Pinoy Nouvelle Cuisine
IN MY BASKET - Lydia Castillo () - September 2, 2001 - 12:00am
Is there such a thing? We know of some world-class chefs who have tried to lift our cuisine to greater heights but sad to say, little success has been achieved. Now there is the Pinoy Cuisine Cookfest which has just been launched by the Daily Manila Shimbun Culture Center and Chef Seiji Kamura. We remember the latter in that small restaurant called Kansai on the corner of Pasong Tamo-Edsa and we enjoyed his Japanese food then. It is good to know that now, he is involved in promoting something that is Filipino. He must love living here.

Anyway, the contest is on its fourth year and it encourages chefs who own/work in restaurants to join and present their own innovations on Filipino food by enhancing its flavor and by creating beautiful presentations. Applications are accepted at the Culture office on Jupiter Street, Makati. Deadline is 10th October.

The competition will have three rounds–elimination on 22nd October, finals on 9th November and the championships on the 16th of the same month. Last year’s winner is Eduardo Maddela who holds the silver trophy. Cash prices and medals will be presented to winners. There is no joining fee, so don’t worry about that. Join and aspire to contribute to the enhancement of Filipino cuisine. Maybe we can finally put it on the international culinary map.

Barako Gold is the latest blend at all Figaro coffee company outlets. It is pure and therefore rather strong, but if you are a real coffee connoisseur, you will not hesitate savoring this. Just be sure you are not nursing a weak heart. Sad news is, we heard that their outlet at Fil-invest has been closed. The consolation is you can go and enjoy their brew at the Alabang Town Center, in Rockwell and Glorietta in Makati and Morato in Quezon City.

In contrast to the sad state of the South Supermarket in Magallanes before it finally closed two weeks ago, is the bustling business that goes on, even on a typhoon day, at their store in the Alabang Town Center. There are a lot of food stalls before one enters the supermarket. We found Cebu Chicharritos, small bite size chicharon which are either ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook (instant because all you need to do is fry in hot oil for two minutes), plain skin or Bacon n’ Rind, more popularly known as may laman.

There is a meat store in San Juan called Kawilihan Farms which sells beef at a much lower price. We need to visit this and we will let you know about our findings. Meantime, maybe you can still catch the meat sale at ShopWise in Filinvest (Alabang) where pot roast beef goes for P205 a kilo, porterhouse steak for P242, ground sirloin for P190, striploin (which we use for rolled roast beef) at P286, stewing beef for P145, pork at P118 and pork steak at P150.

At Rustan’s Forbes we got the following price list–beef brisket at P125 a kilo, bulalo at P138, longan at P125 and honeydew melon at P99. Note that renovation work on Rustan’s in Makati is now completed and you have a better organized supermarket. Here we found our big Magnolia chicken (more than 1.5 kilos each).

Guimaras mangoes are really the best, but you will have to pay a higher price–P80 a kilo and if the vendor is as nice as that lady in the Dampa market on Ninoy Aquino Avenue in Parañaque, you can have a discount of P5. Lanzones are now in season, but they are still not very sweet. It sells for P100 a kilo. Do not get the very big ones; according to the experts, the medium size lanzones are sweeter.

From Dizon Farms we got mangoes at P65 a kilo and watermelon at P140 each. Dizon also carries a lot of bottled sweets, including a combination of passion fruit and pineapple. They have one outlet at the tricycle/jeep terminal in Alabang, facing the cinemas.

You can get many benefits from fruits and vegetables aside from natural vitamins. A health-conscious friend passed on some valuable tips to us such as–fish oil prevents headaches as does ginger which reduces inflammation and pain; manganese in pineapple can prevent osteoporosis, cabbage contains chemicals that help heal both gastric and duodenal ulcers and avocado lowers cholesterol. There you are, eat more fish, vegetables and fruits and stay healthy.

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