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Everything evolves when technology evolves, especially food. New technology meant new ways on doing things and these new things are supposed to increase efficiency of the way people lived, in this case, the way people ate. With the evolution of the ship, new foods are introduced to different countries faster and those new foods would be cultivated and propagated all over that country. Potatoes did not originate in Ireland, as people usually think they do, but rather they originated from the Incan Empire. The Spanish had brought the potatoes back to Europe, after of course they slaughtered the whole civilization. (source)
Then during the industrialization age, around early the 1800’s, scientists had begun to experiment on how could food be more efficiently preserved for one main use: to feed their soldiers during war. It was inventor Nicolas Appert who had invented bottling to answer the call of the French military on presenting new ways on how to preserve food. Appert’s discovery lead to canning, which lead to pasteurization.(source)
After the Cold War, powerful countries like the United States invested in the continuous search on the most efficient preservation of food. Their studies were based on the food that were sent to military troops that needed to last long due to the unpredictability of war. Thus, freeze drying, sodium bezonate, artificial sweeteners, and etc were invented and quickly entered our households.
Food now today, to most of us, needs to be quick. We live in a world where everything is instant. We want food fast and we want it now. Technology has created packaged food that creates a simulation of eating food. Considering the nutritional content of these instant foods, would one actually accept it as food? By definition, food is, “any nutritious substance that people eat or drink in order to maintain life and growth.” When we look at a recipe for cup noodles, would we find a chemical formula rather than a list of ingredients? (source)
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From being a reporter for the Manila Times and the Philippine Herald, Lorenzo "Larry" J. Cruz left his job and opened Cafe Adriatico, the very first restaurant of the JFC Restaurant Group. I guess we could thank him for starting themed restaurants in the country as most of the restaurants under the LJC Group has a vintage Spanish and Mediterranean touch. LJC is known to be the pioneer in theme/concept restaurants in the Philippines.
Cafe Adriatico is the flagship of the LJC Restaurant Group. when it first opened its doors in Remedios Circle in Makati, 1979, people from different social clusters starting buzzing about the delicious food and impeccable ambiance the cafe has to offer. The menu boasts of their Spanish-Mediterranean dishes that also reflects on our Filipino heritage. My personal favorite is Lola Ising's Adobo Rice which is basically deep fried pork belly on a bed of rice which is sauteed in adobo sauce, accompanied by a special adobo dip. I love adobo and I will never get sick of anything adobo.
Abe is a restaurant dedicated to LJC's father, Emilio "Abe" Cruz, who was an artist-writer, a gourmet and bon vivant. This restaurant serves traditional Filipino dishes leaning towards the Kapampangan side. These dishes were inspired by Abe's travels around the world.
After the death of Abe, LJC dreamed of setting up a resort and restaurant all in one in memory of his father. Abe's Farm is located near the foot of Mt. Arayat in Pampanga. Aside from the restaurant, there is a pool and a spa for those who want to unwind and relax. You could spend a couple of nights in the wooden Ifugao huts (that are air conditioned, mind you.).
While there is a restaurant dedicated to LJC's father, of course, there is one devoted to his mother, Felicidad De Jesus-Cruz. Fely J.'s dishes serve treasured recipes picked up from Fely's travels in Fely's style: fresh, natural, and attractive. The one and only branch is located in Greenbelt, Makati City.
When Larry J. Cruz passed away in 2008 due to complications from cancer, a tribute in his memory and his personal preference that comprised of baklava, paellas, and tapas, started Lorenzo's Way. This restaurant features the signature dishes of the other popular LJC restaurants.
Going back to where it all started, Ang Bistro sa Remedios offers country cooking in a chic setting. This is the 3rd bistro and 5th restaurant of the LJC Restaurant Group. The two-storey, mid-20th-century home fit for the ilustrados of Manila from the past, comes this restaurant which offers Kapampangan heirloom recipes of the Cruz family. If you're brave enough, you should give their Betute a try! (If you must know, it's stuffed, fried river frogs) Also, don't leave out their Crispy Spiced Camaru (rice field crickets).
Thanks to Lorenzo "Larry" J. Cruz, themed restaurants and cafes are spreading out all over the country. I guess what sets the LJC restaurants apart from everything else is that they have their signature vintage touch that offers a look and taste of Philippine history in every corner. Someone once said, Larry can't cook, but he sure did create great concepts that redefined Philippine cuisine throughout the years.
-Daniela (∪ ◡ ∪)
I thought Nora Daza would be a household name in the Philippines but when I suggested her for an article this month, some from the team went, "Who?" I wanted to cry because she is… she is… where do I even begin to describe Nora Daza?
Nora Daza is a legendary culinary figure here in the Philippines. I remember first being introduced to her when my lola gave me her cookbook Let's Cook with Nora for me to practice with. Then it was my mother who would talk about all the astounding things she has done in her life. She was born in the late 1920's and died recently two years ago. She did not learn cooking through the usual way where mothers would pass down their knowledge to their children. Her mother did not cook and they always ate outside. "So I said, ‘No, I’m not going to do this. I’m going to cook for myself!'" She started flipping pancakes at the age of eight and entertaining her parents and her parents' friends.
She graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman with a degree in Home Economics and then continued her training at Cornell University, New York. She then moved on to work in less glamorous surroundings as the supervisor of the UP Cafeteria. But her charisma and elegance shined and grabbed ABS-CBN's attention, thus she hosted three cooking shows in her lifetime.
But what was truly great about Nora Daza were her restaurants. Au Bon Vivant was the first authentic French restaurant in Manila back then, and she didn't even know how to cook French food at first. She had to take classes with young boys in France to master the cuisine. People say that Filipino food should be brought abroad but it has already been done. She added New York City to her list and opened Maharlika, a restaurant that specialized in her native cuisine, and people loved it. Her greatest achievement was when she was able to open Aux Iles Philippines in Paris. Paris, France. She won over the French, the people whose palettes are extremely hard to please when it isn't their own food that they're tasting, with Filipino food. Thinking of it now, it does seem like a far fetched idea. But Nora Daza says, “You know, I’ll tell you: I am not afraid!” Her restaurant had even landed two forks and spoons on the Michelin Guide. She achieved all of that while having a whirlwind of a love life, by having two divorces and a death of a lover.
However, we were not born early enough to witness all of this greatness. The only thing our generation will have left of her is her legacy. Her legacy lives on in her words, with her famed cooking book that is an essential in every Filipino's home. Her legacy will also live on with her children, as Sandy Daza has followed her foot steps in improving the Filipino cuisine with his restaurant Wooden Spoon and his cooking show. Her daughter Nina Daza-Puyat on the other hand is the Editor in Chief of Appetite Magazine.
Let's keep her legend intact. Let's not forget that there was this amazing, wonderful, charismatic Filipina who has set standards of greatness in the food world in the Philippines.
Sources: 1 2
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Brought about by necessity and practicality, the very first diner was created back in the 1850's in Rhode Island. What first started as a horse-drawn express wagon became one of the most in demand establishments in a lot of places, especially during the great depression. Although the arrival of fast food chains in the 1950's dramatically changed the game in the food world, some diners are still standing strong and are still producing amazingly cooked meals for a very affordable price.
These diners may have started in the Americas but it has definitely reached the other side of the world. Jugo Bar is a diner themed, hole in the wall restaurant located in the 2nd floor of the Katips building in Katipunan. Once you enter the place, it's like you've been transported to another decade. With the apt tunes playing in the background and the fitting vintage decor, you will surely feel like you're in one of those diners back in the good old days; it also lives up to it's mouth watering good food for an affordable price promise - not to mention it's conveniently located along the Katipunan road.
We got to try some of their best sellers and here's a run down of some of the things you should definitely check out when you go here:
JACK BENNY'S DECKER WITH WAX
It may sound a little sketchy at first with the wax attached to it's name but there is seriously nothing you should worry about, it's just cheese. A diner cannot be a diner without it's burgers and this is one of Jugo Bar's all time bestseller. This burger has it all: a too good to be true burger patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, more cheese, and perfectly cooked bacon. After you finish this, you'll definitely want to have more, especially with those bacon strips.
So whenever you feel like you need to grab a quick bite and you don't want to go back to that fast food chain that you always find yourself in, try passing by Jugo Bar and experience a piece of history with every bite.
- Marian & Anna
The interiors and ambiance of a restaurant is an important factor in the customer's overall satisfaction. It will be the restaurant's design that will first catch the diner's attention. No matter how amazing the food is, a dirty, loud, and painful-to-the-eyes walls will ruin an appetite. Themed restaurants are currently taking the world by storm. Some restaurants offer a small look at the past. Here are a couple of places that would take you back to dine how many decades or centuries ago:
KRYJIVKA - Lviv, Ukraine
Yurko Nazaruk helped establish Kryjivka, an underground bar designed to duplicate the bunkers (kryjivkas) where the Ukrainian Insurgent Army took cover while battling the Soviet invaders during World War II. “All this material you can show in a museum. But still, how many people come to museum?” Nazaruk asked. “We are trying to help people understand better their own history.”
To enter, a bouncer opens the door and greets you, "Slava Ukraini!" which means, "Glory to Ukraine!", you respond with "Heroyam slava!" which means "Glory to it's heroes." You are given a shot of vodka, then pass through a false bookcase that leads to the secret bunker bar where you can enjoy typical Ukrainian rations or take your best shot at a photo of Stalin with a BB gun.
ULELE - Tampa, Florida, USA
Enjoy the sunset over the Hillsborough River as you remember the legend o the Tocobaga Indian Princess named Ulele (pronouned you-LAY-lee). This Pocahontas supposedly saved the life of a young Spanish conquistador, Juan Ortiz. The Native-inspired menu comes from the fusion of Tampa's history of Native Americans with the colonists to create the most unique and delectable meals.
CRISOSTOMO - Eastwood Mall, Quezon City, Philippines
Named after Crisostomo Ibarra, the protagonist of the well-known novel, Noli Me Tangere, which was written by the Philippines' national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, comes Crisostomo, a modern twist to this historical literature which offers traditional Spanish and Filipino cuisines. The walls are filed with drawings of the characters from the novel.
ELIAS - Robinsons Magnolia Mall, New Manila, Quezon City, Philippines
The interiors of Elias resemble a mix of an exquisite Filipino home during the Spanish colonial period and a modern, classy Filipino restaurant in the 21st century. This restaurant is an upscale version of Crisostomo, both owned by one of Manila's finest chefs, Chef Florabel Co Yatco.
-Daniela (∪ ◡ ∪)