Curiosity Got The Chef

IT ALL BEGINS WITH ONE DELICIOUS QUESTION.

Hosted by Chef Sharwin Tee, Curiosity Got The Chef airs on the Lifestyle Network (SkyCable Ch. 52)

Schedule:
PREMIERE
Wednesday 9:30PM
REPLAYS
Thursday 8:00AM
Saturday 6:00PM
Sunday 10:30AM
Monday 2:00PM

  • Video

    Video

    What’s more romantic than sharing a steaming hot main course from one sizzling bowl? Check out this video and make a Bagoong Rice Bibimbap to share with your loved one on Valentine’s Day! Best part about the recipe? No measurements! Add as much or as little of any of the ingredients. :-)

  • Try This Appetizer for Valentine’s Day!

    Try This Appetizer for Valentine’s Day!

    Try This Appetizer for Valentine’s Day!

    imageIt’s never a good idea to stuff yourselves on a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. You both end up uncomfortably full and sleepy. Yeah, not romantic at all.  A light and bright dish like this will get things going real well.

    Tuna Tataki with Green Mango Salsa

    Ingredients: (serves 2)

    200 g sashimi-grade tuna, whole

    1 tbsp freshly-cracked black pepper

    salt to taste

    2 tbsps olive oil

    1 green (Indian) mango cut into cubes

    1 small tomato, cut into cubes

    2 tsps shallot, minced

    1 tsp garlic, minced

    1 sili labuyo, sliced thinly

    2 tsps sugar

    1 tbsp calamansi juice

    1 few cilantro leaves

    Directions:

    1. Season tuna with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and black pepper. Sear all four sides on a very hot grill or pan for only 30-40 seconds.  Place immediately in the ref to cool and keep center rare.

    2.  Combine all remaining ingredients to make salsa.

    3.  Slice tuna into 1/2 inch slices and top with the salsa. You can also serve salsa on the side.

    Note: If you are under budget or time constraints, you can do away with the salsa and serve the tuna with a mixture of soy sauce, calamansi juice and wasabi. 

    Enjoy!

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  • Why I Didn’t Work on Monday a.k.a. Last Day w/ Dia

    Why I Didn’t Work on Monday a.k.a. Last Day w/ Dia

    Why I Didn’t Work on Monday a.k.a. Last Day w/ Dia

         I was excited when Carla Dunareanu invited me to join her and Boom Gonzalez to their booth last Monday, not only because Dia Frampton was performing live, but also because I am a fan of On Demand on Magic 89.9.  Arriving early, I got to enjoy watching Boom at work with his toilet mix which is always a treat.

     

         There was a hint of nervousness in the air as Dia was slated to visit a couple of other stations before joining us and the busy schedule could cut her guesting short, if traffic made her late.  Fortunately, traffic cooperated and Dia arrived early.  Boom had great questions for Dia and she in turn answered candidly and the entire guesting was just awesome.  Dia also performed three songs (even if she was slated to do just two).

         The one thing that worried me was that Dia was doing guestings non stop that even her manager Mike was beginning to worry about her health and fatigue.  After the show, Mike invited me to join them for lunch.  I suggested Pipino, a vegetarian restaurant owned by friends Chef Ed and Alessa, along Jupiter St.  If Dia had a long day ahead, it would make sense to feed her well, right?

         Food was of course great and Dia enjoyed the Pumpkin Soup and Watermelon Steak.  While waiting for the food, she was still working, signing CD covers.  Apparently, Dia was not only talented, nice and smart (as I said in my previous posts), she was a trooper as well.  Her fatigue was beginning to show and I asked her about it.  She woke up with “a scratchy throat” and the beginnings of a cold, she said.  Then she quickly lit up and smiled, “But it’s not food related,” remembering my joke about how I worry about my clients until the next day whenever I serve them food. Tired and sick, yet still funny.  Basically, you know, stuff of legends.

     

         Apart from business, we got to talk about other things as well, like how guitarist Danny Bemrose who is also lead vocalist of Scars on 45, used to be a pro football player. Huh. That piece of info may be useful if I join Jeopardy! They were also discussing cutting short some of Dia’s commitments, both for that day and the day after, but it seemed, at least to me, Dia was unwilling to forego any guesting, lest she disappoint people.  As it turned out, she did all her guestings that day, including the RX Concert Series, where she sang and interacted with the audience brilliantly.  I heard she had to cancel the guesting on Tuesday, and as unfortunate as it is for her fans, she really needed her rest.

     

          Dessert was on the house, courtesy of Chef Ed, and soon Dia, Mike and Danny were on their way again.  I had to say my good byes as I had other things to take care of and I know it seems silly, but as they were thanking me, I was thanking them too.  I never got to express it properly, but I was indeed thankful that they let me in on their Philippine experience and hopefully, I did my part in making our country memorable for them.  It’s always my honor to show off our country and our food and doing so for one of my favorite singers, who has become one of my favorite persons, was quite an experience.  They did promise to come back, so there’s that.  I’m experimenting on new vegetarian dishes as we speak.

  • Why I Eat Veggies a.k.a. Cooking for Dia Frampton

    Why I Eat Veggies a.k.a. Cooking for Dia Frampton

    Why I Eat Veggies a.k.a. Cooking for Dia Frampton

         Call it premonition or even anticipation, but in the days leading up to Dia Frampton’s arrival, I had yet to finalize the menu I would cook for her and her party, which included manager Mike Kaminsky and guitarist Danny Bemrose.  When they finally indicated their intentions to visit the house, Mike mentioned what I sort of anticipated (even if I had no proof); Mike and Dia were vegetarian.

     image

         I was determined to give them a taste of true Filipino food and a taste of the dishes I do on Curiosity Got the Chef, and this meant modifying dishes without the chance to kitchen test them. Oh well, why not?  As for the guest list, I was tempted not to invite anyone else. It wasn’t because of my greed to have them for myself, but more of I was serving a menu I never cooked together before, plus I couldn’t completely believe the dinner was happening! Having gotten over my fears, I invited several of my friends who I knew were fans too.  College buddy Bianca, Dia fan, who I exchanged notes with when watching the Voice, Filipino writer Mina Esguerra, who is coincidentally my editor at www.mangojuiced.com , teacher Aimee, who ended up helping me pick up Dia and her party from the hotel, were the first ones I texted.  Remembering Dia was set to visit Magic 89.9 the following day for an interview on the show On Demand, I also invited Carla Dunareanu, On Demand host and her special friend, some random guy named Christian Bautista. (I know. My help went nuts when they found out too.)

     image

         I volunteered to pick Dia and her party up on Sunday, a day after her Hard Rock Café show because I figured the ride could help break the ice. What’s amazing was the Voice superstar volunteered to take a cab so I wouldn’t be “too stressed!” I would have none of it, but it did speak volumes of what kind of a person Dia was, eh? 

         From the car, and all throughout the night, Dia, Mike and Danny were just awesome to talk with.  We quickly found common ground as they found out I had won my cooking show through a reality show, much like Dia. The conversations, with the help of my esteemed guests, organically went through a multitude of topics like the Voice, Filipino food, whether or not I should be flattered to be considered the Filipino Jamie Oliver, gun violence, President Obama, Dia’s schooling, Blake Shelton, the beauty of Utah, L.A. restaurants, the Kitchen Musical, Mina’s books and why they’re called Chick Lit and much much more.  What did I tell you? Dia? Whip smart, lively and perhaps most importantly to us Filipinos, candid and forthcoming.

     image

         The highlight of my night came at the start of the meal, as I served my first course, Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Kang Kong.  While all chefs love a compliment about how great their food is, what I truly appreciated was when Dia said that this dish felt like “I knew her,” because it’s a dish she really loves to eat.   I promise you, all chefs, even the macho ones, are all after that kind of a compliment.  That gave me the confidence to continue serving my food, which is modern, no-pretensions, Filipino food.  The rest of the evening featured my latest dish, Savory Bicho Bicho w/ Ginataang Chili Leaves, Tofu with Bistek Onions and Duo of Chocolate Chili Leche Flan and Tablea Brownie.  I also served some pomelo and for some kicks, I did bring out some Fried Crocodile with Spicy Guava Glaze.  While most tried, Dia and Mike, understandably did not. 

    image

    Over the empty plates and sterling conversation, I had to take a moment to appreciate the dinner.  How awesome was it to have Dia Frampton over to my place, and serve her Filipino food? Not as awesome as the realization that I may have provided what Dia and her party really needed; a break from all the hard work where they could just sit back and relax.  (to be concluded)

    P.S. Much thanks to my apprentice cook, Czar Alejandro, who was invaluable to me that night.

    P.P.S. Additional photos of our dinner are here http://www.mangojuiced.com/2013/01/11/food/chef-sharwins-vegetarian-dinner-with-dia-the-voice-aka-the-dia-frampton-menu/ 

  • Why I Answer Every Tweet a.k.a. How I Met Dia

    Why I Answer Every Tweet a.k.a. How I Met Dia

    Why I Answer Every Tweet a.k.a. How I Met Dia

    image

         People often express surprise that I try to answer every tweet and Facebook message I get, but for me, it’s a no brainer. I am a fan just like everyone else so I know how it feels when someone you’re a fan of answers back. I realize the more famous celebrities have difficulties answering millions of tweets but I just tweet them constantly in case I get lucky. That’s how this story begins.

                I’m not as big of a fan of Dia Frampton as others, since I didn’t know of her “Meg and Dia” days, but ever since I heard her sing on the first season of the Voice, I became one. She turned heads with her versions of “Heartless” and “Losing My Religion” and I knew then that I would buy anything she would sell.  Her voice had a certain character and earnestness that I am drawn to and more importantly, she never took things (or herself) too seriously and on screen, she seemed kind-hearted.  It may be pretentious for me to say, but I felt like her whole take on music and life seemed to mirror mine about cooking and life.

                After watching the Voice, I immediately followed Dia on twitter (@diaframps) and after reading her tweets,  I was delighted to learn that, aside from all that I stated above, she was whip smart too.  I did tweet her a couple of times, and as I do with all foreign celebrities I admire, invited her to come to the Philippines and guest on Curiosity Got the Chef.  I repeated my invitation last December when I found out that Dia was dropping by South East Asia, thinking that “next year” meant mid-year, when my planned 3rd season would begin filming.  Imagine my surpise last December 19 when she replied, “Yes! Need some background music while making me a cake!?!?” Then, a few days later, she tweeted that she was indeed coming to the Philippines from January 5-7 and as she was looking for a place to do a show. I offered to look into that and I also offered to cook for her at home. While her show at the Hard Rock Cafe would later be handled by an events company, Dia and her manager, Mike Kaminsky, stayed in touch to arrange the dinner.
    image
                We decided the best thing to do was to finalize plans after her show at Hard Rock. Mike got me on the guest list (Thanks Mike!) and we would talk after the show.  As I had never even seen a picture of Mike, tracking him on the day itself was harder than I thought (apparently, none of the show handlers watch Curiosity Got the Chef so I looked like a bluffing fan. Hmm. I should get them some Sky Cable).  The best thing I could think of was to have my “Red” CD signed by Dia so I could at least introduce myself, but then I wasn’t putting much hope into her remembering me.  To my surprise (even if it shouldn’t) Dia not only remembered me but mentioned that she was looking forward to the dinner.  All we had to do was find Mike.  Staying until most people had already left, I finally saw Mike as their entire party left the Hard Rock Cafe.  Mustering courage (and athleticism) I don’t always have, I ran down the Glorietta escalators to finally catch Mike as they were leaving. Dinner was a go! (to be concluded)

     

    Interesting Notes:

    a.       Dia sang “Don’t Kick the Chair” and she also rapped Kid Cudi’s lines. Yeah. I know.  Awesomeness.

    b.      Dia brought along Scars on 45 lead vocalist Danny Bemrose and his first question to me was about Soup No. 5. Yeah. How about that.

    c.       Mike’s twitter display picture is of James Van der Beek. I never got to ask him why.

  • Picture

    Picture

    A light but creamy dessert is perfect for the holidays! The coconut milk adds more character to the usual creme brulee while the salsa cuts into the richness which is so improtant for our heavy holiday meals. 
Coconut Crème Brulee with Fruit Salsa 

 

Ingredients (serves 6)

 

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup coconut milk 

1 vanilla bean

6 egg yolks

100 g sugar

sugar for caramelization

1/8 cup kiwi, diced

1/8 cup pineapple, diced

1/8 cup papaya, diced

1/8 cup watermelon, diced

1 calamansi

sugar to taste

 

Directions:

1. In a pot, combine cream, coconut milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil. 

2.  In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.  Pour in boiled milk mixture slowly so as not to cook eggs.

3.  Pour in mixture into serving bowls and remove the bubble on top.

4. Cook in a water bath in a 150 degree C oven for 45 minutes or until set.

5. Combine fruits in a bowl. Add in calamansi juice and sugar to taste.  Let stand for a few minutes.

6.  Place a layer of sugar on the brulee and torch until caramelized.  Top with fruit salsa.

    A light but creamy dessert is perfect for the holidays! The coconut milk adds more character to the usual creme brulee while the salsa cuts into the richness which is so improtant for our heavy holiday meals. 

    Coconut Crème Brulee with Fruit Salsa

     

    Ingredients (serves 6)

     

    1 cup whipping cream

    1 cup coconut milk

    1 vanilla bean

    6 egg yolks

    100 g sugar

    sugar for caramelization

    1/8 cup kiwi, diced

    1/8 cup pineapple, diced

    1/8 cup papaya, diced

    1/8 cup watermelon, diced

    1 calamansi

    sugar to taste

     

    Directions:

    1. In a pot, combine cream, coconut milk and vanilla. Bring to a boil.

    2.  In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar.  Pour in boiled milk mixture slowly so as not to cook eggs.

    3.  Pour in mixture into serving bowls and remove the bubble on top.

    4. Cook in a water bath in a 150 degree C oven for 45 minutes or until set.

    5. Combine fruits in a bowl. Add in calamansi juice and sugar to taste.  Let stand for a few minutes.

    6.  Place a layer of sugar on the brulee and torch until caramelized.  Top with fruit salsa.

  • Question

    Question

    IS THERE ANY FOOD WE CAN EAT IN RAW OR COOKED THAT CAN HELP US TO LOOSE WEIGHT LIKE MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME THAT 'UPO" HELPS TO LOWER HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE.. THANKSSSS...

    I think it’s best to just eat everything in moderation. I don’t know of a particular ingredient that will surely make you lose weight. :-)

  • Question

    Question

    Hi chef. :) I just wanna ask what was the name of the pasta dish you cooked with chocolate on the pasta dough and a mango puree as a sauce? thank you. :)

    It’s just called Chocolate Pasta with Spiked Mango Sauce. :-) the recipe should be on www.cookeatnow.com

  • Question

    Question

    Hi Chef! Love your show and that you're not selfish when it comes to tricks of the trade. I'd like to ask. I know that Gruyere is a good melting cheese but what would be the best, in your opinion, to use for a good mac and cheese recipe? I plan to make one this holiday season. Thanks Chef and more power!

    Thanks for watching the show! For Mac and Cheese, the best would be to use a combination of good cheese, but it’s a good idea to include a sharp, aged cheddar so it won’t taste to rich. If you want to be adventurous, a bit of blue cheese could liven up the mac and cheese dish too.

  • Picture

    Picture

    Whether as a side dish or a main, it is loaded with flavor and Christmas spirit! It’s a great way to use up leftover ham and perfect for big family gatherings as well. Substitute ham with bacon to give it a more ‘naughty’ feel.
 
Christmas Ham and Sweet Potato Gratin
 
Ingredients (serves 8 to 12)
 
8 large sweet potatoes, sliced into thin disks
2 cups Christmas ham, sliced into small cubes
2 cups cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tsps marjoram
½ cup red bell pepper, minced
½ cup green bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup queso de bola grated
1 cup mozzarella chese grated
2 tbsps olive oil
Salt, pepper
 
Directions:
2.  In a pot, saute the garlic, and the ham in olive oil until fragrant.  Pour in the cream, herbs and spices.
3.  Add in the sweet potatoes , red and green peppers and mix well. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Transfer to a baking sheet.  Top with grated cheese and bake in a 200 degree C oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

    Whether as a side dish or a main, it is loaded with flavor and Christmas spirit! It’s a great way to use up leftover ham and perfect for big family gatherings as well. Substitute ham with bacon to give it a more ‘naughty’ feel.

     

    Christmas Ham and Sweet Potato Gratin

     

    Ingredients (serves 8 to 12)

     

    8 large sweet potatoes, sliced into thin disks

    2 cups Christmas ham, sliced into small cubes

    2 cups cream

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 tsp nutmeg

    1 tbsp cayenne pepper

    2 tsps marjoram

    ½ cup red bell pepper, minced

    ½ cup green bell pepper, minced

    1/2 cup queso de bola grated

    1 cup mozzarella chese grated

    2 tbsps olive oil

    Salt, pepper

     

    Directions:

    2.  In a pot, saute the garlic, and the ham in olive oil until fragrant.  Pour in the cream, herbs and spices.

    3.  Add in the sweet potatoes , red and green peppers and mix well. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

    4. Transfer to a baking sheet.  Top with grated cheese and bake in a 200 degree C oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.