Friday, March 28, 2008

Yumi Castrillo

The lady behind the yummy piece of cake, Yumi Castrillo along with her husband Carlo dined at The Artist Chef table. I met Yumi because I ordered cupcakes from her for my special Christmas dinner last December. She provided me 6 boxes of cupcakes for the 6 couples I had for that special month. Because she wanted to dine, she asked me not to pay the 6 boxes of cupcakes which cost P900. She asked me to deduct it instead from the cost of the intimate dinner. So we settled everything and Yumi came to my place with a bottle of wine which they consumed during the dinner. Her husband Carlo works as an IT at UNILAB and Yumi on the other hand is a lawyer with a huge passion for baking. Just like me; Aside from our day jobs, we both have an outlet for our talent and creativity.

I was wearing my apron from Australia because I cooked grilled pork chops and wine bernaise gravy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Clam Linguine & Grilled Gindara with Marjoram

The recipes that landed in Yummy magazine's Weekend Cooking. Allow me to share all of you how simple and easy to prepare these dishes are. To break your usual pasta and fish preparation, try my Clam Linguine and Grilled Fish and surely the results will be very surprising.

For the Clam Linguine:
Boil the pasta linguine until al dente then drain and set aside. Next, boil the clams with water and salt then allow all the shells to open then set aside. Separate the broth with the shells. Heat pan with olive oil then add minced garlic and onions. Saute for a few minutes then add the fresh cube tomatoes. Then add the clam shells and the broth. Let it simmer for 5 minutes then add the right amount of chardonnay. Simmer it again for few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and some chili flakes if you want it a little spicy. Allow it to simmer for another 5 minutes so that the spices will infuse its flavors. Lastly add the fresh basil. Simmer for about a minute then it's done. Pour it on top of the linguine pasta.

For the Grilled Gindara with Marjoram
Buy imported gindara at any local supermarket or japanese grocery. The fish can be substituted with salmon or tanigue. Rub salt, pepper, and paprika to the fish. Squeeze some lemon and add marjoram. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Heat a grilling pan then grill it for a few minutes then it's done. Serve hot along with the Clam Linguine pasta.

I hope these dishes will soon land on your dining table!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Landmarks of Sydney (AUS post5)

These are some of the Sydney landmarks that I visited during my month-long vacation last November 2007.

The Sydney Opera House in pink? Yes it is! Actually this was my last night at the Opera House and five days after, I came home to Manila. I think there was a concert that night with the proceeds going to a charity that helps women. So while savoring our last night of the Opera House view we decided to have some photos taken again.

It was our second week and second time at the Circular Quay area. This romantic view of the Opera House along with the Sydney Harbour view was taken from the Botanical Garden. The spot is also near Mrs. Macquarie's(wife of the governor in the late 1800's) Chair.

What's going on here? Well we're just posing and enjoying the beautiful lamp post near Park Hyatt Hotel, The Rocks – Sydney.

One fine day at the Botanical Garden.

Posters under the Sydney Opera House.

One of the performers in Opera House and he was loitering around the area. I forgot how I was able to have a photo op with him. He is too tall!

The Sydney Tower. Taken during one of our food trip nights at Hyde Park near St. James station. They had this food bazaar and there were stalls selling all types of Asian cuisines. There were also tables and chairs in the park with an exotic performance by Thai Girls. Soon I'll post the food bazaar along with the food I ate and cooked during my stay in Sydney.

Cahill walk is your way to the Botanical Garden and Opera House as the sign indicates. But we took the other way around. We crossed the Harbour Bridge just by walking until we reached the other side of the bridge which is the Kirribili. Kirribili is like Ayala Alabang and Forbes Park. An exclusive residential area of Sydney where the rich and famous can be found including the prime minister of Australia.

Across Kirribili and the same side of Sydney Harbour Bridge is the Lunatic LUNA Park. There's another one in Melbourne but we didn't visit it anymore when we explored the city.

Somewhere along the Darling Harbour Area after watching the expensive Dinosaur movie in IMAX. Then again the movie was worth it because of the free yummy gelato.

This was a late night visit at the Elizabeth Mall. We came from Kirribili and we stopped at Town Hall station because we thought 7:30 pm was too early for us to be home. But as we all know, malls in Australia close at 5:oo pm. So 7:30 was already late! The mall was still open but the shops inside were already closed. But more than the shops, the interior was the main attraction for me. I was impressed by how they preserve buildings with great architecture.

The Sydney skyline taken from the Kirribili area.

The Sydney University. Open to public and most especially for tourists.

Since it was open for tourists I got to see the majestic atmosphere of the university. Patterned after United Kingdom's Oxford and Cambridge.

Not a busy day during enrollment...

Classroom's Door.

Heading for my Art Appreciation Class.

With Reggie at Hyde Park.

Architecture of St. Mary's Cathedral near Hyde Park, St. James station and Dominion Road. Doors of the church are filled with banners announcing that Sydney is the venue of the next world youth day, which is this year already–2008.

About to go inside the cathedral, silence please...

The solemn interior of St. Mary's Cathedral.

Monday, March 10, 2008

YUMMY - February Issue

This is the January-February issue of YUMMY Magazine where The Artist Chef was featured. This is my favorite local food magazine because it features a lot of recipes in every issue. The layout is also simple and dynamic, although photography and food-styling can still be improved. Nothing compares to my favorite Australian and British food magazine, DELICIOUS. Jamie Oliver also contributes recipes and articles to that magazine.

At the "Weekend Cooking" segment of the magazine, they gave me 3 pages to showcase 5 of my original recipes.

At David Hanson's studio in New Manila, Q.C. where the photo shoot took place and with David himself as the photographer.

Ms. Sharlene Tan is from SUMMIT media and she's the Asst. Editor of YUMMY Magazine. She helped me with the food styling.
Behind the scenes of the food preparation. Photos by Reggie.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Rachelle Valera

Another cheerful couple dining at The Artist Chef table, and they are no other than Rachelle Valera and her shy boyfriend. Rache is an Account Executive in a small ad agency called Magnum while her boyfriend is a Sales person from NISSIN-MONDE. She found out about my intimate dinner through her friend Gino de Guzman who became my customer last year. Gino and his girlfriend Amy were in deed one of my favorite customers. The violin thing that Gino made an effort to bring to my place made his dining experience truly a memorable one. On the other hand Rache and her boyfriend became bubbly and cheerful before their dinner ended. The dinner was Rache's surprise for her boyfriend's birthday and she had to steal some time from her boyfriend's busy work sked.

The wine and the chocolate fondue made every dinner more romantic.

Another happy Italian set meal.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Donnabel Yap

Donnabel booked a dinner for the month of November but due to my operation, I asked her if I can move the sked to January instead. Luckily there was no problem on her part. She was very nice and understanding about the situation. So came January, she arrived at my place with her husband. She brought her own digital SLR camera with tripod during that night. She's into photography and told me that she took up a food-styling and photography course. One of her classmates then was Anton Diaz of OUR AWESOME PLANET. Since then, she has been constantly reading Anton's blog and until one day she stumbled on The Artist Chef entry. She got interested and contacted me and reserved for an intimate dinner.

The second couple to sit on Artist Chef's floor.