The Comedy Cartel are the pioneers of observational point-of-view stand-up comedy in the Philippines. This year they brought the Laugh & Stack Open Mic Showdown, a one of a kind yearlong comedy competition that will discover the best of the best local comedians in the Philippines!
If you're tired of the usual gay comedy or just not a huge fan of being made fun of in a comedy act, then Comedy Cartel might just be right for you! We all know how Filipinos love to laugh and we like Comedy Cartel's mix of intelligent humor, Filipino do's and taboos and the green jokes.
Bakery Fair Philippines is the most anticipated event among the people in the baking and food service industry. From the successful bakery entrepreneurs to small home based bakery owners, from international and local baking related professionals to traders, from students/faculties to bread enthusiasts in different regions of the country, all gathered together to experience this exquisite occasion and for the passion of baking.
(Text by Paul Wenceslao, Photos and Video by JR Velasquez)
One bright idea, as the old adage goes, leads to another, and in the case of the Filipino food enthusiast, a family favorite recipe or an odd combination of ingredients scrounged up in the cupboard can perhaps lead to the next local food craze. Mercato owners, RJ Ledesma and Anton Diaz, made this a possibility by holding an annual competition for every budding food entrepreneur: The Next Big Food Entrepreneur.
Mercato Centrale, operating a popular chain of food markets all across Metro Manila, came as the battleground for the recently concluded competition, in which every aspirant was welcome to submit an application – in the hope of winning P100,000 as start-up capital along with a six-month free stay at Mercato.
For the past three years, The Next Big Food Entrepreneur has produced a slew of new food businesses coming from various places in the country, and this year’s batch of semifinalists is no different, if not more diverse. There were students who aspire to be full-fledged food entreps, an Indonesian food enthusiast, several individuals who luckily chanced up on the competition’s ads, and a Pinoy Masterchef winner.
“This year’s edition of The Next Big Food Entrepreneur offers a lot of diversity. A large number of creative savory meals were featured,” explains Abbie Sinjian, Experience and Event Manager of the Mercato group.
The food served by the participants ranged from flavorful Indonesian cuisine to the artfully stylized version of the local snack turon, much to the delight of Mercato’s owners as well as those who sampled the food from different booths during the competition’s awarding ceremony last Friday, December 19.
“We had a hard time selecting the winners, since everyone did a wonderful job and served really good food,” Sinjian added. True enough, each of the booths have the potential to make it big in the Philippines’ bustling food industry.
The 2014 TNBFE Winners
Being selected as a semifinalist in The Next Big Food Entrepreneur, which subjects participants to actual selling at a couple of food markets, is already considered a win for the budding entrepreneur. After all, booths get to showcase their wares to the buying public, observing how their products perform after making adjustments to both the food and the booth display. It’s the proverbial first step to establishing a food business.
A total of 14 participants made it to the contest’s semifinal round, all of which having dainty booths and serving noteworthy cuisines. The competition was expectedly stiff, and four came out as the big winners: Bakmi Nyonya, Bigorots, Turonne de Manila Café and Hunger Buster.
The Next Big Food Entrepreneur Winner 2014 series:
I love Live Escape Game / Mystery Rooms ever since we tried Mystery Manila’s Justice for Manila. It’s very addicting and a great challenging bonding session with your friends and family. Have you tried it?
Here’s our top 10 Most Awesome Live Escape Game / Mystery Room Experience in Manila in 2014:
1. ADARNA’S LAIR@BreakOutPH
ADARNA’S LAIR is the hardest Breakout Philippine’s real life escape room game experience. You play as detectives and find a cure for the initial spreading of the Zombie Outbreak in Manila. You only have 45mins until Dr. Adarna arrives or become a zombie bait.
I must admit this was the most challenging room we encountered, but also the most elaborate in terms of production setup and fun in terms of solving the puzzles.
We “almost” solved Adarna’s Lair, and here’s why we failed…
ADARNA’S LAIR You are a detective trying to discover more about the virus during the initial spreading of the Zombie Outbreak in Manila. Succeeding rumors of Dr. Adarna being involved with the Outbreak, you investigate his house to look for solid evidence and perhaps a way to stop the infection before it becomes too late.
Upon entering the premises, you get a feeling you are not alone. You start hearing sounds you only hear in nightmares. Can you find the information you need and breakout before you become zombie bait?
New Year’s Eve (NYE) Parties in Manila is getting exciting in 2015. You can decide to celebrate in a hotel – Sofitel, Solaire, Manila Peninsula or Best Western, or in the malls – Mall of Asia GMA 7 Countdown and Eastwood Quezon City Countdown. This year, TV5 is joining the NYE celebration with a Happy sa 2015 QC Countdown and the City of Manila with Sulong Manila 2015 Countdown.
Bonifacio Global City will be the center of the club party scene and after parties for New Year’s Eve. Check out VASK’s Glamorous Black and Gold Affair and the after party at VALKYRIE. Hop on to RAVEN, HYVE, VYNE and SKYE or catch the sunrise at the new club PANGAEA at City of Dreams.
Like us, we would escape the party scene in Manila either go to the Philippine Arena’s 2015 Philippine Countdown in the North or to Taal Vista’s New Year’s Eve Bash in the South.
Here’s the Awesome Guide to New Year’s Eve Party in Manila to welcome 2015:
Text by Paul Wenceslao, Photos and Video by JR Velasquez
Mercato Centrale, the country’s premier chain of food markets, has served as a launch pad for a plethora of successful food establishments, such as Manang’s Chicken, Spring and Chuck’s Grub among others. Recently, it held a competition for budding food entrepreneurs, doling out a much needed avenue for them to flesh out their gastronomic ideas: The Next Big Food Entrepreneur (NBFE).
This year’s roster of participants, coming up with a diverse lineup of savory delights and desserts, were given an opportunity to showcase their food creations and test the market, and many of them were able to leave good impressions to the buying public. In joining the Next Big Food Entrepreneur, everyone’s a winner; however, in the spirit of competition, there were four that stood out.
The Next Big Food Entrepreneur Winner 2014 series:
Emerging as the overall winner of The Next Big Food Entrepreneur, Bakmi Nyonya impressed both the judges and the buying public with their take on Indonesian food – they serve Indonesian noodles topped with mushrooms, herbs, spices and one’s choice between beef, pork and seafood.
Complementing the noodles are servings of large shrimp dumplings and spiced rice topped with spice sambal. According to Bakmi Nyonya’s co-owner, Gershwin Garcia, they are working with the different layers of flavor, each one being a vital component to one central taste.
“What’s startling about our noodles is that the overall flavor changes whenever different kinds of toppings are added,” explains Gershwin. “Our bakmi goes well with almost every entrée.” He went on to narrate animatedly how a fellow TNBFE participant’s dish, adobong pusit, perfectly blended with his bakmi noodles.
Triumph and having a keen eye for detail are the keys to success for Benguet band vocalist, JR Royol. After all, stringing together words for songs and meticulously minding the taste of cooked dishes are never easy tasks. Royol, however, isn’t one to back down from a challenge, and that challenge required him to trade the microphone for cooking equipment for a while and come up with an array of cuisines based on his roots in Benguet and his sheer love for food.
Prior to joining and winning “Master Chef Pinoy Edition,” Royol has got the Sous-vide method of cooking down pat, and wound up developing yummy dishes, such as the YOLO Humba and his own version of Chicken Pinikpikan (which he proudly calls “Perfect Cooked Chicken”). He has been eying Mercato for a long time, since he views it as a makeshift R&D department for his cooking.
Upon knowing about The Next Big Food Entrepreneur, joining the competition is a rather easy decision. “Paying customers have no bias; in fact, unbiased feedback is sometimes better than sales,” explains Royol. This line of thinking combined with his succulent creations made him an early favorite to win the competition.