The Filipino Kitchen

Savour the Flavours of the Philip­pines across the re­gions, one plate at a time

Philippine Tatler Traveller - - Contents -

Com­prised of 7,641 is­lands, wher­ever you go in the ar­chi­pel­ago, there is def­i­nitely a spe­cial­ity dish or two to sa­ti­ate your ap­petite. The Philip­pines is a melt­ing pot of var­i­ous cul­tures; the culi­nary scene, as vi­brant. “Food is one of the ties that bind Filipinos with the rest of the world. It is through food that we dis­cover more about our her­itage and our cul­ture. It is with food that we wel­come our vis­i­tors and give them a peek into the her­itage and cul­ture of the Philip­pines,” said the De­part­ment of Tourism Sec­re­tary, Wanda Co­ra­zon Tulfo-Teo. It is this same thrust that brought the Flavours of the Philip­pines to life.

Now on its third year, Flavours of the Philip­pines con­tin­ues to present the coun­try as a foodie haven with recipes passed on through the gen­er­a­tions, tra­di­tional fare and in­no­va­tive cui­sine. This year's re­cently con­cluded month-long fes­ti­val fea­tured ex­cit­ing gas­tro­nomic events such as fi­es­tas, culi­nary tours, spe­cial din­ners, ex­hi­bi­tions, cook fests and bar crawls in dif­fer­ent venues across Lu­zon, Visayas and Min­danao. “Through Flavours of the Philip­pines we are able to pro­mote Philip­pine cui­sine and the tal­ents and cre­ativ­ity of our Filipino chefs; high­light our agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, in­gre­di­ents, gourmet prod­ucts and culi­nary tours; and show­case Manila as a cen­tre for cuisines of the world with many ac­claimed for­eign chefs open­ing up restau­rants in the metro,” shared De­part­ment of Tourism Di­rec­tor Verna Buen­suceso. This year's Flavours of the Philip­pines high­lighted unique lo­cal cui­sine us­ing in­gre­di­ents from the

Food is one of the ties that bind Filipinos with the rest of the world

coun­try’s boun­ti­ful land and seas across the re­gions. The stand­alone fes­ti­val also co­in­cided with the muchawaited Madrid Fu­sion Manila 2017, an in­ter­na­tional gas­tro­nomic event that show­cases some of the world’s most tal­ented chefs.

Among the high­lights of this year's Flavours of the Philip­pines were spe­cial events and menu of­fer­ings across Lu­zon, Visayas and Min­danao. In Lu­zon, dif­fer­ent prov­inces par­tic­i­pated through street par­ties and food ex­hi­bi­tions. More than 30 dif­fer­ent ban­gus (milk­fish) recipes from var­i­ous coun­tries were pre­sented at Ban­gu­sine as part of the Ban­gus Fes­ti­val in Pan­gasi­nan. Ban­gu­sine played an av­enue for learn­ing the many ways of cook­ing the Philip­pine Na­tional Fish. On top of that, about 23,000 pieces of milk­fish were si­mul­ta­ne­ously grilled dur­ing a street party graced by lo­cal per­form­ers. Be­sides the Fes­ti­val de la Paella Gi­gante in Makati City, a gi­ant bringhe (a lo­cal ver­sion of Ar­roz Va­len­ciana) with a di­am­e­ter of 15 feet was pre­pared by four Ca­pam­pan­gan culi­nary icons led by the fa­mous chef Claude Tayag and food his­to­rian, Lil­ian Bor­romeo in Pam­panga, one of the culi­nary cap­i­tals of the Philip­pines. In Que­zon, an event en­ti­tled Maku­lay na Pa­mana ng Que­zon Kuli­narya, of­fered shots of lam­banog (co­conut wine) paired with a de­gusta­cion spread of heir­loom recipes. Fur­ther south, the Naga City Arts, Cul­ture and Tourism of­fice held the Ki­nalas Y Ki­nolor, an event that com­bined culi­nary and vis­ual arts in true Nagueño fash­ion. The lo­cal com­fort food called ki­nalas mami (noo­dles) was served in bowls hand­painted by Bi­colano artists.

The Visayas also ac­tively par­tic­i­pated in the

na­tion­wide food fes­ti­val. In Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal’s an­nual Panaad sa Ne­gros Trade Fair, an en­tire al­ley was ded­i­cated to lo­cal fare that in­cluded chicken inasal, grilled seafood (shell­fish, scal­lops and oys­ters that are abun­dant in the area), laswa (veg­etable stew) and other spe­cial­i­ties, along­side a colour­ful pre­sen­ta­tion of in­di­vid­ual fes­ti­vals from the 13 cities and 19 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that com­prise the prov­ince. More culi­nary de­lights from the re­gion were show­cased at Sa­bores de Visayas 2 and Capiz­ta­han 2017.

Mov­ing on to Min­danao, Zam­boanga’s cu­racha (span­ner crab) took cen­tre stage at Sa­vores Year 2, an event held at Paseo del Mar that fea­tured the unique gas­tron­omy of the penin­sula, which is known for hav­ing strong Mus­lim and Tausug in­flu­ences. From the City of Golden Friend­ship Ca­gayan de Oro, the lo­cal favourite, humba (a slow cooked dish al­most sim­i­lar to the Filipino adobo) was served in dif­fer­ent ways in mem­ber es­tab­lish­ments of the Ca­gayan de Oro Ho­tel and Restau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion.

The gas­tro­nomic jour­ney was not just about events and fes­ti­vals. In Metro Manila and other key cities, par­tic­i­pat­ing ho­tels and restau­rants also cre­ated spe­cial menu of­fer­ings to cel­e­brate Flavours of the Philip­pines— from sisig (a dish made from pork cheeks and liver, usu­ally sea­soned with cala­mansi and chilli pep­pers) and halo-halo (a pop­u­lar shaved ice dessert) to sini­gang (tra­di­tional sour soup) and le­chon (suck­ling pig), and a lot more.

Culi­nary tours were of­fered by lo­cal tour op­er­a­tors

Through Flavours of the Philip­pines we are able to pro­mote Philip­pine cui­sine and the tal­ents and cre­ativ­ity of our Filipino chefs

in the Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion, the Cordilleras, Moun­tain Prov­ince, Pam­panga, Que­zon, Cavite, Bi­col Re­gion, Cebu, Bo­hol, Davao and Zam­boanga. “This year we have also flown in var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional tour op­er­a­tors in­ter­ested in run­ning culi­nary tours to meet with Philip­pine travel trade part­ners, to at­tend some of the Flavours of the Philip­pines events and to do fa­mil­iari­sa­tion trips of var­i­ous culi­nary tour pack­ages of the coun­try. We en­vi­sion culi­nary tourism as a new prod­uct that will help pro­mote Philip­pine cui­sine to the world. By cre­at­ing an in­ter­est in our cui­sine, we also hope that this will be an­other mo­ti­va­tion for trav­ellers to visit our shores,” added Buen­suceso.

While the Philip­pine is­lands are sep­a­rated by bodies of wa­ter and cul­tures and tra­di­tions vary in ev­ery cor­ner, there are two things that unite the coun­try—the warm hos­pi­tal­ity of the Filipinos and flavour­ful cui­sine that is truly world-class.

CLOCK­WISE One of the Filipinoin­spired spe­cials at Nobu Manila is the Kurobuta and foie gras sisig pica pica; Tapas Night fea­tured a fu­sion of Span­ish cui­sine us­ing lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents; crunchy bone­lessdilis is one of Via Mare's of­fer­ings for the fes­ti­val

CLOCK­WISE: The gi­ant paella is a cel­e­bra­tion of har­vest and com­mu­nity, which show­cases the rich and var­ied flavours of the Philip­pines; Manam's pancit sisig is a fu­sion of the tra­di­tional Filipino noo­dles and the pop­u­lar meat dish from Pam­panga; cu­racha is one of Zam­boanga's culi­nary trea­sures

FROM TOP: Fish kini­law is a pop­u­lar dish in the Visayas and Min­danao; the chef Chele Gon­za­lez served his ver­sion of the Filipino street food kwek kwek dur­ing the 10 hands din­ner at Gallery Vask

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: The chef Mar­garita Forés, chef Miko Aspi­ras, Mielle Este­ban of Arum Spain, and chef Jordy Navarra; Ba­colod's chickeninasal; Lo­ca­vore's take on the Filipino favourite, monggo soup; Nobu Manila's ver­sion of halo-halo

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