Kitchen Boss: Best. Cooking. Show. Ever.

I love Buddy Valastro! I watch him on Cake Boss whenever its on and I was curious to find out what the lovable master baker from Hoboken has up his sleeve in his very own kitchen (its a studio kitchen but who cares?) with his fare of Italian cooking.

After watching two episodes of Kitchen Boss, his spin off show, also on the TLC network, I have no doubt in my mind that it is the best cooking show ever. Why? Simple. Because Buddy makes cooking fun.

Buddy loves to bake, and Buddy also loves to cook. It’s obvious that he has a very intimate relationship with flavors, butter and loads of olive oil and way he talks about food is absolutely entertaining. He talks to his audience the way he would talk to a houseguest and not only outlines his recipes but also adds from which side of the family the recipe comes from, and what makes the  dish so special. He is so familiar with kitchen which makes for a very relaxed vibe. His ingredients are not measured in cups, making the tasks seem simple rather than complicated compared to other shows where each step is measured.

CHECK OUT THAT GRIN. Buddy’s enjoyment for food is obvious by the way the smile never leaves his face while he shares his favorite family recipes.

Buddy makes his show personal and the magic is really the marriage of his love for food and his gift of gab. There is really no dead air on this show, even when Buddy has pasta on his mouth. I love this guy. He is just so animated all the time and that is a good thing for a cooking show because there are just so many chefs out there with their own cooking shows with different gimmicks. Buddy makes his show stand out just by being himself.

Of course, Buddy’s show is never complete without an occasional visit from his familia, some of whom we are already familiar with from his Carlo’s Bakery, and the ease and comfort that he has in interacting with his family is also a great watch.

Buddy is a star and I feel like he’s my friend, and while most of his dishes include a lot of cholesterol, he makes me want to try them out just to see whether I can do his family recipes justice too.  If there is still any doubt left in your mind, I think Kitchen Boss is awesome. To more seasons of Buddy!

When Xian Met Ronald…

I recently attended my first blogger event with fellow bloggers from Team MFJ, Jenny, Hannah and Gelo to witness the launching of the McFloat Summer Medley campaign featuring rising star Xian Lim as their newest product endorser. Of course, when we received the invite, I had no idea we were going to meet the young actor, whose easy charm and sophisticated good looks made tween (and not so tween) hearts go aflutter in the primetime hit My Binondo Girl, opposite my favorite Kim Chiu.

Well, back to the subject, after we were served our lunch, we were pleasantly surprised when Eon, the PR agency handling the event announced the arrival of their surprise guest, who will be featured in their latest summer ad. (Of course, we were given a slight heads up by Jen’s friend before the actual announcement so we were able to plant ourselves on good spots before chaos ensued).

Xian Lim looked every bit as handsome as he was on television but I must say,  in real life, one could better appreciate his height, his build, his confident but boyish stature, and one could fully understand his charisma. The crowd was all agog as he entered the room. I think half the girls  (myself included) were so starstruck that we momentarily forgot why we were there in the first place.

Xian and McDonald’s 

PRESSCON. Ronald McDonald (back) tries to grab some of the limelight from hearthrob/celebrity endorser Xian Lim (front, center) who is flanked by executives of McDonald's Philippines.

After an impromptu performance of a rearranged version of “I’m Walking on Sunshine,” which Xian recorded for the television commercial (TVC), Xian sat down with McDonald’s executives to field a few questions from bloggers and guests from the mainstream media.

According to officials of McDonald’s, Xian was chosen for the campaign because they wanted someone young, fresh and inspiring to be the face of their summer campaign in order to reflect the same freshness and feel good appeal of their brand.

No complaints from this end, as Xian’s well executed TVC indeed had a very cool vibe. His smile throughout the 30 second duration of the ad clearly illustrated the feel that the company was going for — a very cool and refreshing summer with a talented, down to earth boy next door that everyone could relate to.

When Xian was asked however, why he thought he was the best person to endorse the product (a question asked by Gelo), he confided that even while he was growing up in the US with his mom, he had a very special connection with the global brand and universal hang out.

He recalled one incident when he was little when he attended a McDonald’s Fun Day for Halloween. He said that while many kids were dressed up in elaborate costumes, his mom still entered him in the competition using only her face powder and lipstick to improvise. He said that the experience was particularly striking because it reminded him of bonding moments with his mother, which McDonald’s was a part of.

He said that despite being the underdog, he was chosen among all the kids to receive the best costume and was awarded many freebies as part of the prize. Since then, he said that he’s been a fan of McDonald’s products, especially Chicken McNuggets which he claimed to be one of his favorites.

If this was the basis of the collaboration, one can probably say that a McDonald’s and Xian partnership has been fated from the start.

The Products

At the launch, guests were treated to samples of the four new McFloat flavors — the Blueberry Sprite McFloat, Four Seasons Sprite McFloat, Green Apple Sprite McFloat and Honey Banana Sprite McFloat, a perfect foil to the scorching heat outside the store.

The Verdict

I was only able to sample two of the flavors — Honey Banana Sprite McFloat, and Apple Sprite McFloat and will probably weigh in on the other flavors once I’ve tasted them.

So far, I liked the Green Apple better because it had a zesty feel to it that felt cool and refreshing especially when partaken at a particularly warm summer day. The Honey Banana, while not displeasing to the taste was a bit too sweet for me but would surely satisfy sugar junkies for sure.

Still, my favorite is the classic Coke float because of its no frills approach to refreshment.

All in all, I would consider the event a major success and judging by the response to Xian’s TVC (which we got to view a few hours before the actual television release), I would say that many Pinoys have also acquired the taste for the new additions to McDonald’s product line up.