Sunday, December 5, 2010


... means that I've been busy with a new project: reopening Kitchen Revolution. Except instead of focusing on baked goods (my usual vegan margarine supplier doesn't carry said margarine, boo. Am working on it.) I'm doing savory food.

Where to find me? Check out my table at Mercato Centrale, the new food / farmers market in Bonifacio Global City on Saturdays, 6am to 12nn. I peddle vegan brunch (sausage, tofu scramble, garlic brown rice) and weekly specials (sometimes pasta, sometimes sandwiches. Maybe sushi? I like to play it up). I'm on Facebook -- if you are too, then friend me!

Funny story how I decided to reopen. After a year in New York attending cooking school and interning at awesome restaurants, I was in a sulky, couch potato, lying-in-fetal-position mode for a month after coming back home. Didn't want to do nothin' except watch DVD's of Brothers & Sisters and Desperate Housewives and think wistfully of my past life. I'm not gonna lie, the transition from a fast-paced city to sleepy suburbia was difficult. I can go on and on about how New York's the greatest thing since sliced bread... but I'll spare you the details.

It was the 16th of November, Tuesday, about 2am -- I was up doing what everyone does at 2am -- checking Facebook. And some friend was tagged in a bakery business's photo of an ad for a new upcoming food market. The ad looked great, the market sounded promising (organic, healthy, vegetarian, blah blah), and I decided that I needed to be part of it. The market opened on the 21st, a Sunday. So from Tuesday to Sunday I was on autopilot, fixing my menu, buying ingredients and equipment, troubleshooting, cooking, setting up shop. Man, that week drained the hell out of me, I think I lost 3 pounds. I also did not sleep from Saturday 10:30am until Sunday 4:30pm.

Fast forward to present time: I'll be at the market every Saturday through February and it's great. My parents should thank Mercato C for getting me out of my funk. I actually don't mind waking up at 4am on a Saturday to set up shop for the market, even though it's gotten in the way of my social life (note that I never really had a social life to begin with...). I love not having a corporate job although I do miss the paychecks. I love "going to work" (making a mess in my kitchen) in shorts and a tank top and no make up. And I love going to the market and meeting other vendors who aren't necessarily vegetarian, but sell interesting stuff.The table on my right sells healthy vegan cakes and cupcakes; the one on my left does home delivery vegetable detox juices. The table behind me does sales for community supported agriculture. And a lot of farmers there sell gorgeous organic produce, herbs, grains, and beans.

Organic lemongrass bought at the market straight from the farmer, 
probably harvested the day before -- P35 / US$0.80 for 8 stalks.

If you live in Manila, do check out Mercato Centrale -- 30th St and 9th Ave, Bonifacio Global City. It's behind The Spa on Bonifacio High Street. Do check out what the market has to offer, and if you're curious, check out my table in Tent 1.

PS Apart from the market, I do have plans to get vegan food into the mouths of Filipinos. Catering, cooking classes... I'm workin' on it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

San Francisco hearts vegans, again

Before moving to New York for cooking school, I spent a few days in the San Francisco Bay Area to visit some relatives. My cousin Edric and his then-fiance Nerissa (now happily married) were gracious enough to take me to Greens Restaurant for a fancy vegetarian meal. I think that was my first time to eat in an upscale vegetarian restaurant.

For our first course, we ordered a sampler of:
1. Brown and wild rice salad with cherries, pluots, cirtrus, and pecans
First course sampler: brown and wild rice with cherries, pluots, citrus and pecans; cranbery pear relish

2. Warm yams with maple and ginger
3. Cranberry pear relish
4. Grilled fennel
First course sampler: warm yams with maple, grilled fennel

5. Golden and chioggia beets
6. Grilled Italian bread 
First course sampler: golden and chiogga beets, grilled Italian bread

Edric and I ordered the mesquite-grilled brochette. This dish came with mushrooms, yellow finn potatoes, peppers, red onions, cherry tomatoes, yams, fennel, and tofu with charmoula and cherry almond quinoa.
Mesquite grilled brochette

Nerissa ordered the red curry with fall vegetables, cashew jasmine rice, and cabbage slaw.
Red curry with cashew jasmine rice and Thai cabbage slaw

For dessert, we had the carrot cake with toasted almond sorbet and vanilla bean quince compote.
Carrot cake with toasted almond sorbet & vanilla bean quince compote

I would say that Weird Fish is an example of a very vegan-friendly omnivore restaurant.

Weird Fish

There were many a vegan dish on the menu -- I mean, I didn't have to settle for leaves and tomatoes for my meal! Quite refreshing, really.

Weird Fish

For our appetizer, we ordered the Buffalo girls -- seitan with buffalo sauce and vegan ranch dressing. My main course was the Little B Stack -- grilled yams, tofu, vegan mozzarella, and barbecue sauce.

Buffalo girlsLittle B Stack

If there's one thing San Francisco has that New York doesn't have, it's vegan frozen yogurt.


Fraiche serves both organic dairy (vanilla and chocolate) and soy (vanilla) frozen yogurt. And c'mon, who doesn't like fro-yo? I ordered mine with figs, graham crackers, and maple syrup.

Soy yogurt with figs, graham crackers, and maple syrup

And of course... a visit to San Francisco isn't complete without a stopover at Maggie Mudd, an ice cream parlor which pleases both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Maggie Mudd

Vegan options galore:
vegan ice cream options at Maggie Mudd

And in the spirit of fall, I ordered the pumpkin pie sundae -- pumpkin coconut ice cream topped with marshmallow sauce, whipped cream, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg on a bed of crushed graham crackers.

pumpkin pie sundaepumpkin pie sundae

Maybe this is the ice cream withdrawal talking, but all I can say is... You need to try this sundae, because it rocked my world. If I had to pick only one vegan-friendly place to eat in San Francisco, it would be Maggie Mudd.

For more on San Francisco vegan eats, check my posts here and here.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I know I know, I'm a blogger failure -- I've been MIA for 11 months. I had a pretty good excuse though... 
I finally got off my ass, quit my job, hopped on a plane and went to cooking school!

Not only did I learn such nifty things as...

The veganize-a-cookie experiment

playing with a cookie recipe to turn a crap cookie into an awesome vegan one,

Apple galette

baking galettes to high heavens such that I can whip one up with my eyes closed,

Salad with orange and fennel

and slicing fennel paper thin by hand -- I got to live in NEW YORK!

Brooklyn's view of Manhattan

Being away from home and living in the Big Apple was nothing short of a dream. Not only did I meet and make amazing friends from all around the world, I was exposed to the vegetarian food industry. A vegetarian food industry actually exists. Am I geek to geek out over this??

I even had the privilege of interning at two places: Pure Food and Wine (a raw vegan restaurant) and Dirt Candy (a vegetarian restaurant).

Internship days

Ugh. Such an awesome experience, literally. I just got back from the trip a few days ago and am still suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

So right now, my homework is to write about the whole experience. Expect posts on:
  1. How easy peasy it was to be vegan in the city Amuse bouche
  2. Cooking school
  3. Farm animal fun at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Farm animal fun!
  4. And lots of other fun stuff.
 Let me end this post with...

Cake flavored ice cream

Ice cream. Only in New York can you get cake-flavored soft serve vegan ice cream. Lula's Sweet Apothecary, I will always hold you close to my heart. You too, New York.