In My Kitchen – April 2014

by Amanda McInerney on 11/04/2014

I’m a “sometimes” participant in this monthly sharing party created by my mate Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. I’m afraid I don’t often get organised enough to join in, but I have this month – so here goes!

In my kitchen is this cap – a memento of a very special experience I had last week.  I was a guest, along with reresentatives from ten Asia/Pacific countries, of KitchenAid at the KitchenAid Gourmet Summit held over three days at the remarkable Enderun College in Manila, in the Phillipines. Enderun is a world-class college offering courses in the fields of international hospitality management and business administration. Founded in 2005, it is affiliated with both the top-ranking Swiss Les Roches International School of Hotel Management and the prestigious Alain Ducasse Formation of France. Along with my team members, Kate of Finger, Fork and Knife and Tucker and Anna, the Senior Brand Manager of KitchenAid Australia, I was given an exclusive look at life as a culinary student at the college, under the tutelage of Enderun’s Corporate Culinary Head Chef See Cheong Yan. I learned, cooked and ate my way through the three days and will share some of my experience with you in the  coming weeks.

I’m proud to say that the Australian team made an excellent showing at the KitchenAid Gourmet summit, winning five of the seven Instagram competition prizes (I won 2, Kate won 3) and coming second in the international cook-off. (I do need to point out that we came second to Hong Kong who actually had a chef in their side!) The Instagram prizes were perfect as far as I was concerned – a selection of local produce. We received various things, including these delicious banana chips. Made from the local banana hybrid Saba (not Sana, as is on the label) they are sweet and crunchy with a caramel-like richness. I found out why when I checked the label – they are made with extra sugar and coconut oil. No wonder they are so more-ish. I’ve been eating them for breakfast because they’re fruit, right?

All of the KitchenAid Gourmet Summit delegates were accommodated at the luxurious Makati Shangri La Hotel (swoon) and I found another Pinoy treat, this time from Cebu, in my hotel room. They are really thinking over there in the Philippines – what’s not to love about luscious mango dipped in chocolate?!

If you think you might be detecting a theme here, you are right. The Filipinos seem to have an extreme fondness for sweets and if they can add sugar anywhere, they will. The Australian team was taken on tour around the city of Antipolo in the Rizal region, about 25 kilometres from Manila. We had a wander around some of the local street food stalls and I found these treats. They are a combination of milk and sugar so I thought they might be some sort of caramel and I guess they are – sort of.  They are soft and very sweet, tasting very much of milk – almost caramel-like, but not quite.

The KitchenAid people were extraordinarily generous – each of the delegates received a KitchenAid Artisan Food Chopper as a gift! I’m a complete addict when it comes to kitchen gadgets – especially well-designed and efficient ones like this compact, but sturdy little machine. It has a 3 1/2 cup capacity and has already come in very handy with some quick chopping jobs in the kitchen. And it came with an adapter in the box – how thoughtful was that?!

The Gourmet Summit was full-on, with not a minute to spare for any shopping, but a resourceful woman can always find time for retail therapy. Fortunately I had a couple of hours spare in transit in Hong Kong airport where I found a tea shop. Mindful of the fact that I had at least 30 different kinds of tea in my cupboard at home, I resisted the urge. However, they had some truly beautiful tea-ware there for sale. I fell in love with the most exquisitely desirable tea caddy I’ve seen in a while. It was a very simple, round shape, glazed in a pale green celadon-like glaze with a simply styled leaf on the lid. There was no way I could justify the $380 price tag, but lucky for me I found this tea strainer and stand in the same glaze and style. Even this is a bit too pricey to actually use but it was the very last one, so clearly meant to come home with me.

Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of KitchenAid for her trip to Manila.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Milk and Honey April 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Sounds like lots of fun and some wonderful things to bring home to your kitchen.

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef April 12, 2014 at 7:38 am

Weren’t you lucky to go on that marvelous trip for Kitchen-Aid. I love their products and who couldn’t live without their mixer? Not me. Your tea strainer is wonderful and even if it’s too expensive to use – use it anyone and enjoy every minute of it!

Mel @ The cook's notebook April 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

That all looks fabulous! Am curious as to how you managed to get the banana candy back into Australia as when I’ve tried it’s been confiscated :(

Amanda McInerney April 12, 2014 at 9:11 am

I also had dried mango & declared it all, but they weren’t interested. They said that as it was commercially processed & packaged it was okay.

Amanda McInerney April 12, 2014 at 9:14 am

Maureen – I learned lots about their fabulous range while on the trip, but mostly I learned that I’m underusing my KitchenAid stand mixer. I’ve come home with renewed interest and have some big cooking plans using the mixer attachments. Now all I need is the time to get into the kitchen.

Kate April 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

What a ‘sweet’ trip, lucky you !!

celia April 13, 2014 at 5:49 am

Oooh, treasure! Love the little tea strainer, and how nice of them to give you a mini food processor – I couldn’t manage in my kitchen without mine! And of course, bananas and mango are good for you, so eating them for breakfast is a healthy option, right? :)

Anne April 13, 2014 at 7:35 am

Lucky you Amanda. Sounds like a very educational and indulgent experience – think I should move there so my own addiction to sweets won’t be so obvious!

Hotly Spiced April 13, 2014 at 8:54 am

Congratulations Amanda on being selected to go to the Philippines with Kitchen Aid. What an honour and by the sounds of it, a very wonderful time. How fabulous to be given that chopper! I love Kitchen Aid and all their gorgeous appliances – they not only look good; they do a great job. I loved your comment on my blog about parallel lives. So funny! I do hope the plans go well for the 21st. Right now I’m just on the other side and am in recovery mode xx

Anna Johnstn April 13, 2014 at 1:15 pm

DDang girl… Thats amazing, what a wonderful experience. KitchenAid are the bees knees. :) The tea strainer is gorgeous to, my bestie adores tea, I shall have to find her one just like it. Oh yeah, mango & chocolate…. I wish it was still summer, 2 of lifes best foods together. Yarm!!

Fiona @TIFFIN bite sized food adventures April 13, 2014 at 10:15 pm

So THAT’S what you were doing with KitchenAid – great opportunity and great post. I’ve never been to the Phillipines but I know that love the sweet stuff!

Selma @ Selma's Table April 14, 2014 at 10:05 pm

What a great post for IMK! Looks like it was a great trip all round. Love the tea strainer and stand – so beautiful!

InTolerant Chef April 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm

What a fun and productive time you must have had! Love your goodies and chopper, lucky you x

Louise Rhodes May 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Wow what an experience Amanda! Sounds amazing and such a nice follow on after the fabulousness of Tasting Australia. I love my KitchenAid (thanks, Masterchef Magazine!) but suspect I underuse it too. All the best, Louise

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