Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nadia Camit-Upton

There are so many things to write about this person but why am I running out of words to describe this lady? Maybe because she happened to be a good copywriter turned Associate Creative Director slash mushy poet. Maybe I’m afraid I might describe her in a wrong way. So ladies and gentlemen with no further ado, Nadia Camit-Upton. A product of AB Literature in University of Santo Tomas, then she pursued advertising by starting as a copywriter at McCann Erickson then moved to DDB Philippines and then became an ACD at Leo Burnette Manila. Way back in 2001, I met her in DDB and we became teammates and partners. We jived easily because of our daily mushy sharing and exchanging of fashion ideas. Year 2003 was the last time we saw each other then after four years…

Here I am anticipating Nadia’s arrival along with the British guy she married, Graham Upton. He is one of the most celebrated graffiti artists in London and was also featured in BBC News.

So finally I met Nadia again after four long years and now she’s with her very wonderful husband. I must say that she is a very lucky girl to find someone like Graham. I believe her husband is courteous and a god-fearing individual.

Graham is fun to talk with because of his British accent and his witty personality. He is a hardcore English guy who fell in love with a very passionate and talented pinay. I really had difficulty understanding his words, but on the other hand it’s lovely to listen to.

I’m very happy about the tale of this couple. I know what happened to Nadia’s love life in the past and I can testify how hard her situation was. Then came along Graham, a one real blessing from God. I consider him mana from heaven given to Nadia. I know they had the great time because they cleaned up every plate. Always a good sign!

When they dined at the Artist Chef, they were celebrating their second monthsary as a married couple. I wish them luck!

The book with VCD that Nadia wrote: “Fragments of the Moon”
Available in PowerBooks.
Thank you for giving me a copy.

And the fame… a good addition to my collection.

Sweet note from Nadia.
I know she’s happy now living with her husband in London.
Have a good life Nadz!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jay W. San Luis

In my years in advertising not all my copywriter partners became my good friends. As an Art Director my relationship with them is very important because I feel that more than work, it's also important to build rapport and friendship. Jay became my good friend not just because he’s nice to work with but also because he’s a god-fearing, respectful gentleman--with those qualities I couldn’t ask for more. Through the years of working together we also went through tough times and shared laughter together. Jay is my witness that more than friendship I found commitment by ending up with someone who is also a Copywriter. Now being the Associate Creative Director of his team, Jay came a long way because of his perseverance and I know he’ll still go far. I’m glad that he finally tried The Artist Chef.

These are the little paper lamps surrounding the floor with petals.

The Artist Chef posing while waiting for her guests.

Some of their stolen and candid photos

Jay is with his wife Roxanne. They have been married for two years and blessed with two kids. Rox was still pregnant during the time they dined. She just recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Beatriz.

Roxanne was also my boyfriend's classmate during college.

Bye and Thank you Jay and Rox, see you next time.

This is a sweet and touching note from the couple.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Juana's Paella Valenciana

Ladies and gentlemen, my very own version of Paella Valenciana! (applause!) Who would have thought that I will soon cook spanish and mexican dishes? Surprisingly, I am now into those things. I love spanish and mexican cuisine but one thing I don't like about most of their dishes---very hard to prepare. Good example paella. Imagine cooking paella for how many hours? Oh well, good thing I discovered easy way of preparing it. I shortened the preparation but surprisingly the result is more than what I expected. A delicious paella versus the paellas you can taste in food caterers or restaurants. On the otherhand I cannot conclude that my paella is better than the authentic spanish restaurants like UNA MAS and ALBA's. I can only guantee that I like it the way it is compared to other restos I have dined in. And according to people who have tasted it, it's deliciously good.

This paella is made of ifugao rice then boiled and simmered with the broth of clams which I sauteed with garlic before putting it on the rice. Set aside the rice after cooking, prepare a huge wok then heat with olive oil. Then start sauteeing garlic, onions, tomatoes, green & red bellpeppers, green olives, giant squid rings, prawns and clams. Add cumin, saffron, salt and pepper. To make it a little bit spicy add spanish paprika. When everything is cooked, add the cooked ifugao rice to the wok with the rest of the ingredients. Gently mix them all together and pour red wine or sherry then add the remaining clam's broth. After cooking top with sliced hard-boiled eggs and diced lime.The paella is best eaten with my Green Tea Shandy.

Another photoshoot during lunchtime. The light shining from my window is perfect at that time of the day. Photography, cooking, and food styling by yours truly.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Tere Beronilla

Law + Medicine = Love. Simple equation of one couple who stood by each other's side for many years as husband and wife. Tere is a doctor specializing in OB/Gynecology, a loving mother who raised her children with the help of his lawyer husband.

The Grilled Herby Tanigue was served with Clam Linguini with basil and tomatoes in it. Definitely worth the wait!

Good with or without the Mint Tarragon Cream sauce.

Shrimp and Mango Salad without the shrimp and dressing.

Tere is Rita Chan's friend who recommended her to The Artist Chef. Rita dined with her husband at the Artist Chef before but refused to have souvenir photos taken. And I respect that. Thanks to both of them for dining at my place.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Decoding Ferran Adria

Who is Ferran Adria? The reason why there's a TV show called "Decoding Ferran Adria", he's also the man behind the secret codes of gastronomic success of the famous El Bulli restaurant in the outskirt of Barcelona, Spain. In my early entries, I revealed my great admiration for this world famous chef because of his unique way of preparing different dishes through the power of science as part of his cooking stints. Gone are the days when man used to rub two big block of rocks to create fire, when one will be astonished when you see suds in your dessert plate... these things are nothing but natural in the daily serving of food in El Bulli restaurant.

Different techniques and styles were experimented by master chef Ferran Adria. He trained his kitchen people to delicately execute each technique that he will teach them. It takes passion and understanding to be able to come up with something delectable when eaten in a mouthful serving only. In one bite the essence of your concoction should captivate the person eating the food. That's how hard the task is... I truly salute people in El Bulli's kitchen. Though at one episode in Bourdain's "No Reservations" he visited El Bulli and tried to decode the success of Ferran Adria's formula---he was amazed but at the end he did not agree with the science of how food was prepared. He still values the 100% natural method. Bourdain has a valid point and I somehow agree with him. On the other hand I also understand Adria for being inventive and creative in giving new styles in the technology of preparing food.

In El Bulli there is what they call "bullisnack" a small portion of food, dried or fresh, usually mouthful. The symbols above will help you understand the El Bulli's gartonomic language. I will interpret the diagram above based on the things I remember when I watched one of the Decoding Ferran Adria's episodes. The first box is grain, third is vegetable oil, the seventh is water, the twelveth cereals, thirteenth bowls, fourteenth pasta noodles and I'm not sure if fifteenth is legume. The rest I can't remember, I'm still trying to decode them. Hehe! Anyway I'll introduce another word from Bulli, the "tapas or tapear." Acccording to Ferran Adria, tapas are recipes that, because of their nature or their harmony are best offered in small portions. A different way of eating small, intense, whims, a luxury for your palate. To eat also without the use of knife. This is significant to me because a lot of chefs around the world are trying to imitate this through their serving. In Manila, I observed chefs for hire are also doing the same thing. The trend here nowadays is the 14 course meal with a mouthful serving and yet very expensive. Simply an imitation of the world famous "tapas" in El Bulli.

As stated by Adria, "When food enters the mouth, the tactile feeling perceived after noting its temperature is what is known texture." Now we know how important texture is. In my own conclusion, Ferran Adria's creativity is highly exceptional. He used them to come up with something that will create new trends around the world. Just like fashion every season there are surprising designs that really captivate the crowd. Same with food we have to be inventive and creative. It's not just designing the plate but also designing what is the content of the food that will be eaten. I believe every cook or chef is an inventor or scientist of appetizing dishes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

KING ME Lounge

KING ME Lounge is the place where Margarita KING resides. An exclusive private bar in Bel-Air Makati owned by John Francis, a financial broker, distributing liquors on the side and brother of Kathleen Macabenta (The reason for this party). He brought the famous Margarita KING in the Philippines---The hottest drink in Hollywood and product of the well-known Giovanni. This is where my first pica-pica or cocktail's catering took place :-)

Jamie Foxx and Kayne West are both Margarita KING drinkers.

I tasted it, and I'm loving it!

The reason for my catering... Jinx & Kathy's Despedida Party and Baby Shower.

The 6 pica-pica dishes I prepared: Devil Mushroom Bruschettas, Tuna Sisig Bruschettas, Chicken Satay, Beef Kofta Balls with Cheese, Squid-Prawn-Sausage Kebabs, and Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings.

I have a helper who helped me cooked everything and Reggie also helped me in bringing all these stuff to the venue.

Devil Mushroom Bruschettas

Vegas the name of their future baby.

Me & Kathleen Macabenta

With my good friend Jinx and his wife Kathy

And of course the four of us in one souvenir picture together. With Reggie :-)