Centerpiece-Decor-Idea-Organic-Table-Setting
Here’s a romantic centerpiece that I came up with for this lovely vegan lunch catering. The set-up compliments the French cottage feel of the dining area and the fresh vegetarian menu we prepared for the couple.

A good day starts with great food and senseful conversations.

Chef Jionne Ocinar, a corporate chef at Monde Nissin Corporation who also guests regularly on morning shows to demo traditional recipes with a twist, is my younger sister. She goes by the name Danice in our household. Last Saturday, she was invited to cater lunch for one of the top corporate CEOs in the Philippines and his wife in their home. It has been a pleasure for me to meet an influential client who’s humble and soft spoken. Preparing vegan dishes for other people is easy yet quite challenging. Some can’t judge whether your food tastes perfect without salt yet it’s easy, because the real fresh flavor of the ingredients come out without cooking them in high heat. So it was a great deal cooking for real vegans. I was actually drooling over these delicious foodies while chef was plating it.

I am sharing you here what chef Jionne prepared for lunch that day. Enjoy!

Menu1

Cauliflower Pizza Bites is a refreshing take on the usual fatty pizza we all love. I personally approve of this! Instead of using ground meat, grind cauliflower and use toasted tofu as pizza dough. Top it with alfalfa sprouts. Sprinkle fresh ground pepper, tarragon, and chili flakes.

Creamy Squash Pearl Barley Risotto A perfect alternative for arborio rice! Cook pearl barley in vegetable stock then later stir mashed squash. That’s it! The pearl barley blends well with the strong squash flavor.

Menu2
(Top) 8 Kinds Veggie Fruit Salad in Honey Peppered Vinaigrette,
(Below) Creamy Avocado Carbonara

8 Kinds Veggie Fruit in Honey Peppered Vinaigrette is chef Jionne’s original recipe. She started concocting this dish during a harvest festival in Batangas last month. The special ingredient in this dish is “roselle” calyces and winged bean (sigarilyas in Filipino). Roselle is an exotic fruit native to Batangas and other Asian countries.

Roselle-Plant-Hibiscus-Roselle-Calyces
from culinary wonderlust blog

The calyces are juicy and crunchy that taste like kamias. Some even grind it and use it to flavor traditional Filipino dishes like Sinigang. You can even substitute it for tamarind (sampaloc) and kamias. The roselle is a species of hibiscus native to the Old World tropics.

Creamy Avocado Carbonara is one of my favorite vegan dish. Puree avocado, basil, and a little bit of garlic gives the creamy texture of the sauce. Chef used whole wheat pasta for a high fiber meal. Top it with crushed pistachios and pepper.

Menu3
(Top) Sambong Hot Tea with Lemon and Honey, Chef Jionne’s Guyabano and Dragon Fruit Juice, Vegetarian Pad Thai
(Below) The vegan full course meal for 2

To soothe and relax the couple after a full course meal, we served Sambong Hot Tea with honey and lemon. This is my dad’s brew. The couple also loved Chef Jionne’s original Guyabano and Dragon Fruit in Coconut Water Juice. Very refreshing especially when chilled!!! It’s thick yet thirst quenching.

If you want to know more about the recipes and catering inquiries for private functions, write an email to Chef Jionne Ocinar at jdocinar@yahoo.com. She would love to hear from you!

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” ― Ruth Reichl

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