Binondo Food Trip with Old Manila Walks

Yesterday I took my Asian Cuisine class to China Town. Sometimes it is good to get out of the classroom  so that the students can learn more. I finally got  to meet Ivan Mann Dy of Old Manila Walks (  A fellow Benildean, he conducted the tour with so much animation and passion. He was so funny meeting us in his Chinese costume and portable sound system hanging around his neck. He constantly waved his Filipino flag as we walked and followed him around. I myself learned a lot about China Town’s history and food. The walking tour was three hours of non-stop eating.I hope I burned the calories gained by walking. I promised Ivan I would not blog in detail so that the others taking the tour would enjoy the surprise. So let me just say that the food he introduced us to was more authentic and was not your usual Chinese repertoire. This was much appreciated since the  participants were culinary students.  We had several Chinoys in the group taking the tour but it was also their first time to try the dishes.  Hhmm…I’m still craving for dumplings!

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On Culinary Shows and Competitions

On November 23, 2:00 pm this Sunday at Bonifacio High Street we are sending our team Loren Yatco, Croissant Moreno and Danica de la Rosa with coach Chef Ronald Manalo to compete in 2nd Avenue’s GASTRONOMIA FINALE.  The show is patterned after TOP CHEF which is aired in the same station. They also have to do a quick fire challenge and then in 1 hour prepare a 3 course meal. Please drop by if you can to show your support.  Let’s also pray for their success. 

 I always tell my culinary students that they are lucky because today they have the Lifestyle channel, AFC Asian Food Channel, and lots of food shows to get ideas from.  We didn’t have Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, nor the Iron Chef during our time.  We just had “Wok with Yan” and Nora Daza’s “Cooking It Up with Nora” to watch back then given the fact that we didn’t have cable TV. Being in the kitchen wasn’t considered a glamor job until the media turned chefs into today’s new rock stars.  In class somebody asked me what my favorite cooking show was…I would say Tyler’s Ultimate, Nigella, Anthony Bourdain, and Charlie Trotter. I was also asked which was the best Pinoy cooking show…. hmm… difficult for me to say because our local shows always sell out to the sponsors.  You never see Wolfgang or Emeril endorsing a specific brand during their show. The sad thing about cooking shows produced in our country is that sponsors dictate and bully the chefs into using their products. Not just in shows but in competitions as well.…Must we sell our souls ???

AFC shows have story lines and are not product driven. There is only one Pinoy cooking show that has made it to AFC… Chef Bruce Lim’s Tablescapes … and yet Chef Bruce is a balikbayan. Go Chef Bruce! Go Pinoy! We just finished the YHE competitions and Chef Bruce was kind enough to judge for us 2 days in a row.  We could see though that he was having a lot of fun. Thanks Bruce for always making time for us.

Many thanks to the companies who gave us product support during our YHE competitions this week…I’m sure the students will remember your brands through your kind gestures and the marketing materials displayed during the event.  I apologize if we didn’t let our students use your aprons, T-shirts, caps or any marketing material over our uniform …just didn’t want the impression that we are bias to any specific brand since we are an educational institution…

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