Chef Johanne Siy
Johanne Siy is the head chef of Lolla in Singapore and a Female Chef of the Year nominee of World Gourmet Awards, Singapore.
Siy’s cuisine is eclectic, a reflection of herself as a Filipina who was educated in culinary school in New York, then wandered and cooked around Scandinavia. Now based in Singapore, Siy shines bright.
In the counter-style, open kitchens of Lolla, the Culinary Institute of America graduate has brought us great pride by masterfully showcasing her talent and skills, making use of the freshest ingredients available from all over the world.
Mabuhay, chef Johanne Siy, the work of your hands does us proud. We wish you all the best!
Let us support Chef Joanne. Visit gsawards.com/wga2021/main.php/vote/1-Chef-of-the-Year-Female/ and vote for her under the female professional chef category.
The deadline for voting is tomorrow, March 12. Non-Singapore residents are allowed to vote.
Nara Express Thai meals to go
Nara Thai Manila now offers their packed meals to go.
Food at Nara Thai, known as one of Bangkok’s best restaurants, is cooked with a light hand. The flavors are refined and mellow. Their fare is set apart by their chef’s mastery of combining sweet, sour, spicy and salty, without overpowering the taste buds.
As expected of Thai food, many of their dishes are spicy, but at Nara, though hot at first bite, it never burns, but rather, gently evolves into a balanced mouthful of flavors on the palate.
Nara Express offers six set menu combinations, of which my top picks are 4, 5 and 6. These sets contain all my personal favorites.
Meal No. 4 consists of Massaman Beef, Fried Squid with Plum Sauce, Chili Fried Rice with Shrimp Paste, Caramelized Pork and Salted Egg.
This is mouthwatering. I am a fan of their Massaman Curry, tender pieces of beef slow-cooked in spices, gingers, chilies, herbs. The result is a deep red curry that is aromatic, a tad spicy with a sweet finish.
Another personal pick is the Fried Rice with Chili, which is a meal in itself. It is so delicious, especially when savored with salted eggs. The complex flavors and textures are derived from the mix of caramelized pork, crispy catfish and shrimp paste. I would alter this set by requesting for Pad Thai in place of the squid, as it stays delicious even when served cold.
They can, by the way, create lunchboxes curated just the way you like it.
I am delighted by Meal No. 5, as well, Soft-shell Crabs in Tamarind Sauce that was good even after having been transported. The Chicken Pandan and Bagoong Rice completed this packed meal.
Meal No. 6 is Pad Thai, Pomelo Salad and Gayang. It was an easy eat. Simple yet greatly satisfying. (Tel. 0995-9323147; follow @NaraThaiPH on Facebook and Instragram.)
“Pares” by Papa PJ’s
I’ve had the privilege of watching chef Edward Bugia’s career blossom. From the beginnings of Pino Restaurant to date, he has evolved and matured as a chef. The playfulness of his fare and his ability to boldly combine flavors that work are his strengths. Of late, though, I’ve seen a more serene cook in him. He has come into his own, confident enough in his skills yet still as passionate as ever to continue exploring the many wonders of food.
His new business venture, Johndough, is Bugia’s successful experiment with sourdough. Johndough breads are made with all-natural ingredients that are well thought of and carefully crafted by head baker and chef Angelo Miguel Santos, who personally selects the wheat to grind into flour for their breads. Aside from breads, Bugia also plays supportive husband to his wife’s cookie business called I Want Chip.
Of his many pursuits of late, it is the launching of his pares that I am most thrilled by.
While I appreciate fancy food, I am at heart a simple eater and with pride, take delight in the honest flavors of a well-executed, home-cooked meal—such is Ed Bugia’s pares that he playfully calls Papa PJ’s.
He described their pares as a labor of love. Though an inexpensive meal, Ed stressed that he still makes use of “quality ingredients and chef-level techniques such as the addition of wine in the tenderizing process.” Further, “we have options to add on tendon and marrow also, which isn’t as common in other pares concepts,” and sets his version apart from the rest.
I, of course, had mine with both tendon and marrow; needless to say, it was to die for, literally and figuratively. Other add-ons include egg noodles, garlic rice and fried egg!
Bugia’s pares is a must try, for those who are in the mood for the warm and fuzzy flavors of home. So hearty. So good. (Tel. 0915-2301649; follow @papapjparesph on social media.)