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Eats in Cebu: Carnivore

A five-course dinner and one extremely eager food writer, Michael Karlo Lim samples the extremely creative dishes that make up Carnivore’s special set dinners.


Carnivore's chef Barbra Sia-Famador (Photography: Maitina Borromeo, makeup: Bobbie Albert, hair: Carlos Conde/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, November 2015)

Carnivore’s chef Barbra Sia-Famador (Photography: Maitina Borromeo, makeup: Bobbie Albert, hair: Carlos Conde/Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, November 2015)

My suspicions that Barbra Sia and Kurt Famador are psychopaths have always been there from the very first time I’ve met them. They are butchers to begin with and own an establishment primarily dedicated to the preparation and consumption of meat. The hallmarks are there: a fetish for knives, disregard for convention, interest in anatomical physicality, partialism (cheek and jowl are high on their list) and the fascination with fire.

It has been quite masochistic on my part to have returned time and again to Carnivore for their brand of pleasurable torture. Assortments of animals are cut and used from nose to tail. There are the exotics and the tame usual’s, the latter made like the former with extensive treatments before I am stuffed with these. Hansel was fed well for the intended oven. Here I am swallowing hook, line and sinker. Patty Hearst would have been proud. I am slayed every single time and am reborn wanting more.

A year after I was drawn into this macabre affair, I was invited to join two feasts, on separate dates two weeks apart, with the rest of their submissives to mark their sordid beginning and our willing capture. They were joined by one of The Island’s founders of the cult of craft beer, The Cebruery, pairing sweet liquid poisons with the solids.

I write this in the state of food coma. I am still reeling from those sensational experiences and wallowing in the individual memories of each of my tastebuds. My suspicions that Barbra Sia and Kurt Famador are psychopaths have always been there from the very first time I’ve met them. If death be this delicious then let me die a thousand deaths by their hands.



Wild Cobia Sashimi

Wild Cobia Sashimi

WILD COBIA SASHIMI. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

Smoked Wild Cobia made its way into the menu as a surprise dish. Gravlax-like in simplicity, the salt comes in from a finishing blend than from a curing. Caper berries and Tobiko add a touch more saltiness bringing out the sweetness of the fish with the Mangoes, the herbals and a brightness from the Champagne Foam.


Crispy Bone Marrow with Uni on Brioche Toast with Boracay Blonde Ale
Rich by default Bone Marrow was made rich to a fault by a battered deep-fry. The sweet, briny flavor of Uni cut through the richness with the Brioche toasts holding back the possible cloy. The fats neutralized the hops in the Blonde making it an even easier drink to down.


Wild Cobia Taco with Gold Dust Woman Weitbeer

Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

WILD COBIA TACO. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

A pan-fried fillet of Cobia rested on a disc of taco soil in their take on deconstruction. Mangoes, Cucumbers, Aromatics and their signature Edible Flowers made up the green component. Sours came from local cherry tomatoes all tied- in by the Butternut Crunch Pesto. Complementary grain flavors from the beer and the corn balance out the hops and keep it light enough for the fish.


Sous Vide Dalupapa Noodles with Classic Berliner Weiss and Sour Girl Beers
Local giant squid dalupapa swam their last twenty-four hours en sous-vide before these were precision-cut into ribbons of pasta, drizzled with a Pear-Miso dressing, sprinkled with Tobiko and garnished with shaved Cucumbers and Edible Mums. The illusion extended to the perfectly al dente texture of the proteinaceous flat noodles with the rest of the ingredients coming right in between pushing out the briny, fleshy flavor of squid and masking it altogether. The sours aided the natural salinity and sweetness while cleansing the palate of the seafoody taste.


Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn and Dumaguete Dubbel

Smoked Pork Jowl Steak with King Prawn

SMOKED PORK JOWL STEAK WITH KING PRAWN. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

King Prawns were sous-vided into the consistency of a crustacean butter resting in its split half shell against a generous cut of Wild Boar Jowl. The expected gaminess of the boar was rendered almost lost in a day’s steeping in red wine and the subsequent hour long sous-vide in the same marinade. What was left was a tender, rich, almost beef-like, dark meat with an aromatic dimension from a two-hour, Whiskey-wood cold smoke. The darkly sweet Dubbel played like a red would to the pork while not at all in the way of the more delicate flavor of the prawn.


Peanut Butter Mousse with Double-Roasted Cocoa Sherbet paired with a Chocolate Hills Porter

Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE WITH DOUBLE-ROASTED COCOA SHERBET. Photography: Michael Karlo Lim (Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December 2015)

In an homage to Reese’s, peanut butter was whipped into a smooth and light Mousse with a Dark Chocolate Fudge coating. The Double-Roasted Cocoa Sherbet seconded the fudge in a cold temperature flux with the chocolate and caramel malts from the Chocolate Hills Porter echoing the chocolate treatments.


The Gallery
John Paul II Avenue, Mabolo

Zee Lifestyle's December-January 2016 Style Issue: Jennifer Helen Weigel-Sarmiento (Photography: Mark Philip Dales/Sittings Editor: Melo Esguerra/Production Manager: Shari Quimbo/Makeup: Ramil Solis/Hair: Ariel Tatoy/Locale: UVNS)text and photos by Michael Karlo Lim
Originally published in Zee Lifestyle, December-January 2016

For back issues, download the Magzter app on your mobile device and search for ‘Zee Lifestyle‘.



The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.

Dia de los Muertos

By Allain Dumon Fonte

The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.

As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:


Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.


Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.


In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.

Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.


Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.


Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.


In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.

My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.

What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.

MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing

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Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+

Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+


Rating: *****/ *****

The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows.  Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach.  In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans.  Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.

The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner.  You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+

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PANDEMIC DIARIES: Twelve Months Later

Photos taken by Pablo Quiza around Cebu City during the months of March, April and May 202

AS WE APPROACH ONE YEAR under pandemic times, we look back at March 2020 with fascination. And awe. We had 12 months of lockdown and survived the so called new normal. We lived with masks and alcohol even today. Carless roads and dark malls. Those were the early days of March, April and May.
It stretched to October and past Christmas. No Sinulog. Virtual parties on Zoom and virtual mass on You Tube and FB Live. We debated on the best meds to take if we get sick and whether to wear masks (please do!). We scampered for face shields and anti-viral sprays. Vitamins C and D and zinc. Later, we survived being swabbed and we learned the difference between a PCR and an anti-gene test. The latter cost less.

We dreaded the declarations of IATF mandated from Manila. And we got mad at the police chief who had a birthday party while his people were busy locking up everyone violating the lockdown. Most horrifying of all, we needed to produce IDs! Are you a resident of Barangay Lahug or Banilad? Are you employed and why are you still working? Everyone suffered thru endless checkpoints. Most sad of all are those using motorbikes, they seem to get the raw end of the deal since those with cars are not as scrutinized. We managed to trick the system by putting a big handwritten note in front of the car: COMPANY CAR, and zipped tru the police desks in the middle of the road. Don’t even think of travelling, by plane, boat or bus. The collection of the required documents is enough for one to get exposed to Covid.

We learned to shop online, order groceries and necessities thru delivery. We slowly moved towards cashless payments. Gcash and banks like Union Bank and China Bank with friendly apps are heroes for making life easy for most of us to spend what little cash we have to spend on Lazada or pay the VECO bill. Oh and we binged on K dramas on Netflix and You Tube, kamsaminada.
As 2021 enters, there are some good news. For those obsessed with news, you already know that 7,000 vaccines arrived last March 2 in Cebu, with more expected in the next few weeks. The death rate is not as high among those who caught this pesky virus, which tells us that doctors in the hospitals have some proven expertise in dealing with Covid. More cures should be in the horizon.

Meanwhile, lets continue dreaming of the day when we can cross borders again, even if its just Bohol or Boracay, Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ready those luggages and bags bought during the 3/3 sale in Shopee in preparation for the day when we can take the ferry or the plane for new adventures.


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