Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chinese Mooncake

In the Chinese Calender, the Chinese Moon Festival is on the 15th of the 8th Lunar month. In an American Calender, it was on Sept. 22 this year. Chinese culture is deeply imbedded in traditional festivals. Just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese.
Hsi Lai Temple is one of the largest Buddhist Temple in the U.S. and there were traditional activities and events at the Temple for the Chinese Moon Festival today, but I didn't realize organized anything until it was much too late. However, because my family and I, and a neighbor are Chinese, we enjoy mooncakes which are traditional Chinese delicacy for this occassion. Most mooncakes consist of a thin tender skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling. The mooncake may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in its centre to symbolise the full moon. Very rarely, mooncakes are also served steamed or fried.
This also gave me a reason to practice for food and product photography. I've read many things online about product/food photography and its relations with aperature. Basically, when the aperature is narrower, you get better shallow depth of field and is more appropriate than a winder aperature. Since I'm still learning about aperature and food/product photography, I'm not sure how to explain better about aperature.
I should have used a better knife for a cleaner cut for the moon cake. I also didn't realize how greasy the mooncakes were until I placed them on the paper. Professionally, I should have a cleaner cut on the mooncake or show how greasy it is. This is just for practice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Cupcake Showdown 2010

Last night, I went to an event called "The Cupcake Showdown" where different cupcake makers/designers came together to compete for the best cupcakes in Fountain Valley, CA. Guests also arrived to show support for the cupcake designers/makers and voted for their favorites. There were eight cupcake makers/designers and two food trucks at the event. Many of them had delicious cupcakes and beautiful displays for the guests. Part of the proceeds from each cupcake makers and food trucks who made sales went to benefit Giving Children Hope Foundation. Giving Children Hope is privileged to work with diverse individuals and communities both locally and around the world, supplying projects that address and focus on the needs of children and serve the poor. While there were not that many vendors that the event, there were 1,500 guests in attendance.

Participating Bakeries:

Oh Sue Sweet is a new business that just recently started and doesn't have a website up yet, but you can join her fan page on facebook! In fact, Oh Sue Sweet was just pronounced the winner for the Ube Macapuno Cupcakes (first picture!) in the best cupcake contest!


California Cupcake Company


Sarah Bee's Cupcakes


My Delight Cupcakery


Amanda Cupcake Amanda had the most beautiful and attractive display, and had many variations of cupcakes and designs. As you can see, she put in a lot of work, effort and love into her cupcakes.

B Sweet Catering Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of the cupcakes from this designer as they had so many people around the table ordering and tasting the cupcakes.

The participating food trucks were:

The Shrimp Pimp

The Frysmith: http//

Chili Cheese Fries flavored in beer with a hint of chocolate.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Kokekokko is a traditional Japanese-style Yakitori restaurant located in Little Tokyo of Downtown Los Angeles, although the venue is small and can get busy during lunch and dinner prime rush hour. Yakitori is a Japanese style grilled chicken seared on skewers. This is not a sushi restaurant as one may think of Japanese restaurants and may be ideal for those who have adventurous tastes or those who enjoy delicacies such as gizzards, chicken heart, and chicken liver.

These are spices for the meat

These are side dishes served before the main meal. I forgot what the item on the left was, but the item on the right is a small salad.

One of the Japanese beer; Popular amongst the customers

Chicken Breast

Chicken Skin

Chicken Dumplings

Chicken Meatballs

Chicken Wings

Stuffed Mushrooms with Chicken Egg Yolk

Zucchini Wrapped in Chicken Skin

Eggplant Wrapped in Chicken Skin

Chicken Soup