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Last weekend I was invited to a cooking class held by Panasonic Cooking Magic with Chef Michael Elfwing of Senses, KL Hilton. The session was joined by 5 winners from the Panasonic Cooking Magic Workshop Facebook Contest, and we were promised an evening of showcase and good food.

Chef Elfwing - Panasonic Cooking Magic Ambassador
Chef Elfwing – Panasonic Cooking Magic Ambassador

Chef Michael Elfwing is the Chef de Cuisine of Senses restaurant for the last 8 years and  contributed to the restaurant winning the prestigious 5-Star Diamond Awards as one of the Best Restaurants in the World and also the Hospitality Asia Award for Best Western Cuisine.

He is the Panasonic Cooking Magic ambassador, and Panasonic is also the main sponsors of MasterChef Malaysia.

Pinapple and Basil Bubbly - with Panasonic Juicer and Blender
Pineapple and Basil Bubbly – with Panasonic Juicer and Blender

First recipe of the evening was a simple Pineapple and Basil Bubbly.

Using Panasonic Blender & Juicer, extra the juice out of a fresh pineapple. Next, add 6-8 leaves of basil, 500 ml of ice cubes, 1/2 table spoon black pepper, and 300 ml sparkling water in the blender to mix it all up. And there you go, refreshing welcome drinks for half a dozen guests.

Sweet Corn & Basil Soup - using Panasonic Blender and Induction Cooker
Sweet Corn & Basil Soup – using Panasonic Blender and Induction Cooker

First hot dish to be prepared was the Sweet Corn & Basil Soup. The ingredients are as follow (for 6 servings):

  • 8 pc fresh sweet corn
  • 2 pieces leek, stem sliced into 5mm thick slices
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 gloves garlic, chopped
  • 30 gram basil
  • 2 liter chicken stock
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • sea salt & white pepper
Methods:
  • Cut corn off the cob, then reserve the cobs
  • Heat olive oil and saute onion, leek, garlic, and corn kernels, cook for 2 minutes
  • Season with salt and pepper, then add chicken stock and corn cobs, pick all the leaves of the basil and keep aside, add basil stems to the soup
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, then let it cool down
  • Blend soup with 2/3 basil leaves, then strain and serve
The Panasonic Blender used in this case has a cover with opening in the middle, which was critical in allowing it to be used to blend hot ingredients (otherwise the top will blow off). A simple creamy soup without even using any cream, healthy and delicious.

Ratatouille with Panasonic Microwave Oven, Steamer, and Pressure Cooker
Ratatouille with Panasonic Microwave Oven, Steamer, and Pressure Cooker

The main dish was Ratatouille (just like the movie, I should try the recipe one of these days and then share it here) with a steamed French seabass on top.

This is a slightly more complicated recipe but can be prepared in just about half an hour or so with the help of Panasonic Microwave Oven and Pressure Cooker. The result was a beautiful dish that tasted as good as it looked. I enjoyed this very much.

The microwave oven – NN-SV30, is really impressive. You can use it  as a microwave, to grill, bake, and even steam. Who wants a dedicated oven that does nothing but baking?

Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Fantasy - Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SV30
Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Fantasy – Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SV30

For dessert, chef Michael prepared Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Fantasy with Passion Fruit Parfait. The chocolate fantasy is made like a pudding and can be frozen uncooked and only defrosted and baked when needed. Check out the melted chocolate core, isn’t it enticing?

Chef Michael got extra help in making ice cream
Chef Michael got extra help in making ice cream

Another recipe from Chef Michael that I want to share here is the Passion Fruit Parfait. Up till now I didn’t know that you could actually make this at home with nothing but a hand mixer and refrigerator.

Ingredients (for 12 portions):

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100 gram sugar
  • 400 gram whipping cream
  • 6 egg whites
  • 100 gram fresh passion fruit pulp (you can use other fruits if different taste is desired)

Method:

  • Whip the cream to soft peaks using hand blender
  • Whisk the egg yolks and 50g sugar until white using a hand blender, add passion fruit pulp to the egg mix
  • Whisk the egg whites with 50g sugar until stiff peaks using a hand blender
  • Fold the cream into egg yolk mix, and fold in the egg white last
  • Pour in a mould and freeze overnight

Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Fantasy
Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate Fantasy

The parfait is best eaten within a few days since no artificial ingredients or preservatives is used, and they sure tasted delightful especially with the chocolate fantasy. Home made ice cream with melt in your mouth chocolate pudding sounds good to you?

KY with some of the stars of the show, chef Michael Elfwing and Panasonic kitchen appliances
KY with some of the stars of the show, chef Michael Elfwing and Panasonic kitchen appliances

After the cooking demonstration, we were treated dinner with the above dishes. It was a wonderful night and one that actually made me think about upgrading to the Panasonic Microwave Oven or maybe the Panasonic electric Pressure Cooker.

I do cook on a semi-regular basis and can really see the benefit of having good quality and safe to operate kitchen appliances. For example, my old school gas powered pressure cooker always have the risk of blowing up, but you can use this Panasonic unit in a set-and-forget way, and it even doubles as a slow cooker as well.

Overall it was a lovely evening. We not only got to have a great dinner, but I took home a few recipes to try as well, thank you Panasonic & Chef Michael!

Remember the old days of 3D movies?

Mine was probably some 20 years back when I went to the cinema with my parents. I remember the oversized 3D eyewear that’s made of paper frame and the dizziness that accompanied the unforgettable experience.

I even ducked when the military truck zoomed out of the screen and seemingly head to me on a collision course, it was awesome, I couldn’t stop talking about it for days.

old school 3d glasses

Fast forward to 2010.

3D movies are aplenty, just this year alone pretty much all the animated movies are shown in 3D as well as traditional 2D screens. Then of course, there’s also Avatar, arguably the most successful 3D movie to date.

The journey doesn’t stop there, Panasonic now brings the 3D movie experience into your living room with the latest Panasonic VIERA 3D TV.

Panasonic Viera 3D poster

The VIERA 3D TV comes with Full HD, which in my opinion, is the only way to go if you’re looking to get a flat screen TV. Without 1080p, you won’t really enjoy the totality of what Blu-ray and other HD broadcasts bring.

Panasonic VIERA 3D TV

Other than being Full HD, Panasonic also implemented the Blacker Black Panel on this series. With a native contrast ratio of 5,000,000 to 1 (as opposed to dynamic contrast, confusing? Wiki it), VIERA is able to recreate vivid details of fine textures even in very dark films. I can imagine rewatching Sin City with this, yums!

Furthermore, the TV also comes with VIERA Cast SKYPE TV, you can use it to make Skype calls at the comfort of your living room, how cool is that right?

As a result of these technological prowess, it is no wonder Panasonic is the winner of 2010 Best of CES.

James Cameron shooting Avatar with Panasonic 3D camera

In fact, Panasonic is a much larger player in 3D technology than other brands that focus solely on making electrical items. The company has a Hollywood lab  serving as an R&R center and acts as consultants to moviemakers in creating the best 3D experiences.

James Cameron’s choice of camera & equipment in making Avatar were, well, Panasonic. That gives you a sense of Panasonic’s involvement in this area.

Go check out Panasonic VIERA 3D Full HD Experience event at Pavilion from 30th September, 2010 and try the 3D walkthrough, it is amazing!

stylish Panasonic 3d glasses

For the technology savvies, here are some details that should be of interest to you:

  • Full HD 3D Plasma with Frame Sequential Technology displays images at 120 frames per second (gamers should be familiar with fps)
  • The High-Precision 3D Eyewear (the sexy thing above) with Active Shutter Control operates in synchronisation with the alternating images, creating crisp 3D moving images.
  • Crosstalk Reduction Technology shortens the luminescence time between frames to create clearer 3D pictures without ‘double images’.
  • Blacker Black Panel produces a dynamic contrast of 5,000,000:1 for extremely deep, rich blacks and vibrant colours – even when viewing in brightly lit areas

Well, you still need to be wearing a pair of 3D glasses to view 3D contents with VIERA, but look at the design of this thing. I wonder if it’s fine to be wearing them at the beach too? 😀