It’s not often we come across someone who does her food so well.
Femy Cadag’s food is that excellent, and goes with a price tag that allows us to entertain in style without blowing the monthly budget. It is unpretentious and straightforward.
We’ve had caterers who serve us food that tastes all the same. The pork tastes like the chicken, the chicken like the pasta and the soup, uh, well, a combination of the chicken and the pork with bits of pasta!
Unfortunately, those who give us clean-tasting food with a variety of flavors and textures come with a hefty price tag.
I first came across Speedy Pepper, Cadag’s catering company, when BBDO Guerrero hired it for our Sky Broadband shoot.
I had no plans of eating. I didn’t have expectations when it came to the food. It never crossed my mind that I’d be in for a surprise—a much welcome culinary delight.
By the time I got hungry, there were only potatoes, a matchbox piece of chicken and salmon left. Being the carb lover that I am, I devoured the potatoes (which were perfectly cooked and so tasty) and asked for another plate. I then tasted the chicken, and it was very good.
Then I took the baked salmon which gently fell apart into tender flakes, under very light pressure. It was so perfectly done! Cooked on the outside, but soft, succulent and rare on the inside. Not raw ha—rare!
The person who cooked this must have been in a state of prayer, I thought. And, mind you, the salmon used was a whole fillet, chilled, not the frozen-to-the-bone type.
I was so impressed. I tracked down and interviewed the headwaiter.
I also waited for merienda, then dinner, to sample the rest of the offerings. I wanted to make sure they were consistent.
For merienda, the pastas were cooked al dente, seasoned right, not swimming in oil or soaking in the sauce. For dinner, the Asian dishes tasted exactly as they should—seasoned to a “T.”
I asked how much the catering company charged for meals as decent as these and was even more pleased. Price range for packed meals is from P75 to P150. Food orders and catering start at P200 a head.
“We cater for shootings—TV commercials, movies, parties, product launches, packed food for rallies or the crew, inaugurations and corporate meetings,” Cadag told me when I finally met her.
“I will work on your budget be it breakfast, lunch, brunch, merienda, dinner or even midnight snack,” she added.
I bragged about her to my mom, who said, “Let’s have Speedy Pepper food for Sunday lunch!” We were celebrating the birthdays of my brother in law Babes Oreta and my sister Babot’s. And so we did.
At exactly 10:45 a.m., the catering crew walked through our gate and set up their buffet table and fixed the food. By 11:30, all was set.
Ours was a food order. That translates to food on chafing dishes with two servers and a buffet table complete with fruits and flowers and a decent tablecloth. For a little more, the company provides a full set-up.
My mom, the queen of panic, thought we would run out of food. In 45 minutes, a refill batch was sent by Cadag. The chafing dishes from the first batch were still a third full, in fact, and all of us were done eating by then.
We had greens with two dressings: house (a creamy garlic-like dressing) and balsamic, both of which were very good. Everyone loved the beef hot pot, while the baked salmon was an exact duplicate of what I had the first time. The chicken with luganigue was tasty, the seafood capellini with arugula in olive oil and garlic was fantastic. There were a homemade Toblerone cake, mini-cupcakes, bread and butter.
For chic but budget-friendly home-cooked meals, Speedy Pepper is it.
Femy Cadag didn’t go to a culinary school but her techniques are well executed and her heart is in the right place. She has her food to show for it!
(Mobile 0917-7916578, tel. 8909234/4039202)
Since we already have a caterer for your next party, you’ll need some form of entertainment.
If your venue has a pool, how about hiring “mermaids” to do a show for you? These synchronized swimmers are also the mermaids of Manila Ocean Park.
The “queen” mermaid, Geena Quiogue, moves so gracefully. I even told her, “Paglaki ko Geena, gusto ko maging serena!” Underwater, she’s poetry in motion.
How different are their shows at Ocean Park compared to what they perform in a pool for a private party? “In a pool, you’ll be seeing a lot of our tails go up and down. We choreograph our numbers depending on your theme,” she said.
Before and after the show, the mermaids also pose around the pool area for a photo session with guests.
For my new cooking class schedules call 09175543700 / 0908-2372346/ 4008496/ 9289296.