I have known Kat Maderazo for over a decade now, and I've seen how she started with her bento baons way before she coined her brand, Bento by Kat. I have never had the chance to attend her bento tutorial events though because of schedule conflicts.
So when Monica Manzano of My Little Globetrotters invited me to the Heinz Kitchen Creations event with Bento by Kat, and I had the afternoon free, I jumped at the chance, and finally got my wish. Yay!
Of course, my kids love Heinz Tomato Ketchup too, and it's a product that's a staple in our pantry, same with their Malt Vinegar and White Vinegar.
And yes, I love love love their tiny bottles of condiments whenever we order room service in hotels. Love Heinz, so that's a double reason to go.
Of course, the event was very educational, as expected. Kat is amazing. She's a Japanese-certified bento box maker, and her bento boxes are just so creative and inspired. Obviously, she puts a lot of thought, time and effort in her kids' baons. Oh, what I would give to have the time and patience to do bento.
During the event, she taught us how to do Kelly Ketchup, which looked like a challenge at first. But once we got past the intimidation phase (haha) and we all pretty much got the hang of it, I think we all did pretty well.
Basically, while there are many many tools, both necessary and pa-cute for Bento, these are the essentials you need: the bento box, toothpicks, a paring knife, scissors and forceps.
For Kelly Ketchup, we mixed Heinz Tomato Ketchup with the rice, to give Kelly her pinkish skin tone. Plus, I'm pretty sure ketchup rice tastes good. I used to enjoy eating my rice this way as a kid, heehee.
Using a cling wrap, Kat taught us how to shape the head, body, arms and legs of Kelly. It was close to playing with Play Doh, basically.
We used the egg omelette for the dress, cheese for the headband, sushi nori for the hair and eyes, and then we garnished the empty spaces of the bento box with the chicken nuggets, vegetables and grapes. The finishing touches like the rosy cheeks and shoes, I did using Heinz ketchup, as suggested by Kat.
Here's my version of Kelly Ketchup. My friend Pam Siao aka Green Lunch Diaries said Kelly looks like Berry. I think so too!
use the scissors to cut the dress, hair and eyes, the forceps to lay out tiny decorations, and the knife for cutting vegetables and shapes
Here's a side by side of our Kelly girls: by Pam, me and Amber!
While I doubt I will have the patience to do bento baons every day, I see how our everyday ingredients and condiments are brought to life with some extra time and a whole lot of imagination!
Thanks so much to Heinz for a fun-filled afternoon, and for bringing so much flavor to our dining table, all day, everyday!