Monday, July 7, 2014

Oriental Brushstrokes by Caesar Cheng At Chef Jessie Rockwell Club

Chef Jessie Rockwell Club presents Oriental Brushstrokes, a one-man exhibit of Caesar Cheng from July 1-31 at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Amorsolo Square, Rockwell Center, Makati City.

Realistic with fluid, bold expressions; elegant and dynamic – the brushstrokes of Teacher Caesar Cheng echoes the essence of the Lingnan School Tradition of Chinese Painting.

A Lingnan School painting is more realistic than traditional Chinese painting, which sometimes looks flat and two-dimensional, non living, not true to nature, cartoonish, too simplified and even awkward. The opposing diagonal lines in animal drawings highly suggest life, strength and movement. Birds appear alert, shifty, moving, about to fly. With their open beaks, you can almost hear them.
Lingnan style dramatically depicts silence, serenity and stillness—in a lotus pond, in moonlit scenes, early spring mornings and misty mountains.

Teacher/Laoshi Caesar started painting in the late 1960s, when he was in high school. He enrolled in Chinese painting classes at the Liberty Hall in Chinatown during summer breaks for four consecutive years. His teachers were all from Taiwan, Masters Liang Chung Ming, Liang Siu Chung and Wen Bi Ing who taught him traditional Chinese painting.

In the early 1970s, he studied the Lingnan tradition of Chinese painting under Master Hau Chiok. His painting started as a hobby and did not know that he would end up being an art teacher. Painting was his passion, but he ended up taking Commerce at the University of Santo Tomas.

In the early 1990s, before he started to teach Chinese painting, Teacher Caesar had a pet store business and also worked at a pet-related company as a senior aquarist from mid 2003 to 2005. It is, therefore, no cause of wonder why his animal and fish paintings look so real.
Teacher Caesar is a founding member of the International Studies for Chinese Art, Inc. He is currently teaching Chinese Painting at the Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University and he conducts workshops at Fully Booked in Fort Bonifacio.

For more information, call Chef Jessie Rockwell Club at 890-6543 or 890-7630.

*** Jenn ***

The Best of Lolo Dad's at The Maya Kitchen

June is not just a month for weddings, it is also a month for the fathers, and one Saturday morning at The Maya Kitchen, Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad's graced the kitchen to share some of the best dishes served at his restaurant. The theme was about "Simplicity of Flavors," but if you are familiar with Chef Ariel Manuel and / or Lolo Dad's, you know there is nothing simple about the flavors they serve. It was unfortunate, though, that I wasn't able to attend the event, but The Maya Kitchen did send me images from the event, as well as the recipe for each of the dishes.

Before I share one recipe, let me just share to you the other dishes Chef Ariel Manuel prepared for the event:

Mediterranean Duck Rice

Mixed Fruits with Vanilla Ice Cream, Rock Salt, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Romaine Caesar Salad

Salmon Sardine with Fresh Garlic Crouton

Shellfish Open Lasagne

and the White Onion Soup, with the recipe below... simply because it's been raining most days and it is just comforting to slurp piping hot soup during bed weather days.

White Onion Soup

Butter (unsalted) 200 g.
White onions (sliced) 2 big pcs.
Garlic cloves (chopped) 2 cloves
Bay leaves 2 pcs.
Fresh thyme 2 sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste
Beef stock 1 liter
Bread sticks 4 pcs.
Gruyere cheese (sliced) 300 g.
Red wine 300 ml.

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized for about 25 minutes. Deglaze it with wine and reduce until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a boil, and cook for another 10 minutes. Using a hand blender, blend the soup just until you get a rough and thick texture. Adjust to taste, with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread sticks on a baking sheet and put the Gruyere cheese on top, then broil until it bubbly melts.

Ladle the soup in bowls and put a Gruyere crouton on top of each soup.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings


For more information about this event and past events at The Maya Kitchen, please check their website - or message them thru e-mail (

Thank you The Maya Kitchen for the images and recipes.

*** Jenn ***

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Max's Chicken

Last week, I was invited to attend an event at Max's Restaurant. Receiving the invite, I only had one thing in mind - that it might be a meet-and-greet event with Coco Martin as his new movie is about to be shown this week. While eating dinner, I heard murmurs from fellow bloggers asking "What's with Meralco Theater?" and more I felt this would be a Coco Martin related event, maybe we will be part of the premier or something.

When we got to Meralco... gym, not theater, the surprise was revealed. It wasn't a movie event like I (and most of us) thought and/or expected, but a special day to celebrate another one of Philippines' pride - The Gilas Pilipinas, who are set to fly to Spain for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, scheduled to happen August of this year.

with Jimmy Alapag with coach Chot Reyes
with L.A. Tenorio with Beau Belga with Larry Fonacier
Top - with team captain Jimmy Alapag and coach Chot Reyes
Bottom - with LA Tenorio, Beau Belga, and Larry Fonacier

It was a pleasure to meet and greet the players and the coaching staff of Team Gilas Pilipinas. All of them were very friendly and accommodating, allowing all of us to have pictures taken with them. Sadly, one of their members - Marc Pingris - couldn't make it to the event, but being there was already a blessing for all of us.

In college, I was little ga-ga over local basketball... I even once went with classmates to Reyes Gym to have pictures with some basketball players. Over the years, I lost interest with it, but the story of Gilas Pilipinas was something I know by heart, and the way they won over South Korea during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship truly became one of the most inspiring stories in Philippine Sports. These players showed a lot of heart and courage, something that will instill in the hearts of the many Filipinos, no matter what sport or career they have.

Gilas Pilipinas with Max's Restaurant staff

Before their practice (which we got to watch), they had a photo-op with the people of Max's Restaurant, and seeing the managers in this sort of situation made me realize why most of my dining experience at Max's Restaurant had been pleasant. I always believe that the way the staff in the low ranks treat the customers is also a reflection of how pleasant their work place is, and whenever, wherever Max's Restaurant I visit, the staff treated me with a friendly, yet professional demeanor. Even my foreigner friend opted to dine at Max's Restaurant in the three times he traveled here in the Philippines!

Max's Restaurant, like I said, is the official restaurant of the Gilas Pilipinas on their way to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. Isang pulso, isang puso. If you want to share your support, please share your images taken at Max's Restaurant at any social media platforms with the hashtag - #PusoToTheMax.

Laban, Team Gilas Pilipinas!

*** Jenn ***

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}