An “unporkgettable” festival fuels the fire of innovation to establish The Philippines as the newest culinary capital in Asia.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s October 2023 Issue.
The Manila Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) drew food and wine enthusiasts from across the country to celebrate the finest in culinary arts. This “unporkgettable” festival was inspired by the Cebu Food and Wine Festival and the inaugural Metro Manila festival was launched with a series of food coma inducing events in the National Capital Region for two weeks, with sustaining activities throughout the year.
SHOWCASING FILIPINO FOOD CULTURE
Food enthusiasts and organizers Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet and Communications Director of Resto PH Spanky Enriquez partnered with the Department of Tourism– National Capital Region to mount this premier Manila edition. They envision MFWF to establish Manila and the Philippines as the newest culinary capital in Asia to increase food tourism in the country; showcase the best of the Philippines from the food and beverage industry, hotels and restaurants to chefs and restaurateurs and our national and regional food culture; and lastly, to fuel the fire of innovation to elevate Filipino food culture by establishing a food stamping program.
The final dinner of MFWF, “The Pork and Spoon” dinner, was held at Cucina Restaurant in Marco Polo Ortigas. It was a snout to tail Filipino feast from some of the most dynamic chefs of the Philippines. These chefs included (in alphabetical order) Edward Bugia of Mimi & Bros., Kalel Chan of the Raintree Group of restaurants, Niño Laus of Ninyo Fusion, Zarah Zaragoza Manikan of Gelato Manila, Charles Angelo Montanez of Alegria, and Mikel Zaguirre of Locavore.
Zaguirre roasted the juiciest Whole Cebu Lechon and prepared Goto (rice and tripe gruel) and Smoked Bopis (sautéed pork lungs and heart), Montanez smoked tender Pork Ribs for eight hours and served it with Mole and Puerto Rican Arroz (rice). Chan made Dry Papaitan (an Ilocano soup made from innards and bile) Taco with Guacamole and Pickled Lasona (onion from Ilocos), Pork Trotter Balbacua, and a wonderful Latin-Asian combo–Birria Ramen.
Laus created unique appetizers of Miso-braised Pork Innards and Pork Blood Emulsion on a crispy rice kiping; (those are the colored leaf wafers made from rice one sees hanging on houses during the Pahiyas festival in Lucban, Quezon) a Sandwich made of Pork Skin Crackling stuffed with Pork Face Terrine, Kansi Gel, Pickled Okra Seeds; and Lechon Sinuglaw (grilled pork belly with raw fish cooked in vinegar) with Chili Pomelo, Cilantro, Chicharon Furikake, Coconut Milk Vinaigrette served on a Betel Leaf.
Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia October 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Photos by Sean Nolan.