The Armchair Critic

(Pretending to know everything)

Last week, I accompanied my nephew, Kyle Imao to Pancake House in Trinoma. Kyle is one of the kiddie cooks in ABS-CBN's top-rating Junior MasterChef Pinoy edition. As of this writing, he is part of the Lucky Seven. I didn't consider it a task to chaperone Kyle because 1) I like hanging out with this twelve year old and 2) I love eating at Pancake House. An added bonus, I also got to see other Junior MasterChef contestants Miko, Caitlin and Jobim.

Kyle posing with the JMC posters in front of the Pancake House

From Left to Right: Miko, Caitlin, Jobim and Kyle

The four kiddie cooks were presented to the press and fellow food bloggers. I was one proud aunt as I watched Kyle, whom I've always known to be quiet and shy, answer the interview questions with aplomb. His confidence and discipline has really increased, thanks to his positive experiences in the show.

Question and answer portion

When asked who he considered to be his biggest threat in the competition, he replied, "Miko, because he is a very good cook and he is also very good in plating." When asked the same question, Miko answered that his biggest competition is Kyle for almost the same reasons. Mutual admiration society? But truly, it was gratifying to watch the kids' camaraderie and friendship even if in the show they test their cooking skills against each other.

Kyle and Jobim

A few things haven't changed in Pancake House. They still have those big movie posters, they still serve my favorite fried chicken and everything is still orange. But they have something new that you have got to try.

Chef Adrian Azurin of Pancake House and Ms. Kathy Solis of ABS-CBN

Pancake House now serves dishes inspired by the young kiddie cooks. Chef Adrian Azurin, who also started cooking at a very young age, presented the dishes to us. He explained how he watches Pinoy Junior MasterChef (aired every Saturday after Wansapanataym and every Sunday after Goin' Bulilit) looking for dishes that would fit the Pancake House menu. Of course, the dishes created by the Junior MasterChefs couldn't be replicated exactly because of the availability of ingredients and the cooking process, but he assures us that each JMC-inspired dish is a culinary masterpiece. Just like what the kiddie cooks produce in the Junior MasterChef kitchen.

Pancake House and ABS-CBN staff with the four Junior MasterChef contestants

Six Junior MasterChef meals are available at all Pancake House branches. Chef Azurin said that more dishes inspired by the Junior MasterChefs will be served until end of March 2012.

Cabbage Lumpia in Coconut Breading (P175)

Rice in Ampalaya Silog (P235)

If you've ever felt really hungry after watching Junior MasterChef on TV, rush to the Pancake House nearest you and have a healthy plate of Cabbage Lumpia in Coconut Breading or a fully loaded meal of Baby Back Ribs served with Warm Bacon Potato Salad and Corn on the Cob. So next time you see the Junior MasterChefs on TV, you can say you've tasted their cooking.

I think these two guys ordered the same things from the extensive menu.

Public Disclosure: As I mentioned, I happened to escort Kyle at the food event featured above. Since I have a food blog, I asked the public relations staff present in the event if I could write about it. I also mentioned that since Kyle is my nephew, my write-up would feature how I experienced this event with him. I was given permission to do so.