And, yes, that's how I welcomed the 113th Philippines Independence Day!
Present at The Meranti at Two Serendra, Alveo Land's latest innovative community at the very heart of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), were Chef Jackie Laudico of Bistro Filipino and Chef Sau del Rosario of Le Bistro Vert for the Flavors of the Filipino Passion.
Chef Jackie took the center-stage first, sharing her ideas and thoughts on Independence Day and Filipino Cuisine. A proud Ilongga, Chef Jackie talked about how diverse the Filipino culture is and how it affects even the food that we eat and how we call it.
One example that she said was how we Tagalogs call a food "biko", while them Ilonggos call it "bibingka".
For her cooking demo, which was prepared as part of this gathering, Chef Jackie showed us how to prepare one of Ilonggo's pride - the Maja Blanca.
My late grandamother who hails from Pampangga used to cook Maja Blanca before, so having it again after a very long time feels so nostalgic. I'm quite emotional when some thing reminded me of my "Ima", that's what mother means in Pampangga.
Chef Jackie's version of Maja Blanca doesn't differ much as to what my Ima used to do. But Chef Jackie told us that the use of carabao's milk can give a better tasting Maja Blanca. It only took her roughly around 15 minutes to prepare this dish, which made the whole crowd so happy.
One noticeable difference that Chef Jackie did for her Maja Blanca was the melted muscuvado drizzled on those yummy Maja Blanca.
After some food tasting that left a smile to every face who took a serving of these Maja Blanca, Chef Sau took the spotlight right away for his version of Tibok-Tibok.
Chef Sau who hails from Pampangga shared to us one of Pampanggeños easy-to-do desserts. And believe it or not, despite of having old folks from Pampangga, it was my first time to hear such dessert dish and my first time, too, to try it.
Chef Sau started his cooking demo in a very casual way - well, what's the best way to set the palette of your guests who are craving for more sweets than to sweet-talk them, right? Heheh. Just kidding.
But honestly, Chef Sau made the atmosphere inside the Culinary Studio here at the Meranti at Two Serendra more fun and light. With his jokes and funny inputs on Independence Day and cooking techniques, the crowd became more lax and just sat there and enjoyed the peacefulness of the whole surrounding.
Chef Sau laid out all the ingredients he needed and after some minutes, lesser than Chef Jackie took to cook her Maja Blanca, Chef Sau was already looking for a goblet to place his steaming version of Tibok-Tibok.
He topped it with corn kernels and macapuno balls to add more color and sweetness.
I was one of the people who had it first, and oh, boy, it was really good! With it's easy-to-find ingredients and easy-to-follow cooking instruction, I think, I can pull this one off for my family. ^_^
After everyone had their share of Chef Sau's Tibok-Tibok, Chef Sau surprised us by pulling out another set of ingredients, and this time he planned to prepare Suman and Mango Sushi.
Suman and Mango with Hot Chocolate has been one of the country's well-loved desserts and with this Chef Sau's version, he prepared it the Japanese way but with a lot of Filipino love and technique.
If you like chocolates like I do, and you like it paired with our country's fruit pride, like the ripe mangoes, well, this dessert suits perfectly for you.
Everyone at the Culinary Studio enjoyed this so much, especially with it it's bite-size serving.
A day spent at a very peaceful place, surrounded by lush greenery while indulging to sumptuous Filipino delicacies mean only one thing to me that afternoon - FREEDOM.
And with that, let me thank you Chef Jackie, Chef Sau and The Meranti at Two Serendra for having this wonderful and tummy-filling pre-Independence Day celebration! ^_^
Till next time! Happy Independence Day!
And happy eating!