What I Am Thankful for in 2011

I am thankful for everything I had in 2011.

I turned 11 on April 10, 2011.

My b-day cake

My b-day

I joined the Junior Master Chef competition and made it to the top 30 finalists.

My plaque from Junior Master Chef

I went to Treston International college and  learned knife skills, the difference between pots and pans , the  cooking hazards, about FATTOM and how to make different kinds of pasta sauces.

I went to Treston International college

My brother and I went to basketball classes last summer.

My brother and I with Coach

My family and I went to Avilon zoo.

We went to Avilon zoo

I learned how to cook restaurant recipes in Sylvia Reynoso Gala’s Culinary Arts school.

Me and Chef Ernest Gala

Me and Chef Ernest Gala

I started a web show called “The Adventures of a Junior Chef” on YouTube.

I also started this blog.

The Junior Chef - my blog

My family and I went on a few vacations….Malayan hotel, Diamond hotel, Discovery suites, Linden suites and Edsa Shangri- La hotel.

I saw my old friend , Andres  again on his b-day.

I met my old friend ion his b-day

I met some real chefs. I met Chef Laudico, Chef Ferns, Chef Jp, Chef Ernest and his mom Tita Sylvia. I also learned that Chef Ernest started cooking when he was my age :D.

Me and Chef Roland Laudico

Me and Chef Roland Laudico

I learned how to cook Mediterranean dishes, Filipino dishes, salads, steaks, pastas and snacks. I also learned how to debone and stuff a chicken.

My deboned chicken

My deboned chicken

We  went to the Lantern Parade in U.P.

I’m thankful that I was a finalist in the Philippine Blog Awards.

I am thankful that I met many great new friends-  Pinoy Food Writer, Ms. Chun Valencia, sisig lover, Mr. Fred Briones , Mr. Martin Banana from Bacolod Food Hunter, Kat from she cooks, he eats, and the nice lady from Love2Type. I also met new friends from Junior Master Chef.

I’m thankful that my new friend,  Mr. Martin Banana , drew a picture for me. It made me happy on New Year’s Day.

Martin Banana's picture for me

I am thankful that we went back to our lola’s old house at Sunnyside Heights to do a rummage sale.

I’m also thankful for our charity named the Healthy Kidchen.

The Healthy Kidchen

What I learned about myself and my family

I learned that I’ll be a great chef someday. I learned that I love cooking and I hate baking. I like to be with my friends and my family.   I also like to learn more recipes.

I learned that my sister wants to be a pianist when she grows up. My brother wants to be a drummer, an artist, a waiter, a basketball player and a chef.

We want to help people. We like to be together. We all want to learn new and wonderful things. We always want to be happy. We want to see everyone really happy. We want everyone to be healthy, too.

What I want to do this year

This year, I’ll complete all of Sylvia Reynoso Gala’s Culinary Arts courses and I’ll join another cooking contest. I’ll cook all the dishes in my cookbooks.

My cookbooks!

That’s it for today everyone! Happy New Year!

Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition (part 8)- The Treston Experience continued (Knife skills – Brunoise)

How to Bruniose a Potato    Click here to watch the video.

Knife skills - batonnet, julienne, dice, brunoise


Regular brunoise (3 mm cube)

A regular brunoise is a 1/8 inch (3 mm) cube.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/8″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/8″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/8″ cubes.


Fine Brunoise (1.5 mm cube)

A  fine brunoise is a 1/16″ (1.5 mm) cube.
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/16″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/16″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/16″ cubes.

The Mathematics of Cooking

Out of complete boredom a few months back, I asked my fellow contestant from Junior Masterchef if he liked math. He said he hated it. I tried to explain that  if he wanted to be a good chef, he had to learn math. Irritated, he told me to be quiet, though in harsher terms, and I left the subject. Then my father told me to write about  the mathematics of cooking.  I guess he wants me to love  math as I do cooking. So here goes…

One time , I cooked steak for my family. It turned out, it was really salty. Mom said I did not use the right proportion of salt to the weight of the meat. Ignoring mathematics in the kitchen could destroy your dish.

These are some of the math concepts that come in handy :

  1. Measurements
  2. Fractions
  3. Addition
  4. Subtraction
  5. Multiplication
  6. Division
  7. Time
  8. Weight
  9. Ratio and Proportion
  10. Approximates

Here’s my first attempt at using math in cooking. One Friday, our charity, The Healthy Kidchen ,  were going to cook sweet plantains for recess. We were going to feed 50 kids at Holy Spirit Elementary School in Bgy. Holy Spirit .

We found a recipe for 1 serving of sweet plantains:

4 pieces plantains (saging na saba)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Problem:  I need to cook for 50 kids. Each kid will receive 2 plantains. The recipe is made for 4 plantains a serving. So what do I need to do?

Requirement: 50 servings ; 2 plantains per serving


  1. I multiplied 50 by 2 to get 100 plantains, that we need to buy.
  2. I divided the 100 plantains by 4 (because the recipe makes one serving with 4 plantains). So that makes 25 the multiplier for each quantity of ingredients.
  3. I multiplied the 3/4 cups brown sugar by 25. That makes approximately 19 cups of brown sugar.
  4. I multiplied 1 1/2 cups water by 25. That makes 37 1/2 cups of water.
  5. I multiplied 1 teaspoon vanilla extract by 25. That makes 25 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  6. I multiplied 1/4 teaspoon salt by 25. That makes 6 1/4 teaspoons of salt.
  7. This makes 25 servings of 4 plantains each, or in proportion, 50 servings of 2 plantains each.


1. Peel the plantains. Slice plantains diagonally.

2. Boil the water in a cooking pot.

3. Add brown sugar and stir until diluted.

4. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix well.

5. Put in the plantains and adjust the heat to medium. Cover the cooking pot and simmer for 8 to 12 minutes or until the liquid thickens.

6. Turn-off heat and allow the plantains to cool.

7. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Mathematical concepts used

  1. Ratio and Propotion
  2. Fraction
  3. Multiplication
  4. Division
  5. Approximate

Here are the results:

Some very happy kids =)

Math + cooking = Some very happy kids