Best Food Forward 2012- NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City

Finally the most anticipated food event has taken place! I was present on the first day of the food fair to taste the best gastronomic creations in town. The NBC Tent was fully packed with foodies, families, and friends.

My friend Malou and I arrived around 2pm and decided to have lunch first before scouting for what might interest us.

I had Pork Liempo and Malou had Pork Sisig, both from Cuisiniers. The meals are affordable and grilled on the spot. The serving of the liempo is good for 2 but the sisig seems sort of bitin. We didn’t like the way the pork was minced to small that we missed the crunch and small chunks of pork to chew.

Just like the previous BFF event, tables are provided outside for guests who like dining alfresco. Just right after having lunch, we went to the stage area for some cooking demo. Chefs Dino Guingona and Raymar Reyes of Moderne Culinaire Academy showed their cooking skills and shared some tips to the audience while preparing a fish dish. I missed to take note of the name of the dish; those who tried it said it was delicious.

They have a wide variety of items lined up; we made sure we strolled through every aisle. Here are some noteworthy items that we’ve tried.

From L-R: Sugar Cakes by Anna’s Kitchen, thumbs up for their Red Velvet and Banana Walnut. Yum!!!, Bale Dutung’s Pan de Bagnet is incredible. The crunchy bagnet on ciabatta with kamatis, bagoong, onion and mustasa doused with sukang Iloko. Kate Bakes’ premium cookies are the best. They use only the finest ingredients like pure belgian chocolates, premium nuts, and organic sea salt. Mama Lou’s Panzarotti is a must-try. Panzarotti is a mini calzone or closed pizza. Sweet Vanilla’s cupcakes with unique flavors such as blueberry bacon pancake, mojito, rootbeer float, wasabi white chocolate mango, and more! Casa San Luis Pastries will make you ask for more. We tried their Butter Crisps which are thin butter cookies with walnuts and pecans. I’d like to try the Cookie Surprise next time, that is a huge chocolate chip cookie stuffed with an oreo cookie. Exciting!

I noticed that there’s more cake and pastries being offered on this year’s BFF, majority of them are CAKE POPS. The ones that caught my eyes were The Lollicake Factory and Blue Sugar. I like how the cake pops are creatively crafted and can even be customized to your own design.

Here are my some of my favorites for this year’s BFF:

1.Crunchy Belly by Carlos Kitchen – 399-2715 /  0916-4033495


This is the bomb! Though it looks like it’s easy to make, I can’t get over this thin sliced liempo. I even ordered 1 pack to go so that my brother and sis-in-law can try ’em. I like it because of its crunchiness and its flavor and because it is NOT oily.

2. Chicago Popcorn Shops- 556-6625

Almond Caramel Crisp and Chicago Mix surely hit the spot. Taste this delicious and one of a kind air crisp popcorn.

3. Little Miss OC’s Kitchen853-1321/ 0917-8126833

109 Magallanes Avenue, Magallanes Village, Makati City

I’m impressed with the exquisite designs of these moist and flavorful cupcakes from Little Miss OCs Kitchen. Too beautiful it may take a while before one take a bite of it.

4. Mio Gelati- 0917-5827124/ 3536675/ 9643023


If you are the adventurous type in trying out ice cream flavors, try Mio Gelati’s Italian ice cream. They have tequila, baileys, and chili chocolate for some kick.

5. Smoochies – 0947-2215458


Malou and I tried Smoochies’ best-sellers, the Mango Smooch and the Buko-Lychee Smoochies. You may think that it’s just a simple fruit drink but mind you, there’s something special about this drink… these smoochies come with basil seeds that give it a twist. Basil seeds are antioxidants which makes each fruit drink more healthy. Aside from that, what I like about this unique drink is the texture of the basil seeds; once mixed with the drink, the basil seeds swell as the size of a mini “sago”. I like how the frozen basil seeds at the bottom of the cup melts in the mouth.



World Food Expo 2011 (WOFEX) – SMX Convention Center & World Trade Center

The country’s BIGGEST and Most Effective Food Show is happening at the SMX Convention Center and World Trade Center.If you love FOOD, I’m telling you, you will ENJOY this!

With the remarkable success of WOFEX 2010, World Food Expo continues to be the food and beverage industry’s main source of supply solutions. The phenomenal rise of the event in terms of exhibitor bookings, visitor traffic and sales generated has reinforced its growing importance in the industry. WOFEX 2011 will be held from August 3 to 6, 2011 at both World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines and we invite you to be part of our continued growth. Dubbed as “The Ultimate Food Show Experience”, WOFEX continues to co-locate events that bring together all segments of the food and beverage industry. As we bring together buyers and sellers, your participation in WOFEX 2011 might as well be the best business decision you will make.

Once again, WOFEX is the home of the 2011 PHILIPPINE CULINARY CUP, already the most prestigious culinary competition in the country where the best meet to compete!

Experience why WOFEX is the Philippines’ biggest & most anticipated food show .

Here’s a glimpse of the expo… you definitely should not miss!


-Entrance fee is Php100.

-FREE shuttle is being provided going to and from The World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center.

-FABULOUS PRIZES are to be given away. You may get a chance to win cellphones, overnight accommodations, kitchen appliances, and many more by just visiting both venues (SMX and WTC) and have your event passport stamped.

-Children below 8 years old are not given entry to the expo.


-Expect a lot of opportunities :

  • Find New Products
  • Find New Vendors
  • Find New Sources of Industry Information
  • Find New Partners
  • Find New Innovations
  • Make New Sales Contacts
  • Reach Decision-Makers
  • Roll-Out New Products
  • See What the Competition is Doing
  • Enjoy On-Site Sales


Please visit the WOFEX 2011 website for more info:

El Buono Pizza- B.F Homes, Parañaque

It's a great place to hang out with family and friends.

The best way to enjoy pizza is to share it with family or friends…unless you can finish a 65-inch pizza by yourself. 😉

I’m glad to have found this place in Parañaque where friends can “chill”, sit back, watch a live band , or play beer pong while feasting on pizza, pasta, and more. The restaurant has a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere… it spells F-U-N!

I was there to take photos with my team from Asian Escapades/Manila Escapades Magazine (watch out for this events guide magazine this June 2011). We were able to take a closer look of the restaurant, watch how they make their famous pizza, and interview Sir Lance – the man behind El Buono Pizza.

The pizza guy and his "masterpiece"- photo by: Mishale Aragoncillo

Being a pizza lover, I was captivated by the way the pizza guy made this 4 flavor Celebrity 36″ pizza. It’s the largest pizza I’ve seen in my entire life. I have yet to see the 65″ pizza…hopefully soon. Sir Lance described the process in pizza making from preparing the dough, putting in the sauce, adding the cheese, arranging the toppings, and popping it in the oven. He explained that initially, preparation and cooking time for this size of pizza was about 1 and a half hour which is now trimmed down to only 20-25 minutes.

While waiting for our pizza, they served us one of their Group Platter’s Treat- Set 1. It includes 6pcs. Southern Fried Chicken, Spaghetti Bolognese, French Fries, and a Pitcher of Iced Tea. This set meal is prices P750 and is good for 4-6 persons.

On the table:

The friend chicken has a seasoned coating making the skin crispy and flavorful. The meat is tender and juicy, I finished my share in no time. The spaghetti bolognese is spaghetti topped with a rich, ground-meat and tomato based sauce. I love the generous amount of beef chunks served, plus the firmness of the noodles which gives a perfect bite. The french fries is just regular fries, served with mayo and ketchup. The red iced tea that was served in a pitcher was good, it has the right amount of sweetness.

The spotlight goes to the 4 Flavors 36″ Celebrity Pizza (Php 1,988). It has four toppings: El Buono Special, Il Hawaiian, Salami Picante, and Le Verdure.

El Buono Special has mozzarella cheese, special cheese, signature sauce, pepperoni, ham, ground beef, bell pepper, onion, pineapple, black olives, herbs & spices.

Il Hawaiian has mozzarella cheese, special cheese, signature sauce, ham, and pineapple.

Salami Picante has mozzarella cheese, special cheese, signature sauce, pepperoni, herbs & spices.

Le Verdure has mozzarella cheese, special cheese, signature sauce, bell pepper, onion, tomato, corn, and black olives.

I can eat these everyday... 🙂 - photo by: Mishale Aragoncillo

It’s a whopping 36″ sliced into 24 slices. Among the 4 flavors, I liked the El Buono Special best. Blasts of flavors filled my mouth as I take every bite. The special sauce matches the Pinoy taste which is really GOOD. The crust is thin but I wish they could make a thinner version.

There’s 4 of us in our team and we were only able to finish 1/4 of the pizza. My mind says “eat more” but my tummy couldn’t handle another slice. Good thing they divided the pizza and placed in small boxes for us to bring home.

Below is the brick oven used for cooking “the world’s largest pizza” that is deliverable. According to Sir Lance, some restaurants only make large-sized pizza for the world record and their restaurant is different because they make the largest pizza that is sellable and could be enjoyed by customers.

the "mean" machine...strong enough to handle the biggest pizza

Though a number of pizza restaurants tried to serve large sized pizza, Sir Lance claimed El Buono to be the pioneer in making the biggest pizza in the Philippines. When asked about their edge with other pizza places, he said it’s the size and the taste. People will patronize pizza not only because it’s big but because they like the taste.

Sir Lance of El Buono Pizza- photo by: Mishale Aragoncillo

Whether you’re up for a challenge or just wanna have fun, you can try this game: Beer Pong – a beer drinking game for added fun in your drinking sessions.

El Buono in Parañaque have tournaments every Thurs/Fri and Regular games from Sun-Wed. We were able to watch a few games from the qualifications, down to quarter finals. We left the restaurant around past 12mn and semi finals hasn’t started yet. Jared, the organizer of the Beer Pong tournament said tournaments end around 3am.

Champions for every tournament get a shirt with a “Teammate” and El Buono logo or 1 grand cash… Most winners choose the shirt instead of moolah.  😛


BTW, El Buono Makati and Parañaque offer this EAT ALL YOU CAN Promo for only P299. Read the mechanics below.

All you can eat for P299!!!

It’s me and the pizza guy with the star of the night… the 36″ pizza.

It’s definitely a clap…clap…clap… for El Buono Pizza. See you again soon!

El Buono is open for franchise. You may contact the numbers below for inquiries.

El Buono Pizza

Mandaluyong: 500 Boni Ave. Corner San Rafael St.

Makati: Makati Cinema Square

Parañaque: 154 Aguirre St., BF Homes

Cavite: Congressional Road, Dasmariñas

Soon to open: Quezon City branch and San Pablo branch


Contact: 519-1111/ 519-2222

403-1528/ 403-1575

Best Food Forward 2011 – NBC Tent, Bonifacio Global City

What a great weekend it was for foodies, families and friends who enjoyed fun-filled activities and food tasting in Global City, Taguig. This event showcased gastronomic creations of culinary experts and newcomers in the industry. For only Php50 entrance fee many were able to help build funds for the farming and feeding programs of Gawad Kalinga and Unang Hakbang Foundation.

Everything’s just fantastic! I was overwhelmed with so many delectable treats…Imagine a child in a toy store, that’s how I felt.  I wish I could buy everything…all the chocolates, cakes, and ice cream. Too bad I’m not fortunate to have that much of moolah nowadays.   :/

There’s just so many things to do, like face painting and craft for the kids; watching cooking demos and having your photos taken at the photo booth. As for us, we sampled those that caught our senses, especially those with decorative booth displays. From sweet chocolate cupcakes to pig breads, nachos and chili beans, mini puto to fried siopao, and bubble tea to liquer bonbons…the list goes on.

We then decided to have lunch. Baloogs had Spiced Xocolat Chicken with rice and potato gratin for Php100. I wasn’t able to take a photo of that. My bad. I was too busy looking for a seat. Anyway, the chicken is almost black in color as it was covered with chocolate and some seasoning. It tasted a bit salty for me.

I ordered 6pcs chicken wings from Manang’s chicken. No fancy brand name or tag line just lip smacking deep fried chicken covered in special sauce and sesame seeds. It was so good I couldn’t shut myself from the ooohs and mmmss coz of it’s goodness. Definitely better than other soy-fried-chicken.

We were having lunch while private chef Sau del Rosario prepared a summer concoction, a pan-fried tuna with salsa, and pasta marinara (i just named it). We were sitting on the second row and had a chance to taste the pasta dish. The shrimp, squid, and fish were in just the right amount of firmness as well as the squid inked pasta. Al Dente! The taste is enhanced with Beringer wine.  Perfecto!   🙂

Chef Luis Chikiamco prepared a pan fried Angus beef with 3 mushroom side dish. The oil from the pan grilled beef with thyme and garlic was used to make the sauce which made it tastier. We sampled the steak cooked medium rare. It was sooooooo good! I like how warm and soft the meat was. The top and the bottom were beautifully charred and the sides browned. Yum!!!

The organizers gave away raffle prizes and awarded merchant for different categories. No one went home empty handed/hungry.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Move over Royce…Risa’s here for the same chocolate delight. These premium chocolates are so velvety smooooth. I especially love the creamy texture of the tiramissyou ( their version of tiramisu) and their melt-in-your-mouth classic truffles. It’s rich chocolate sweetness will make you want more. Cuadro bars are priced P170-180 and Php 130-360 for truffles.

heavenly goodness


Visit them at Mercato Centrale every Saturday and Sunday.

Check on their site :

Get that sweet chewy chill of ice cream filled mochi by Mochiko. Mochi is a japanese mixture made of rice flour “mochiko” with a sweet filling. An innovation in ice cream varieties, this mochiko is filled with ice cream flavors you don’t usually find in grocery stores such as their top 3 best sellers: green tea, azuki or red bean, and black sesame. Other flavors are mango, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel.

I tried green tea and found it interesting. I only had green tea with my starbuck’s frappuccino and thought it would taste the same.  Prized at Php70 each, it’s a great steal!  🙂

simply irresistible...mochi ice cream


Unit 3 Cliffhouse Tagaytay, Maharlika East, Aguinaldo Hway, Tagaytay City

Other Branches: ATC, Boracay, BF Paranaque, Angeles City, and Subic

Contact #s:  0917-8310624/ 0922-8118771

Last but definitely not the least, Manang’s Chicken. Try to believe. It’s goooooooooood! Seriously.

This doesn’t have the sauce yet…i ate the chicken wings right away i didn’t get a chance to take snaps of it.

Manang’s Chicken

Visit them in the following location:

Midnight Mercato – 10:00pm to 3:00am

Mercato Centrale – 7:30am to 2:00pm
Alabang Saturday Market – 7:30am to 12:00pm
Midnight Mercato – 10:00pm to 3:00am

Mercato Centrale – 7:30am to 2:00pm
Legaspi Sunday Market – 7:30am to 2:00pm

Contact #: 0920-9210935

sinfully yummy...

UPDATE: Manang’s Chicken opened their first store. Hooray!!! Please visit:

Manang’s Chicken
AIC Gold Tower, Garnet Road corner F. Ortigas St.
Ortigas Center, Pasig City (Near Jollibee Center)

Operating Hours: M-Sat  10am-12pm


See you all next year for another gastronomic feast!!!

Secrets of the Masters- Studio 4, GMA 7

I was uber excited when Mama told me we would be watching Secret of the Masters with Tita Heidi and Maane. I’m fond of watching cooking shows and this time I got to watch it live.



Host Issa Litton and Appetite Magazine's Editor-in-chief J. Lorraine Belmonte

As instructed, we went to GMA around 10 am to meet Mico. We were asked to stay in the canteen until it was time to start taping. Big thanks to Tita’s daughter Astrid and her friends… we got the front seats.

Three episodes were taped that day but we only stayed for the 1st one. I didn’t know it would take 6 hours to tape a 40-minute show. I’m not complaining or anything…but sometimes waiting isn’t just my thing (or was I hungry that time).


Chef Avelina Florendo shares her secret.

Chef Avelina Florendo was the featured chef for that episode. She’s a renowned chef whose expertise in baking and cake decoration has made her ICES’ Hall of Fame awardee last 2005. At 77, she has created a great number of masterpiece that brought delight and satisfaction in every occasion. No doubt…she’s  an institution when it comes to baking!


Chef Avelina demonstrated how to create natural looking flowers and leaves cake decorations using Isomalt. Isomalt is used as a sugar substitute in decoration. It is edible and very durable;  Isomalt is effective in areas where heat or humidity is a concern.


Chef was very mindful about the temperature; Isomalt is a bit expensive and cooking it above the required temp is like putting money down the drain. The hardened isomalt mixture is warmed in a collapsible warmer made by her son, Chef Jun. According to Chef Avelina, she has to wear two layers of gloves (1 latex and 1 cloth) since the mixture is very hot.


Issa Litton joins Chef Avelina and her assistants in making porcelain cake decorations.

Next, Chef showed us how to make decors using porcelain…this time it’s not edible. Different ingredients were used and mixed together. Chef and her assistants painstakingly rolled, pulled, and molded the porcelain. According to Chef Avelina, the mixture is clay like and  can be recycled by melting it and molding it again into another decor whether a flower, leaf, bow, or anything imaginable. 

I could remember chef telling Mercy (one of her assistants) to be careful… “huwag mong pilitin”. It was really funny because she kept on calling and telling Mercy what to do while the cameras were rolling.



Porcelain flowers for the audience to keep

And the result… was a very elegant looking masterpiece. Chef was really patient and creative, at her age, to make something extravagant like this. NICE!


Her son Chef Jun Florendo also showed his skills in baking. He made a fondant cake and decorated it using the porcelain flowers made earlier.

For the finale, Chefs Avelina and Jun Florendo together with their assitant Mike made TRES LECHES cake. The name itself means a cake composed of 3 kinds of milk. This is the first..and the only dish we got to eat that afternoon. It was definitely worth waiting and keeping myself seated for hours just to eat this tres leches. I can’t wait for the quatro leches, Chef Jun!

Sorry guys, I wasn’t able to take photos of this cake; we were asked to eat it right away once served (to capture how we savor the dish). It was totally delish! To describe you how it was… think of it this way… eating a light and creamy cake with a pudding like texture covered with fluffy marshmallow like icing with the right amount of sweetness. Mmmm…

Everyone got to taste the tres leches that left us speechless for a minute or so. So scrumptious!!!

The said episode will be aired sometime November, probably the first week.

Watch Secrets of the Masters, Sundays at 7pm.