Monday, May 24, 2010

A Fantasy Filipino Fiesta in Hawaii

Our International Cooking group is celebrating the Philippines tonight with a fiesta in East Hawaii, it was a beautiful event held last night.  Most of the diners from our cooking group love to experience new cuisines, enjoy the food and spend the time to catch up and talk about the various ingredients and dishes made throughout the Philippine Islands.

The event started with a vinegar tasting and demonstration. Filipinos use many differents types of vinegar to first extend the shelf life of their dishes and to add an accent sour flavoring. Vinegar is used in many of their dishes, including marinades, sauces, soups and a variety of meats, fishes, vegetables, stir fries and all manners of uses. We tasted palm, coconut and a sugar cane vinegar and learned about the different uses for each vinegar.

Afterwards, we had a cooking demonstration making a local lumpia dish where you have to separate the lumpia wrappers and then fill them with a shrimp, pork and vegetable mix topped with a glazed sweet sauce, raw minced garlic and peanuts, quite an interesting mixture of sweet and sour and pungent garlic.

This followed with another dish called ukoy made of shrimp, onions and juilienned potatoes finished with our sour vinegar and pepper sauce that we made in the demonstration.

As you can see all the centerpieces, the bar and serving areas were filled with our exotic orchids and tropical plants which added to the visual and tropical experience of the fiesta.

The flowers are inserted into large bamboo poles like a horizontal vase that covered the entire table below

Aaaah, its time to start with the appetizers and the main course...see how quickly our group heads to the star attraction... which is the eating!

Seating around and eating...everyone is quiet and concentrating on the different dishes, sauces and food sensations that many are not accustomed to eating with Filipino dishes.

The last event was a talk about the native plants that are grown and prepared for the typical meal, then an amazing slide show presentation, highlighting the various cultures and history of this nation of over 7,000 islands, quite a mixture of many culture and influences.

A few more shots of friends that showed up for the event and even dressed in local tribal outfits and other Filipino attire.

Thank you for coming and visiting our event, I hope you enjoyed our Sunday Fiesta from the Philippines...come and take any of the orchid displays home if you wish they should last you awhile since the flowers were just picked this morning.

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Jim said...

Looks like fun. Beautiful orchids.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Sylvia K said...

It does indeed look like a fun event! And so colorful along with great food and beautiful flowers! Everyone does seem to be enjoying themselves! Marvelous photos, Noel! Thanks for the fun tour! Have a great week!


Surfie said...

That really sounds like something I'd love to participate in. I'd enjoy learning about new foods and how to cook them. I've never heard of coconut vinegar - I wonder if it tastes anything like I imagine. What is in that stew that you have a couple pictures of? It looks delicious!

Ami said...

The food looks so delicious! The center piece is stunning! Oh, those orchids, you have to have a plenty of those to cut for a center piece!

Noelle Johnson said...

Oh, I can almost smell how delicious the food was and I am getting hungry
;-) I love how they arranged the orchids horizontally.

Carver said...

Your cooking group sounds like so much fun and a great way to learn about the cultures and foods of different places. The orchids are gorgeous.

DeniseinVA said...

It looked like such a fantastic evening Noel, a fun event. I wish I could step into those pictures to try the delicious cuisine.

Indrani said...

Fantastic shots!
Looks like a grand event.

Catherine said...

love all those orchid shots - and don't get me started on the food...wonderful!!

Arija said...

Sounds like a great way of spending time with like minded people and enjoying a feast as well.

Anonymous said...

Dear Noel, all shots are very ncie and show to us your world.The dishes, flowers, peoples around u.LIke a real life that u live.that´s good
I like that kind of blogger
Foods?love it...
nice day

LadyFi said...

What a fun event - delicious food and gorgeous flowers!

annalarssonphotography said...

Gorgeous flowers and delicious food!

Have a great week!

Unknown said...

"Mabuhay" is the word.

Regina said...

Happy fiesta Noel. I can smell the delicious Menudo.
Love the orhids as well.
Beautiful post and photos.

Ellada said...

Beautiful photos and The food looks so good, Miam!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a fun event and what a cool way to display the orchids, which are incredibly gorgeous.

I made a mistake here though by visiting you before breakfast. My stomach is growling! I don't think that bowl of dry cereal is gonna' do much after looking at these pictures. Yumm.

Joe Todd said...

Wow what a great event

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

A fun event with food and orchids. A rare vinegar indeed, the coconut vinegar. I have seen how nipah palm vinegar done in the younger days...

Andrea said...

Hi Noel, nice meeting you with those photos! I am glad the Filipinos can still do the fiesta wherever they are, and it not only serves as bonding and socializing time but also to share the beauty and exquisite taste of our dishes.

I remember when i happened to be in UH Manoa during the Independence Day, the Filipino group of students made native foods for the guest speaker, who was then a Dept Sec of Tourism. However, nobody knows how to cook 'salabat' to go with 'turon', so i helped them do the salabat, and it was very appreciated by their guests. They said a guest also prepared it. I was so glad to have contributed for the community. More power to your group there, take care.

Sebastian Marquez said...

Hi Noel, I just came across your blog... awesome pics! Being Filipino myself, I'm glad more people are interested in the cuisine. Did you guys have sinigang? It's my favorite comfort food.

By the way, from checking out your posts, I noticed you like orchids... have you ever seen the endemic hawaiian types? There are 3 species and they are not very showy, but they are native.

You should come to O'ahu and I can show you all the native plants!

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