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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Easy Cool in Chloé

photo credit:

Chloé recently launched its Resort 2013 collection, consisting of stunningly beautiful pieces in relaxed fabrics and cuts. Whites, browns, and powder pinks and blues make up the main palette, with every leisurely number--including the sportswear-inspired ensembles--giving off floaty romanticism. 

The CityLifeStylist

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breaded Chicken Fillet with an Oliver Twist

Jamie Oliver's Crunchy Garlic Chicken is the first chicken dish I ever made, and I was very pleased with the outcome. It did have a little crunch and was deliciously garlicky with a tangy bite. It can be even more flavorful with a sprinkle of dried basil.

Here is the recipe based on Jamie Oliver's, with notes on the options I took and the modifications I made:

Crunchy Garlic Chicken
by Jamie Oliver
(Serves two)


  • One (1) clove of garlic  Note: This garlic lover opted for three small cloves instead!
  • One (1) lemon Note: When I cooked the dish for the third time, I tried to substitute the lemon with six (6) pieces of calamansi. It turned out more sour but just as yummy.
  • Six (6) saltine crackers Note: I used Skyflakes--how very Pinoy!
  • Two (2) tablespoons butter
  • Four (4) sprigs of fresh Italian parsley Note: Aside from these, I also used a sprinkle of dried basil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Two (2) heaped tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • One (1) large egg, preferably free-range or organic
  • Two (2) skinless chicken breast fillets, preferably free-range or organic
  • Olive oil

  1. Peel the garlic and zest the lemon.
  2. Put your crackers into a food processor with the butter, garlic, parsley sprigs, dried basil, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whiz until the mixture is very fine, then transfer the mixture to a plate. Note: My kitchen is still very old-fashioned; I used a mortar and pestle. It's very time-consuming, though, so that food processor is next on my shopping list!
  3. Sprinkle the flour on another plate.
  4. Crack and beat the egg in a small bowl.
  5. Lightly score (slash) the underside of the chicken fillets.
  6. Put a square of plastic wrap over each fillet and bash a few times with the bottom of a pan until the breasts flatten out a bit. Note: You can get creative with this one; using a rolling pin would yield similar results.
  7. Dip the chicken in the flour until both sides are fully coated, then dip in the egg and finally, in the crumb mixture. Push the crumbs into the chicken fillets until they stick and completely coat the meat. Note: I let each fillet stand to dry for three to five minutes before putting them in the pan because if it's still a bit wet, the mixture tends to slide off while cooking.
  8. Jamie says you can either bake or fry the fillets. I chose to fry them by putting a pan on medium heat and cooking the fillets in a couple lugs of olive oil for five minutes on each side until crisp and golden. (Check out the original recipe for instructions on how to bake it.) 
  9. Serve the chicken fillets whole or cut them into strips and pile on a plate. Serve with a  lemon wedge for squeezing over and a sprinkle of salt. Note: Sprinkle some dried basil as well.

This dish is already great eaten alone or with rice, but Jamie suggests pairing it with a salad or "simply dressed" vegetables. See Jamie Oliver's original recipe here.


The CityLifeStylist

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The CityLifeStylist in the Kitchen

Meryl Streep as Julia Child in the 2009 film Julie & Julia
photo credit: Sony/Columbia Pictures
On my birthday last year, I resolved to learn to cook before reaching the big two-four. That was in October, and until about a month ago, I was still completely clueless in the kitchen. My childhood fear of stoves and knives would creep up on me whenever I would think about trying it, but one day I woke up and decided to give it a go once and for all.

I started with making the perfect moist, fluffy scrambled eggs--the kind I've always loved but couldn't teach our household help to make because, well, I didn't even know how they were done! After that small success, I started getting more "challenging" recipes from all over the internet, like Jamie Oliver's website and a number of recipe portals. I then ventured into a bit of experimentation by making my own cream-based pasta dishes, and, inspired by a food article assignment, managed to whip up an authentic Peruvian dish.

My newfound fascination with culinary thrills gave me an idea for the blog. Now I'm making a few adjustments with The CityLifeStylist Eats by going beyond food reviews to include tried and tested recipes from around the globe.

Hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned.

The CityLifeStylist

Monday, June 11, 2012

Durian Convert: Discovering a Different Durian in Bukidnon

After my Tuguegarao trip last January, I left town again to do more interviews the following month, this time with local officials of the waterless municipalities of Abulug, Allacapan and Dangcagan in Bukidnon. Hopped on a plane to Cagayan de Oro and took a four-hour drive to the province, which was quite picturesque with all the fields of pineapple, sugarcane and rice, to name a few.

While I didn't get the chance to sample the province's luscious pineapples, I was introduced to a delicious variant of durian. It tasted completely different from the durian I first tried in Davao! It was sweeter, and had a creamier, smoother texture and a less pungent aroma. The variant was also smaller, and its flesh was a more subdued shade of yellow.

Unfortunately, the sellers in the market we bought them from could not give us more information about this particular durian, except that they are of the "Puyat Davao" variety. There are bigger, more pungent kinds under this variety, though. Check out the sign and the pile of bigger durians in the photo--those are the ones with the stronger smell! So I guess the next time I hunt for my kind of durian, I'll just have to describe it!

My colleague and I loved it so much that we bought some every chance we got. This is what it looked like after a night in the freezer. It tasted like ice cream the morning after.

So good, it can win over initial non-fans of durian!

The CityLifeStylist

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the June 2012 MEGA Stylephile Shoot

Nadine Howell has a poised and sophisticated yet effortlessly cool vibe about her, with a bright smile and warm demeanor to match. Her style is reflective of her personality, as you will see in the Stylephile section of MEGA magazine's Pinoy Pride issue.

Here are photos from behind the scenes.

I interviewed Nadine while Elaine Ganuelas of The Face Shop did her hair and makeup. We talked about her job as Marketing and Operations Manager of 2nd's, a hip comfort food restaurant in the heart of Bonifacio Global City, as well as her childhood, her love for food and travel, and her signature style.


Nadine then proceeded to model some of her smart, elegant ensembles. And a real pro she is--it only took her a few minutes to change from one outfit to another!

Photographer Ron Mendoza and MEGA Graphic Artist Yselle Reyes, in charge of art direction, commended Nadine's ease in front of the camera. Her natural grace shone through in every snapshot.

The photos came out beautifully, and the shoot wrapped earlier than the target schedule. We also appreciated the hospitality of Nadine's mom, Lay Ramos-Howell, who was beaming with pride for her eldest daughter. A whiz in the kitchen herself (and proprietor of Mom's Gourmet Tuyo), she gave me some easy cooking tips when I shared how much I wanted to learn to cook.

Nadine also gave some cooking advice and dished about her favorite fare aside from items on the 2nd's menu, which I've added to my must-try list: cakes and coffee from Ristorante Pia y Damaso at Greenbelt 5, and ramen from Shinjuku Ramen House and Ukkokei Ramen Ron, both in Makati.

Read more about Nadine Howell in MEGA's June 2012 Pinoy Pride issue, which features one of the country's biggest stars, Sarah Geronimo, on the cover. This ish also launches the magazine's Global Pinoy List.

The CityLifeStylist