Saturday, May 19, 2012

Food Revolution Day -- PHILIPPINES!

Today is the global Food Revolution Day and I am posting this blog despite my long absence of writing some post because this is a very important day for me as the Philippine Ambassador of this movement. I am very happy to bring the awareness in my country and had some positive help from few people who made these events possible!

I would still be very busy until May 25 for the last event of Food revolution Philippines. I have to do a lot of catch-up post for my blog. I am pretty much sure I have tons of stories to tell from my Manila and Cebu events. You guys might get disoriented because you will be thinking that I am still in Italy and what am I doing back in Manila. Long story but all for good to share very soon!

Loads of Love everyone! :-)

big hug,
joanie xxx

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Marcella Ansaldo

Ciao Italia, Australia, Vietnam e Filipinas!

To these four countries in the world that I consider my nests, I'd like you to meet Marcella! She is my Italian culinary mentor and a friend! I have long wanted to write this blog post for her but I just couldn't gather all the thoughts that I have in mind to describe this very admirable lady. Today seem to be the perfect day for me to put all those words together in this special blog entry. To make it more special I did the cake below and I would like to dedicate it to her on this special occasion of International Women's day to give tribute to her and to all the women in the world who are just like her--- Grande!
(Orchid Caramel Pudding Cake)

Happy International Women's Day Ragazze!

(Photo snapshots of Marcella... which I did during our classes)

Marcella Ansaldo and I met through my cooking school in Firenze where I took the trimester program. She hails from Giglio a small island in Tuscany where she and her family had their restaurant that ran for many years. One day they had to sell the restaurant and decided to move to Firenze. She taught Italian cuisine in Apicius Culianry school in Florence for a decade before she put up her own. In her school she always talk about her island Giglio and about her room window with the view of the sea. She basically loves seafood because she grew up with a good catch of those everyday of her life. Now a well-achieved cooking Guru, Marcella exemplifies the woman with huge passion for cooking and a good mother.

(I am now a Giglio Graduate)

I also have a huge passion for cooking and that is the main reason why I went to Italy. And because of that good fate, I met my mentor and my good friend. I can now say that my Italian cooking knowledge is quite diverse. My palette is now trained to know what is right and wrong when it comes to Italian cuisine. Most of all, the number one thing that changed my cooking behavior is learning to tame the amount of flavor and spices I put in the food I cook. Now what will always resonate in my memory is whenever Marcella will yell at me the word "BASTA!" (which means stop) every time I put too much pepper in the dish I cook. Italian food is simple and it's always about fresh and good quality ingredients. From those learning I appreciate good food more.

(Big class with the American teenage kids)

How I miss Marcella, the way she danced during our classes, the devilish laughter but always carry the angelic smile and above all the motherly care she provided. I thank her for everything that we shared together during the cooking classes and the one special day that she invited me to assist and see her doing the big class with tons of American teenage kids. It was hilarious and fun but what I will always cherish are the private classes we had whom she branded as a "FAMILY" thing. I look forward to the day that we can cook together again.

Mi Manchi Marcella :)

big hug,
joanie xxx

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Simone Massoni's 2012 Typeface Calendar

There are four different seasons in a year--Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each season arrives in our lives and bring us something. It comes, and it goes. Same with the people whom you consider friends. Some are seasonal and some will stay all year round. No matter what season, I am happy that I am blessed with friends who are coming in every season of my life. And last fall, in Firenze--I have gained friends who became valuable people in my life. I am grateful to have met Simone who gave me this calendar that I fancied about and reminded me of my great love for typography.

He came up with a desk calendar with twelve classic typefaces that went well with the twelve sexy and posh chicks that he illustrated. I know January is about to end but it's just the start of the year and it's not yet too late for you guys to own this calendar that Simone designed. It's also available online so it would be great if you will purchase this cutie item thru this website.

Place your order now!
I am also thankful to Cosimo Lorenzo Pancini for inviting me to his YELLOW party at KM zero design agency from where I met good people and some became my friends including Simone and his fiancee Ilaria. They are nice couple who are both artist. His fiancee Ilaria is an illustrator and also a good cook. I look forward to the day that we can cook together.

Below I enumerate twelve of my favorite typeface at the moment. It would be fun it you also have your own favorite typeface and you can play around on the design and post it in your blog.

Being an artist myself makes me feel happy being around with the people of the same species. Dealing, interacting and having friendship with the people of the same interests as yours would always remind you of the things that you are passionate about and things that you are good at. Seeing Simone's artwork leaves an inspiration to me-- that I shouldn't forget to do my doodles and continue to explore the world of art and design. I have learned that world of design has no limits so I have to continue to discover a lot of things and sharpen my creativity. And of course my cooking would always be there as well :-)

This is it for now my mates and amici!

big hug,
joanie xxx

Sunday, January 01, 2012

2012 Begins at Italia: A diverted path!

(Taken during winter snow at Aosta Valle, Italia)

Christmas came by so quickly and I did nothing but eat and sleep the past days! The winter weather makes it hard for me to dabble some words and express here in my blog the unique way I spent the yuletide season. Procrastination days aren't over yet but I have to do this post now on the first of January, otherwise I am afraid that I might abandoned this blog for the whole year if I won't do it on the first day of the year. Hehe!

My culinary studies just finished last December then I have to move to Milano for a freelance work. It has been a very very beautiful student life I had in Firenze. To study cooking in Italy is the most wise decision I have made in my life so far. It costed me a million in Philippine peso for everything from school, food, lodging & airfare but the experience I gained is ten times worth than a million pesos! I could've bought an SUV car but riding it wouldn't make me tell priceless stories like what I have gained now. And this blog will be my venue to articulate all those life changing experiences I had.

(Traditional Italian Christmas cake I did in my Firenze Cooking School)

Experience is something money can't buy and something that no one can steal away from you. I can claim that I am a millionaire when it comes to that as compared to my money in my bank account. Experience go hand-in-hand with people. I gained not just experiences but valuable people whom I can forever keep in every corner of my heart. Each of them occupies a space. And to name a few I just have to mention my culinary teacher--Marcella then others like Daniela, Cosimo, Rita, Jurgens and Massimilliano!

(Traditional Italian Christmas Eve Dinner with Massi's Family)

Speaking of Massimilliano, I will now segue my Christmas story with him here in Italy. Being away from my family and to celebrate Christmas the second time without them still brings me some certain sadness. But since I am so used to being by myself, it's not as heavy to me unlike other emotional people. But no matter how you avoid the thought---Christmas is about spending time with your family. I don't have it here in Italy until Massi invited me to spend it in Firenze than being alone in Milano. Voila on the eve of Christmas I went to the city center and witnessed the Milan Christmas rush as I buy gifts for Massi's family. Then at eight in the evening I arrived at Stazione Santa Maria Novella in Firenze once more and Massi picked me up! And I arrived at their house just in time for the Christmas eve dinner. First plate, second plate, third... and dolce were served! Traditional Italian or specifically Calabrian food were done by his Aunt. Then at the midnight part of the evening we gave the gifts to each other and opened it! I like their gifts to me and they liked my gifts as well! Next day was about poker, eating, sleeping, cooking, and walking around Firenze are the things I did with him and his family. Now I could say that I have my Italian family in them whom I can count on, I thank Massi for adopting me :)

(Massi and his mom Cecilia during the gift giving)

(Taken during fall at Boboli Garden in Firenze, Italia)

So now it's 2012 and I am still here in Italy. Supposedly I should be in London for the whole month of December for the holiday and will fly back to Vietnam on the 2nd of January. But fate plays its trick on me and give me something unexpected. Pleasant surprise and it still surprises me as days go by. Last year my goal is about Italy and I successfully did it! This year I don't have a fixed goal, I feel like I am just a free soul going with the flow of life. And it excites me where it will bring me to. I don't know where but I'd be happy to be there. I don't want to make a wish, I just let God make his wishes for me and I know it's better that way. Leave it up to him... Oh but well Oh Lord, I just realised---I still want to buy my dream house! Uhmmm... not a fixed goal, could be next year or when it's possible :p

Parking my fingers now and should end this blog post now...

Buon Anno a tutti!!!

big hug,
joanie xxx