Food Blogging Seminar at Serye Restaurant

Last Saturday marked a lot of firsts for me. It was my first time going to Quezon Memorial Circle. It was the first time I experienced sheer terror while crossing a street. It was the first time I attended a writing event that centered on food. With the amount of food love flooding the place, however, I sure hope it won’t be my last.

I’m referring to the First Blogger Food Writing and Photography Class held last Saturday, July 14 at Serye Restaurant. Organized by Jayvee Fernandez, it had a separate module on writing and photography, led by veteran magazine food writer Christine Nunag and seasoned digital photographer Markku Seguerra.

Christine Nunag giving a lecture

Since it was announced that it was going to be held at Serye, I knew eating was going to be involved. Still, the amount of food they kept plying us with left me flabbergasted. After Christine’s lecture module, we were told to put blindfolds on. I figured this was going to be one of those blindfolded taste quizzes like the one they did on Top Chef Season 1 (Go Harold, Go!). My guess was partly correct. Instead of being made to taste ingredients though, they stuffed us silly with sampler sizes of various Serye dishes! Since I had never eaten at Serye before, it was quite an adventure for me.

You know what they say? When you’re blindfolded, your other senses go on hyperdrive? Well, either my other senses are lazy, or I just have indiscriminate tastebuds! My learnings?

1. Kare-kare has no distinct taste on its own. I wouldn’t have identified it, if my second bite didn’t have a bit of bagoong with it. Well, either that or I just have very stoopid tastebuds.

2. I can identify Sisig from a mile away! One sniff of dish #1 and I was furiously scribbling on my notepad: Sisig. Serye’s sisig is quite good. Too bad it was a tad cold already, I imagine the crisp sisig bits melding with the chewy, gelatinous cartilage bits would’ve been fantastic served hot. The slight sourness provided by calamansi was perfect against the salty sisig. I don’t know if their recipe is naturally like that or if someone squeezed calamansi on my portion.

Serye's Chicken Barbecue

3. Barbecue is in the Reyeses’ genes. Since the restaurant is the brainchild of fourth generation Reyeses—the same family that brought us the Filipino institution Aristocrat, we know that they do good barbecue. And the boneless chicken barbecue we tried at Serye was just that. Sweet, salty, tender, aromatic and juicy. Still, being the loser I am, I couldn’t pinpoint what meat it was at first bite. So I took another spoonful—only to be surprised when I realized that it was the achara sidedish that I bit into! Rude surprise, yes. ^_^;;

4. A marriage of Pinakbet (a vegetable medley) and Bicol Express (a spicy coconut-based dish) is one made in heaven! Serye’s homegrown Serye Express is a restaurant exclusive, so I was left stumped during the tasting. I could taste the spicy coconut-based Bicol Express style sauce. But I also bit into a squishy, fleshy slice of eggplant! If I have a reason to eat at Serye, this will be it.

Serye's Pinoy Fondue

5. I am unschooled in desserts. I had no idea what I was biting into, only that it was all yummy. The only thing I could vague identify was the last bite, a still warm serving of mini-Turon. That one, I knew was traditional turon–saba bananas wrapped in spring roll wrapper then sugared and fried). But the other two bites, and the ensaymada, were mysteries to me. When we were finally allowed to look though, what we saw was a plate of beautiful dainties, mounds of crisp, golden mini-turons, little ensaymadas and a dish of tsokolate (native Spanish-style chocolate). Apparently, it was their Pinoy Fondue. How apt!

6. I know my noodles. I could tell bihon (thin glass noodles) and miki (local soba-like noodles) apart. Yay! I’m not a total loser.

Food Bloggers on a Photo Rampage!

We tasted a total of 8 courses, ranging from soup (Sinigang na Tiyan ng Bangus / Milkfish belly in Tamarind soup), to entrees, to a drink (Serye Iced Tea). The tasting was a pleasant and interesting experience. I wanted to be right! So you can just imagine how excited we all were when we were finally allowed to remove our blindfolds. We had hyperactive food bloggers madly snapping pics!

The exercise was truly an eye-opener for me. This made me realize how my vision and preconceived notions about how food tastes like affects my judgment. Not that it’s a bad thing, but this exercise made me more aware about truly tasting a dishes’ flavor. Will this reflect in my subsequent posts? I do hope so, but give me time to adjust.

NEXT–PART 2: Hands-on Food Photography starring Serye dishes!

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18 Responses to Food Blogging Seminar at Serye Restaurant

  1. jen says:

    Hi! it was really nice meeting you last saturday! Buti ka pa you’re done na with your article. I’ve got this bad habit of procrastinating.

    eniwei, i love visiting your site and look forward to more bento posts! :) btw, pano na pala ung wordpress tutorial natin? hehe!

    • kaoko says:

      Nice meeting you too! Hehe, I’m not yet done, I plan to write a part 2 with the photography session pa. And more food tasting, hehe.

      Nice to know you enjoy the site 😀 I have a bento post here, I just need time to write later, maybe over lunch.

  2. betty says:


    ako rin wala pang homework! bad betty, bad! haha!

    ganda ng picture mo with christine and the projector, very dramatic. you know what’s really strange? i remember the slide she’s showing, and i swear, maliwanag nung dinidiscuss nya yun! either super galing ka lang talaga mag dramatic photo effects, or that’s a really creepy picture, hahaha. :)

    • kaoko says:

      Ala-chamba yan, hwehwehwe. I have a handful of pics with her and the projector, syempre I chose the madrama one, haha! Plus, I also remember this part too! It’s probably because we were all so busy squealing over the more exotic food items she mentioned. No deadline naman homework, hahaha!

  3. dementedchris says:

    OMG! You cut your hair!

    (Sorry, I know I should be commenting on your food blog workshop, but I am drawn to the most inane things.)

    • kaoko says:

      Ha? My hair’s still here! Still in a stubby little ponytail, still trying to grow it into something more manageable for the Turtle & Rabbit wedding. Madumi salamin mo, hahaha! Anokehbeh, wala ako sa pichoors. You know I never post my own pics 😛

  4. markku says:

    Nice meeting you at the food writing and photography class! =)

  5. Pingback: The Blog and Soul Movement » Blog Archive » Getting Sensuous at Serye

  6. Pingback: Food Writing Class at Serye Restaurant » Pinoy Food :: Filipino Food PhotoBlog » Blog Archive

  7. socky says:

    Hi, first time to visit your blog. Is there a repeat of this food-tasting/blogging seminar?

    • kaoko says:

      Hi socky! Unfortunately, I have no idea if they plan to do this more often. Still, Javyee’s original post identified the event as the first, so I’d think there would be more batches to come. I suggest visiting his site to find out of there’s going to be another one.

  8. Pingback: Food Blogging Workshop Part 2 aka How do you make Boneless Crispy Pata? | bento, restos & recipes at

  9. JB Cada says:

    Chrissie, it was nice meeting you at the workshop last week. Hey your photos turned out really great! :-)

  10. Pingback: The Truth About Me & My First Food Writing Class (Last of Two Parts) · Hundred Pound Foodie

  11. joy says:

    The sense of smell is so powerful and thank God for it because it makes us appreciate good food so much more. However, there are dishes which smell awful but taste great nonetheless.

    Japanese food is my second favourite, next to Italian. :)

    The Goddess In You

  12. kaoko says:

    Nice to meet you too 😀 But I bet I’ll be seeing you at more food events no?

    The disjoint between awful smells and fantastic taste can be jarring yes, but I think there are times when our brains start making the association that the stink actually smells good because of the good tastes we associate with it. Still, when something smells AND tastes good, the eating experience turns even more wonderful 😀

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