Cooking fused with love and care will always be part of being a Filipino. Our passion for cooking is always given a highlight during the numerous cultural and religious festivities that occur every year in the country. Whether it is fiesta or not, we, Filipinos, love to eat food and we always find time and reason to celebrate with our friends and family. Put simply, we passionately share our unique and delicious cuisines cooked with a hospitable heart for the hungry tourists and our dearest love ones. However, being too much in love with food can take its toll in our health. We will eventually develop heart diseases, diabetes and obesity if we are not responsible with our food choices and personal cooking habits.
Fortunately, the Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil team brought Chef Donita Rose, their talented, lovely and energetic ambassador, in Naga City last September 19, 2016 at SM City Naga to help raise the awareness of Bicolanos regarding the benefits of preparing heart healthy dishes. But, before the real cooking demonstration started, the Nagayon team, Bicol Bloggers and other audiences had a good laugh first at the jokes of the kapuso host and comedian, Mae Bautista, as she facilitated the fun mini games brought by various sponsors such as Rite med, Cignal, UFC Banana Ketchup and Quickchow instant noodles.
During the cooking demo, our celebrity chef, Donita Rose, together with a young local chef introduced us to a Bicolano inspired dish called “Banana Leaf Wrapped Crab and Coconut Tilmok”. With enthusiasm, they demonstrated how the food is prepared and cooked. It would probably take over an hour to cook this dish because the crab meat must be removed from crustacean’s inedible parts, the tilmok must be steamed for 20 - 30 minutes and the sauce is prepared separately. Anyway, it was a delight watching her cook for the Bicolanos.
In case you are wondering what Tilmok or Tinulmok is, think of it as a Bicolano version of Pinangat, a savory dish wrapped in banana Leaves or dried gabi and eaten after steaming. Of course, the pretty chef had her own style and culinary techniques when she cooked the tilmok using the local spices and other ingredients found in Naga. (Click the link to download the recipe.)
It was actually a great opportunity for us "Oragons" to think about how we choose and prepare the food we eat and adapt a healthy lifestyle like using Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, which has loads of Omega 3 and 6 and the lowest saturated fat among vegetable oils. The versatility of the oil is so perfect. We even learned that it is affordable and great for any type of cooking because of its neutral taste, light texture and high heat tolerance.
The best thing during the event was trying out the sample dish made by Chef Donita. It was so good! Surprisingly, the banana wrapped tilmok was served with steamed rice! It was a perfect combination because the rice heightened the flavor and texture of the native dish. It is not very sweet or too salty but it is a little bit spicy. And the coco milk made it creamy and memorable. She definitely hit the “Tatak Oragon” taste.
The Nagayon team and the Bicol Bloggers were grateful to be part of the event. We headed to the Red Platter restaurant to meet and greet Chef Donita Rose and join her there to eat a sumptuous dinner. It was a very special moment for us because we were able to meet the real Donita Rose, talk more about her fervor in cooking and explore the importance of her advocacy on healthy eating and meal preparation. She is a very beautiful, down to earth woman with a really good sense of humor. We are hoping that more influential people like Donita will pursue their advocacies passionately in order to make a huge difference in this world. Truly, we are eager to see her succeed in all her endeavours.
Over all, we must always be conscious about the ingredients we use as reiterated by Chef Donita Rose, the brand ambassador of Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil. Preparing food is not only about producing a delicious meal but it’s also about proper nourishment of the body for a better health.
Photo Credits: Black and White Scribbles