The Clara Ole Potluck foodfest was my ‘biggest’ event last week. I say biggest because am the first Manila blogger to host it…whoa! It was quite unnerving to send invites to my friends, shop for ingredients and cook some of the dishes, all at the same time! But am glad we were able to pull it off with nary a hitch, thanks to the help of the advertising/PR agencies behind Clara Ole.
Theme for the party was Game Night since the potluck was held a week before the milestone Pacquiao-Mayweather fight. Loved the party set up of a boxing ring complete with boxing gloves!
Had fun welcoming the guests with my fellow emcee Johanna ‘Jowa’ Buban, Clara Ole’s group brand manager. My five-year Lucia chose to cry in the middle of the program because she wanted to swim in the pool, but am glad we appeased her in no time.
We were quite in a fan mode because we had a special guest that afternoon, no other than TV host & actress Amy Perez-Castillo. There’s no better endorser for Clara Ole because Tyang Amy is an avid cook herself. And in real life, she’s sweet, simple & friendly too!
The program turned out to be very educational since aside from the sumptuous food that awaited us, there was a short talk by seasoned photographer Mike Sabarre. He taught the guests on how to take good angles and shoot photos worthy of Facebook and Instagram.
Young chef Kat Laxamana was also present to teach us about plating and garnishing the food so that they look good.
Of course the highlight of the party were the potluck dishes that me and my friends brought to the table. You’d never believe how easy to cook these are with the wide variety of Clara Ole’s ready-made sauces, dips, dressings, jellies and other products.
My officemate Richard brought along his trademark penne pasta using Clara Ole’s Three Cheese sauce. His advice is to just add basil and seasoning to the pasta and it’s good to go…a gourmet meal in an instant!
Kathy’s Creamy Ranch Salad is made creamy with the mixture of mayonnaise and Clara Ole’s Ranch Dressing which they sell in these little packets. I liked the fiesta colors of this dish which make it pleasing to the eyes. Add ham and/or pepperoni bits and you really have the making of the perfect picnic slash summer food!
I told the audience about the history of this ‘award-winning’ Kung Pao pasta, haha. I first discovered this favorite of mine in California Pizza Kitchen or CPK. I told the chef it was so good and I wanted to make it. He told me it’s possible with Kung Pao pasta sauce in the grocery, and Clara Ole is fortunately the only one selling this. I can’t tell you enough what a godsend this sauce is if you want to make great-tasting Oriental pasta with a twist. Just add a few extra ingredients like shrimp or chicken, chili peppers, peanuts and sesame oil.
Meatballs with a sweetish cream sauce using Clara Ole strawberry jam were chosen for the menu for the simple reason that it’s a fitting game night finger food. Apparently in Norway, they eat meatballs with jam too.
Ditto with the chicken lollipops with a yummy basting sauce using Clara Ole Guava Jam. Most of my friends liked this because it’s quite tasty. Marinating the chicken beforehand of course helps.
My neighbor Gene brought along the healthiest food of the bunch, these colorful fruit kebabs made sweeter with a drizzle of Clara Ole chocolate syrup.
Arpee was the wisest of the ‘potluckers’ since he just bought these delicious treats from Pudding Republiq. Then, Chef Kat took charge of making the desserts even more yummy & appetizing by adding fruits, chocolate shavings and Clara Ole jelly. I guess it just takes a little imagination to make your buffet table as eye-catching as possible!
Before I knew it, our little program was over before the evening set in. What’s important is that everyone had fun, was full from all the food, and went home with a basket full of goodies from Clara Ole. Some of my friends were even luckier because they won prizes too!
Watch out for more potluck food fests in other condos soon. Follow /MyClaraOle on FB and @ClaraOlePH on Pinterest & Instagram to get the latest news and updates.