Love For Leche Flan; Baker Kristine de la Cruz

 

Original Leche Flan  Photo: Let Me Eat Cake

Original Leche Flan
Photo: Let Me Eat Cake

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Kristine, co-owner of Creme Caramel LA,  and I met a couple of years ago. She had a small sweetly -intoxicating booth at Unique LA.  It featured two of my favorite  desserts, bread pudding and Filipino  leche flan. I had never tasted flan this good and with such a variety of flavors.   I’ve forced her to be friends with me ever since.  I got a chance to sit down with the self professed “bread pudding maker” to chit chat about life, love and leche flan.

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Filipino Flavored Gifts For Your Boo

Sea Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars
Photo: Coastal Home

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

Going “out” on Valentine’s Day can be a lot of pressure. That shit can be bananas. I avoid the headache and settle for tasty take out, Netflix and my boo.

Although I’m over the “going out” part of V-Day, I’m not really above the gift getting. I love me some swag!  If you’re punching yourself trying to figure out WTF to buy for moi or  your hubby or baby’s mamma, life partner,  side- piece, jump-off or whomever, don’t pull your weave out just yet.

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Game Day Goodness; Perfectly Pickled Awesome Okra

Who Says Filipino Food Aint Pretty!

Pickled Okra with Red Onions & Yellow Peppers

 

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

Although many of us hate to admit it, deep frying is one of our favorite ways to get down in the kitchen. For some, it’s the only way.  So it wasn’t a surprise when Chef Sheldon brought it for the “Everybody Loves Fried Chicken Challenge” on last week’s episode of Top Chef Seattle Not only did he serenade his bff with his awesome ukulele, Sir Simeon threw down serious eats with his rendition of a Momofuku recipe. Lucky Peach founder David Chang was in the house, which made this move mad ballsy. Ginger Josh shook things up with his secret spice blend in a brown paper bag. Both cooks gave it their best efforts and dos dishes sounded delicious, but the homie with the handle bar stache  took the top spot. Congrats.

So, in honor of the lard lovers, Super Bowl watchers and Beyonce believers, I’ve come up with two versions of one slightly sweet, super sour, tasty-tangy side dish for that  game day fried chicken, Pickled Okra with Red Onion and Yellow Peppers. They’re the perfect addition that cuts through the “richness” and just compliments the goodness.

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Chef Sheldon Simeon Showcases Filipino Food

Chef Sheldon Simeon

A Pleasantly Surprised Chef Sheldon Simeon

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

Chef Sheldon Simeon is on a roll. On last week’s battle he seduced the TOP CHEF judges with his Sinigang (tangy tamarind soup) and this week…Well this week he won the naysayers over with his delicious “modern Filipino” restaurant concept, URBANo.  “Urbano”, named after Sheldon’s  Lolo (grandfather), went head to head with the twisted French flavors of Chef Kristen’s “Atelier Kwan”.  Unfortunately and fortunately, Ms. Kish’s concept, team and execution could not conquer the war. It was a close call, but ultimately Sheldon lead his team to victory by staying calm, cool and collected. I’m sure he would’ve lost his shit if he knew about Stefan’s front-of-house shenanigans.

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Learn Lumpia, Filipino Cooking Classes, What!

Lumpia Love!

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins

Lumpia is, hands down, the house party favorite. I have never thrown a shin dig and had left over lumpia. It just doesn’t happen.  They are the petite, meaty version of a Chinese egg roll. Lumpiyang Shanghai, its “government” name, are deep fried finger foods stuffed with a delectable blend of ground pork, minced onions, sweet  raisins, chopped garlic, garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper and soy sauce. Eggs bind the raw mixture.

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Filipina Wins The White House; Chef Cristeta Comerford

Filipina Wins The White House; Chef Cristeta Comerford

By Karena Apollonya Ebora Higgins 

The election is fast approaching and who knows what the hell is going on. The thing I do know is… “he who controls the food controls the world”!  With regards to the White House, it ain’t either of those dudes. The Commander in Chief a la Cuisine is Filipina Chef Cristeta Comerford.

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Cap’n Crunch Halo Halo; Chef Dale Talde

Cap’n Crunch Halo Halo; Chef Dale Talde

Most of you know him as the hot headed Filipino dude with glasses from Top Chef Season 4, but Dale Talde’s got all that under control now (so he claims). He better! He’s got shit to do and a restaurant empire to run. This m*ther f*cker (I mean that lovingly) has not one, but two NY spots; Talde and Pork Slope. Talde is “a hit” and Pork Slope is just getting started. From what I can tell (by the online menu and YouTube videos) Chef Dale  ain’t apologizing for sh*t;  not his potty mouth, nor his love for Filipino food.  This assertive Pinoy opened Talde, “the neighborhood joint” in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The menu incorporates Asian, Island and American  cooking methods and ingredients.

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4rth Annual LA Beer Float Showdown

4rth Annual LA Beer Float Showdown

This past weekend I got my judging on. I was asked by my buddy Josh Lurie of Food GPS  to participate in the 4th Annual LA Beer Float Showdown. The contest features local breweries and restaurant chefs creating the most thoughtful, yet decadent beer and ice cream pairings.

Golden Road Pub not only hosted the event, they were one of the five breweries showcasing their skills that hot hot day.  Eagle Rock Brewery defended themselves against three other So. Cal favorites Strand Brewing, El Segundo Brewing Co. and Beachwood BBQ and Brewing.

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Food & Wine & Voting; Pig Parts Rubs Elbows with Top Chefs

Food & Wine & Voting; Pig Parts Rubs Elbows with Top Chefs

Summer’s almost officially over,  booooo. Here’s a recap of one of the best events we attended during the break, and what we have planned to end the summer right.

In August, we had a chance to hit up Food & Wine’s Asian Night Market . The event was held in front of the NOKIA theater downtown, “you fancy huh?“.

We were welcomed with a bright red carpet, a step-n-repeat and empty, to-be filled wine glasses. There were so many booths and so many comforting aromas, we didn’t know where to start. First on our list was cuisine a la Zimmern, a shredded beef slider. Chef Andrew was actually there, actually cooking and actually friendly. He loved, loved, loved the PP&B tee shirt we gave him.  The other top chefs took positions, manned their stations and it was on like donkey kong!

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Flippin’ What? Flippin’ Who? – FLIPPIN’ YOLK Truck enters the scene

Flippin’ What? Flippin’ Who? – FLIPPIN’ YOLK Truck enters the scene

I attended the  first FPAC  20 years ago when I was a SIPA kid (I am now buying a rocking chair and subscribing to AARP). Through the years I’ve not only been a guest of the FIL-AM event, but I’ve participated as a vendor who successfully sold my Pinay Clothing gear (one of the first ones out there…check, check y’all).  This year I wanted to show some love and represent for PP&B. I decided that early Saturday morning, right when festivities began, I’d  find myself some good Filipino-style breakfast. Enter the fabulous Flippin’ Yolk food truck.

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