I just read in the papers the other day about the incoming Tourism Secretary’s pronouncements that she will give priority to the promotion of food tourism here in the country.
As if to comply with such marching orders, two of the metro’s popular hotels immediately staged their respective food festivals, in celebration of our Independence Day, highlighting many of our country’s delectable recipes.
Diamond Hotel Philippines
The hotel invited guests to “rediscover the flavors of the archipelago” but what got me excited was that the food festival featured culinary masterpieces of my friend, restaurateur, best-selling cookbook author, YouTuber, and, most of all, co-Cebuano, the multi-awarded celebrity Chef Tatung Sarthou.
His way of celebrating nationwide unity, as fostered by the results of the recent national elections, Chef Tatung chose culinary treasures from the country’s different regions, like Pako Salad, Tuna Kinilaw, and Sinuglaw, for appetizers. Guests could choose from these soup dishes to warm up: Sinampalukang Manok, Papaitan Soup, or Beef Hinalang. The array of main dishes beckoned: Pancit Pusit, Callos, Balbacua, Pinaggang, Beef Kulma, Lechon Belly Roll, and Roast Beef Adobo. Of course, capping the meal was a choice of either Browa, Torta Bisaya, Leche Flan, Buko Pie, and others.
The nice part about this food fest was that Chef Tatung came up with a Menu Cycle, for variety every day, highlighting delicious representations from the different regions. As an added come-on, guests who spend P5000 or more get a chance to win two round-trip Cebu Pacific tickets to any local destination.
Chef Tatung is an advocate of simple, practical and doable recipes that empower anyone to cook with confidence. He has spawned a huge fan base with his cookbooks, all bannering in their titles “simpol,” the Cebuano pronunciation of the English word “simple,” which is the perfect description of the recipes he puts out. His books have garnered several World Gourmand Awards and he can also hold his own among the best chefs in the world, having led the Philippine delegation to the 2017 Madrid Fusion Congress in Spain.
Although Diamond Hotel Philippines’ FoodFest ended on Independence Day, the hotel’s fashionable General Manager, Vanessa Suatengco, declared that they will have several other exciting food promotions throughout the year.
More information may be obtained through (02) 8528-3000 or through www.diamondhotel.com
The hotel launched its “Flavors of the Philippines” food promo with a lot of fanfare. The entrance to Brasserie on 3 had a big arch made of native materials with a Filipino band right beside it, playing well-loved local ditties, providing a festive welcome for guests as they entered the venue. A group performed some native dances in the dining area, much to the delight of guests who were more than happy to have, finally, broken free from years of quarantine restrictions and could now converse with each other face-to-face.
The amiable General Manager Linda Pecoraro, resplendent in a native Baro’t Saya, invited Launch Day guests to discover the rich and unique culinary artistry of the different regions of the country. The month-long food festival celebrates the diverse gourmet tradition and heritage of our country through the signature dishes from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Executive Chef Warren Brown and Executive Sous Chef Patricia Mesina proudly declared that they used nothing but sustainably-sourced and organic local ingredients. The appetizer was Sinuglaw, which had Pork Belly, Mixed Seafood Ceviche, Crispy Chicken Skin, and Tuna Inasal Skewers. The soup was Balbacua, a slow-cooked beef stew rich in collagen. The main course was a mini-Boodle in banana leaves which had Lechon, Piyanggang Manok, Seafood Kare-Kare, and Adlai Rice.
The finale was a unique Clear Gulaman Sago and Biko Turon. The interesting highlight of the luncheon feast was when Chef Brown displayed the proper way of carving the cochinillo (small lechon) with the use of a plate, instead of a butcher’s knife.
Flavors of the Philippines is available daily for lunch and dinner at the hotel’s award-winning all-day dining restaurant, Brasserie on 3, until the end of the month. Of course, Conrad Manila continues to impose stringent health and safety measures in line with local government guidelines and Hilton’s own CleanStay initiatives.
More information on this sumptuous food festival may be obtained from (02) 8833-9999 or through email@example.com.
YOUR MONDAY CHUCKLE
RESTAURANT CUSTOMER: Waiter, I’d like a bottle of wine.
WAITER: What year, sir?
CUSTOMER: Well, I’d like it right now.
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