Who’s Cooking?
Chef Ed Bugia and Bizu Are!

Foie Rocher by Chef Ed Bugia and Bizu

ELEVEN professional chefs and eleven top caterers. In an unprecedented move, The Blue Leaf, an events venue company, and Our Awesome Planet, one of the top travel and food blogs in the country, were able to pair them up in an event called Who’s Cooking? The event’s aim: To have each chef-caterer pair create a five-course menu that fits any special occasion.

Like all other pairs, the team of Chef Ed Bugia and Bizu Catering Studio rose up to the occasion. Chef Ed, who is behind the success of restaurants like Pipino, Pino and Pi as well as The Burger Project, works around his playful personality as he and the Bizu team create a dessert-inspired five-course menu for Who’s Cooking? Together, they take on favorite desserts and confections and give them a savory twist with a dash of humor.

Mac and Cheese Macarons

Mac and Cheese Macaron. The classic sweet French pastry gets savory. The bright yellow macaroni and cheese macaron surprises with every bite, first with the sharpness of English cheddar, then with the salty sweetness of candied smoked bacon.

Lobster Eclair Maine

Lobster Éclair Maine. Éclairs are a traditional pastry glazed with sweet icing. But this one’s a savory version. It is more like a lobster roll trapped in an éclair’s body. The lobster is rolled in butter infused with truffle oil, Old Bay seasoning and shrimp bisque—a perfect filling for a soft éclair pastry bun.

Pork and Apple Chip

Pork and Apple Chip. Imagine slow roasted pork belly on apple tulle topped with pickles! Yes, it is savory pork barbecue served on a crispy cracker that smells and tastes distinctly of apples. One bite will convince you that this apple-infused chicharon is a winner.

Foie Rocher. How about a chocolate ball that reveals soft and tender foie gras (duck liver) mousse when you bite into it? Simply heavenly. This favorite milk chocolate confection studded with crushed almonds has got a savory gourmet filling exploding from within.

Caramel Pop Rock Lollipop

Caramel Pop Rock Lollipop. A fun dessert on a stick, it’s soft milk chocolate bars with salty sweet caramel sprinkled on top with sour pop rocks balance out the sweetness of the chocolate.

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Who’s Cooking?
Chef Mikel Zaguirre and Albergus Are!

Softshell Crab Bisque by Chef Mikel Zaguirre and Albergus

TWO heads are better than one—and this is true even in the culinary world. So when The Blue Leaf, a premiere events venue company, and Our Awesome Planet, a top travel and food blog spearheaded by Anton Diaz, decided to collaborate on a major food event, the result was Who’s Cooking?

The event brought together 11 of Manila’s most sought-after chefs and 11 of The Blue Leaf’s partner caterers for a first-of-its-kind collaboration to produce a mouth-watering five-course menu exclusively available for events held at The Blue Leaf.

The pairings that were made:

  • Chef Mikel Zaguirre with Albergus
  • Chef Ed Bugia with Bizu
  • The Lechon Diva, Dedet Dela Fuente with Center Table
  • Chef Robby Goco with Creamery
  • Chef Joseh Boutwood with Hizon’s
  • Chef Myke ‘Tatung’ Sarthou with Juan Carlo
  • Chef Niño Laus with K by Cunanan
  • Chef Chele Gonzalez with Mesclun
  • Chef Natalia Moran with Passion Cooks
  • Chef Kalel Chan with The Red Chef
  • Chef Francis Lim with Tijoe

Each pair came up with a themed five-course menu, which pleasantly surprised guests during the Grand Reveal held at The Blue Leaf ASEANA.

Here’s the five-course menu of Chef Mikel Zaguirre of Locavore and Fyre Rooftop Lounge paired with Albergus. They drew inspiration from Continental flavors then injected Asian flavors into the menu to come up with five exciting dishes:


Foiewich. It is foie gras, or duck liver, seared and sandwiched between two thin buttered toasts. It comes with onion jam and mango aioli with—surprise!—French Onion Soup that has been made into a spread. Foie gras sandwich!

Softshell Crab Bisque. The bisque that is classically a soup is, in this case, a solid dish with softshell crab fry on banana spring roll. It has julienned radish in sesame oil on the side, and crab bisque is spooned on.

Sous-vide Short-rib Green Curry

Sous-vide Short-rib Green Curry. It is short ribs slow-cooked in green curry sauce for eight hours. It is served with eggplant caviar on coconut shell.

Duck A’L Orange

Duck A’L Orange. This course has duck breast seared and sliced, plated with sweet potato puree, served with sweet potato chips, and drizzled with orange-port wine reduction.

White Chocolate Blue Cheese Éclair

White Chocolate Blue Cheese Éclair. Dessert is blue cheese mousse with sweet white chocolate and blue cheese, topped with poached and pickled pears.

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foodpanda Launches Global Soup Kitchen

foodpanda’s Global Soup Kitchen campaign in Cavite treated kids to not just good food from sponsors but a football session with Azkal member Stephan Shröck as well

ON the occasion of its fifth anniversary in the Philippines, foodpanda, an online food delivery system, brings good food to people in a totally different way when it launched its Global Soup Kitchen campaign recently.

It has become a tradition for foodpanda to extend its mission to deliver good food to those who need it the most every time it celebrates its anniversary. In 2018, when it marked its fourth year of operations in the country, the foodpanda team partnered with Elsie Gaches Alabang, an orphanage for special children, to bring warm meals to 300 special children. This year, foodpanda continues to extend its helping hand to children by embarking on two Global Soup Kitchen missions—one to Cavite and another to Cebu.

foodpanda’s Global Soup Kitchen in Cavite

The first one took place at the Vermosa Sports Hub in Imus, Cavite, on July 14, 2019. Foodpanda, along with Football for Humanity, fed almost a hundred Muslim kids with food generously shared by its partners Yellow Cab, Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s. Azkal member Stephan Shröck joined in the fun and was instrumental in putting smiles on the faces of the recipient kids. He taught them football, a sport that Filipinos have come to love.

The children of Sambag Dos benefited from foodpanda’s Global Soup Kitchen in Cebu

The foodpanda team who embarked on the Cebu leg of the Global Soup Kitchen

From Southern Luzon, the foodpanda team headed for the Queen City of the South, Cebu, where it joined hands with Rise Above Foundation to bring the Global Soup Kitchen to more kids on July 24, 2019. Together, they fed more than 200 children from Sambag Dos with food provided by top partner restaurants, which included Shawarma Shack, Koala Tea and Sunburst Fried Chicken.

On both occasions, fun-filled games and learn-and-share sessions for the children also kept the children busy and happy.

foodpanda aims to make its Global Soup Kitchen an annual anniversary campaign. With each success, the company will continue to give back and bring its mission of giving good food to everyone.

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Enjoy Baby Duck Specialties
at Marco Polo Ortigas’ Lung Hin

Marinated Baby Duck Chao Zhou Style

DID you know that the duck has been a staple in Cantonese cuisine since the 13th century and that it was first served to the Emperor of China? Since then, the duck has always been an important part of China’s culture—and special occasions, as well.

Original Crispy Roasted Baby Duck

Crispy Roasted Baby Duck in Black Pepper

Now, you get to enjoy Oriental baby duck specialties at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, as Lung Hin brings in these seasonal jewels and makes them starting August 15, 2019. Chinese Executive Chef Ken Leung and his team of chefs proudly present baby duck in Original Crispy Roasted Style, Black Pepper Roast, and Marinated Chao Zhou Style. Deep-fried versions are also available in taro paste; and wrapped in pancake, scallions, cucumber and Hoisin sauce.

These baby duck specialties are available in half and whole until October 31, 2019.


(Lung Hin Cantonese Restaurant can be found on Level 44, Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City; with telephone number +632 720-7777.)

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Healthy Cooking with California Raisins

By guest writer Maan D’Asis Pamaran

Dr. Klaus Tenbergen, master baker, and Dr. Priscilla Santiago, food engineer, both believe that California Raisins can be an alternative natural sweetener for recipes

Those tiny sweet treats that you had as a snack in your childhood recess has a long and proud history of packing a nutritional and flavorful punch for its fans. Raisins are said to have been around since 2000 B.C., as wall paintings from ancient times depict dried fruits as consumed and used as decorations in the Mediterranean regions of Europe. Through the years, raisins became so popular and valuable that they were even bartered across countries, and enjoyed as a delicacy by ancient Roman royalty, with the belief that they had curative powers against poisoning and even aging.

Raisins are familiar to consumers today, enjoyed as a wholesome snack by itself or as part of a dessert such as Raisin Bread or as toppings on Cinnamon Buns and other desserts. But with raisins as a versatile ingredient, Knead2Know Chefs Klaus Tenbergen and Priscilla Santiago recently presented new ways to incorporate raisins into familiar dishes, to help more people enjoy their health benefits even more. The couple held a cooking demo in Makati, where guests were able to appreciate raisins in a whole new way.

This was an initiative of California Raisins as a way to raise awareness about enjoying a sweeter life with their products.

“Yummy snacks and desserts can still have a place on your table, even as you commit to a healthy lifestyle,” said Richard Lieu, Director of Trade Promotions. “Opting for natural ingredients like California Raisins, being more informed and intentional about your food choices and pursuing balance and moderation, can help make your wellness journey not just sustainable in the long term, but joyful and rewarding as well.”

The first surprise they served was Raisin Tea, made by steeping raisins overnight to let all the sugars and nutrients seep through into the water. This drink is believed to help with digestion and is a healthier alternative to other sugary drinks because there is no need to add sugar. All the flavorful goodness comes from the raisins themselves. Those who want to up their smoothie game can also use the raisin water as the base, to be combined with fruits of their choice.

Chef Klaus explained that many combinations can be made with the raisins’ taste profile. Research into food pairing by scientists show that the dried fruits go well with the flavors in blue cheese, chicken, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, cinnamon cloves, orange peel, and grains like quinoa and basmati rice.

Raisins can also be made into a paste, which serves as a fat-free, low-sodium, fiber-filled binding ingredient that offers nutrients like resveratrol, magnesium and potassium. One of the dishes that they have made with raisin paste is a pizza. Raisin pasta was used as a substitute for tomato sauce.

“We mixed the paste with balsamic vinegar instead of water, and it balances out the acidity of the vinegar for a sweet-sour taste,” he explained.

Used as topping for the pizza were chicken, pistachio, apples, pineapple and cheese, followed by a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper before the pizza is popped into the oven.

“Don’t limit your imagination,” he advised. “In a savory dish, it’s about finding a balance, since you don’t want the sweetness of the raisins to overpower the dish.”

Here are two easy California Raisin recipes shared by the chefs. They are easy to make and are sure to be a hit with kids and sweet-toothed adults as a healthier alternative to sugar-laden snacks. For more recipes, you can visit the Califorinia Raisins website www.calraisins.org or follow CA Raisins on Instagram @californiaraisinssg.


Easy Coconut California Raisin Bites



288 grams California Natural Raisins

55 grams almonds
100 grams coconut oil, melted
150 grams raisin paste
85 grams apricot jam
100 grams wheat germ, toasted
150 grams oats, toasted
72 grams shredded coconut, unsweetened

1. Place all the ingredients, except wheat germ, oats and shredded coconut, in a food processor. Pulse until mixture becomes a paste.
2. Add wheat germ and oats to the paste, and mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
3. Form into 12-gram balls and roll in shredded coconut.
4. Place in an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Mug Cake



170 grams California Raisins
340 grams almond milk (can be plant-based milk or cow’s milk)
100 grams vegetable oil
180 grams honey
300 grams gluten-free flour (can be all-purpose flour)
150 grams gluten-free oats (can be quick oats)
12 grams baking powder
7.5 grams salt
3.3 grams cinnamon powder
cinnamon/sugar mix, as needed
red berries coulis, as needed

1. Whisk almond milk, oil and honey together .
2. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk again. Stir in half the California Raisins. Mix all ingredients together.
3. Coat a coffee mug with cooking spray and flour. Fill with 125 grams batter and add 1 Tbsp. red berries coulis.
4. Sprinkle top with some oats, the remaining California Raisins and cinnamon-sugar mixture, or to taste.
5. Cook in microwave oven for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, depending e behaviour of the oven. The cake is ready when it has stopped rising and no longer looks wet around the sides.
6. Let cool slightly before serving.

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