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!

Helping children

I never stayed  hungry in my entire life – NEVER, I tell you. When I eat a very delicious mouth watering and finger licking food in a buffet in Diamond Hotel or in Yakimix, I never think about children or adults who live in poor communities who have nothing but air on their plates.

Sometimes when  I cook  food and  I mix the ingredients, it falls to the table and it ends up as the dog’s meal. What a waste!

When my mother told me we’re going to feed some children, I felt happy because I like helping children. “That’s a good idea- you would learn why you shouldn’t waste food,” my father said.

So on August 12, 2011, me and my whole family woke up at 5:00 a.m. so we could start making sandwiches early.  I like waking up early because I could do a lot of stuff like reading cook books, cooking breakfast with my father and watching television.   We prepared the ingredients for a chicken-egg sandwich:

Chicken-Egg sandwich

Ingredients:
6  bread  loaves
1 bunch of celery
4 carrots
4 cucumbersCucumbers for the sandwiches.

chickenBoiled chicken

eggsOver cooked boiled eggs

onionsMe chopping onions.
pepper

mayonnaise

We peeled the carrots and onions. Then sliced the celery.Chopped carrots and celery.

Then we boiled chicken. We put all ingredients in a food processor.

We peeled the hard boiled eggs,

Us peeling the boiled eggs.

cucumber. Then we mixed the

mayonnaise,  carrots,

My sister peeling carrots.

celery, eggs, onions and chicken.

Next, we made sandwiches with cucumbers as garnish.

The chicken spread we made.

Finally, we packed the sandwiches in sandwich bags and we put it all in 1 big ice box . We also packed the bananas in 3 plastic bags.

Then we ate bacon and egg for breakfastMe and my family eating breakfast..

Next, we took a bath and we called a taxi. We went to Holy Spirit Elementary School in Artillery Drive , Bgy. Holy Spirit.

The name of the principal is Principal Dorotea Eseller.Me my brother and sisters and the school principal.

We fed 2 batches of kids in 2nd grade. These are the classes of Mrs.Garcia,  Mrs. Daus and Mrs. Bartolay.

My brother giving sandwiches to the kidsMe and my sister giving bananas to the kidsMy family feeding the children

The principal told her students that we’re here to feed them and the food is free.

The principal speaking to her students

We didn’t wait to long to feed the kids we only took for about 20 min. I told myself that I’m going to do this again next week because I like helping children.

I think next time we’re going to cook Macaroni and cheese

My brother also has a blog. It’s called The Healthy Kidd:

http://thehealthykidd.wordpress.com/

My sister also has a blog. It’s called The Cake Designer:

http://theladycakedesigner.wordpress.com/

We have a charity called The Healthy Kidchen.

Have fun reading my blog and my brother’s and sister’s blogs. This  is The Junior Chef signing out 😀

Celebration of Filipino Flavors by Chefs Jackie and Roland Laudico

We were on vacation at Diamond Hotel for Father’s Day weekend,  but I ended up having  fever that morning. Not only was I sick, I was also feeling down lately because of certain events that week. To add to that, I knew I would be unable to go swimming that day, although I had been excited about it since last week. Then my father told me that Chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico  will be holding a lunch and dinner buffet downstairs at Corniche, titled Celebration of Filipino Flavors.

Me and Chef Roland Laudico

Me and Chef Roland Laudico

My mom said my face lighted up all at once. I had met Chef Roland Laudico previously and ended up a fan of his. I knew I had to see him. At the elevator heading downstairs, my mom said he might be really busy so we must not expect him to see us.

The superstar that he is, Chef Laudico spared us a moment of his time by meeting us at the entrance to the buffet. I was extremely happy to see him. He even wrote me  a note on the flyer for his buffet which we got at the concierge. Mom was so happy that he kissed him on the cheek too.

That afternoon , we decided to partake of his dinner buffet – all 7 of us- my mom and papa, and us 5 kids. We did not have  reservations so the waitress said she could not accomodate us. Then the manager showed up and asked for 60 seconds to get us a table. And he did- in only 45!

I was very happy about this. As a bonus, we found not only Chef Roland Laudico, but also his wife, Chef Jackie Laudico behind us at the entrance, to whom we said our hello’s with delight.

Lumpia in a glass

Lumpia in a glass

As expected, it was Filipino food galore…..but with exciting twists here and there. My first and what turns out to be my  favorite dish was the delicious grilled vegetables spring roll. The skin is crispy and its flavor of its filling, traditional but very much more exciting than the regular lumpia. Maybe it’s the  presentation. The spring roll was shaped like  an ice cream cone, and inserted  in a small glass, with the  vinegar placed right under it. Hey, it comes in different varieties too.

Scallop kilawin

Scallop kilawin

There were other compelling appetizers as well – the  scallop kilawin,  conveniently already sitting on a white spoon, and the inasal wrap, sealed with a toothpick , which you can quickly munch upon while deciding which dish to devour first.

Inasal wrap

Inasal wrap

I also ate mixed seafood, chicken teriyaki, vegetable curry, goan curry, chorizo with mushroom spring roll, chocolate tart and japanese fried rice. The mixed seafood had mussels and shrimp, which I loved. The chicken teriyaki has a subtle taste , so my thoughts were to add a  little salt.  However, I do prefer the juicier chicken parts like the wing and thighs so I found it  a little dry for me  . The vegetable curry had a thick sauce, and the vegetables are crunchy. The goan curry had  fish fillet and a spicy, thick sauce. It was too spicy for my taste buds so I was unable to finish it. But I know my grandpa would have loved its raw spiciness.

I also liked the chorizo with mushrooms. The subtle taste of the mushrooms complement the richness of the chorizo.

Tender, suckling pig

Tender, suckling pig

The lechon de leche was interesting because it was lighter in color than the regular lechon we buy often. My papa says it is probably cooked in milk. I did not get to taste it but mom and my siblings loved its crispy skin, and soft meat. My little sister only wished there was more fat! There were a lot of sauces to choose from:  bistek sauce, bicol express , taba ng talangka, among them.

Roast Duck and Beef

Roast Duck and Beef

I tried the  roasted beef and duck.  The roast beef is soft and juicy  and  it also has its own sauce. The duck is tender and has a crunchy skin. My papa feasted on the duck all night!

Mini Halo Halo

Mini Halo Halo

Tart, Deconstructed sans rival and yema balls

Tart, Deconstructed sans rival and yema balls

I had chocolate tart for dessert.  It had a simple but charming  presentation, with a tart base, chocolate filling in the middle and chocolate shavings on top. It was, overall,  a delicious tart . The deconstructed sans rival was a welcome surprise , since  I hadn’t eaten any deconstructed dish in my life. The mini halo halo looked cute because it is served on a 3 inch tall glass,  with a few beans and  jello at the bottom and a small serving of ube and leche flan on top. The size is just right – for one must leave space for a buffet with so many other delectable desserts to feast on.

Filipino Desserts

Filipino Desserts

Traditional Filipino desserts

Traditional Filipino desserts

The service was excellent, too. Our plates were quickly replaced and our water was refilled once the glass is half full.  Chefs Roland and Jackie were hands -on. They were carving the meat, refilling the dessert buffet, and even entertaining guests like they probably would at their private dinner parties.  It added a warmth to the occasion that money can’t buy.

Celebration of Filipino Flavors exhibits the joy of the Philippine fiesta. The atmosphere was bright and  festive. The food was everything Filipino, but so much more. It brought to my tummy that night, what Filipino spirit lingered in the air as the nation celebrated Jose Rizal‘s 150th birth anniversary.

Sombreros off to you, Chefs Jackie and Roland Laudico!

Here are my ratings:

Kid friendliness- 4
Food – 5
Place -5
Service – 5

Ratings Guide:

1- mediocre
2- fairly satisfactory
3- good
4- great
5- excellent

The rest of the gang gave an average  of 5 points  for food, service , place and kid-friendliness.

Thanks for reading my blog. Bye!

Corniche

Corniche Restaurant – Day 1

I wanted breakfast in bed

I wanted breakfast in bed

We went on vacation at Diamond Hotel on June 18 after months of hard work had come to an end . I promise to tell you more about this as soon as I am allowed to do so. As for now, it’s all secret.

I had fever that morning but even if I was feeling tired, I still had to go downstairs to   Corniche restaurant for breakfast. As we entered, the waitresses and waiters  said “Good morning, table for how many sir?”. We didn’t have to wait at all . They seemed very happy to have us there. They even gave us a valuable freebie.  While everybody seems to be having a good time eating, I felt really sick.

Despite all the mouth watering food around me, I only had   miso soup, bread, waffles and grapes.  I may be sick but I know good food when I taste it. The miso soup was well seasoned and  delicious. My mom burned the bread at the grill   but it’s still good enough for me. The waffles are my favorite because  it has syrup and whipped  cream. The   grapes were sweet but it had seeds.

Spacious and clean dining area

Spacious and clean dining area

My little brother had the siopao, which was small enough (2 inches wide) for   little kids  with little hands to handle.

Corniche is  clean and spacious. The decors are also elegant and there is a waterfall fronting the restaurant, which I think is awesome.

The toilet was very clean and I love that they have bidet shower in the toilet. We don’t see that much in other hotels in Makati or Ortigas. However, I noticed that there were no diaper changing stations for babies.

Glorious shower bidet

Glorious shower bidet

Corniche Restaurant – Day 2

The second day at Corniche, I was feeling better. We went down stairs to eat breakfast at 6:30 am.

We ordered hot chocolate but the waiter said they run out of hot chocolate so we just had water and mom had coffee. I ate buttered mixed vegetables, roast pork sirloin, waffles, grapes, watermelon and steamed rice . The buttered mix vegetables were tasty  and it’s not dry. The roast pork loin was a little dry   but it’s well seasoned. The steamed rice was cooked just right.  As usual I had my favorite- waffles with syrup and whipped cream.

Sausage, omelet and crunchy bacon

Sausage, omelet and crunchy bacon

My brother and sisters ate longganisa, bread, rice, grapes ,  watermelon, yogurt, bacon, egg, pork, rice, yogurt and cheese quesadilla, . The longganisa is sweet but my sister loves it.  Everybody loved the  bacon – crispy, neither salty nor sweet. The chef will cook omelet on request. My brother, Oz , chose to have  cheese, tomato, and onion omelet. It was delicious because it was so cheesy. The pork was delicious too because it had a smoky taste. Oh and did I mention there was sushi in the house?

Sushi in the house

Sushi in the house

A variety of greens and toppings at the salad bar

A variety of greens and toppings at the salad bar

My mom ate beef with snow peas, fish with mango salsa, french toast and salad – and she says she is giving them all an excellent 5 rating. The salad bar boasted of variety.  Among the greens were Romaine Lettuce, Iceberg lettuce, Frisee, Salanova Butter Red and Salanova Butter Green.  Among the toppings were radish, cucumber, sweet corn, crunchy bacon, quail eggs, capers, bell peppers, croutons and cheese. Salad dressings include italian dressing, thousand island dressing, ceasar salad dressing, ranch dressing. Seasonings include  olive oil , red wine vinegar and thai fish sauce.

Baked delights

Baked delights

Bread and pastures were just as abundant- muffins, cinnamon swirls, donuts, croissants-you name it. There were also various kinds of cereals to choose from.

cereals

cereals

 

Mom was happy that they had a high chair and a small spoon available for my  2 year old sister, Happy .  The plates were so big and a little heavy , and scary to break because they looked expensive.

Fresh fruits

Fresh fruits

The buffet counters were a little too high for kids like my 9 year old brother and 7 year old sister. My brother couldn’t see what he was getting from the fruit bar that he just grabbed what he could get with his hands outstretched up high.  Well, until mom caught him and got him the fruits instead.   My sister tiptoed to see what’s inside the food pans.

Counter tops are too high for little kids

Counter tops are too high for little kids

The food was great , the place was clean and the service was excellent. As for kid friendliness, it had its good and bad points.

Here are my ratings:

Kid friendliness- 4
Food – 5
Place -5
Service – 5

Ratings Guide:

1- mediocre
2- fairly satisfactory
3- good
4- great
5- excellent

The rest of the gang gave Corniche a total of 3 and a half thumbs up  for food, service , place and kid-friendliness, and one half thumb down for kid friendliness.

Three and a half thumbs up, half thumb down

Three and a half thumbs up, half thumb down

Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant

I went to Yurakuen Japanese Restaurant  at Diamond Hotel in Roxas, Manila on Father’s Day, June 18, 2011 with my family.  When we got there, the waitresses didn’t greet us at the door so  we just asked them where we can sit. The place was very nice and it was clean. The waitresses were well groomed and were happy to see us.   We sat in the Yakiniku room, where tables had grills in the middle. It was quiet and they gave us a lot of time to think about our order.   However, the waitress did not seem to  know the menu entirely that they often refer to the  kitchen, but try to answer our questions as quickly as possible. As I looked into the Teppanyaki rooms, the  people were happily watching a chef cook their food.

Yakiniku Room

Yakiniku Room

When I first looked around I guessed  that the food was going to be delicious because it’s a Japanese restaurant and I love Japanese food. I was right.

Katsu Donburi

Katsu Donburi

The appetizer is cold tuna. I ordered a Katsu Donburi. It has deep fried pork, melted cheese, egg, rice,   vegetable and bell peppers. The side dishes are tofu, miso soup, and salty cucumber. The food looks a little boring because you can’t see all the ingredients. You could only see the melted cheese and bell pepper. But it’s actually delicious —  the cheese is still bubbling. When i took my first bite, I found that  the pork is juicy and the cheese is very hot.  The cheese complements the pork and the rice is perfectly cooked. The pork is well seasoned and the flavors are balanced.

Geisha dolls at the entrance to Yurakuen

Geisha dolls at the entrance to Yurakuen

I like the decor because there are geisha dolls in front and the floor is marble. The problem is that the tables aren’t big enough for our group of 9 people. The tables are very heavy so we can’t bring them together so we had to eat separately. The chairs are comfortable. The toilets are clean and it’s not stinky and not slippery.

They have high chairs and small spoons for little kids. They did not give my little sister, Happy, a  small glass. Anyway, you can ask for a straw. Kids were running in the hallway. But they should be careful because  they might slip and fall on the small pool of water with little marbles. The menu is easy for kids like me to read because the font sizes are big. The food is too much for one child to finish. Overall, the place is kid friendly.

Here are my ratings:

1- mediocre
2- fairly satisfactory
3- good
4- great
5- excellent

Kid friendliness- 5
Food – 5
Place -5
Service – 5

Here are some of my brother and sisters ratings:

Kid Friendliness -5

Food 

Tempura Soba

Tempura Soba

Tempura Soba – 5

Beef Teriyaki Donburi

Beef Teriyaki Donburi

Beef Teriyaki Donburi  with rice- 4
Soup -5
Tofu- 4

Gentleman's Set

Gentleman's Set

Gentleman’s set -5

Service -5

Place
Ambience-5
Toilet – 4

Four Thumbs up

Four Thumbs up

Overall, Yurukuen gets 4 thumbs up from all 4 junior food critics.

Thank you for reading my blog . Bye!