Friday, March 18, 2016

The Launch of FOOD CREW PH!

        More and more Filipino people are getting online. Almost everyone I know, even the older generations, have smartphones and have Facebook. In fact, people nowadays spend more time online than watching TV. This just makes a strong statement that the internet is fast becoming the main medium for communication. This explains the aggressiveness of brands (specifically food brands) in looking for online food influencers with good reputation.

B'ley Villones Seanta Reyes Food Crew Ph

        So co-founders B'ley Villones and Seanta Reyes had a light bulb moment and created a community where food influencers can meet, collaborate, share ideas, and pretty soon hold fun workshops as well.  It will be a platform where foodies can promote the Philippine's food industry through social media. And of course, at the same time, it will be like a pool of online food influencers where Food Brands can get to know them. Check out what Food Crew has in store!

        Food Crew PH is just the first stop in the pipeline of Food Network PH. Food Network PH is an online food platform who's vision is to bring Pinoy food lovers together and support the Philippine food industry by way of online social media. So aside from Food Crew PH, we can also watch out for the next channels such as Food Buzz, Food Recipes, Food Places, Food Market, and Food 7107.

        So last March 12, B'ley and Seanta officially launched Food Crew Ph at The Cookery Place BGC.

        It was a fun and informative cooking session with Knorr, and other very well-known suki-sa-kitchen brands such as Lady's Choice, Quaker, Selecta, Vita Coco, Eden, and Nestle Cream. 

Food Crew PH Launch Chef Claude Tayag

        The launch was graced by the presence of Chef Claude Tayag. Chef opened our eyes and made us realize how the Filipino cuisine has a great potential in becoming the next culinary sensation aroud the world, with the right exposure. With famous food celebrities like Anthony Bourdain, and Andrew Zimmer raving about different Filipino dishes such as lechon and dinuguan and more. And Richie's idol Adam Richman (Man Finds Food), also featured Dedet Dela Fuente's famous stuffed lechon and her Lechon Degustacion just a few months back. (It was an unforgettable fan boy moment for Richie meeting him in the flesh hahaha!)

        On the other hand, Simon Majumbar, Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef judge, tells Metro Home Magazine that:

“one of the few undiscovered culinary treasures left in the world, and if the people of the Philippines attacked the marketing (highlight mine) of their food with the same gusto that they apply to eating it, it could be the next culinary sensation.” 
        So it all really boils down to marketing, and promoting on how delicious, and original the Filipino cuisine is. (Enter online food influencers!)

Philippine vegetables

        Filipino food is so delicious that all we need to do is serve it the way it is. No need to add other westernized ingredients to make waves. With our local fresh vegetables and good meat, it's all we'll need. A good example of this is Pinakbet.

        So Chef Claude demonstrated how he cooks his special Pinakbet. It's funny because my roots are 100% Ilocano. But I don't like Pinakbet. The last one I tried tasted too bitter for me. I honestly got a bit worried because during this time, I was starving. I did not have breakfast. And then we still needed to cook the food we were going to eat. And I don't like Pinakbet. But thankfully and surprisingly, I really enjoyed Chef Claude's version! Especially when eaten with Manila Belly's Lechon Belly! 


        I liked Chef Calude's Pinakbet I guess because it had lots of squash, which I love.

Food Crew PH Launch Pinakbet

Look at the beautiful color of the tomatoes and the shrimp paste! 

Chef Claude Tayag

        Almost done! Don't forget to add Knorr shrimp cubes to make it tastier! (See the recipe at the end of this post!)

Food Crew PH Launch

        As soon as Chef was done, we all (food and lifestyle bloggers) grouped ourselves in 4 groups, got out batch of Pinakbet, and did a little bit of food styling.

Manila Belly Pork Belly

        Each group also got a slice or two of this beautiful Lechon Belly to add to our plating. Our group got 2 slices for our plating.

Pork Belly Pinakbet

        And voila!!! Our group's plating! It's supposed to be like a Pork Belly sandwich but the meat as the buns hehe.

The other groups also did a spectacular job with their presentation!

Food Crew PH Launch

All in all it was a fun get-together with some of my favorite bloggers Yen and Ro! :-)

Amber A Mom Abroad

        Oh and thanks to Food Crew Ph's launch, I finally met Amber of A Momma Abroad in person! I only see her on Instagram :-) She's so nice! :-)

Bley and Seanta

        Congratulations Seanta for the successful launch of Food Crew Ph! More power to you guys! Follow Food Crew PH on Instagram: @foodcrewph

Pinakbet Recipe by Chef Claude Tayag


Pakbet Sofrito: good for 1 kilo (2 lbs.) mixed vegetables. 1/4 cup oil
1 pc medium-sized onion, peeled and chopped finely
8 pcs plum tomatoes, chopped finely  

1 tbsp. ginger strips
4 tbsp. shrimp paste (bagoong alamang, fresh from wet market, not the commercial flavored type), washed and drained.
Knorr Shrimp Cube  


1. Heat oil in pan, sauté garlic and onion until translucent. Add ginger strips. 2. Add tomatoes, shrimp paste and let simmer for 1 minute.  


10 pcs sitaw (yard-long beans), cut into 2-inch long pieces
1 pc 8” ampalaya (bitter gourd), cut lengthwise, remove white pith, and cut into 1” diagonally, or 6 pcs mini ampalaya, cut in halves and remove white pith.
5 pcs okra (Japanese variety, if available) cut in half diagonally
2 pcs eggplants, cut diagonally into 1/2” pieces
200 gms squash, peeled and cut into 1” wedges
Sigadillas/sigarillas – wing beans (if available)
Some green finger chilies
100 g Patani or broad beans (if available)
Some kalabasa (squash or pumpkin) flowers, buds and young leaf tips.  


1. Boil 2 cups water and add 1 tsp. salt. Blanch each vegetable (except for the kalabasa flowers) separately as each one has different cooking time, using the same water (except for ampalaya, the liquid you will discard.) Make sure not to overcook. Keep the remaining liquid. The flavor and nutrients of the veggies are in it.  

2. In a sauté pan, heat the sofrito and add the remaining liquid from vegetable blanching. Allow to simmer till liquid has been reduced by half. Add the mixed vegetables and mix well. Serve immediately.  

3. Top with chicharon, bagnet/lechon kawali, or boneless lechon. Another option is to top it with grilled or fried bangus, or boiled shrimps/prawns. Kalabasa flowers are for topping only. They can be served raw or made into tempura. 


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