Pots of Desire…


Don’t read the rest of this post if you felt any tinge of sympathy for the fishpan lady


We obviously cook a LOT in the Marketman household(s). Or I wouldn’t be able to keep up the pace of daily or near daily posts on Marketmanila for nearly five consecutive years with a cumulative total of some 2,350 posts in the archives. So it would follow that I have a lot of cooking paraphernalia, and much of it is non-essential. I have mentioned my use of Le Creuset enameled pots often in several recipes, and lots of readers have asked me for my opinions on pots and pans. I once wrote this post to summarize some of my views on pots and pans, and that particular post was one of the key sources used by a writer of The Anchorage Daily News (article now only available through their archives) when they did a feature article on pots and pans back in 2007 (how’s that for MM Alaskan trivia?)…


But if Le Creuset is the “Mercedes” of the kitchen pot line-up, then Staub must be the “Maybach” or perhaps even the “Rolls Royce” of enameled cast iron pots. And after a year or two of desiring one, I finally got my first Staub La Cocotte at Sur La Table a few months ago. Think of it as a personal goody for having managed to keep the blog going for so long… :) Staub is similar to a Le Creuset, but it feels a bit heavier, looks sturdier, and has a more handsome finish. To me it has better lines, and they come in the most fantastic colors, this first one in “Graphite” – a rich grey that I find very appealing. Sitting beside a Le Creuset, their differences in styling, weight, etc. become more apparent. And the lid of the Staub has these little “nipples” that let the moisture at the top of the pan drip back evenly into the stew or whatever you are cooking… rather than the steam running down the sides of the pot. I love my Staub La Cocotte. And at some 15-20% more expensive than full-price Le Creuset, it isn’t outrageously expensive; though I gather the Staub’s NEVER go on sale. At any rate, if you were planning to get your first enameled pot, I suggest you seriously consider a Staub… why start with a Mercedes if you can jump up to a Maybach for less than the cost of a beef stew ordered at a mediocre restaurant? :)


When I photographed the Staub, I also happened to have several newly acquired prep dishes out so I decided to include their photos in this post. Whenever I cook and there are lots of ingredients that need to be prepared, chopped, portioned, etc., I rely on lots and lots of little bowls to keep everything organized. These are some of the latest ones I got… some in green silicone, others in renewable wood, white porcelain/ceramic, and still others in glass. But actually, the ones I use the most are cheap stainless bowls in all sizes that I purchased at the SM kitchen department several years ago…


It’s always so much easier to have everything “mis en place” or all ready and in its proper place before you start cooking…


And if you got this far down in the post, I figured you must be a die-hard cook, food enthusiast, kitchen equipment fanatic, or marketmanila.com regular, so I thought I would sneak in a rare view of part of our kitchen at the beach. This is where Marketman feels most at home and where I test many recipes and cook many meals for family, friends and loved ones. :)

P.S. – Oh my gosh, I had not expected the deluge of comments in just a few hours overnight on this post, so I decided to add one other photo I have of another “side” of the kitchen at the beach. This side is the washing up side, with double sinks, and three half-dishwashers from Fisher Paykel. They make for easy clean-up after large lunches or dinners. The large windows face a really lush green landscape, so one can daydream while clearing the dishes… The counters are white carrara marble, not the most practical and I wouldn’t have them in a kitchen you cook in daily, but they look great. The stove is a Viking, see previous post here.


We personally designed the lay-out of our beach kitchen but it was executed by our brilliant architect(s). In the city, we have an appallingly ugly kitchen in a 50+ year old rental home. It is cramped and not so appealing… but most of the food on this blog was probably prepared in the city kitchen. :)


117 Responses

  1. Too bad you aren’t in NY anymore, Marketman! I saw them on sale recently at a Century 21. Not the large pots, but single serving size, and a few cute tagines.

  2. Rebecca, ARRRGHH, I really want the small single serving sizes in black, like those I recently saw at Lusso, but they were overpriced at retail… I have to remember to go to Century 21, are there several locations in New York?

  3. I love your blog :^) thanks for being so generous with your knowledge :^) i’m not a cook (and i’m vegetarian!) but i love reading your blog. and thanks for showing us your kitchen; it looks lovely and hehe it made me happy to see it :^) maybe knowing that you enjoy spending so much time cooking for your family and friends in there inspired that feeling :^)

  4. Marketman…Thanks for the peek into your kitchen. I love your elongated fruti bowl.

  5. Anupama, it’s a long piece of jackfruit wood from a very old tree that came from our grandmother’s backyard, and it was hand carved by one of the crew…

  6. the mise…sadly, it only works if no one else but you is working the kitchen. how do you counter a person’s bias for frou-frou and not function? “but this is better because it looks like the one at a magazine i read.” daghang inarte ba.

    beautiful pots sir, but thoughts on copper? i do recall you have that fish poacher but copper on a regular basis, does it work for you?

  7. Franky, I do use copper, but not that often. I don’t keep my copper pans immaculately polished, like in show kitchens… mine tend to be quite messy. However, I do love the Sitram line of stainless steel pans, which have a copper plate inserted at the bottom of the pan, between the stainless outer and inner surfaces. This gives you the practicality of the stainless, but the even distributed heat of the copper… Oh, and actually, I find the mis even more useful if there are several people cooking in a kitchen… One dish of pre-chopped onions, another of garlic, some herbs, etc. makes for really easy use…

  8. MM, there are a couple of locations in NY. I’d be happy to pick them up for you if you like. :)

  9. Drool… I don’t have designer clothes/shoes/accessories because I can’t stomach parting with a huge amount of money for something that does the same thing for half the price. But it when it comes to food and kitchen equipment, it’s a totally different story. I’d rather browse through Williams & Sonoma than a clothes shop anytime. Really bummed that there is no Trader Joe’s around my neck of the woods. But good for my wallet. =) That Staub is something to dream about. It looks good too!

  10. Hi MM,

    There’s just 2 stores in New York City (a few more out in Jersey + Long Island, so not that easy to access from the city), one of them in faaaaaar Brooklyn.

    So really the only convenient one is in downtown Manhattan. It’s right across from the World Trade Center site — 22 Cortland St between Church and Broadway.

  11. I think I read about Staub pots from another favorite food blog “Chocolate&Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier (she has two books out from her blog – one cooking & one shopping for food items in Paris & she’s very young!).
    Nice kitchen MM. WHITE!!!! How do you deal w grease???? If this is your beach house kitchen, I wonder what your kitchen in Manila looks like!

  12. my mistake sir, i was referring to the arrangement of the mise en place. everyone has their own quirks and compulsions :)

  13. MM, I love your kitchen. That is my dream kitchen unfortunately I can’t afford that here in Singapore as the size of apartment kitchen here is probably half the size or smaller than yours :(

  14. I LOVE your kitchen MM! So sunny and roomy, its perfect. That elongated fruit bowl is the one you used with the pumpkins, right?

  15. I love you’re kitchen! Simple, clean, uncluttered and functional. I would be cooking all the time too in a kitchen like this. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Nice kitchen MM! I did see those pots too at Sur La Table…pricey…but now will consider it since you described it as a higher line than Le Creuset. I also read about Sitram pots but was not too sure about that too…hmmm, I don’t think I’ll have enough space for this new gadgets in my kitchen…but something to consider and then give up on some really old ones.
    So what’s cooking MM?

  17. MM I love your neat kitchen! Once in a while, amazon would have sales on staub…I got 2 to 3 pieces from them a year or so ago. The weather is getting colder here in the east coast and time to get these pots out for those braises.

  18. wow MM, love the kitchen, the functionality of the island with the sink. your countertops are made of what material? i recognize the 4 compartment wooden tray from your squash/pumpkin post. would you recommend buying only the dutch ovens for either le creuset and staub? would they be daily use pots? i went to a le creuset store once and tried to lift one up and found they were a teeny bit too heavy for me, but would not mind using them for roasts once in a while.

  19. A beautiful kitchen! I can imagine the warmth and the bustle of activity it has witnessed through the years.

  20. For your next visit I would suggest visiting the Century 21 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn–it’s on the R line and is much less of a circus than the Manhattan location. Also tends to have more items in stock!

  21. more than the pots, the long wooden serving platter, I am seriously coveting you kitchen, specially the island. hayyyyy ….

    thanks for linking this post to the fishpan post .. i am a fairly new lurker so i never really got the joke about “fishpan”

  22. Woohooo… was it just me, or did the others get goosebumps too seeing MM’s kitchen? :p It’s like a shrine I should worship in or something. Heeheehee. :)

    I love the big windows and all the natural light coming in. (I like natural light best for food photography, sans flash) And I’m envious of the light-colored table top of the island. Our has dark granite. The light-colored top makes the room seem so much more maaliwalas.

  23. A rare view of the kitchen! I’ve been wondering how your kitchen is set-up and I find it really lovely and homey. Thanks, MM.

  24. I’ve been considering getting Staub pieces for a few years now. However, with all the LC pots I got since 1998, I have some storage issues. They’re practically indestructible and carry a lifetime limited warranty.

    But then again, I wanna own a Staub just for the vanity of it.

  25. Yes, Staub rocks! I became aware of it when a friend showed me a Staub pot and pointed out the difference in a typical lid and the Staub dimples. Made perfect sense, so I am saving up for one. Staub is like Hermes,never goes on sale, lol! Some guys at a Sur La Table near my place were generous in working out a deal to keep a customer happy, and offered to share a pretty hefty and discreet discount when I pick up my pot sometime before Thanksgiving. I am already thinking cassoulet, coq a vin, caldereta, and could go on and on…..

    BTW, I like the layout of your kitchen. It reminded me of Thomas Keller’s kitchen in Yountville, CA, a 10X13 ft. space of graceful efficiency . I am waiting for his new volume on recipes from Ad Hoc. Have a great day. Reading your posts is always a treat on a busy day. I cannot thank you enough for the wonderful vibes you share.

  26. beautiful!!! yeah, saw le creuset in Century 21–the one in NJ is in Rt 4, and there’s one in Secaucus..

    what about your knives, MM??? i love knives. i know u mentioned them in a post before.

  27. nice pots! :D

    and your kitchen looks like my mom’s dream kitchen with the center island and all the accoutrements in place

  28. Love your simple but lovely kitchen, MM!! I don’t know what your oven is but it looks very sturdy and funtional. Check out petersofkensington.com.au. You are truly an inspiration to all your readers! Galing talaga ng pinoy.

  29. cindz et al, funny how that bowl is getting so much attention, it was made from remnant pieces of langka wood by one of our workers at the Cebu office. vicky oven mentioned in postscript in main post, above. Sam, hahaha, dimples sounds MUCH better than nipples. psycomom, start with the medium sized dutch oven. We have a couple of this size and they are used very often, from adobo to stews, to small batches of jam. The largest sizes are great if you cook for large parties, whole pork roasts, etc. Rebecca, that is very kind of you to offer, but I wouldn’t want to impose. And at that rate, I would go bankrupt if readers started acting as added “arms” to get more and more kitchen stuff. Will have to visit Century 21 though… thanks.

  30. Good Morning, MM!

    Next to National Bookstore, I am very much at home with the aisles at department stores where the kitchen and home gadgets are. :)

    I love your kitchen! I love the big windows especially. I really love that jackfruit bowl! :)

    I would like to ask if cast iron pots and pans need to be “broken in” as well and how does one care and store cast iron utensils properly? Is it much like what you did to your wok? I heard you had to “bake it in the oven” before using it? I also was told that there are certain chemicals you have to use in cleaning these utensils.

    Sorry for what may seem as silly questions…


  31. Other places to look for Le Creuset and Staub are Tuesday Morning and TJ Maxx. Whenever I am in the States, I always check there first before I buy retail. On the last trip, I bought the large oval (am lusting after the goose pot) LC. Thank God for Forex cargo!

    My favorite specialty piece, though, is the oval doufeu. The theory behind the recessed lid always amazed me…you put ice in it so that when evaporation occurrs in the braiser, the steam changes temperature and returns to your braise as liquid! I beleive the underside of the lid is dimpled as well. As a kid, I thought that was so incredibly cool and covet my Mom’s ancient LC one! May have to wrestle the sister for it, though!

  32. BTW, love the kitchen…agree that marble isn’t the easiest stone to have as countertops, love the pots and the mise en place bowls (we use Pyrex ramekins), am enjoying the wooden trough but have serious ENVY pangs seeing the Dualit toaster!!!!

  33. Susie B, the Dualit toaster is very iconic and guapo looking in a kitchen, but honestly, not the finest performer. Definitely has its quirks and is less reliable than some of the cheaper more modern toasters reviewed in say Consumer Reports or the like. The white marble is particularly hard to keep clean as things like soy sauce, vinegar and patis are not friendly to it. Quillene, the latest versions of Lodge cookware, the cast iron brand I prefer, are already “pre-seasoned” daw and ready to cook in. they have a fairly complete line on display in SM Makati if you are interested. They are a bit pricier than in the U.S., but already here (hence no hassle sending home), and overall cast iron is GREAT VALUE. If you have older pieces, yes, you have to season them. Just coat lightly in vegetable oil and stick in hot oven for a couple of hours. Make sure you don’t overscrub them when you clean them, and don’t store them damp or wet as they could rust. They will last longer than most marriages. :)

  34. And to think that everytime I go to Target I have been checking if the lodge ceramic cast iron line are on sale. . .MM, would you say lodge would be the Toyota of cast iron cookware?

  35. MM, how about all clad pots and pans? I like them also.I own lc ,staub, lodge but my favorite are my all clad ones

  36. lookie, all-clads are nice too, I have a couple. But I find some of them are not properly balanced, so when not so full, say a small saucier, it can tip over backwards… but the frying and saute pans are nice. However, for stainless, I love sitrams, which are my first choice, with all-clads coming in second. Sitrams aren’t so easy to find retail wise, but you probably also don’t pay the premium for all the advertising and promo that all-clad does… marz, city kitchen is pretty bleak. :)

  37. Yay, my dream kitchen! Am in love with your kitchen MM! Sorry wasn’t able to read your previous post especially the Sunday at BTC. Our dsl connection had been terrible the past week. Congratulations on your Sunstar feature.

  38. ragamuffin girl, I love these individual staub pots here, and will have to figure out a way to buy them wholesale… heehee. Any idea where the retail branch in Kowloon might be? Ley, I figured a good kitchen would cost less and last much longer than a fancy car…

  39. ANDRES, the Lodge cast iron pots that are NOT coated in enamel are my absolute favorite cast iron line, I have half a dozen pieces and they last forever and are SO RELIABLE. I have not seen the lodge COATED in enamel, so I can’t comment on those. Even at full price, the lodge cast iron pieces are WELL WORTH the cost. Hatari, you are right on that front. I have a large tool box not just for mechanical tools, but a separate box for floral tools as well… :)

  40. Those bowls are are really gorgeous…your kitchen reminds me of an old beach house kitchen…so comfi…relaxing feel…i love those emerald bowls..really cute…and the white, gray, lue ang lime cooking pots on your stove…posh kitchen really…..nice……

  41. Cool topic. :)

    I have:

    Sitram fry, saute, and sauce pans (catering line)
    All-Clad grill pans and stock pots
    Calphalon One non-stick fry pans
    Le Creuset dutch ovens, soup pots, and braisers
    Lodge cast iron pans

    I actually have you to thank, Marketman, for cluing me in to Sitram. I read your old post about it just when I was looking for alternatives to All-Clad.

    I think about getting Staub everytime I see them at Sur la Table because they look awesome, but then I always think about cleanup. Le Creuset’s smoother lines make for easier cleanup, I think. It’s a big consideration for me because, living here in the US, I have no domestic help. :)

  42. Your nice and well ventilated kitchen, do you think you still need the over the stove vent? I wanted one even for the look I am accustomed to in my Palawan kitchen but I was talked out of it because I have big windows on one side and large sliding doors ( screened) on the other side of my kitchen with a high ceiling and clerestory screened space . I just have a brick wall behind my stove with a small area protected by a rectangular piece of removable glass for the splatters. It looked odd for a while until I dressed the upper part of the brick wall with a carved wooden hanging ( fish) and a clock. Turns out I don’t really need the vent.

    I happen to have marble counter tops as well and it seems I got a real porous one. Have to constantly be watchful of dark colored spills or spices such as turmeric, but great for a kneading surface.

  43. What a beautiful clean and well equipped kitchen you got Mr. MM, thank you for sharing. The best selling point of a house is the kitchen and the bathroom. Your kitchen is A1 plus all the delicous meals that’s been cooked and served to your family. For me an island in the kitchen is ideal and wonderful, it makes cooking a lot easier and a good conversation space whenever we have company over.

  44. I’ve just “found” your blog tonight — it’s wonderful! And I agree — Staub is the “Rolls Royce” in this category. I have a 2.5 basil cocotte and love it. Just used it tonight to braise lamb, as a matter of fact.

    I’m always thrilled when I stumble upon a blog that involves the Philippines — and the Philippines AND cooking … well, that’s a bonus.

    I had the good fortune to relocate to Pampanga for 2.5 years for work and love the opportunity to read about or talk about life there every chance I get.

    I look forward to taking a stroll through the rest of your site and to future posts.

  45. The dimples in the lid of the Staub cover is not unique to Staub…some version of that is in older American cast iron (pre 1960’s, the best is from pre-WWII). Look for the Griswold and Wagner cast iron ware with lids, they can have dimples or concentric circular ridges (same effect) whether they are lids for dutch ovens or deep skillets. Fabulous for cooking, the best non-stick pots if properly seasoned. It is well worth seeking out the older cast iron because the quality is very clearly superior to the later produced material (although current production Lodge is decent and a very good value).

  46. What a handsome kitchen! Love the workstations. Trying to find your fridge (I’m guessing a SubZero) in the photo – where is it situated? I’m trying to imagine how you and your team work in the kitchen kasi. Would also love a sneak peak at your pantry in one of your future posts… Thank you.

  47. MM I read an old article of yours on breadfruits…how do you call breadfruits in cebu? is it realy kolo? i think kolo or olo or uru is a polynesian term for breadfruits.. Because from what i know breadfruit (Artocarpus communis or Artocarpus altilis) is known as RIMAS in tagalog while the seeded breadfruit or Bread nut is known as KAMANSI or PAKAK in Ilokano….I love braedfruit..AND i cook it in a number of ways…when still immature i stew it in coconut milk…when mature and semi ripe I bake it with butter and brown sugar inside, it can be fried too like fries just like what you did , we steam it too and tossed in a bowl of young coconut meat or ”ALANGAN” and muscovado sugar, it can also be boiled and pounded like taro banana or cassava known as nilupak in southern tagalog. …yummy!!! I actaully have a 1 year old breadfruit plant which I propagated from root cuttings I obtained when i attended the UPLB alumni home coming in los banos….if you are still on the hunt for breadfruit I suggest you go south in batangas….i saw numerous trees grown alng the road going to mabini in anilao…batangas also produces candied breadfruit manufactured in bauan and lobo…MM i really find your articles interesting and it really tickled my interest specially your gastronomic experiences and stints….thanks for being generous enough to share your recipes ..hehhe…yummy recipes…oh by the way i have arecipe for pichipichi cassava and pichipichi pinipig! I really am a food addict and I love to cook!….Thanks for sharing your ideas…MABUHAY KA!!!

  48. hi MM, is your place the one described as the “double house” which i read about in one of our coffee table books? i think the design won for the architects an international award, if memory serves me well.:) if it is, then you just don’t have a very beautiful kitchen but a beautiful holiday home too.

  49. Nice equips MM! btw, am thinking of buying a Calphalon 12′ pan. Do you think that’s a good buy or should I look for a different brand?

  50. maia, good memory and sleuthing, too good, in fact… Actually, the home won an AIA (American Institute of Architects?) Connecticut chapter citation for design in 2004. I think at that point in time, it was the only home in the Philippines to get that award, and probably still is, if that mattered at all… Our architects have a Manila and Connecticut office, and they entered the home for consideration without even letting us know… we only found out after it won the award. :) It is a simple 3 bedroom home, but we love it and our architects did a brilliant job with a very modest budget. el jefe, yes, breadfruit in Cebuano and Boholano is referred to as kolo with accent on the final o. And yes, it would not surprise me that the name is similar to other names in the South Pacific, in the same manner that many of our words are similar to Malay and Inodesian. cherryo, the fridge is to the left when looking at the stove. It is also a stainless fisher paykel, as sub-zero was NOT recommended for the salty sea air. kurzhaar, I have to hit some good flea markets in the U.S. and keep an eye out for older cast iron pieces… Fran, welcome to the blog, there are 2,300+ posts in the archives so feel free to browse backwards when bored. B&W, even if I had a photo of the bano, I would feel odd posting a photo of the bathroom on a food blog… heehee. ConnieC, the vent is an industrial strength fan overhead, it is useful when I use the stovetop grill which can really smoke up the place! fried neurons, ahhh another marketmanila sitram convert. They should give me the distributorship for the Philippines for all the plugs I do for them… :) Hershey, I don’t have any calphalons so I am not too familiar with the brand…

  51. you own a staub (aside from having several le creusets, as seen in other blog entries). im envious :) and those wooden bowls look beautiful. mm, may i know which brand of knives you use? are those wuesthofs on your kitchen counter? :)

  52. It’s the EquipAsia outlet store. I’ll get the details and email you MM. :) 2 years ago I went to a Le Creuset sale and came home with 5 items (not even cookware but tableware), and hubby has not recovered from his shock haha. Imagine if I came home with Staub cookware! I know they say all you really need to cook well is a sharp knife, but with all the wonderful kitchen stuff out there… who can resist? Your kitchen is a dream MM!

  53. Totally agree Staub is better than Le Creuset whose current line is very thinly enamelled and once damaged needs to be discarded because what holds the enamel and the iron together is not food safe. Even the “Lifetime guarantee” is a joke. So buy Staub but before that get sone Sitram, but only the Catering line which has the copper plate and not the cheaper Professional line which has the aluminum plate only, emulated by All Clad, which is highly advertised and totally not worth the price.
    MM, you might mention that the secret of your kitchen looking pristine is a prep kitchen in the basement where all messy operations are initiated. Full disclosure, my dear.

  54. sister, hahaha. So true, no cleaning and de-gutting large crabs, whole fish, squid, etc. in this kitchen, that’s done in another, fully equipped second “dirty kitchen” in the basement… :)

  55. Thanks for the disclosure. I was gonna say, how does this superman and crew do it? That’s right, you would need the vent if you do any stove top grilling. I forget I occasionally do it, but decided it best on an outside grill.

  56. oh ok! thanks for the reply na rin :D I thought of buying some Calphalon because most chefs I see in cooking series like Top Chef use Calphalon speciacially in some restaurants. Though the super high class restaurants like Boulud’s use copper pans which are really expensive and I don’t have any budget for them :(

  57. Dear Marketman,

    We have exactly the same Viking stove at home but lately the big oven is acting up and I need to have it checked. Would you happen to have the contact number of their service center? At one point in the past I was able to get in a technician from La Germania, the sister company of the Viking distributor here in Manila but he advised that they will not repair units not bought from them. I just hope that at this point they changed their policy. My Viking is probably my most prized material possession :-) Thanks in advance!

  58. Dimples are concave if viewed from the surface and nipples are convex. It should be lid nipples, what about pimples? hahhaha

  59. ihid, hahaha, I actually broke into a wide grin with your comment. pimples, I love it. You must get really big pimples… hahahaha. I am joking, of course. chinky, the technician we used before was from Viking, which is brought in by La Germania. It pisses me off no end when the local service center refuses to service an appliance of the same brand, I have run across that with my kitchen aid mixer. Frankly, I think service centers like that should lose their franchise. I would try Viking/La Germania and if they refuse, ask for the relevant details, persons, managers, and write a letter to Viking in the states and advise them that you are a Viking owner and you have been refused service by the local provider. In other words, raise a stink. However, a caveat is that if you imported your own stove from the U.S., you will notice that you voided your warranty the minute it was shipped overseas. But if it isn’t a warranty issue, then you should be able to pay for service and parts. Hershey, Chefs on shows will use whatever products sponsor the show…

  60. Beautiful kitchen MM! I envy your tools/toys! If I had more than enough money, I’d love to have Carrara marble in my kitchen too (well, even bath!). Your kitchen top is the same stuff Michaelangelo and the other Renaissance masters used in their sculptures.


  61. i love your kitchen too! can you post a photo of the dirty kitchen? i think its not so dirty naman…hehehe…

  62. I found this online about the “Double House” a winner of AIA Connecticut 2004 design awards –
    Double House, Peninsula de Punta Fuego, Batangas,
    CS Architecture, LLC, Redding

    link: https://www.aiact.org/userfiles/file/Awards%20programs/AIA%20Connecticut%20Design%20Awards/AIA_Connecticut_2004_Design_Awards_Winners/AIACTDesignAwardsWinners_2004.pdf

    WOW!!! DOUBLE WOW!!!

    So you have a “country kitchen” in the city & a “city kitchen” in the country!

    How long is the drive from the city to your “beach” house? I imagine there’s a lot of traffic on the South Super Highway if you take that – all the way till Lipa or Batangas City!

    Checked out Staub cookware at amazon.com (free shipping & no sales tax) – there were bargains but still pricey – $200 for a 5 Qt. cocotte pot! Maybe I’ll give one to myself for Christmas.

    I have a set of Calphalon pots – they’re good & heavy & coated w improved non-stick that can withstand temp up to 500 deg F & with heavy stainless steel handles & covers. They’ved served me well for almost a decade now!

    Re prep dishes: I have a confession to make! I “steal” the little stainless & otherwise sauce & condiments cups when we ask for doggy bags from restos like Applebee’s or TGI Friday – Shhhhh!

    But I also can’t resist buying the multi-colored ones when they go on sale at amazon.com. The only problem is, my granddaughter has discovered them & claims them for when she pretends to cook! BTW, she’s being well trained – she loves to watch the food network with me especially Tyler Florence (Ultimate) & Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa).

  63. BTW – I read the Fish Pan Lady blog! Feel embarrassed for her. I think Dimaculangan name/family is from Laguna & seem to remember folks of that name from Cabuyao, Laguna where I grew up. But they in no way are as obnoxious as Ms. MD was!

    Someone at Hoffmann-La Roche (company I voluntarily retired from after 37 years) once accused PBS (WNET Ch 13 in particular) as being elitist & the reason why they don’t support the station w corp grants. I was dumbfounded! If it is being elitist to make “high culture” accessible to those who cannot regularly attend cultural events at venues like Lincoln Center theatres; then I don’t mind being called an “elitist”. I thought the whole idea/ideal was to bring the masses up to a higher level and not to stoop down & patronize them by lowering yourself to their level!

    Maybe “pretentious” is the word MD meant to use! And even then, you certainly are not!

    I thought there’d be no one to replace Doreen Fernandez as a champion of Philippine food & culture! I think that champion can be found in you MM!

    More power to you! I love, love, love your blog! Keep on doing what you’re doing!

  64. thanks for sharing our photos, MM.
    I believe there is a Century 21 near the world trade center. Me and my younger sis went shopping there last year, near Fulton st. just take the E train coz the subway is very adjacent. Next to it is my fav store- Brooks brothers where i buy most of my office clothes. Happy hunting next time when you’re n NY. Your kitchen is very manly- maybe Mrs MM can tone it down a bit- but i guess you use it most of the time. i still need you contact number for ordering your organic jams. thanks.

  65. hi MM, cant help but need to say my voice on this-:just an advice for your readers esp those living abroad or locally- PLEASE DO NOT GET SOUVENIRS from hotels or restaurants. I had been working abroad for the past 20 years and believe you me- pinoys are notoriously known for these negative acts. so please–please-please , refrain from these acts- not only as god fearing people but have some self respect too. hope your readers will not be offended. isnt it nice to sleep at the end of the day thinking that you did good.

  66. Hi,its me again, MM.Just read that post re “fishpan lady” . Whatever it is- I think before she comments on any issues-I think she should be passionate re food/cooking/baking. Though unlike most of your readers who are well off- i am just a humble office worker here in the East coast. But I make sure I save and splurge esp on kitchen equipments and gadgets. Fishpan is definitely amongst my a-list.one needs the proper gadgets and equipments if one wants to cook like a pro,dont you think?. I believe so- so dont be annoyed with these negative people. basta- i love your blog- keeps me very well informed and hopefully someday when i retire i plan to put up my own cooking school in the philippines mostly for the underprivileged and to teach out of school youths how to fend for themselves in a positive culinary way. happy halloween, MM /mrs MM and also to MM bulilit.

  67. @rosemarie: Point well taken! I should have said “have ‘stolen’ in the past! My kids were mortified! I don’t do this anymore. Sure don’t want to give Flips a bad name! They’re cheap stuff mostly. I’ve offered to buy them from Japanese restaurants but they’ve declined, so I had to settle for ones that were not so nice in design from Oriental grocery stores!
    Sorry – I didn’t mean to offend anyone w these peccadillos!

  68. I had a calphalon pan as it was one of the first kitchen things i bought when i migrated here. It is very sturdy, a bit heavy like a cast iron. I used it a lot until my dad used it to cook buttered shrimps with heads on, so it damaged the teflon coating. sayang and its a bit pricey too.Now im using a wok and a native kawali my mom brought from Pinas.

  69. I found those small stainless steel condiment cups at the restaurant supply aisle at Sam’s Club. they cost roughly $3 for a set of 6, or $0.50 each, got me a dozen.

  70. Nice Kitchen MM. I’d rather have a fancy kitchen in PI than a fancy car hehehehe. I also love cooking with cast irons pan, and would love to have the Maybach of cast iron (depends on how good I get with cooking hehehehe). Not a big meat eater but I do love BBQ’ing in our backyard, somebody else’s backyard or pool area. Ain’t nothin’ like a Cali BBQ party dude! Yay Area represent!

  71. Hahaha Botchok same here, my dad ruin my Calphalon pan that I used for cooking eggs (man, could I flip my eggs on one of those like a pro – yes up in the air dude!). Yeah my dad used some metal ladel or something and ruined it, he tried to deny it but I saw him a few times and told him. hehehehe eh may excuse matanda na raw sya so leave him be. So I bought a couple of cast iron pans from Walmart, no arguments here.

  72. just ogling at those lovely pots of yours, I love the wooden platter, and love your island with the built-in sink! although i’m not great at cooking like you, i’m still wishing to own one of those, hehe…do you buy mid-priced pots and pans? any good brands that pop up? Months back, I bought a stainless pan from Sunnex(Tristan line) and Beka saucepan and casserole and so far they cook nicely for me, but i really don’t know what to look for and expect from well-made pots/pans. And i also entertained an at-home cooking demo from a Berghoff brand of cookware that costs P50K and up for a set of 6.

  73. Well, well, I finally get to the bottom of this comments’ page, and now I don’t have much to say since everything I would’ve wanted to say has been said many times … The kitchen, the jackfruit bowl, the Double House … Thank you, MM.

  74. oh wow…how could i have missed this earlier? the kitchen is a dream, but for that kitchen to be in a beach house?!! double wow! but like any true-blue pinoy, you have a “dirty kitchen” …cute! i love everything that i’ve seen so far in this kitchen!

  75. Jenny, they have a Cardinal outlet somewhere behind the Makati Central Fire Station, near yakal street. I don’t have the address, but its back there somewhere.

  76. Beautiful house, reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s house in Fallingwater, Pennsylvania. Is the architect a FLW disciple?

  77. I love your kitchen… I wish i can have one someday! can you recommend a brand for cast iron pans? I’m looking for one but don’t really know what to choose. Thank you!

  78. They say the right set of tools is half the job. Pero hindi ko kilala ang names ng mga pots and pans dito, Marketman, mahilig lang kasi akong kumain. But! When it comes to decorative enamel pots and pans—I go retro—cathrineholm of Norway is a classic. And I don’t use them! I only look at them. You have a very lovely kitchen, though—so pristine—kaya tama si Sister, sa basement ako magkakatay ng manok.


  79. Ah, kaya pala ayaw ko ng heavy pots and pans ay dahil may tennis elbow ako, hahahaha. But I love food cooked in such pots and last spring, I contemplated buying an orange coloured pot at a flea market—kung olive green ang kulay ng pot na iyon, binili ko na dahil terno sa kitchen ko.

  80. Just got my Sur La Table catalog and Staub cookware on sale!
    12″ enameled cast iron grill pan $99.95 (value $200)
    2 1/2 qt enameled cast iron la cocottes $99.95 (value $175)
    2 1/2 qt enameled cast iron braiser $119.95 (value $211.99)
    6 qt black french oven with 2 bonus cast iron mini cocottes $199.95 (value $400)

    With no tax in Oregon, guess this is a great deal!

  81. Having grown up in a One room Apartment in Bombay, I love big kitchens therefore I have one same as yours in Sub-urban Bombay.

    But when I retire in the Pinas shortly…I want a kitchen on the Beach just like yours.

    Taas Noos MM

  82. Jenny, MM, the Cardinal Ceramics outlet is at Sacred Heart St. (formerly Dao St) in San Antonio Village. From Ayala you go down past the Fire Station and turn left to the street leading into Metropolitan Ave., go past the gas station and turn left into the first street. Follow the street past the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart church, the Inner Wheel school and it’s right after the Cerebral Palsy center.

  83. HI! I wanted to ask you about your Fisher and Paykel Dishwashers — do they work well? Am interested in purchasing a single drawer one and it seems to be the only brand of dishwasher here in Manila, that is also reasonably priced!

    Thanks in advance for any insights you could give me. :)

  84. MZ, we are quite happy with the Fisher Paykel dishwashers. But you should plan to use them regularly, at least 3-4x a week. Ours are at a weekend home so they don’t get used as much and require a bit more attention than normal, I think. It’s also best if you live in the city and your water supply is not very “hard” which tends to leave deposits in the dishwasher…

  85. Where in Metro-Manila do they re-coat teflon pans? Or would you suggest just buying new ones since the damaged pans are not really of good quality. Thanks.

  86. Staub hey? I might just give it a go. My girlfriend is a cook-a-holic and she wanted some Le Cruset equipment… So maybe if I’m feeling nice I might just go the whole hog and get her the ‘Maybach’.

    Thanks for sharing!

  87. HI mm,

    wENT THRU YOUR ARCHIVE TO SEARCH FOR ARTICLES ON POTS AND PAN. Our family just migrated to North America and I am so overwhelmed by the variety of brands being offered. There’s Lagostina, Calphalone, Cuisine Art, Gordon Ramseys …. For a starter, what brand would you recommend and have you tried any of these brands? Thanks

  88. @Mommy, when our family migrated to the US, we had to purchase or borrow everything for the kitchen. Things we were so used to, and didn’t have on hand when you needed one…visualize this, guesstimating 1/4 cup of sugar, just because we didn’t have measuring spoons or cups.The brands you mentioned are all good, and my suggestion is to plan these purchases based on red letter event sales around your place. Sensibility is also a good thing… Lodge, Paula Deen or Better Homes cast iron ware instead of the maybachs and benzes for starters. Watch out for the clearance prices as these stores restock their items, I acquired a Paula Deen cast iron casserole that way for $35, it’s regular price was $59.99. Just don’t rush into buying anything, get used to the stores around you, know what you need and plan for getting it.

  89. Hi MM,

    I’ve been following your blog for years but only read this post today as it came up in my Google search in pursuit of finding dishwashers in the Philippines. I’ve been to a couple of appliance stores and I have only seen Fisher & Paykel refs. Where did you buy your dishwashers? And if you don’t mind, please share how much one is. :)



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