios located in Malate, Manila.

With the rousing global interest about the Filipino cuisine nowadays, it would be sad to know and would be hard to imagine in case the best Kare-Kare would not be found in the Philippines.  So, good job LJC Group!  At least for now, the best Kare-Kare is still found in the Philippines!

Yami parang ako!