3 reasons for titas to have a deluxe brunch at Chef Jessie, Rockwell Club

It was a sunny Sunday and two intrepid titas – Jen of Sand Under My Feet and myself – are out for brunch.

But do note that we are not braving weekend traffic and the after-mass influx of people in the Rockwell area for just any, run-of-the-mill brunch.

Oh, no… We’re there for a special kind of dining experience that only one of the most trusted names in the metro’s culinary scene can provide.

We made our way to Chef Jessie Rockwell Club for a deluxe brunch.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

And as to why two titas decided to spend their late Sunday morning here, well, read on…

One: It’s a beautiful place to have a meal.

Situated inside the posh Rockwell Club in Makati, Chef Jessie’s recently renovated restaurant is infused with a modern colonial design that provides a lush tropical-themed haven for food lovers.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Floor-to-ceiling windows let in a lot of natural light, as well as a view of the goings-on in the nearby pool area. The green-grey walls, highlighted by large potted plants make it seem like the garden outside found its way into the restaurant and suffused the space with freshness and calm.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

For us titas that already deal with office stresses during the weekdays, entering this welcoming and relaxing space is a treat.

Two: Every dish is a work of art.

Chef Jessie Sincioco is a legend among foodies. Having won the Great Maya Cookfest in 1983, she was offered a special training course at Hotel Intercontinental Manila which paved the way to her becoming the first-ever Filipina pastry chef in 1990.

Chef Jessie brings her considerable culinary expertise into play in bring dishes that provide a feast for the senses: beautifully presented and masterfully prepared to achieve the best in taste, texture and aroma.

During our Sunday brunch, Jen and I feasted on Chef Jessie’s tasty offerings which include:

Fresh Juices:

Dalandan (Php195) and Banana Shake (Php160).

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Starters:

Freshly baked breads served with butter and herb vinaigrette infused olive oil.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Salads:

Salad ala Judy Ann (Php450). Mesclun and micro greens tossed with bits of fruits in season along with slivers of brie and bleu-cheese in a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Salad ala Joe Mari Chan (Php450). Slivers of ubud (heart of palm) molded into a circle together with alugbati (local spinach) in a sampaloc (tamarind) vinaigrette.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Soups:

Classic French Onion Soup with Gruyere Cheese (Php395).

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Cream of Carrot and Pumpkin with Shrimp and Mango (Php350).

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Entremets:

Dalandan Granitas (Php195) to cleanse the palate in preparation for the main course.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Mains:

Certified US Black Angus Beef Tenderloin (Php1,895) served with sauce bourguignonne, buttered vegetables and potato gratin.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken (Php895) served with garlic rice and atchara.

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Desserts:

Chocolate Souffle (Php350) and Mango Jubilee Ala Mode (Php450).

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Cafe Latte (Php180).

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Truly, this was a feast that any tita would find rewarding after a hectic work week!

Three: You get treated like the queens you are.

From the time we were ushered to our table to the time we left, we were assisted by the friendly staff. Plates were efficiently cleared after every course, our water glasses immediately refilled, and our inquiries on the food items sufficiently addressed.

They even gamely agreed to our multiple requests for pictures!

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

Chef Jessie, Rockwell

So whether you’re a tita, a tito or just a foodie looking to treat yourself to an amazing meal, head on to Chef Jessie’s!

Thanks to the Chef Jessie staff for the great food and warm service during our brunch and to Jen for sharing her GC!

Chef Jessie is located at Ground Floor, Rockwell Club, Amorsolo Square, Rockwell Center, Makati, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 2 8906543 or +63 2 8907630.

Chef Jessie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my blog posts on brunch places around the metro:

Steak time at Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

One particularly busy day at the office, a coworker and I decided to have lunch at the steak house nearby.

Big Daddy’s Steak House is a low-key eatery located along Mother Ignacia Avenue. Dimly lit, even at noon, it’s where busy office workers can have some peace and quiet during the lunch hour.

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steakhouse, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steakhouse, Tomas Morato

It is also where said office workers can enjoy hefty pieces of Porterhouse Steak at Php450. Grilled to medium doneness per our request, and accompanied by gravy that sizzled satisfyingly upon being poured on the cast-iron plate.

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Big Daddy’s Steak House, Tomas Morato

Yep, it was a satusfying lunch for two carnivores.

This Big Daddy’s Steak House branch is located at Timog corner Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, South Triangle, Quezon City, open daily from 10am to 6am. For inquiries and reservation, call +63 3748495.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ortigas Park Lane, Sapphire Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig
  • 121 Kalayaan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
  • JB Tan Street, BF Resort, Talon, Las Pinas

Big Daddy's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my posts of other places in the metro where you can get some steaks:

Steak lunch at Mad Mark’s, Robinsons Galleria

During one of our family’s forays at Robinsons Galleria, we chanced upon the newly opened outlet of Mad Mark’s Creamery & Good Eats.

Mad Marks, Galleria

Mad Marks, Galleria

Mad Marks, Galleria

Mad Marks, Galleria

We first discovered this restaurant chain several years ago through its original branch in Kapitolyo, and subsequently ate at its other branches in Glorietta, Bonifacio Global City and UP Town Center, so its fare is already near and dear to us, particularly its Signature Steaks.

Consisting of 150g premium USDA flat iron steaks, grilled per our preferred doneness (medium in this instance), it is accompanied by our choice of two side dishes and Mad Mark’s homemade sauces all for only Php305!

Mad Marks, Galleria

Mad Marks, Galleria

Mad Mark’s, Robinsons Galleria

The family’s consensus when it comes to Mad Mark’s sauces is the savory Cream Sauce which is made of fresh mushrooms and cream.

When it comes to side dishes, Hubby’s preferences are the carbo-loading Bacon Potato Salad and Smashed Potato, while my daughter’s are the Garden Grains (Mad Mark’s version of the vegetable fried rice) and Smashed Potato. As for me, Garden Grains and Corn & Carrots are my preferred complements for my steak.

For my little boy, we ordered a plate of Classic Fried Chicken which comes with rice and salsa for only Php199.

Mad Marks, Galleria

Well, this family sure is glad that Mad Mark’s opened a branch that’s even more accessible to us. Now, we have another go-to place when we are hit with that steak craving.

This branch of Mad Mark’s Creamery & Good Eats is located at Level 4, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm.

Other outlets can be found at:

  • Pioneer Center Supermart, 8006 Pioneer Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
  • Ground Floor, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
  • Third Floor, Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Second Floor, BGC Stopover Pavilion, Rizal Drive corner 31st Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Second Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City

Mad Mark's Creamery & Good Eats Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other restaurants in Metro Manila that serve steaks:

A walk on the wild side at Wyld Kitchen x Bar, Tomas Morato

Tomas Morato is home to a vibrant foodie scene: concept restaurants abound in the area, each offerings its own take at particular cuisines.

Along Mother Ignacia Avenue, for example, is Wyld Kitchen x Bar, a new haven for Quezon City denizens seeking to destress and enjoy a few drinks and eats in a hip yet intimate setting.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Inspired by the wilderness of Colorado in the US, the restobar has a rustic feel to it but tempered with modern sensibilities such as zero waste and sustainability. The wall hangings resembling tree branches and the heavy tables, for instance, are made of recycled wood and metals. All utensils are reusable, and even the metal straws.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld, Tomas Morato

During a recent meetup with fellow Zomato foodies, I was able to sample some of this restobar’s nature-infused offerings, which include:

Wyld Beef Burger (Php450). A perfectly blended and grilled beef patty with an earthy and smokey flavor and juicy texture, accompanied by a mulberry steak sauce, poached egg, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion in a warm brioche bun.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Grilled Herb Marinated Flank Steak (Php550). Medium-grilled slices of flank steak served with a compound herb butter, thick fried potato wedges, sauteed French beans and cherry tomatoes.

Wyld Kitchen x Bar, Tomas Morato

Fish and Chips (Php380). Beer-battered cream dory served with potato fries and a zesty egg dressing.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Pesto Pasta (Php350). House-made pesto sauce with pistachios, microgreens and parmesan. It gets an additional touch of nature with its garnish of edible butterfly pea flowers.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Our group was also able to sample Wyld’s imaginatively prepared signature cocktails such as:

Non-alcoholic drinks

Butterfly Fizz (Php95), made of soda water and fresh lemon juice accented by a butterfly pea flower.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Aloe & Coco (Php90), made with aloe vera juice, fresh basil and nata de coco.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Alcoholic drinks

Afterglow (Php250), made of gin, calamansi liqueur, housemade camote tops syrup and fresh lemon juice.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Radiculous (Php280), made of vodka infused with radish (of all things! :-)) elderflower liqueur, aloe vera juice and garnished with a slice of pickled radish on a spear.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

In Love with Cacao (Php295), a mixture of cacao liqueur, coffee liqueur, amaretto, brandy and cinnamon powder. I chose this drink as I’m a coffee and chocolate lover. Sipping on this sweet and icy cocktail in between bites of the food served was refreshing, and it gave me a happy buzz for the rest of the evening.

Wyld, Tomas Morato

With its rustic and laid-back atmosphere and its refreshingly unique take on its food and drink offerings, it sure seems like Wyld Kitchen x Bar is a welcome addition to Tomas Morato’s food scene!

Wyld, Tomas Morato

Wyld Kitchen x Bar is located at Second Floor, The Grandia Place, 143 Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City, open Sundays to Wednesdays from 5pm to 1am and Thursdays to Saturdays from 5pm to 3am. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 919 9908805.

Did you know you can buy two drinks and get the same two drinks for free at Wyld Kitchen x Bar through Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

You can also book your table using Eatigo to get up to 50% off your food bill. Sign up using my referral link to get additional perks.

WYLD Kitchen x Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other bars and watering holes in the Metro:

Japanese family food feast at Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

While on our family staycation at Novotel Manila Araneta Center, the family decided to venture out to the nearby Gateway Mall for dinner.

Our original choice turned out to be already permanently closed; so Hubby scoured the area and opted for Sumo Sam.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

The restaurant’s menu states that its origins can be traced back to the fanciful story of Sumo Sam, a legendary fighter and lover of good Japanese food who was dropped by a flock of cranes at the foot of Mount Fuji and raised by local sumo wrestlers as their own.

Having grown in skill and renown (as well as in appetite), he met the beauteous Miyuki whose village was cursed by the evil lord Aiku. He volunteered to fight the evil lord that night of the full moon. Before his battle, Miyuki served him food he never tasted before, and he felt himself getting stronger.

That night, he battled for his life and his newfound love for Miyuki and emerged the victor.

The restaurant’s offerings allows its diners to relive the feast that Miyuki set before Sumo Sam which helped to strengthen him for battle.

For our dinner during our staycation, our feasted with fresh and filling Japanese food, prepared and served in Sumo Sam’s signature whimsical style, which include:

Tuna Sashimi (Php298) and Salmon Sashimi (Php298). Mainstays on our table every time we eat at a Japanese resto, these whet our appetite for more.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Dynamite Roll (Php288). A burst of flavor from the tuna and creamy spicy mayo amidst the usual vinegared rice.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Tonkatsu Set (Php398). My kids’ staple: a sizeable cut of hire (pork tenderloin), battered and fried to a golden brown color and served with rice, shredded cabbage and soup.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Steak Combo (Php898). Hubby ordered for himself a juicy slab of prime rib eye grilled to medium doneness and accompanied by grilled salmon, a fresh house salad, miso soup, Japanese Fried Rice and three pieces of California Maki.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

Chirashidon (Php399). I have developed a taste for this dish of sticky white rice topped with beautiful cuts of seafood; a tasty and filling alternative to my usual go-to meat dishes.

Sumo Sam, Gateway Mall

I found our Japanese family food feast here to be quite satisfying. Our orders were served promptly by the attentive servers and we were situated quite comfortably at our table amidst the brightly colored Asian and Western fusion decor of the restaurant.

This Sumo Sam branch is located at the Upper Ground Floor, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao City, open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 3510760 or +63 917 5938399.

Other branches are located at:

  • Level 3, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati (open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 11pm; Tel No: +63 2 9030847)
  • Level 2, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Makati City (open daily from 11am to 10pm: Tel No.: +63 2 7296292 or +63 2 8957532)
  • Level 6, Shangri-la Plaza, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 10pm; Tel No.: +63 2 6375704)
  • Third Floor, Robinsons Magnolia, New Manila, Quezon City (open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 9pm and Fridays to Sundays from 10am 10pm; Tel No.: +63 2 6254293, +63 2 6546813, or +63 917 4327272)
  • Second Floor, The Block, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City (open Sundays to Thursdays from 10am to 9pm and Fridays to Saturdays from 10am to 10pm; Tel No.: +63 2 3557714)

Sumo Sam Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Luxury Wagyu at Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Just when you thought that you’ve tasted all there is to good ole’ steaks, here comes Miyazaki Gyu introduce us to a truly luxurious steak experience.

The restaurant got its name from the Miyazaki Prefecture in the Japanese island of Kyushu. It is the word’s second largest producer of beef from Japanese black cattle – referred to as miyazakigyu – which is known for having a high level of marbling, making the meat as tender and flavorful as can be.

The restaurant not only sells high-grade beef but also treats its diners to the optimal preparation of the meat, thereby maximizing flavor and texture. That is actually the driving force behind the resto: showcasing to local diners the full potential of miyazakigyu, as envisioned by its executive chef and youngest Iron Chef contender Kensuke Sakai.

Hubby decided to treat the family to the experience of eating such high-quality beef so we spent one of our weekend lunches over the holidays checking out its offerings.

The restaurant embodies a combination of Japanese simplicity with its clean lines and bamboo accents, and of luxurious opulence with its gold and leather interiors.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

A display of its various meat offerings takes pride of place, giving diners the option to take some home.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

For our luxurious miyazakigyu lunch, we had:

Beef Sushi (Php650). Slivers of tender wagyu draped over sushi rice and lightly doused with ponzu sauce served as our appetizer.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Hubby, my daughter #ExhibitA and I split orders of various beef cuts – Chuck Roll or Premium Steak (Php22/gram), Habaki or Special Part Steak (Php25/gram) and Top Round or Prime Marble Steak (Php32/gram) all cooked to medium doneness so we can savor their taste, juiciness and tender texture.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Hamburg Steak (Php900). Our little boy #ExhibitB, on the other hand, was treated to this tasty grilled ground beef burger patty.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

All of these meat dishes are preceded by a light vegetable salad and a steaming hot soup with slivers of wagyu beef.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

The steaks were served with sauteed bean sprouts, minced herbs and a bit of salt to bring out more of their flavor.

We also upgraded to the House Special Garlic Rice that went so well with the wagyu steaks.

Miyazaki Gyu, BGC

Given its price range, dining at Miyazaki Gyu is really not for everyday enjoyment; for me, it’s for those rare occasions when you feel like you deserve a break from the ordinary. Its premium-grade wagyu surely takes you to a whole new level of experience.

Miyazaki Gyu is located at Podium Level, One Mckinley Place, 26th Corner 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, open daily from 11am to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm.  For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8296167 or +63 917 166 6673)

Miyazaki Gyu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other Japanese restaurants:

Three things to discover at Tittos, Kapitolyo

Kapitolyo is considered to be the foodie haven of Pasig, the city’s answer to QC’s Maginhawa Street and Marikina’s Lilac Street.

Kapitolyo is the place to be if you want imaginative and extraordinary dining experiences, in establishments that veer off the beaten path when it comes to restaurant concept, menu items or decor.

One such restaurant is Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew.

The brainchild of a group of friends who consider themselves “titos” already (hence the restaurant name), Tittos has a relaxed yet vibrant vibe that appeals to the titos and titas in all of us. From the huge colorful murals, its spacious indoor and al fresco dining areas, its friendly and accommodating wait staff to its huge servings of Latin American comfort food that appeals to the Pinoy palate, Tittos is the place to be for gastronomic adventures and fun times with friends.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

However, there is more to Tittos than meets the eye which I found out when I attended a foodie meet up held there. And since I like to blab about my discoveries, here are things about Tittos that will make you hie yourself off to Kapitolyo stat.

One: It recently launched some new appetizing menu items.

Imagine sharing a meal with your crew that includes gastronomic delights such as:

Tapas de Chipa (Php295). Soft puff pastries served tapas-style with cream cheese, smoked salmon and truffle honey.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Tuna Tirataki (Php275). A Brazilian take on the Japanese tataki, sashimi-grade tuna is seared and served with a tangy spice mix, fried garlic, and garnished with a delicate black coral tuile.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

La Lucha Salad (Php320). A very healthy salad that mixes in the trendy ingredient quinoa with mixed salad greens, corn, candied cashews, tempura-style oyster mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and crumbled white cheese drizzled with a honey balsamic dressing.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

El Cesar’s Salad Burrito (Php320). In this Latin American deconstruction of the classic Ceasar Salad, lava-grilled chicken mojo is wrapped in flour tortilla together with mixed lettuce, soft-boiled eggs, garlic croutons, fresh parmesan, cherry tomatoes and Tittos’ own house-made Ceasar salad dressing, and served with some potato fries on the side.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Chiquittos (Php155). Fried chicken taco done as a deep-fried roll accented by white cheese and Mexican crema.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Garlic Shrimp BBQ Pizza (Php325) and Truffle Pork Pizza (Php345). Substituting the normal pizza dough with a flour tortilla, these pizzas give you maximo satisfaction through either the spicy garlicky barbecued shrimp toppings or the strips of pork belly over bechamel sauce together with melted cheeses.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Pasta Negra con Gambas (Php375). Squid ink linguine tossed with stir-fried prawns marinated in citrus and garlic bits.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Blackened Tuna Jaw (Php745). Lava-roasted tuna jaw rubbed with Latin spices served with grilled lime and honey chipotle sauce.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

El Puerco ala Brasa (Php395). Tender slices of pork belly rubbed with dried red chilis then lava-grilled and topped with mole verde sauce.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Tittos Signature Steak (Ribeye: Php1,750/400g, T-bone: Php1,450/500g, Striploin: Php950/350g)

Pan-seared angus steaks served with torched sofrito butter, crispy beef bits, Peruvian pink peppercorn, lime and Latin gravy.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Now, with these new inclusions to the Tittos menu, all the titos and titas have great reasons to come together and grab a bite!

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Two: You can look forward to cool events and exciting promos come December

On December 2 from 7pm to 10pm, you can enjoy a Sunday Chill Night with acoustic music artist Tiara Shaye, along with five bottles of local beer and a plate of Nacho El Gigante for only Php399 or unli wine with a serving of Batata Frita for only Php499.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

On December 4 – Taco Tuesday- get a Buy 1 Take 1 deal on all street tacos – Chiquittos, Chicharrones, Salted Egg, Shrimp, Beef Barbacoa, Baja Tuna and Venduras.

Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew

Visit Tittos’ Facebook Page to get updated on upcoming promos and events.

Three: It has a secret bar.

Shhh!

If you’ve ever been at Tittos and wondered what the “Ask for the secret” sign was all about, it’s the bread crumb that will lead you to a secret bar: Rm 16.

Room 16, Tittos

Room 16, Tittos

If you titos and titas ever want to disappear for a while to enjoy a drink (or two… or three…), check it out by seeking the big red vending machine, which, similar the closet to Narnia, leads you to a vastly different place: a speakeasy with subdued lighting in contrast to Tittos’ vibrant lights, and that serves cocktails and drinks with some Latin flair.

Room 16, Tittos

Room 16, Tittos

Room 16, Tittos

Curious about Tittos yet? Come on over to 16 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Call +63 2 5323414 for reservations. Tittos is open Mondays to Thursdays from 11am to 10pm, Fridays to Saturdays from 11am to 1am and Sundays from 10am to 10pm.

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to attend a foodie meetup held in this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.