Dinner with Lydia Go, The Greatest of All Time Food Stylist in the Philippines

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Lydia T. Go Dinner - 18

Read First
A Night With A Food Whisperer by Socky of Tennis and Conversation
Tales of a Food Whisperer by Nena of Ramblings from a Gypsy Soul

You only hear about Lydia Go or Tita Lyds as most of the advertising world calls her, from stories of legendary food photo shoots. You hear stories about how Tita Lyds is the only food stylist who can execute the right pizza stretch so that it can be properly captured by the lens. You hear about secretive photo shoots where only members of the family are allowed to be present and the materials used in the shoot are collected and properly disposed by Tita Lyds herself. Lastly, you also hear about her delicious and unique twist on filipino cuisine served exclusively after every photo shoot.

For a foodie and a person who is not into the advertising world, it was a challenge for us to convince Tita Lyds to cook for a group of foodies who is in constant search for the best dining experience in the Philippines. Thanks to Socky for making this happen!! (read inside story here –> A Night With A Food Whisperer) It was a truly a night to remember, and just listening to the stories first hand was priceless. She should write a book about her funny adventures and how she became the Philippines’ Greatest of All Time Food Stylist.

For P1,000/head (oops, can I divulge this?), we were treated to the best of Tita Lyd’s cooking and to legendary stories of her food styling career which dates back to the days before I was born! Coincidentally, she is the mom of my Bosconian high school friend Edward Go, who I just learned is the most sought after (?) and most expensive (~ P10,000/ photo) photographer in the advertising industry. The venue of the feast was in the actual photo studio where the “secret” food shoots happen. She is also a fan of Ugu Bigyan so most of the dinner ware came from him. (You should read Nena’s account of the evening with Tita Lyds –> Tales of a Food Whisperer )

Overall, it was truly a night to remember and well worth the P1,000/ head price tag for the delicious buffet feast served that night. Although, some might be turned off by the venue which is in Edward Go’s home photo studio located in San Lorenzo Village, Makati. If Tita Lyds is really serious about venturing into an alternative career of chefs-for-hire, she should leverage on her strengths as a food stylist or her son’s strength as a food photographer. One concept could be Dinner-ala-Photo Shoot where you are treated to Tita Lyd’s delicious meals and you would have a chance to have a group photo shoot by Edward Go included in the package. Another concept would be to tie the dinner with a food styling or a 3 hour private food photography course and charge P3,000/ head.

Anton

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Tita Lyds shared with us her legendary stories of how she bought thousands of chicken for the Max’s chicken photo shoot, or finding certain fruits during the off season, or how she executed a perfect pizza stretch to be captured in the photograph. Nena and Socky captured some of the stories during that night. I just remembered laughing my hearts out with each of the stories πŸ™‚

A Night With A Food Whisperer by Socky of Tennis and Conversation
Tales of a Food Whisperer by Nena of Ramblings from a Gypsy Soul

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Bulacan-style ukoy (crunchy shrimp fritters), with alamang; and Fried tofu and vegetable Lumpia. Aidan kept coming back for the ukoy.

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Steamed jumbo shrimps. Simply Fresh, Sweet and Crunchy.

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Adobong talaba (oysters). This is a winner and most of the people swear that this is the best they ever tasted.

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Pako (fiddlehead fern) salad with a red egg & tomato dressing and Ginataang taong (eggplant cooked in coconut milk). This reminded me of the Ugu Bigyan Pako salad except that you have an interesting twist in the dressing.

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Sinigang na Lechon (roast pig cooked in a tamarind broth). Tita Lydia Go’s Signature Dish. Deliciously sinful but the best of Filipino Fusion. She should apply for a trade mark for this πŸ™‚

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Fresh Tilapia. Nothing fancy but grilled to perfection.

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She served the best Burong mangga (pickled green mango) we ever tasted and Ivan Man Dy can attest to that.

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Adobong pusit paired with kesong puti and sundried tomatoes. I loved this! Who would ever thought of pairing Adobong pusit with kesong puti? This was a genius foodie combination!

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Roast beef cooked “in a block of butter”. Yummy…. (wala nang masabi… )

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Pork and Chicken Adobo. Simple and flavorful.

Lydia Go’s Dessert

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Chocolate-cream cheese-walnut log. This is the legendary Lydia Go’s Christmas Chocolate Log. It is not for sale and this is Tita Lyd’s unique gift every Christmas to her friends in the advertising world. We were wondering if we can be included in the mailing list or gift list of people this Christmas?! Please…

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Pinipig suman. Rache loved this and how I wish we could take some home.

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Fried suman in chocolate fondue. A unique but obvious twist to chocolate fondue.

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Sweet saba. It would have been perfect if there was crushed ice and milk πŸ™‚

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Camote-cue fries with sesame seeds. Fried to perfection.

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Sarap no? It was unfortunate that I was not feeling too well that night. I missed on some of the goodies and I’m just reliving the experience via the parade of the food shots above. Also, I do hope the photos of the food, pass Tita Lyd’s standards πŸ™‚ I’ll end this post with Aidan’s photo with Tita Lyds.

Anton

(P.S. Please let me know if you want to join us in one of our food trips. I don’t really mind inviting a few people every once in a while. One of the reasons, we started this informal group is to have a group who is “game” to pay P1,000 up / head for those by-reservation only establishments who cater only to groups of 10 or more. Also, we are looking for unique dining experiences in the Philippines. Please email me privately. )

17 thoughts on “Dinner with Lydia Go, The Greatest of All Time Food Stylist in the Philippines

  1. Hi anton,
    After reading your different food trips, I was just wondering kung pwede sumabit sa group nyo. I know that you have already bonded with your group as seen on the previous posts na very tight-knit coz of the common interest but if you just add me into your group would make one of my wishes come. Coincidental ba yung invite mo baka you’ll be having more that 10 guest just like marketman does when he has an eyeball. Matagal mo na kong fan. Looking foward to your blogs everyday and I’m happy that you share stories of how beautiful our country is even in these times where everyone wants to get out.
    We’ll wait for your reply on the invite.

  2. Anton,
    Thanks for dragging me to this dinner, never in my wildest dream did i think it would be at the house the country’s best food stylist! Oh, the burong mangga was so good…so was the adobong talaba and ukoy which was delectably crisp! Cant say the same for the sinigang litson though, i liked the taste but seeing that im more used to the clear and not-too-thick broth…Oh well, that was an experience. ;o)

  3. Hi Anton,
    I like reading your blog. It helps me a lot. I like eating out and in my job having my client eat is part of the job.
    But one thing that makes me think twice about visiting your site is the long loading time. I think your pictures are just so large so it takes a while to load all of them.
    I have a 1mbps+ internet connection so Im pretty sure it is not my connection that’s the problem.
    Sana you can make the pics small enough or if Im wrong on this theory, you can find a way to make your site load faster.
    Thanks !!!
    Albert
    0917 628 8898

  4. Anton, Tita Lyds isn’t just known for photo shoots; in fact, she is more famous for doing TV commercials. It’s much, much harder to work with food that has to move and “act” on video, than just look pretty for a still picture.
    I highly doubt (we can only hope!) that she would be a chef-for-hire as an alternative career. The money we paid probably barely covered the cost of the food she served, much less the labor involved. In contrast, she earns extremely well as a food stylist. Which is why I was flabbergasted and thrilled when Socky managed to convince her to do this for us. It was a most memorable dinner, indeed!

  5. Lucky of you Anton to experienced Lydia Go’s food concoction! Maybe because of Socky from PC&V. Advertising connection made Tita Lydia do this, I guess. Tita Lydia is always booked for TVC as food stylist way ahead of time. I experienced her through our Chowking halo-halo TVC, her ice cream was really different and cannot be imitated. Only Tita Lyds can do that. I really doubt if she’ll be a chef-for-hire because she’s advertising industry’s highest paid food stylist. And sometimes her rate is even higher compared to TV commercial director. Still the demand for Lydia Go is unstoppable. She’s truly and institution.
    As an Art Director and a neophyte Food Stylist, I have this huge admiration and respect for her.

  6. hi anton, grabe! mouth watering foods! sarap! mail me if you can squeeze two more people. thanks! i love your blog!

  7. hi anton!
    i love food, and i would love nothing more than to join you in your food adventures. my friends don’t get it when i want to go out of the way to try new places and new dishes…but im always more than willing to go on for hours in search of the greatest grub.
    in case you guys need a filler, im game!
    sophie

  8. Hi Anton, can you help me get in touch with Ms. Lydia Go? I’m doing a story on moms who cook, and we want to include her. Would appreciate any leads. Thanks!

  9. Hi Anton, does Edward Go teach food photography? I would really love to learn from them. How bout Lydia Go? I have a sister who would really like to learn food styling as well. Hope you can give us more info about them.

  10. Nice food! I was boasting about Lydia Go with my friends, I used to work in one of the companies where she was one of the directors. So glad to see her here, I am always impressed by the food photography they have produced. I hope some of you can update me about and what are the latest food photography they did. The food she served looks yummy specially the roast beef, makes me want to go out and find filipino food.

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