Get to know Mhel and Ken Ignacio of Certified Foodies

Claude’s Le Cafe de Ville for USPB Potato Safari 3

Last December 2015, I was invited by the US Potato Board (USPB) to join their Potato Safari 3 in Davao City. After a brief introduction to frozen US Potatoes, we were then into vans, traveled back in time, and landed at the front gate of Claude’s Le Cafe de Ville Restaurant.

Facade Claude’s Le Cafe de Ville Restaurant Davao City

Claude’s Le Café de Ville has become a household name in Davao City and Davaoeños recognize it as the quintessential fine-dining restaurant in the city. A colonial house transformed into a dining spot, its atmosphere evokes a laid back and relaxing feel. It is known for its unparalleled French and Mediterranean cuisine and excellent service.

 

Chef Claude Le Neindre

After looking around this Instagram-worthy locale, we were introduced to owner and chef, Claude Le Neindre, from Loire Valley in France. He started his culinary career at the Hotel de L’Univers and the L’Etoile d’Potel in Paris. He soon went on to work with five-star chains such as the Hilton, the Inter-Continental, and the Sofitel and Novotel of the Accor Group. After a short three-year stint managing a 16th century property called Hotel Du Dauphn in L’Aigle, Normandy, Claude sold his shares and decided to settle down in Davao City with his wife. He worked for two years as the resident manager of Pearl Farm Resort before he started building his namesake restaurant in November 1995. The restaurant officially opened on the 1st of May 1996.

Chef Claude Le Neindre of Claude's Le Cafe de Ville Restaurant for USPB Potato Safari 3

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My US Potato Board (USPB) Potato Safari 3 Experience in Davao City

While everyone was busy with their holiday preparations last December 2015, I, together with other Manila food bloggers, flew to Davao City to join the Potato Safari 3, coordinated by the US Potato Board (USPB), the organization who handles the promotion and marketing for US Potatoes across the globe.

United States Potato Board (USPB) Potato Safari 3

 

About US Potatoes

The third of the Potato Safari began with the Global Marketing Manager of USPB, Susan Weller, giving us a brief and informative introduction to US Potatoes.

Susan Weller Global Marketing Manager of USPB

The potato is an integral ingredient used in cuisines all over the world. It is so versatile that it can be used in appetizers, soups, main entrées, or even desserts. But do you know what the world’s favorite way to eat potatoes? Of course, as French fries!

The most important thing I learned from Susan was that it’s NOT true that fresh local potatoes are superior over frozen potatoes in terms of quality and nutritional content. Frozen US Potatoes are, in fact, a whole lot better because they meet strict FDA and USDA specifications—a reason why they have become the top choice of renowned chefs all over the world.

US Frozen Pototoes from USPB

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Chicken Curry with Carnation Evap : A Creamy New Tradition

Since I moved out of our home in Malabon and started living alone, I always look forward to the days when I pack up my things and go back home to spend long weekends or the holidays with my nanay and bro. It’s not only because I miss spending time with them, but also because I long for my nanay’s cooking. In the past year, I actually found a way to satisfy my craving for her cooking — recreating her dishes in my own little kitchen. One of my all-time favorites is her Chicken Curry, which is one of the dishes she usually serves for Noche Buena.

Chicken Curry with Carnation Evap Recipe

My nanay uses fresh coconut milk to prepare her Chicken Curry. When I tried cooking this dish (with Ken’s help), I found out that Carnation Evap actually works well too! It gives my version of nanay’s Chicken Curry a rich yet unique taste and flavor, and I also noticed that Carnation Evap made the dish even creamier. I’m sharing the recipe below for you to try it yourself and taste the difference. My nanay already had a taste of this dish (she let me cook it this year for Noche Buena!), and she gave me a thumbs up. :)

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Highway Ribbery Grille: Haven of Criminally Delicious Comfort Food

After a long and exhausting day at work, most people combat stress by stuffing their mouths full of delicious and filling food. We are guilty as charged! My sister and I are big stress eaters, and it’s  a crime we’re more than happy to repeatedly commit at restaurants that serve straightforward comfort food like Highway Ribbery Grille in Quezon City—the latest brainchild of Chef Niño Runas, who is the same chef behind El Cangrejo in Tomas Morato.

Highway Ribbery Grille Restaurant in Quezon City

 

Highway Ribbery Grille

Highway Ribbery Grille first opened its doors May of 2015 and has become one of the newest and hippest hangout place to hit La Loma, Quezon City. Its industrial-themed interior design, together with the wooden tables and chairs, delivered a rustic yet modern appeal. The restaurant is not air-conditioned, but don’t worry; they have enough cooling fans to keep the area at a tolerable and comfortable temperature. They also have more tables on the second floor, including a rentable function room that can accommodate up to 35 people.

Highway Ribbery Grille Restaurant Dining Area in Quezon City

For our refreshments, my Nanay and I ordered two glasses of their House Blend Iced Tea (PHP 125), which arrived ice-cold and had this super refreshing citrusy flavor. Mhel, on the other hand, asked for a bottle of the Belgian craft beer, Brew Kettle (PHP 55), that turned out to be incredibly light and tasty. Highway Ribbery Grille has a limited line-up of alcoholic beverages, since they want the restaurant to become more of a dining joint than an inuman spot. Aside from Brew Kettle, the other beer they offer is San Miguel Light for PHP 50 a bottle.

Beverages at Highway Ribbery Grille Restaurant Quezon City

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