9.Hat's off!


I am tired, but am smiling from ear to ear.
I am hungry, but I made food for a hundred people.
I couldn't feel my feet, but I could feel the love.

What we served today on the Filipino Lunch buffet is what I do, who I am, and what I live for. I am overwhelmed by the patronage of friends who took time from their busy office lives to come to 4Vuodenaikaa for an hour long lunch. Some of them even got lost but persevered to find the place. Some even had to take 2 buses just to get there. I am humbled. Your kindness leaves an everlasting sense of warmth inside of me. You have no idea how this is fueling my desire to better myself in making delicious food and introduce to you our wonderful Filipino dishes.

I do not forget! I will not forget....

.... That 4Vuodenaikaa gave me a staging place to serve you.
I will be forever grateful for this wonderful boss, for allowing this event to take place.
For giving me this opportunity to show what I can do.
And with this, comes growth and development.
For that, I thank Chef Bull.

.... That my sous chef did not disappoint.
Who was still working 'till late in the night.
Who had my back.
Who didn't make feel inferior, and allowed me to shine.
For that, I thank Chef Tummy.

.... and to the rest of the staff of 4Vuodenaikaa, who made it all possible, I am indebted. You are wonderful people and together you make one wonderful place to work!

The Veggie Springroll magic!
Thank you, Mary Jane and Luvie!
Chicken Adobo

Antti's plateful of happiness! (literally)

8. Pinoy ito!

Chef Tummy turning Pinoy for tomorrow! He was akin to learn how to make pan de sal but he couldn't make them into a smooth ball like I want. He put his hands up and asked to wrap the springrolls instead. Haha. And they weren't the same sizes. I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the fact that today, he was learning something from me. 
I couldn't boil my adobo the way I would have wanted it but it is working out well. It looked and tasted the way I wanted it to. 
Ceviche will be phenomenal, because the salmon is so fresh and the sauce so spicy! 
My helper for the day, while prepping the ceviche.

And this?

... I had a sudden craving for pan de sal! Haha. So I am making it for tomorrows staff breakfast. 

See you tomorrow Tamperelaiset!

7. Pick-a-boss!

Well, Chef Bull isn't officially my boss. But if I am to choose a boss after Wim (my current boss), I will choose him. He took me today to buy the ingredients for Friday Filipino lunch and apparently, they are expecting 100pax for this lunch as they have been advertising it. More than twice the target for normal Friday lunch! No pressure there, boss.

Chef Tummy is more than a pretty decent chef. He is very good. So I wasn't expecting him to have a hard time with the menu that the boss is giving us. But he did. And I hope I helped him out of it by rectifying the lunch for tomorrow.

It is rather challenging and stressful in a different kind of setting. The feeling is real though! We get a list of food to make, and we have to concoct it. Make miracles, more like it. I do learn everyday. And it felt like my very first restaurant managerial job back in the Philippines. I look forward each day to coming to work.

I was the soup lady today, by the way. And it was delicious! I always make this chicken noodle soup for Ria when she is sick. Very similar to that, with garlic, onion, ginger, sesame oil and broken-down eggs, sans the noodles.

Oh yeah, these knives might just be from Ikea, but it feels like they were made for my hands.

6. Where are your eggs?

I remember going to the original owner of the Pyynikin Liha, this serious looking father figure, who is about in his 60's and asking him in my carefully thought Finnish; "Missä teidän muna on?"

The look on his face turning red, horrified to down right laughing with a snort! I was of course appalled at myself after my husband told me what it meant when I reached home. To my non-Finn friends, it meant "Where are your testicles/balls?"

Today, I was the Omelette Lady, and this was my station. Very happy looking tomatoes with mozarella and basil added later.

Just so you have an idea, this is Chef Tummy and he is that tall. My head doesn't even reach the top of that tiled wall.

And this is Chef Gorgeous tasting the salmon ceviche I made for them. 

I thank God everyday that I am in the company of these wonderful people with golden hearts and amazing cooking skills. If happiness is being with a person who loves doing the same things as you do, multiply that with 10 and that's how I feel!

5. Filipino Lunch Buffet 30.10.2015

Oct. 26, 2015

It is official. We are serving Filipino Lunch Buffet at 4Vuodenaikaa on Friday, 30th of October. It is located at Pyynikintie 25, 33230 Tampere. Bus 25 goes there from the city center. You can get off at the Trikookuja bus stop.

1. Shrimp Sinigang
2. Vegetarian springrolls
3. Salmon ceviche with salad greens
4. Chicken Adobo
5. Vegetarian stir fried - Chop Suey

'Twas a kale day for me. I have only prepared it once before, but I think it turned out quite well. Mixed in with roasted potatoes and served with 2 fish meatloaf. Chef Tummy did a good job on this. Thumbs up!

Salmon Ceviche - Kilawing Salmon

4. My balls aren't the same size....

October 24, 2015

... but neither are yours! Falafels are a cheeky treat.

It is amazing that my chefs give me free reigns. I get to make these balls on my own and they loved it.  Chef Tummy asked me if I have made falafels and I honestly said no. He told me to look for the recipe and that I will have to do it for Friday lunch. So I did. I washed, I weighed, I measured, I grind, I mixed, I balled and I deep-fried 'em balls!

I was quite happy that Chef Bull (the one who interviewed me) came to me just to say how delicious the falafels are and that he liked it very much and thanked me. Am sorry, but that just felt fantastic!

Let's see what's in store for me next week. Chef Tummy (the chef who was born a year after I started cooking) is making fish meatloaf. That ought to be good!

3. Ecstasy

October 23, 2015

Chef Tummy asked me to prepare a Filipino themed lunch buffet for next week, Friday! It is usually a slow day. But WTH? It is still going to be my kitchen for a day! I must have been doing something good to be asked on the 3rd day.

This is something I consider an ecstatic moment. They are putting their faith in me even if it is on a slow day. But, I have a plan! I am going to advertise MY day. I am going to do everything I can to ensure that the food will all be gone on MY day. As a passionate Filipino cook, I am personally invested to get MY Adobo out in the world! Even if it is only in Tampere city for now. So yes Tampere! I want you to come and spend your hard earned money on a lunch you will never forget. No, make that I NEED YOU to come and enjoy yourselves on that meal I will prepare. I am going to make sure that you will be happily fed and get your moneys worth.

Pyynikintie 25, 33230 Tampere
Puh: +358 50 400 9510

Chicken Adobo offered by Apple Cooks for a catering.

2. Chicken shouldn't have snots!

October 22, 2015

I clean my chicken well. I really do! I don't care how long it takes, I have to clean my chicken. So today, I was tasked to wash about 15 kilos of chicken. That whole thigh and leg part. With some of the lungs attached. I washed and I rubbed till the chicken lost it's slime.

From the age of nine, I was taught by my mom to clean poultry by rubbing it with rock salt to take that slimy snot like film under the skin. Make sure that the lungs left behind the rib cage is taken off by simply sliding your thumb through it. And to peel off the tough yellow skin at the heel. More like the skin covering your Achilles' tendon. These things are ruining the flavours of your wonderful chicken. Remember to run it under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper before cooking.

So there I was, on the sink with piles of chicken, washing away, while the chefs came by one at a time checking what I'm doing. Well, it took me a good 2 hours to wash em all, cut them in two pieces and lay 'em all on trays. Yup! I used a good chunk of time. I am not going to bend my virtues on this. I want those freakin' chickens to be finger-lickin good!

Image credit:  https://hdwallpapers.cat

1. Dead Tired!

October 21, 2015
2 days in a professional kitchen, and I am dead tired!

Being a mom/cook/caterer for God knows how long, has taken a toll on my body. Not in that sense. I have forgotten how to exercise because of the need to do house chores. No, not so much in that sense either. My house is always a mess. But the need to always have something new to cook, serve and eat. And that takes a big chunk off my energy. The preparation that goes into it, the work itself and the clean up after. So going into a professional kitchen was something I should have prepared my body for. Psychologically, I cannot be more than prepared.

My first task was to chop veggies for wok. Easy. I do that all the time. Except I have to chop around 20 kilos of different vegetables. In the beginning, I was chopping really fast because it was 10am and we open at 11. Until more than halfway, when one of the chefs told me it's for tomorrow! So I slowed down. Apparently, the people in the kitchen were amazed by my chopping skills. Score!

Next, I had to make chocolate mud cake. Still easy. I can do it with my eyes closed. The catch? I have to make 6 batches in one go. You know those street construction guys with drill machines to cut the ground? That's how big the hand mixer is. I looked like a dwarf with this hand mixer on a 30liter pot! And to top it all, I had to melt the butter and chocolate on this pot on top of a portable stove on top of  the counter which is already high for me to begin with. And yes, I was on my tiptoes.

Before the day ended, I was given the task to make caesar salad dressing from scratch. Not my best suit, but I shall wing it. So I was given a container to fill and counting my eggs, I took 20. But of course, they use the whites too. And I miscalculated. So in the end, the chef had to take out about 14 beaten eggs from the mixture.
And that's just the first day!
I intend to learn as much as I can from this endeavor. So bear with me!

The gooey-absolutely-delicious choclit mud cake!


We are all born to cook! I believe that. Even those who blatantly call themselves an idiot in the kitchen, will soon have to eat. Putting together a meal should not be complicated. Neither should it be snobbish or scary. It is supposed to give nourishment and satisfaction. And we all can do it! I promise. For as long as you do not burn the house down, you are already one step ahead. :)
 A gift from Peipei.

A gift from Estela.