11 Aug2007


It’s been a VERY busy day, foodwise, hence the limited activity on Marketmanila today. I got up at 6 a.m. to hit the markets, with some good finds, post coming up, then I decided to make some guava jam, work on a puto recipe (4 times in a row, without achieving a printable version), make the mother of all beef bulalo soups that I had cooking for 5.5 hours!, experimented with a dayap paksiw na isda recipe, as well as make 12 small bottles of acharra. Then after lunch, we (MM, Mrs.MM and The Kid) dropped in at the Pink Kitchen benefit event at Rockwell and spent about an hour there…


Set up with booths of different female chefs, cooks, caterers, concessionaires, schools, etc., on the inside perimeter of the Rockwell tent, the center of the tent had many tables for dinners to sit down and eat. This was a great way to get a little of everything from some amazing sources/chefs/etc. This was a benefit so my first comment is, WHAT A NICE THING TO DO, and so stylishly done as well. We arrived to a mad crush of people, even though the lunch crowd had already mostly left. Apparently, different chefs were at booths for lunch, merienda and dinner so they were trying to pack in A LOT into a little space and a short period of time.


We passed by booths selling merchandise and cookbooks, a juice or fruit shake station, and Gourmandise, offering a highly thought off selection of French desserts such as Tarte Tatin, etc. but which had all run out by the time we got there (just minutes after merienda started). It seems many booths were not prepared for the volume of guests that showed up and while this is a good thing that so many turned out to support the cause, it is a bad thing that there wasn’t enough food. In my 15 years of running our own household, I think I have only run out of food during a party ONCE, and I hope it will never happen again…


Despite some food supply issues, there were several booths to choose from, so one certainly couldn’t go hungry. There was an interesting Pampangeno food booth that had a brilliant looking pako salad among other goodies, but having just come from a massive bulalo lunch, we were all more on the lookout for a sweet rather than a savory…


Thank goodness there were no shortage of dessert/sweets booths either… Above a photo of Baba Ibazeta with her utterly precious cookies, cupcakes, etc. This lady must have an incredible amount of patience to come up with such labor intensive and utterly stunning confections… I was also thrilled to see Pixie Sevilla-Santos, whose cold case with Brazo de Mercedes and other goodies stopped the Kid in her tracks… separate post on that… and of course, Butter Cake from Vargas, who had the foresight to sign up for a large booth and their heads wwere spinning from the volume of business…


The Kid zeroed in on these gorgeous cookies from Baba Ibazeta, above… and at PHP40 each or so, they were FAR cheaper than shopping for real shoes inside the mall. :) I can tell you I am contemplating throwing out all of my cookie making paraphernalia now that I realize I can order the cookies for a reasonable price and a lot less hassle.


We did end up getting some lumpia ubod from Vargas (PHP50 for 2 pcs) and of course, a butter cake. And Mrs. MM got some suman sa lihiya with latik at another booth… Now that I am home, I am hitting myself that I didn’t fight through the crowd at Pia Lim-Castillo’s booth to check out what she had on offer.


We also had a couple of fruit shakes (forgettable, lacking in fruit and overly sweet), that while not the best, were cold and refreshing, but it is here that I would like to raise a few critical comments, if only to help improve things the next time this event is organized or for others planning a similar event… And I mean this as constructive criticism. First, the place was way too crowded and there wasn’t enough room to move easily around to see what the booths had to offer. Second, while everthing was pretty and pink and there was an impressive amount of table linen in sight, it felt like an upscale food court with a whole big lump of people sitting in the middle of the tent… perhaps all stand-up cocktail tables instead (or more of them) would have helped the flow, the space, the movement around the venue. I realize some folks might want to sit down to a proper meal but this just didn’t seem like the place to do it. Instead, you saw folks “holding down the fort” keeping “their tables” while others foraged for eats. Also, because the chefs were alloted different time slots, several booths were used by several different folks, making things a bit hectic, frenetic and sometimes seemingly disorganized. The place was HOT; the airconditioning unable to handle the body heat and if it had been a super sunny day outside it would have turned a bit peaked in there. Finally, since the tent is not a kitchen, there appeared to be huge logistics issues regarding getting the food in and set-up, warming it up, washing dishes, etc. For example, at the juice booth, the blender pitchers were dunked into baldes (pails) of water to rinse them out between blitzing shakes… the first time I have seen a “streetside carinderia dishwashing move” beside what is arguably the country’s most upscale mall. And the baldes were used over and over again with fruit floaties in the water… yuck. You can see part of a red balde or pail in the photo above…


The tent was chockful of young folks in chefs outfits and it turns out many of them were students at Enderun college and they were manning many of the booths and it is a wonderful way for them to get practical experience in food service. I hope with so much interest in cooking, professional food service, etc., that the quality of food and service in Manila establishments will continue to improve in the years ahead. Overall, this was a wonderful event, and I hope there are other similar ones in the future. Besides the few logistics issues I pointed out, it was definitely for a worthy cause, it showcased some of the finest talent we have in Manila, and it was a great way to spend an hour outside of our own kitchen today…. Pink Kitchen is still on-going and you may want to check it out on Sunday, August 12, 2007 — but get there relatively early before the food runs out. :)



  1. solraya says:

    I was at Rockwell this afternoon. I hate using the carpark and was going around endlessly looking for parking, wondering what the activity was.

    No wonder people coming out of the venue smiling…I should have walked…that way I would have seen what it was all about.

    True what was said in another thread…you are getting us addicted MM :)

    Aug 11, 2007 | 8:39 pm


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  3. tings says:

    I read about this in Reggie Aspiras’ article in Inq7.net but as the saying goes – the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I’m on my way to 8th month of pregnancy and I act and look like an 80 year old Grandmother who just swallowed a basketball.

    Thanks for the post MM, as this is my only way of knowing how it turned out. I wish I was there!!

    Aug 11, 2007 | 8:58 pm

  4. T. says:

    Every time I visit your blog I get intense cravings…I made fresh lumpia once here, and it was delicious, but tedious both in terms of shopping (dearth of good pinoy ingredients in Boston area) and of chopping!

    Know of any place on the East Coast I can get a good sapin-sapin…? :)

    Aug 11, 2007 | 9:07 pm

  5. wysgal says:

    I know what you mean about running out of food when throwing a party … I’m so phobic about that, I always cook twice what I think we need and have extra food for days. I’m having a tough time finishing food these days though … I always seem to be eating out and/or not in the mood for my own leftovers.

    Aug 11, 2007 | 10:22 pm

  6. Katrina says:

    I spent over 5 hours there! Although we’d originally planned to walk around or watch a movie between merienda and dinner, we opted to stay and chat instead. I got to try lots of food, many of which was delicious. My favorites were: the Vargas Brazo de Mercedes (more yema than merengue!), Myrna Segismundo’s Adobo pate and herb crusts, Wynn Wynn Ong’s Burmese noodle soup, and Reggie Aspiras’ risoni salad. I wanted to try a much more, but (ample as it is) there’s only so much my stomach can take. Which is why I also bought food to take home! :-P

    Aug 11, 2007 | 10:34 pm

  7. Mila says:

    I just got back from rockwell with a bag of loot, bought a pink ribbon cookie from baba, some of the tapenades from Myrna’s booth, potato bread (also Myrna’s), and some empanadas from Saltine booth. We got to try several items for merienda and dinner (we were one of the groups that held on to our table as friends and family joined in throughout the day!); what stands out was the burmese soup, lightly creamy and spicy, and the fig tapenade. It was a great way to meet new sources for food items/gifts for the xmas season.
    One concern we raised before the event was not having any information on the Pink Kitchen website about which chef/meals were going to be available for the 3 sessions (lunch, merienda, and dinner). A good event with room for improvement if they do this again next year.

    Aug 11, 2007 | 10:40 pm

  8. kb says:

    Went to the Pink Kitchen tent at around 11am and went out after 5 minutes. Most of the stalls were just starting out to bring out their food. There was nothing much to eat nor buy. What turned us off was the “chits” you had to buy in order to buy anything. There must be a better way in handling the payments and money. Maybe the system of having several central cashiers like the ones in City Super fastfoods in Hong Kong would have worked better. After having lunch inside the mall, we went back to the tent only to come out empty-handed once more.

    Aug 11, 2007 | 11:53 pm

  9. Maria Clara says:

    Glad to hear it was a good turn out and great success with some glitch hopefully can be corrected in their future events. This is their first year give them a big break and I hope one of their members reach this blog. May it thrive well and keep supporting the good cause. Myrna Segismundo is one of our great assets in culinary world and it s on this kind of occasion where one can enjoy her food. Hoping in their future events they will prepare enough food and goodies to keep with the pace of the event supporters. It is kind of irritating you come in ready and willing to splurge and there is nothing on offer. Looks to me the lumpia ubod of Vargas missing the wrapper and came in waxed paper. They still look good though. Please do not relegate your cookie cutters in backroom – I still like the aroma of gingerbread cookies permeating the house. Keep home baking tradition going please.

    Aug 12, 2007 | 3:16 am

  10. Trina says:

    Hi MM! I just recently discovered your blog and have had a great time reading through your archives :) This will definitely be part of the sites I visit daily from now on, I love your posts—very entertaining and I’m learning a lot!

    Anyway, we visited the Pink Kitchen yesterday, and while I do agree that the setup could be improved (we came lunchtime and couldn’t get seats so we just ate in the mall and came back for dessert), I was pretty happy because 1) it was a good cause and I’m happy to have been able to help a little, and 2) I got to try Baba Ibazeta’s yummy desserts :) I’ve long been hearing about her Chocolate Oblivion for such a long time, but there were mixed reviews so I wasn’t so willing to commit buying a whole cake to try. Good thing was they sold by the slice there, and personally I really liked it! It was made with good quality dark chocolate, and was very moist with layers of cake and ganache. I also loved her Lemon Torte (it had meringue layers with lemon custard)- the sweetness of the meringue complemented the tartness of the lemon… yum!

    Aug 12, 2007 | 9:16 am

  11. Marketman says:

    solraya, I am very curious about your free-range chickens, do you sell them to the public? tings, Pixie Sevilla Santos was looking like she was in her 8th month too and she held down a booth! Amazing! T., I haven’t heard of a sapin-sapin source in the East Coast, though I suspect there must be one in New Jersey some where… wysgal, it is the OC and anal rententiveness of MBA types that results in this “I might run out of food fear…” Heeheehee. Katrina, 5 hours?! Yipes, that’s amazing! And your figure is so runway svelte?! :) Mila, you get the same comment as Katrina… kb, I think chits are designed so that all sales are known and a percentage must go to the charitable cause… MC, the wax paper was just to separate the lumpias from each other, they had a wrapper of their own, but they did have a tendency to stick to the wax paper after a while… aridelros, I have to agree that we seem to be churning out culinary “graduates” at a fast pace, but I hope they will obtain the HEART of a real cook as they get more practical expertise in the years ahead…my suggestion, they must TRAVEL and EAT, EAT and travel some more…but that is more costly than tuition… Trina, welcome to the blog and glad to hear you got enough sugar at Ms. Ibazeta’s to keep you wound up for the entire weekend! :)

    Aug 12, 2007 | 9:26 am

  12. negrosdude says:

    I agree, the venue was too small and the airconditioning was virtually non-existent. also irritating that many people locked into their seats and tables in the main tent the entire day (ridiculous!) – still and all, organizers shouldn’t wait another year for a repeat, it was great success and im happy for the organizers and likewise glad i supported a good cause. i had two GLORIOUS servings of Dimpy Camara’s to-die-for-frozen brazos de mercedes (only P40 for a slice; P550 for a whole roll), minute duck (nice) and chicken (ok lang)siopao, good paella and callos, along with VERY GOOD mushroom cannelloni from la tasca and some mushroom and chorizo stuffed empanadas from tippy tambunting’s booth.i will be back later today to get some goodies from the stall of susie quiros, myrna segismundo/jill sandique, baba ibazeta, that cunanan girl’s ensaymada, sunshine puey and rob pengson’s gourmandise and some more of the frozen brazos and la tasca’s swimming-in-cream diced mushroom-stuffed cannelloni. happy Sunday eating!

    Aug 12, 2007 | 9:56 am

  13. Candygirl says:

    Yay, you’ve found Pixie Sevilla’s Brazo de Remedios! It’s the best filling so far – rich and creamy. I can’t even guess how it’s made. No yucky ‘malansa eggy’ taste common to Brazo de Mercedes. Whatcha think?

    Aug 12, 2007 | 1:49 pm

  14. iskariray says:

    Thanks for the very informative post Marketman! I wanted to check this out but wasn’t sure about what exactly was to be expected since, as Mila pointed out, they didn’t have ample information on their website. After reading your post and the comments, I no longer feel that I missed that much. I’m positive this won’t be the last for an event of this variety to be held. With improvements to boot! When that happens, I’ll make sure not to miss it =)

    Aug 12, 2007 | 10:17 pm

  15. dhayL says:

    Anything for a good cause is always a hit, it’s nice to know that a lot came out to support the event!

    On the other hand, you mentioned somewhere in this post that you’ll have a “puto recipe” coming up, oh i can’t wait for that!

    Aug 13, 2007 | 3:32 am

  16. ken says:

    MarketMan! Went there last Sunday and it was less crowded…though it was quite hot/warm during the afternoon. Baba’s cookies and cakes are so good…

    Aug 13, 2007 | 4:13 pm

  17. baby bem says:

    I think the event went well, it was all for a good cause and I don’t think that any comments about how crowded the place was is necessary. Pink Kitchen is a beneficial event, thus we could’ve expected that for the people who came, not all would be seated. First of all, we did go there to help and support I Can Serve Foundation, and I don’t think we have the right to spread the word on how bad it was not to have seats or how the event lacked in food. Even if it is a constructive criticism, we can at least try to go a little mild on the comments:)
    No offense sir, but I think that the event and the organizers also needed cooperation from us who went there. We should have not expected high level of service on the event-proper because it is after all at the end of the day, it’s for the benefit of all.:)

    Aug 13, 2007 | 11:56 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    baby bem, thank you for your comments, and I agree that overall for a cause, the event is something definitely to be supported. However, if you have read this blog over the past 2.5 years, you would know exactly what type of voice I tend to sound, and constructive criticism and constant improvement to everything that we engage in is a STRONG part of the content of this blog. If no one constructively criticizes and provides suggestions for improvement, few things will improve… particularly at an event where an exchange of money, even for charity, takes place. WE SHOULD always expect a reasonable amount of service and a logical set-up and adequate stocking of goods but IF the public response is greater than expected, then certainly there is room for understanding. The comments were mild, in my opinion, (read some of the other posts/rants to get a feel)and simply sweeping issues under a rug, which is more common as a national trait, is not going to make things better. If you have been to other benefit events in the Philippines, the U.S. and Europe, where thousands to millions of dollars are raised, you would be more aware of how put together some of these events are. As I said in the post, these were just glitches, but hopefully, the next time around things will get better. As you see in the numerous other comments of readers who went, some of them veterans to events such as this, they were more in agreement with the issues raised than not. Not all benefits mean that the attendees have to put up with poor service or planning, as you seem to suggest. If there were three benefits side by side and one of them was far more put together, who do you think would raise the most funds and greatest awareness from a limited group of donors?

    Aug 14, 2007 | 9:30 am

  19. baby bem says:

    Yes sir, i get your point about giving out constructive criticisms. But I would like to raise the question if you were aware that the servers who were there were volunteer college students who painstakingly gave out their time to help make the event successful, and someone even told me that prior to the said event, the week consequent is their midterms. Then again, let us not debate on this. Thank you for commenting back :)

    Aug 14, 2007 | 10:37 pm

  20. eat ink says:

    To Baby Bem: Stop whining already. Almost everyone involved with the event were volunteers and am sure there were many others who donated far more in terms of time, money and energy to the Pink Kitchen and had far more important things (other than college midterms) that had to be set aside so they could be at the Aug. 11-12 event.

    In my book, if you choose to volunteer, the choice should be pure in intent, without need of recognition or payback and is no excuse to give less than 100%. If some of those college students felt they weren’t adequately recognized for their “painstaking” sacrifice, they should realize that praise is not always forthcoming and, if recognition is so important to them, to sit down and have a long think before volunteering again.

    Aug 16, 2007 | 3:54 pm

  21. tina says:

    As a cancer survivor I have learned to overlook small things in life and not worry too much about them. As part of ICANSERVE, I am just happy that we got to do this event. If there were glitches in the event,so be it. Heck Iam just happy that I was alive on those two days in order to do my part for my fellow survivors. My energy is spent working for a living but for events like these to raise money in order help and raise awareness of our cause, I will crawl on my knees and do my part for the many Filipinas we can help through ICANSERVE. Iam very proud of the survivors and non survivors who volunteered for the event. We are very grateful for the many vendors who took time out to join our event to make it a success. It was a great day to celebrate life. And for someone whose time is limited on this earth, what you wrote may have dampened our spirits for a while but we still came out as winners. We had an idea and went for it. The most important part is that we got involved and didn’t turn our backs on the opportunity to help others.We will hold more successful events and will continue doing it until our last breath. So, see you all again soon!

    Aug 16, 2007 | 6:52 pm

  22. 22 says:

    i once went up to a Western general manager of a defunct resto in the greenbelt area, and praised him for the food. He said that most people who like it, don’t say anything, and what’s worse are those people who didn’t like it, and didn’t say anything.

    Pink kitchen clicked because it was a fresh idea. congratulations to the organizers, but negative comments would help them if they want people to go to the next one. i don’t think the people with me would go to the next one. I think other people would go to an improved one, not same-same.

    Sep 10, 2007 | 4:43 pm

  23. 22 says:

    Sep 16, 2007 | 7:09 pm

  24. solraya says:

    MM, You know how sometimes you have to go over a book several times to digest it? I must have missed your question to me almost a year ago, if i sold my free range chickens to the public.

    Branded as Sunshine Chicken, what we really sell are the day old chicks, to growers who raise them naturally and sell the dressed Sunshine chickens and the eggs from the grass fed, free ranged hens.

    But yes, I sell them too in trade shows we join and at the Market at the Hills as part of our consumer awareness program and assistance in marketing our growers nationwide. We were at the Cebu Food Expo last week :)

    At FTI, our booth sells the live ones, ready to slaughter. For dressed, at Market at the Hills.

    Jul 15, 2008 | 8:46 am


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