Chef David Hilo and Chef Omar’s Winning Recipe of Bicol Express

Chef David Hilo, 2011 graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, is moving soon to Cincinnati, Ohio to work in a plush sushi restaurant.   But glad to have him in the CelebrEATy Circle with his chef-buddy Chef “O” and shared their version of the “flaming dish” Bicol Express.   The 2 chefs were fun to watch while doing their prep works in the kitchen and really observed the “mise en place” and cut up veggies and meat the professional way.   Soon they were ready for the camera…and so as not to get embarrassed again for the second time, they made sure they had vegetable oil this time.  The 2 chefs entered a cooking competition with this same recipe few months back.  They admitted they were a bit nervous, like true first timers in food competition, and when it was their turn to do the demo, to their shock and horror, they didn’t have vegetable oil to saute chopped onions and ginger and minced garlic.  But they regained composure and boil coconut milk to extract coconut oil….brilliant, it even made the dish extra-special.  And they were handed the best dish of the nite…what a great story!  To both chefs, my congratulations and more power…I really encouraged them to audition for Food Network Star or Hell’s Kitchen…they both have the drive and passion, and I volunteered to work on their personality.  Here’s the recipe for the Bicol Express:


2 cans Coconut milk
1 can Coconut cream
1 root Ginger, chopped
3-5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 large Onion, chopped
1 Kalabasa (squash), peeled and chopped
10-15 finger long peppers
10-15 Thai chili pepper
1 red pepper, sliced
1 lb Pork loin, sliced
1 lb Shrimp

Visit Chef Omar’s blog:

and view their you tube demo: (demo on Bicol Express w/ Chef David Hilo)



An Enchanted Evening at the Meadows Club, Rolling Meadows, Illinois

My taping for Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies was terminated without even showing the baked cookies, not good.   Reason — we needed to get to The Meadows Club for its 4the Anniversary Celebration.  As always it was one of those tight scheds, no one to blame, but plenty to blame on the “rush-hour” traffic.   But we got there — Veronica, Joe, Jovie, the Kramers Don and Flor and myself.   Many guests already enjoying hors d’oeuvres and exotic cocktail drinks.   The multiple cuisine stations (salads, meats, Indian foods, pasta, seafoods, and desserts) were all busy — oh my, what excuse shall I tell Jillian and Bob now!  Wonderful “oldies but goldies” tunes from the live band were truly special — the music was simply making food digestion faster, really.   Madan Kulkarni, CEO of the Meadows Club was all smiles throughout the nite.  Then it was time for some entertainment  — in style.   Top Chicago designers put on a magnificent display of top calibre dress creations worn by lovely fashion models.  There were ballroom dancers too and oh yes, the well-applauded gorgeous belly dancers.   What a nite!

The Meadows Club is at 2950 W. Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, IL 60018

Get in touch with lovely Rian Mari Enriquez, Sales Manager for conventions, weddings, and special events.

Happy Memorial Day Celebration Photos plus Veronica’s Birthday

It may not be officially summer, but no doubt, Memorial Day was hottest (at 85 F).

About an hour drive to Kramers…. for some good eats, good conversations and good “fun in the sun” moments.  And first thing I checked, “Are we grilling yet?”

Mmm, makes me even more hungry now…the meat looking pretty gorgeous in the grill…oh those grill marks!

Ok, the table spread….lotsa lotsa array of “all-things-Filipino” foods, from pancit (noodles) to the ever-present Lechon (roast pig).  Hey Miss Piggy, I love your tan!

Titah Veronica Leighton and her guests were all eyes on the gorgeous birthday cake.

And back to more chats, girls’ talks, guys’ walks, etc. etc. etc.

Thanks to the Kramers (Don and Flor).