Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King
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Happy 7th Anniversary, Dessert Comes First!

posted by in The Best... Lists

Note: Cover photo credit here.

There are 850 posts on Dessert Comes First (DCF), and this, the 7th Anniversary Post, is the 851st.

At that rate, I’ve written 141 posts a year on the average, a very small number compared to more prolific blogs. It takes me at least 3 hours to write a post in white heat, edit it in cold blood, compile and caption the accompanying photos before I press “Publish.” This is the exacting standard I’ve set for myself however, as a food writer trained in the craft of the written word.

7 years ago today, on May 2, 2005, I began DCF and embarked on a tremendous journey. It ascends to giddy highs and heart-wrenching lows with plenty of stops at stations filled with home bakers who make memorable sweets, chefs stamping their imprint on the local restaurant landscape, and food purveyors who’ve improved the quality of food available to us. I’m grateful to all these people and fortunate to document such delicious times!

And of course thank you to YOU, the readers of DCF! Some of you have been with me from the very beginning and have read every post. To those whom I’ve met at restaurants, at events, and in the checkout line at the supermarket (!) thanks for coming up to me to tell me how much DCF makes you drool. I’m ever grateful.

A read-through of DCF’s other birthdays provides a glimpse at how far we’ve come, how things have changed and how some have stayed the same. DCF’s 1st birthday chronicles the rush of the initial year, including the first post, first restaurant, and first home baker featured. The 2nd birthday commemorates DCF’s first award and the glee of a new camera, while the 3rd birthday captures me in a pensive state. Then there was the rapture of DCF’s 6th Anniversary which I marked with a huge to-do.

On DCF’s 7th anniversary, I thought you might want to take a peek into the backroom and see the numbers that make up this little food blog of mine.

The Landmark Posts
These are the ones that are alternately famous and notorious. Do you still remember some of them?

Post with the most comments (135): Caramel Apple of My Eye.
DCF readers, on the whole, are a lurker lot. They’re very intelligent but reticent; only a few will take the time to voice out their opinion. This post – about apples on sticks, for goodness’ sake! – showed that sometimes, it’s quite the thrill to talk back.

The “Breakthrough” post: The 10 Best Desserts In Manila And The Vultures Who Eat Them.
Rather notorious this one, since it got me “fired” from a magazine, but it’s what put DCF on the map and got me noticed.

Most popular post of ALL-TIME: 5 of The Best Chocolate Cakes in Manila .
It’s chocolate. It’s cake. It’s a no-brainer as to why this post endures as the most viewed post on DCF. I should really update this one however, a post on My 10 Favorite Chocolate Cakes, perhaps. (See related mention below in the Home Bakers section).

Most controversial post: Want Steak? Go To Myron’s and its rejoinder post How I Review Restaurants (Addressing That Myron’s Post).
These two posts were controversial just like the caramel apple post above, but in a different way. The conflict stemmed from some readers’ astonishment at the stark difference between my experience at Myron’s and theirs. It got to a point that the restaurant owners asked to meet with me to work out the hullabaloo. The craziest rumor I heard about the effects of this post was that the issue was used as a case study in a business seminar, where it was stated that the post generated sales of P 1M for Myron’s. Unfounded, but mind-boggling nevertheless.

Post that almost got me thrown out of a restaurant: Cantonese Kitchen.
It’s commonplace now to take food photos in restaurants but you must remember that I started DCF back in 2005 when this was not the case. Plenty of people didn’t even know what a blog was, and taking pictures was seen as imitation, and worse, imminent competition. Oh, how times have changed since then, and thankfully, we food bloggers can snap away at will, within certain boundaries of course.

Posts & interesting numbers about Homebakers

Oh, how I love homebakers and their efforts to enliven Manila’s dessert landscape! They are part of the lifeblood of DCF. Many of the homebakers that I’ve featured have become my friends and I follow their careers, cheering for them at every turn and including my favorites in video and in my contributions to magazines. Sadly, some of the homebakers I’ve featured on DCF have closed shop, but most, I’m happy to report, have made quite the name for themselves; some have even opened their own stores.

Number of Homebaker posts on DCF: 100

Age of youngest homebaker featured on DCF: 16. Ange de la Cruz of The Sweet Life by Ange back in 2007.

First homebaker featured on DCF: Kristine Guerrero of KG’s Kitchen. Tragically, her post seems to have disappeared from the DCF database!

Most featured homebaker on DCF: Karen Young. I’ve written 7 separate posts on her.

Type of dessert most featured on DCF: Cake. Chocolate cake, to be exact. Whether it be flourless, mousse, or meringue, as long as it’s got chocolate in it and it’s a cake. The runners-up in this category are cheesecake and then ice cream.

Some random facts:

Number of restaurants featured on DCF: 200 (The Restaurant category is the most populated database on DCF!)

Number of emails I receive weekly asking to be featured on DCF: 4 (on the average).

What I wish more homebakers would offer: Pie.

Number of 8-ounce glasses of water I drink while working on a post: 3. I forbid myself to eat while working.

Number of facelifts DCF has had since 2005: 4

Number of facelifts I’ve had since DCF’s inception: 0

Okay DCF readers, onwards we go to year 8! In honor of DCF’s 7th Anniversary, if you’ve got a question you’d like to ask me, stick it in the Comments section!

~~lori

44 Responses to “Happy 7th Anniversary, Dessert Comes First!”

  • “Number of facelifts I’ve had since DCF’s inception: 0.”

    I hope you’re not contemplating on having one in the future though. Oh god no.

    Happy 7th to you and DCF! Cheers! :D

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  • Happy blog anniversary Lori! Here’s to more deliciousness to come!! :)

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  • congratulations, Lori and more power to DCF! :D

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  • Happy birthday DCF!!! More power Ms Lori and thank you! :)

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  • 7 years! Congratulations, Lori! I’ve said it before, yours is my dream “job” :) Thanks for inspiring us readers not only on the joys of food and writing, but also of finding one’s passion. Cheers!

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  • Happy Anniv Lori :) Great great work.. ever think of publishing it in print? :D

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  • Congratulations, Lori! What a feat! 7 years! Your blog can now take Holy Communion! : )

    Kept chuckling at that facelift & how much water you drink while working on a post. Hahaha!

    More questions:
    1. Did you gain a lot of weight from DCF Year One to Seven (You sure don’t look it!)?
    2. How many blogs have been inspired by DCF(I think this should be addressed to readers. I’ve counted 10.)?
    3. Were you ever bullied / harrassed / threatened for posting (or not posting) your usual gut-honest feedback?
    4. What is your favorite shoe brand (Sorry I couldn’t resist. Those shoes of yours grab as much attention as your featured product lately. : ) )?

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    Lori Reply:

    Pam-
    My answers:
    1. I weigh less now than when I started the blog. Unfortunately, my appetite has grown so I’ve had to cut back on my food intake since my metabolism isn’t what it used to be.
    2. That’s an interesting question. Have any blogs been inspired by DCF?
    3. No. I don’t scare easily and I’m quite “taray” when I need to be. :p
    4. Zarah, Lyn, Charles & Keith, Kenneth Cole, and Virtual Mae.

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    Paolo Reply:

    *raises hand re question #2*

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    Lori Reply:

    Paolo-
    Wow, really? Had no idea.

  • Congratulations, Ms. Lori! :) I have been reading your blog ever since a friend introduced me to it in 2007 and reading it has been a delightful weekly ritual ever since! :)

    Ooh, and as for the questions:

    1.) Does Boo show signs of being as fond of food as well as writing/reading as you? :)
    2.) What kind of books do you like to read, apart from food-related ones?
    3.) What is your earliest memory of good food? (i.e., at what point did you realize that food is more than just sustenance, but a sensual delight on so many levels?)
    4.) What is one thing you will NEVER eat?
    5.) What do you appreciate most about our local food/dining industry?
    6.) As a follow-up to no. 5, what is your biggest frustration with the said industry?
    7.) (In honor of your blog’s 7th anniversary! And also because I can be such a chatterbox once I get going.. :)) ) What advantages did your family background give you with regards to food appreciation? :) (I once read an article on you and your mum in FOOD magazine where you talked about how your mother was a great driving force in the development of your palate. Crips! I sound like such a stalker! Okay, I’ll stop talking now.. @.@)

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    Lori Reply:

    Serena,
    Wow, this is a lot, one for every year of DCF’s existence. I’ll do my best.
    1. Boo loves food but she’s picky – and unpredictable. The foods I’m sure she’d enjoy aren’t necessarily the ones she does, and vice versa.
    2. Crime thrillers. The bloodier the better.
    3. My tito’s chicharon bulaklak. He’d order them from the market, clean them, and then fry them in this wok of hot oil. I remember watching them bloom like flowers, and to me back then, it was beautiful. We’d eat them sprinkled with Ajinomoto. Since then, I’ve not had chicharon bulaklak as good as that.
    4. Anything from a monkey, shark, or dog.
    5. I love how Manila’s dining scene is so dynamic and ever-changing. It’s really the world’s best-kept food secret.
    6. Small portions that I can inhale. And incompetent service staff.
    7. Growing up, my mom was an adventurous cook and we spent each summer traveling to a different country. Those two factors prepared me to become what I am today: an unabashed food lover and an avid traveler.

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    Serena Reply:

    Wow, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! Much appreciated! :)

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    Serena Reply:

    And I completely agree with no. 6. I once dined with my family at this restaurant in Serendra that embodied both those things. The food took forever to arrive and when it did, the serving portions were incredibly tiny. The bill was inversely proportional to the serving sizes, however. Tsk..

  • 7 deliriously delicious years! May you always have something to eat (then write about) and may the gods and goddesses of inspiration always be with you as you document another (and another and another and another….) year of fabulous food, delightful desserts, and interesting people. Cheers and tight hugs!

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  • Happy 7th year DCF! Congratulations Ms. Lori! Thank you for all the wonderful and delicious blogs that you’ve shared with us. My all time favorites are your features on the homebakers. Here’s wishing you more blogging years to come.

    My question is how old is Boo now? She was just a little kid when I began following your blog :)

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    Lori Reply:

    Hi Elit-
    Boo is now 9.

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    Elit Reply:

    Wow! So she was only 2 when you started DCF :). Thanks for the reply! More power to you and DCF!

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  • A loud, thunderous, roof-raising standing ovation for you, Lori! I’ve loved your blog from the beginning and had no doubt you’d not only continue, but even up the ante and bring blogging to new heights — for both you and your readers. After the blog-reading hiatus I went through (which you know about), I’ve had to cut down on the number of food blogs I follow. But yours is one of those I would not consider taking off the list. :-)

    Congratulations again! You know they say that 7 is the age of wisdom, right? ;-)

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    Lori Reply:

    Thanks, Katrina!
    Your saying that “7 is the age of wisdom” is making me think…

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  • Happy 7th blog anniversary Lori! You have been such an inspiration to foodies and writers alike. Thank you for sharing your gift and for celebrating your gastronomic adventures with us. Here’s to the next 7 years, and 7 more after that! …and after and after and… Cheers! :)

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  • Congratulations, Ms. Lori! :) I’ve been following your blog since 2007. A friend of mine introduced it to me and visiting your blog has been a weekly delight for me ever since! :)

    Ooh, and as for the questions:

    1.) What is Boo’s favorite food? :)
    2.) What sort of books do you like to read, apart from cookbooks and other food-related stuff?
    3.) What is your fondest food memory growing up?
    4.) What do you like best about the local food/restaurant industry?
    5.) What is your biggest frustration regarding the local food/restaurant industry?
    6.) What would you advise today’s food bloggers as to how they can maintain their integrity, relevance, and appeal?
    7.) If Nigella Lawson was going to be your guest for dinner, would you take her out or treat her to a home-cooked meal? If you were to take her out, which restaurant would you bring her to? If you were going to entertain her at home, what dishes would you cook and who else would you invite?

    Whew.. Seven questions for each of the seven anniversaries past.

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  • Thanks for 7 years of giving your time and effort to us hungry readers, and contributing to the elevation of the food scene! More educated and cultured foodies means higher standards for all, which can only make us better.

    I know that I have grown so much (no fat jokes please ;p ) from the very first time you featured us, and you gave us that first big push into the spotlight. What you do for new bakers and food purveyors cannot be overstated. *standing ovation*

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  • Happy Anniversary to DCF Ms. Lori

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  • What is the secret to your staying power?
    What advice can you give to aspiring food writers?

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    Lori Reply:

    Hi Aina L.-
    I’d say that it’s not so much staying power as it is persistence and discipline. Maintaining a blog and keeping it going is a lot of work. But traveling and feeding my food lust helps stoke the flames of passion. As for aspiring food writers: READ. Read a lot. And write. Every day.

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  • Congratulations Lori! Your blog is the reason i need to run regularly. Here’s to 7 more years (and longer!) of good writing and good food!

    P.S.

    More cakes and steaks please!

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  • Congrats, lori and happy anniversary to DCF! :)

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  • Congratulations! 7 years (more like 70 in interweb years) is definitely a mean feat.

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  • Congratulations on 7 food-filled years! I wish I were half as talented and prolific as you when it comes to writing. Unfortunately any free time I have from my two kids I spend reading (blogs, magazines, cookbooks and books) and dreaming (about food, restaurants, the beach and traveling). Methinks it’s high time we meet! I love crime thrillers too, for some weird reason I gravitate towards books about psychos and the gory mess they leave behind…

    As for the questions:

    1. What do you usually eat at home for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you plan your meals (and therefore groceries) weekly or are they spontaneous?
    2. How often do you eat out?
    3. Does Boo know how to cook or bake?
    4. What is your number one favorite food blog? The one you read everyday? Hmmm this could be controversial. :)
    5. This is a cliche-ish one, please indulge me. Describe your dream dinner party (theme, food, guests).
    6. When are you visiting HK? Lane Crawford has a shoe library (25000 sqft of shoe heaven) plus a Library Cafe with yummy sandwiches. Just sayin’.

    I’m really glad you continued this blog. It’s highly intelligent, driven by passion, written with soul (and sexiness!), and the pictures pop out from the screen. What more can a blog addict ask for?

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    Lori Reply:

    Hi ragamuffin girl!
    Yet another set of great questions. Here goes!
    1. My breakfast is detailed in this week’s MIYO Monday question. Lunch is usually a salad with some meat; but if I’m busy, then just a smoothie or peanut butter sandwich. I don’t usually have dinner unless there’s an event to attend or it’s my cheat day. My meals are spontaneous unless I’m hit by a massive craving for something or desperately want to cook something.

    2. I eat out about 3-4 times a week. I don’t want to eat out too often because eating out is very special for me and I want to keep it that way.

    3. Boo is a good eater. She’s not very interested in cooking or baking but she’s quite adept at both when I press her into service.

    4. There’s no food blog that I read daily.

    5. Boring yes, but I still have to think about my dream dinner party theme. It usually involves 6-8 people that I adore, lots of steak and meat on the grill, and cheesecake for dessert.

    6. Hmm, the last time I visited HK was in 2010 and I promise you that I’ll look you up on my next visit. :)

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  • Sadly, I was not a frequent visitor of the “interwebz” (as the younger generation would call it) when the “Myron’s” fiasco came about but I have read most of the transcripts related to it and know that it was one heck of a conundrum! There’s a saying that “What does not kill you will only make you stronger” and that is what this blog is, a result of the smiles, tears and soul of it’s’ readers and creator consolidated into one fine package. I guess the only question that’s left to ask (and a question that’s probably on the minds of most readers) is “What’s next for DCF?”

    Happy 7th Anniversary DCF! May there be more to come! :)

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    Lori Reply:

    tonceq-
    What a thoughtful and beautiful comment! Can’t give a definitive answer to your question just yet, so let’s all hang on for the ride. At least we’ll always be well-fed :)

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  • oops, left some lines out “a result of the smiles, tears and soul of its’ readers and creator…” my bad!

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  • Happy 7th anniversary to DCF, Lori!

    DCF has been my go-to blog for the best and the newest food finds since I can no longer remember when. I’ll forever be grateful to the cheesecake recipe you so generously shared with us, your readers, for *that* cheesecake became the ultimate dessert that my loved ones constantly ask me to make for them.

    Your restaurant reviews and recommendations serve as reliable guides for our food trips and food adventures. For that I thank you also!

    I’m just curious, though. Out of all the zillion places you have been, which one is your favorite, and what foods did you like there?

    More successful years to DCF!:D

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    Lori Reply:

    Jean-
    Ohhh, that makes my heart swell! I’m glad that cheesecake recipe has worked out so well for you. Thanks for your kind, kind words.

    When you ask about the “zillion places” I’ve been to, I assume you mean my travels? That would have to be Tokyo. As a country, Japan gets it when it comes to food. I’ve not been to a country more devoted to food than the Japanese. My zealousness for food feels right at home there.

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  • Congratulations again Lori! To this day yours is the only blog I spent hours going through a LOT of the links. You are also my inspiration in starting my own blog Shoot First, Eat Later and to this day I strive to take pictures as good as yours. Thank you.

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    Lori Reply:

    Leslie-
    I don’t think I could forget the day I met you in the supermarket. Quite flattered to know that DCF served as your inspiration – you’ve done fabulously well with SFEL. Thanks for your encouraging words. I hope that you’ll always find something to inspire you on DCF.

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  • More power Lori.

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  • Congratulations Lori! Your excellent use of language will always be an inspiration and an aspiration.

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  • Congratulations Lori! Personally, you have been a constant source of inspiration. All the best to you.

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  • Belated Happy Birthday DCF!

    I will always be loyal to the first food blog I read and followed.

    May you have many more posts to come!

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  • “Number of facelifts I’ve had since DCF’s inception: 0″

    hilarious! does not matter if you will need it in the future, im sure you will age gracefully just like your blog, Lori!
    Happy 7th Anniversary to Dessert Comes First … you’re an inspiration in the blogging world! Here’s to 7×7! :)

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