Creative sisters concoct a Pinoy-themed treat for Mother’s Day | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

CARE Basket formoms
BETH Nantes, Elaine Nantes, Juanita Nantes, Arlene Nantes- O’Santos, Pamela Nantes-Amador
CARE Basket formoms

Two cups of Spanish hot chocolate with swirls of dense whipped cream were my introduction to young restaurateurs Kathlene “Kat” and Krystel “Abby” de Guzman Nantes. The tsokolate was velvety and decadent with a nutty flavor, a recipe of their grandmother.


In their childhood, Kat and Abby enjoyed playing house, not realizing they would make a career out of it. During family reunions, they took it upon themselves to decorate, prepare party favors and create the menu.


SISTER act: Kat and Abby Nantes

Kat then studied Fine Arts, while Abby took up Food Technology at the University of Sto. Tomas. Eventually, Abby honed her culinary and baking skills at the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management.


They put up a restaurant with a unique concept called Paire at Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City, because it revolved around their passions, pairing cocktails with desserts.


Still, people come for the ligid-ligid, another family recipe, the tea parties and Abby’s degustacion (tasting) specials.


Kat and Abby make special occasions with the family memorable. Recently, the sisters and their cousins paid a tribute to their mothers with a special dinner at Kat and Abby’s residence.


“We surprised them with white roses, pampered them in different spas and prepared dinner for them. In the past years, we’ve had different degustacion themes—from French degustacion to Western to a movie-inspired dinner. This year, we chose the theme Manileño—everything and anything adapted from Pinoy celebrations,” said Kat.


GRILLED barbecue pork strips wrapped in mustasa served with sesame and barbecue sauce

“To showcase Pinoy hospitality, we started the night by welcoming our moms with a foot spa and the hilot. We then directed them to their seats where their care baskets were placed. The care basket served as their place card and welcome treat in one.”


The personalized care basket contained the panyolito of their favorite color (to be used as their dinner napkin); a glass of munchies (butong pakwan, pistachio, peanuts and squash seeds); a glass of calamansi juice; a glass with tableware and the place card with a flower to mark their seats.


The table setting was contemporary with native elements. “To make the festive colors pop out of the setting, we used black as our table linen on our six-seater square table. On top of it was a small, colorful native banig that served as our table runner. For the center piece, we used lampara and clear candle holders to set the mood,” said Kat.


Instead of matching chairs, Kat combined wrought iron, batibot and woven-back chairs. To add to the festive theme, other tables were adorned with native jars in unusual shapes.


MAIN entree: chicken tinola flavored with pandan served in buko shell

For her part, Abby created popular dishes using common ingredients but served with flair, such as tinola in a coconut shell and barbecue pork strips wrapped in mustasa leaves.


Menu with imagination


It doesn’t cost much to entertain with flair, as the Nantes sisters have shown. All it takes is a little imagination to give loved ones the royal treatment.


Drink: Fresh buko or calamansi juice


APPETIZER: salad greens with pomelo served with citrus dressing. PHOTOS BY NELSON MATAWARAN

Appetizer: Mixed salad greens with pomelo served with citrus dressing


Grilled barbecue pork strips wrapped in mustasa served with sesame and barbecue sauce


Main entrée: Chicken tinola flavored with pandan served in a buko shell


Calamansi sorbet


Kaldereta served with rice mixed with taba ng talangka


DESSERT: turon with langka served with chocolate, cheese and buko ice cream

Dessert: Turon with langka served with chocolate, cheese and buko ice cream


Kapeng barako, pito-pito or tsokolate


Chicken ‘tinola’ in a shell


Serves eight to 10.


  • 2 kg chopped chicken breast and wings
  • 1 medium-sized chopped onion
  • 20 g grated ginger
  • 1 bulb chopped garlic
  • 4-5 c chicken stock (enough to cover the chicken)
  • 500 g sayote
  • 200 g young corn
  • 3-4 pandan leaves
  • Fish sauce (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Buko shell (1 shell per person)


KALDERETA served with rice mixed with taba ng talangka



1.      Heat oil and sauté onions until transparent, then add the garlic and ginger. Add the chicken and the chicken stock.

2.      Allow the mixture to boil.

3.      Add the sayote when the chicken is half cooked.

4.      Add the young corn and pandan leaves.

5.      Season to taste with fish sauce and black pepper.

6.      Leave the meat of the buko on the shell and make sure the bottom is flat.

7.      Place a small cup of rice on the shell, and cover with the soup, vegetable and chicken.

8.      Garnish with half a pandan leaf and serve on a plate.

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