I was invited to attend this grand event and tagged my sister along. It was scheduled at 4pm, but as early as 3pm, mall goers and foodies alike have started flocking the activity area to witness the event.
Before the grand cooking demo, attendees were given a cardboard frame with printed instructions. First thing to do was to check the Lee Kum Kee's history wall, and at the end of the wall, a staff would ask a question. If you answered it correctly, your frame would get one stamp. After that, one would proceed to the tasting station. Bread pieces were available to dip into different sauces made from Lee Kum Kee's products. I loved this station because not only were the sauces good, there were printed recipes for each of the sauces, so attendees can whip it up at home. After receiving a stamp from this station, one will proceed to the Lee's Kitchen, where your picture will be taken, a souvenir from the event. Unfortunately, the line was long, so sister and I weren't able to have our picture taken.
Brigada (a percussion group) opened the show with a heart-thumping performance. Issa Litton, was the event's host.
I have heard of the past cooking demos, but I wasn't able to attend any because of its location (one was held in Alabang, the other in Market! Market!). Stories from bloggy friends who attended the past events made me learn that this wasn't the typical type of cooking demos wherein the chef cooks while the audience either watch or jot down notes. What made the Lee Kum Kee Cook with the Masters was that selected audience members got to cook with the chefs, each having their own cooking stations. In the past events, there were just two cooking stations for the audience. Since this is the grand cooking demo, there weren't just two, but six cooking stations! Wow!
Chef Bruce Lim studied at Le Cordon Bleu in London. He maybe born and raised in the United States, but he came to the Philippines to trace his roots and get inspiration from Filipino dishes. Aside from having his own restaurant (Chef's Table), he also has his own TV show entitled "Tablescapes," which is shown at the Asian Food Channel. Since he is Lee Kum Kee's brand ambassador for Southeast Asia, he was the one who demoed the dishes for today's grand cooking event.
First dish he whipped up was called 3 Cups Chicken, a very easy, "dump-it-all-in-and-cook" dish that tasted a bit similar to the Chicken Adobo, with the twist of basil leaves and sesame oil. For this cooking demo, there were selected members of the audience who cooked alongside chef Bruce.
Also for this round, chef Bruce prepared Oyster Chicken with Mushrooms, a surprise dish (recipe for this wasn't printed on the giveaway recipe booklet). This one tasted a bit similar to the Chicken Tinola (because of the ginger slices), and had a hint of binagoongan as well (because of the Lee Kum Kee fine shrimp sauce). The enoki mushrooms used in the dish were so good!
For the next round, chef Bruce prepared Spicy Seaside Prawns with students of MIHCA and CCA. Prawns and shrimps are currently a favorite food of mine (and is a constant craving), so this I loved a lot. Yes, it was spicy, which was why I got to eat two prawn pieces - my cousin Marge gave her share as she's not into spicy food.
Third and last round of cooking featured local celebrities - Starstruck boys Rocco Nacino, Steven Silva, and Enzo Pineda; Appetite Magazine's editor-in-chief Nina Daza Puyat; the controversial actor Baron Geisler; up and coming star Djanin Cruz (daughter of actor Tirso Cruz III); model and showbiz host Phoemela Barranda; and actress Desiree del Valle. They prepared Braised Pork Belly, a slow cook dish that tasted like Christmas (for me). The pork was so tender and tasty, and the mustasa leaf gave it an unusual twist. I may love chicken and prawns, but this was my favorite of all the dishes cooked.
In between rounds, host Issa Litton threw in some questions to the audience, and if they get to answer correctly, they will receive a Lee Kum Kee gift pack. I was able to answer one of the questions, and I received a goodie bag with bottles of Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce, Premium Soy Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce, and packs of Lemon Chicken Sauce. Each member of the audience received a booklet with printed recipes (a collection of all the recipes cooked by all the chefs at the past events, including the ones chef Bruce prepared today). Almost all of the dishes were easy to cook (aside from those that needed baking as we don't have an oven), and once I try any of the recipes, I will share it here on my blog.
Since this is the grand cooking party, the other chefs who demoed at the past events were present at the event as well. Chef Ernest Gala wasn't able to attend the event, though. As soon as the event ended, members of the audience scrambled to have their pictures taken with the celebrities and the chefs. Sadly, chef Eugene left early (I didn't have a picture taken with him), but I was able to take a picture with the other chefs (top - chefs Sandy and Him; below - chefs Sau and Bruce), including chef Sandy Daza, who is actually my favorite local celebrity chef ever since.
Of course, I also took the time to have a picture taken with bloggy friends. We get to see each other from time to time, but we rarely have our picture taken, so this surely was a treasured moment.
Big thanks to Lee Kum Kee for the invitation to this event.
So... what did you have last weekend? If you're new to the Weekend Eating meme, you can read the rules and get the badge codes HERE. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined last week.