Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, April 30, 2015
After a month of overeating my way through different cities in Spain, I can say that I was the most excited for Madrid Fusion Manila. After all, it was the biggest culinary event in our country, the first in history. Michelin-starred chefs flew to Manila, shared and exchanged invaluable knowledge at the "International Gastronomy Congress," and, of course, checked out what the Philippines had to offer.
The world's eyes were on us. And my eyes were on… Pepita's Lechon! The suckling pig stuffed with chorizo and crab fat paella was the very first thing I attacked when I arrived at SMX. Oh, how I missed Filipino food!
Dedet dela Fuente, The Lechon Diva, with her Spanish-Manilena lechon
Pepita's suckling pig with chorizo and crab fat paella
Luckily for me, Madrid Fusion Manila aimed not only to bring globally renowned chefs to our country but also to put our local heritage food and agricultural products on the international map. The Department of Agriculture (DA) spearheaded by Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat organized a series of regional lunches during the three-day convention to showcase the very best of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The foreign chefs, who were present at the lunches, were undeniably impressed with what they saw, touched, smelled, and tasted.
So was I.
Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat
The Luzon lunch curated by Angelo Comsti, author of From Our Table to Yours and The Filipino Cookbook and editor-in-chief of F&B Report magazine, featured delightful creations by chefs Miko Aspiras of Scout's Honor and Le Petit Souffle, Josh Boutwood of Bistro Group, Robby Goco of Cyma and Green Pastures, Myke Sarthou of Alab, Happy Ongpauco-Tiu of Pamana and Tsokolateria, and Mikel Zaguirre of Locavore.
(I tried my very best to eat every single dish presented but a few ran out before I could get to them, which explains why my photos are not complete. Sorry!)
Angelo Comsti, author of From Our Table to Yours and The Filipino Cookbook
and editor-in-chief of F&B Report magazine
Kinilaw by Robby Goco
Lemon oil snapper, tanigue, shrimp mi-cuit, crab claw, sorrel flowers, micro cucumber,
stevia leaf, green mango pearls, spiced vinegar jelly
Bringhe by Happy Ongpauco-Tiu
Violet Cordillera rice, spicy adobo, banana chips, alugbati flowers, coconut milk, turmeric,
glutinous rice, calamansi, nat a de coco, spiced pickled pinakbet
Empanada by Myke Sarthou
Goat meat, vinegar, rice flour, raw green papaya, quail egg, fennel bulbs, onion, pork fat, annato
Balut by Josh Boutwood
Duck, duck eggs, mugwort, tapioca, milk, garlic, shallots, vinegar
Sinigang by Kei Zaguirre
Snapper, fish sauce, yellow miso, tamarind, pickled red radish, mustard greens, vinegar,
Laing by Robby Goco
Taro-coconut ginger espuma, gabi leaves, crispy roast suckling pig, siling duwag, dilis dust
Lechon Manok by Josh Boutwood
Native chicken, seaweed, sour cream, wood sorrel, dried fish, tuna roe, gotukola,
lemongrass, yellow pea flower
Crispy Pata by Happy Onpauco-Tiu
Pork skin, pork leg, kesong putt, balsamic vinegar, garlic, chili, wansuy, pickled calamansi, brie
Sisig by Kel Zaguirre
Chicken liver, pickled peppers, green chili, foie gras, shallots, pork crackling
Leche Flan by Miko Aspiras
Pig's blood, edible flowers, passion fruit, orange, lemon, lime, lemongrass, pandan, mango,
cream, fresh milk, coconut water, pinipig
Sapin-sapin by Miko Aspiras
Cacao nibs, local chocolate, peanuts, cashew, goat's milk powder, rice flour, coconut water
Manila Chocolate Truffles by Machiavelli Chocolatier
Cocktail Bar by Destileria Limtuaco and Olivia Limpe-Aw, the CEO of the 163-year old distillery
Larry Guevara's Fiesty Pinay Cocktail, a combination of vodka, Paradise mango rum,
caramelized ampalaya, lemon juice, mango jam, tabasco sauce and salt air
Kalel Demetrio and Destileria Limtuaco's newest products
Kalel made me try so many of his creations! My favorite was the Spiced Dalandan cocktail.
But my ultimate favorite was the Intramuros, a chocolate liqueur that is perfect for
drinking on the rocks, for pouring over your coffee, hot chocolate or dessert!
I drank so many servings of this! Hick!!! :P
Look at how happy we all were
More happy tummies
Bravo, Luzon Team!!!
JJ Yulo, founder of Pinoy Eats World and Just Jonesing, was in charge of the Visayas region. In his team were chefs JP Anglo of Sarsa, Fernando Aracama of Aracama, Pamela Cinco of Risa's Chocolates, Tony Boy Escalante of Antonio's, Margarita Fores of Cibo, Lusso and Grace Park, Enting Lobaton of Enting's Restaurant, Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad's, and Sunshine Pengson of The Goose Station and Shine Bakery.
JJ Yulo, founder of Pinoy Eats World and Just Jonesing
Mang Enting has got to be my favorite person that day! He served a medley of kilawin
presenting the local ceviche in its...
And future forms. This one had scallops, sea urchin, tanigue, shrimp, tuna, seaweed and chili.
Another favorite, also of Mang Enting, was this roasted baby lamb from Negros Occidental
Barbacua Terrine by Ariel Manuel
Slow cooked pulled oxtail terrine
Silat Lumpiang Ubod by Tony Boy Escalante
Fresh heart of palm and chicharon spring roll
Chef JP making a bowl of batchoy for me
Batchoy by JP Anglo
Oxtail, kurobuta pork belly, offal noodle soup. Always hits the spot!
Lukos Adolo and Pili Croquetas by Fernando Aracama
Vinegar stewed squid with red rice croquetas
Capiz Diwal by Margarita Fores
Grilled Capiz angel wing clams
(Photo by Anton Diaz)
Dinuguan at Puto by Tony Boy Escalante
Pork face blood stew with steamed native rice cakes
Alupi by Fernando Aracama
Steamed banana leaf wrapped cassava and coconut topped with caramelized coconut cream
A table full of sweets by Sunshine Pengson
Dulce Gatas Cookies by Sunshine Pengson
Mango Rum Empanaditas by Sunshine Pengson
Pamela Cinco of Risa Chocolates and husband Dexter
Moron by Pamela Cinco - suman mixed with chocolate from Leyte
80% Smoky dark chocolate with passion fruit
Piaya Bar by Fresh Start Organics
Artisan chocolates by The Chocolate Chamber (TCC)
Shameless plug: My sister serves TCC hot chocolate at her Tweedle Book Cafe.
My favorites are chocolate orange, chocolate salty caramel and dark chocolate. :)
TCC owner Raquel Choa
One of the best things about going to Madrid Fusion Manila was meeting people who share the
same passion - eating! Beside me is Singapore-based Evelyn Chen who I have been following
on instagram (@bibikgourmand) forever! What a delight to finally meet her in the flesh!
Evelyn interviewing Anton Diaz about the secret to his blogging success
The team behind Bono churning fresh gelato for everyone to try
Their newest flavor - Mango Ube Symphony. Mango gelato topped with homemade ube
halaya and rum-soaked mangoes
Look who is also a lover of Bono Gelato! Ces Drilon!
Team Visayas with Governor
A more complete Team Visayas. Amazing job, guys!
The Mindanao lunch was headed by the author of Eat Out Now and executive editor of Town & Country magazine Alicia Sy, who was joined by Jordy Navarra of Black Sheep, Tippi Tambunting of M Dining and Donosti, JAckie and Rolando Laudico of Chef Laudico and Guevarra's, Mark Tan of Allium, Bruce Ricketts of Mecha Uma, Carmina del Rosario of The Crazy Cook, and Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry's. Executive chef Noel dela Rama made sure everything went smoothly on all three days.
Bono Gelato, Carmen's Best, Coco Natura, Destileria Limtuaco, Don Papa Rum, EDSA Beverage Design Studio, Farmacy, Fog City Creamery, Fresh Start Organics, Holy Carabao, Luna Cafe, Machiavelli Chocolatier, Malagos Cheese, Malagos Chocolates, Niner Ichi Nana, Philippine Coffee Board, Sebastian's, The Butchery, The Chocolate Chamber, and Theo & Philo also set up booths to showcase their products.
Alicia Sy, author of Eat Out Now and executive editor of Town & Country magazine,
with Yvette Fernandez from whom I grabbed this photo. Thanks, Yvette!
Tuna Kilawin by Roland Laudico
Tuna loin, suwa, tabon tabon, sea urchin, lato, sili labuyo, roasted bell pepper, virgin coconut oil
Kinilaw of Kitayama Beef by Jordy Navarra
Kitayama beef from Bukidnon, tuna roe, biasing or kabayawa
Adlai and Cheese Bechamel Croquette by JC de Terry
Adlai, Malagos cheese
Grilled Pineapple and Curacha Salad by Roland Laudico
Curacha, coconut milk, lemongrass, pineapple, crab roe, heirloom tomatoes,
Malagos goat cheese, cilantro, coconut spiced vinegar
Chicken Satti with Adlai by Tippi Tambunting
Adlai, chicken, tomatoes, coconut
Dirty Rice by Bruce Ricketts
Adlai, pig's blood, offal
Kitayama Beef Brisket Kulma by Mark Tan
Mindanao braised beef dish with hints of curry and local spices
An Interpretation of Buntaa from Butuan by Jordy Navarra
Mudcrab meat and roe, buko, gata, ginger
Balbacua by Carmina del Rosario
A rich stew made with braised oxtails and shanks in ginger, ground peanuts, red peppers
and an assortment of spices and herbs from Davao
Endulsao Chavacano by Tippi Tambunting
Braised pork belly and pickled radish served over heirloom rice
Trio of Mindanao Fruits and Cheese by Jackie Laudico
Durian cheesecake, malagos chèvre gougeres with banana caramel and pepato crisps
with bignay jam
Maja Blanca topped with Lambanog Vanilla Syrup by JC de Terry
Coconut, milk, lambanog
Suman Panna Cotta by Jackie Laudico
Adlai cake, coconut cream panna cotta
Assorted Cheeses by Malagos Cheese
Did you know that Malagos Chocolate won the bronze prize for Best Unflavored Drinking
Chocolate in 2015 Academy of Chocolate competition in London? Congratulations, guys!!!
Artisan Chocolates by Theo & Philo
Coco Sugar and Coco Jam by Coco Natura
With members of the Coco Natura family who are also the people behind Fog City Creamery
and my favorite Costa Brava cakes!
Cocktails by Erwan Heussaff of Niner Ichi Nana
EDSA Beverage Design Studio's Jericson Co and David Ong serving Davao Mount Apo
Ana de Ocampo and Tippi Tambunting, the beauties and brains behind two of my favorite
restaurants in Manila - Wildflour and M Dining
We were treated to a traditional dance performance
Chef Lau and Yvette also joined in the fun
Congratulations, Team Mindanao!!!
More Team Mindanao, and of course, our very own Margarita Fores who continuously
promotes Filipino cuisine to the world. Without Gaita, there will be no Madrid Fusion Manila.
And to DA Usec Berna Romulo-Puyat who never fails to give her full support and
always champions our local farmers.
To the Enderun volunteers who worked hard amidst pressure and harassment
(mostly from me and my camera), THANK YOU! Every one of you did an outstanding job.
After eating my way around Spain, trying out some of its best produce in the best restaurants, I came home to eat my way around the Philippines at the Madrid Fusion Manila regional lunches. All I can say is I am genuinely amazed at how much talent we have in our country and how rich our agriculture is.
I feel so proud.
It is time,
Philippine cuisine is ready to become a global sensation.