Hook by Todd English

Got invited to dinner and met Chef Todd English at @toddenglishfoodhallmnl because he himself was cooking! 🎉

With Chef Todd English and Bea Acosta

With Chef Todd English and Bea Acosta

 

Poké and avocado on crispy rice - part of their menu for the next #ToddEnglish concept 🐟

 

A hearty dish of mantis prawns on grits - hits the spot! #ToddEnglish

Mantis Prawn Grits

 

My personal favorite ‪#‎ToddEnglish‬ dish of the night, Hook Boulliabasse--- a smooth home made seafood broth. This was topped with this insane Gruyer Toasties which I gobbled down in 5 seconds. 😂 Oh well. Haha! This was awesome stuff.

 

The rock star treatment for this dish: bone marrow custard with escargot. Nuts!

Yana Gilbuena

This lady's life would make one helluva movie..😁She's easily one of the most interesting folk I've met in recent memory --- meet Yana Gilbuena, of #SaloSeries, and the gypsiest of traveling gypsies! 🙌 Would be fun to collab on something with this one... maybe one day, if our paths cross somewhere in the 🌏. Hehe!

Kafe Batwan

SHETKAAYLABYU!!!😜🙌 Congratulations, #SarsaGroup! #KafeBatwan is another winner! It's a great space and the food is innovative yet still somewhat familiar! The local cafe scene just got a boost, global Filipino style!😁

New. Rockwell. Born of the almighty #Sarsa - so you know what you're in for. When fully open, drop it all and CHECK IT!!!

What to expect - twists and turns - and an attempt to create a global Filipino cafe! Here's some new style palabok - with a firmer noodle, sautéed baby squid, chicharon, a slow cooked egg and crablets. One of many cool new dishes!

Do yourself a favor - order this, their ignored masterpiece: sautéed shrimp in "mixed bean sauce" (basically mongo and mashed red beans with a hint of chocolate) and sambal beans. This is pretty damn amazing, and a show of depth in JP Anglo's cooking arsenal.

Spinach salad with grilled tomatoes, crablets and mango salted egg dressing. Oh yesssss!!!

Sizzling budbod (a from of kakanin) with ube butter and coconut pandan coffee cream. Something light to round things off. 😜

Madrid Fusion Manila - Visayas Lunch

My Visayas lunch is all about good food, good vibes, team work, faith and a whole lot of love. As in gusto kong halikan ang lahat.  Pucker up, bitchezzzzzz.. 👄

Chef Tony wants it!

Chef Tony wants it!

One of our stars today at our Visayas lunch: roasted organic baby lamb from Chef Vicente "Enting" Lobaton, who flew all the way from Bacolod to show us some of his magic. Sorry lechon baka... you've been replaced. NAMIT GID!!!

Take a bow, Visayas (though we're missing our spiritual leader, Margarita Fores and Chef Ariel Manuel)! Two down, one to go - Mindanao!

The fruits of my labor.. 👶 This is the Visayas regional lunch at #MadridFusionManila care of the Department of Agriculture! 😁🙌🙌🙌 IT IS DONE! Thank you to everyone who prayed for us, who served, cooked, cleaned and just plain supported. This is for all of you, Pilipinas!!!! 😜

This photo says so much about what we went through. It did, indeed, take a village to put this together. We had no choice but to rely on each other, even if most of us had just met. But work it out we did, because we all believed in our cause. To paraphrase the leader of the "A Team": "I love it when a plan comes together!"  😜 Maraming salamat, Team Enderun Colleges for having my back! I will always be forever grateful!   

This photo says so much about what we went through. It did, indeed, take a village to put this together. We had no choice but to rely on each other, even if most of us had just met. But work it out we did, because we all believed in our cause. To paraphrase the leader of the "A Team": "I love it when a plan comes together!" 😜Maraming salamat, Team Enderun Colleges for having my back! I will always be forever grateful! 

Date With Nate

Being plugged into the food scene, I hear stuff really fast.

Like when Heston Blumenthal came to Manila and was spotted in Rambla over at Rockwell? (Hold your breath – he was on holidays or a stopover or something) That spread like wild fire and before I knew it I was stalking him. Just kidding.

I first saw Nate Appleman’s pics on JP Anglo’s Instagram feed. “Holy cow,” I thought, “what’s he doing here?”

Nate Appleman

Nate Appleman

I knew him as the guy behind bustling San Francisco restaurant A16, a gig that led him to win a James Beard Award for Rising Chef. Lately he’s been working for Chipotle, a quick service restaurant that I Love. Yes, with a capital “L”. Of course I was curious what he was doing in Manila! Who wouldn’t be?

So imagine my surprise when I was told I was taking him out one night for dinner (Thanks Ines for hooking us up), and that he had been coming here for over 10 years already (he’s married to an Ilongga from Bacolod.)  

I was feeling just a bit pressured because I wanted to feed him well and leave a good first impression. I started to relax the minute I met him. One mustn’t get too star struck with celebrity chefs – after all, celeb chefs are a creation of the media. Most of the time, they’re just like you and me – except way more popular and on TV.

His thoughts on things Manila – things were changing, he could see. And he loved that technologies like Uber were on board here – a sure sign that things were going to become more efficient: all fantastic things to my ears. That says to me that people are watching, and people are interested.

I had planned an evening of restaurant and bar hopping, but as it turns out, this early riser and runner tucked himself in early, so we wound up in the Legaspi Village area.

Hotspot Your Local fed us both with food and with pure buzz, as it was hopping (mind you, this was Wednesday night!). It’s only been my second time to eat there, but it was a place one can easily crush on: the vibe was incredible. My seatmate Mr Nate looked surprised --- he didn’t know places like this existed in Manila. After dinner, off we went to Yardstick next door for a quick coffee and a bit of quiet after YL, and finally a peek at The Curator.

Good times, indeed.