Category Archives: Filipino cuisine

Slow Food Onboard the Ark of Taste 2016

Farmers are Part of Slow Food

By Pacita ‘Chit’ Juan

Yes, it’s not just consumers and diners and chefs. It all starts with the farmer.

Slow Food is about enjoining farmers to keep planting our old heirloom varieties of food. And we have just the event cooked up (pardon the pun) for it on August 6 as our volunteer chef Margarita Fores (Asia’s Best female chef) shares her famous Grace Park restaurant menu with our farmers, yes real farmers that you the reader will help feed on this special day, this special lunch. We will finally break bread with the people who really feed us—the farmers.

As we were planning our third WOFEX event, we know that the public is really interested in helping preserve traditional cooking, heirloom varieties of rice and cacao and souring agents. What better way to cement the relationship between farmer and consumer but to have them come face-to-face. Just like people who have never touched soil, nor planted anything, many consumers have never met a farmer.

So we thought a special meal with a farmer may be a life-changing experience for both consumer and farm guy. The consumer knows about organic and slow food, but the farmers simply plants and reaps. We need to be on the same page. Plant old varieties. Use heirloom seeds. Practice natural farming. Nothing artificial. Use soil instead of other media. (That’s what Earthbeat Farms did. They shifted from hydro to soil).

Earthbeat Farms joins Slow Food

Earthbeat Farms joins Slow Food

And on August  6, we will be able to also talk to the farmers and ask why they do or do not yet grow our traditional varieties—like Siling Labuyo, Batwan, Sua, Tabon Tabon, and why they stopped growing heirloom rice varieties. It will be a fun lunch talking about the same ingredients our grandmothers used but maybe some farmers do not know anymore. It may be that they think there is no market for these “old varieties”. Not everything is about newer choices, higher yields, and seeds that are nowhere to be found (check out the prominence of seedless fruits now). It used to be that our mothers planted the very seeds in our fruits at the table in our backyards. Today, mothers are proud to find fruits that are happily seedless without thinking of its effects on farming and sustainability.

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The Much Awaited World Food Expo 2013 is Back!

World Food Expo (WOFEX) is back! The ultimate food show experience, WOFEX 2013, the country’s most effective Food & Beverage trade show, will be held from July 31-August 3 at the SMX Convention Center and the World Trade Center.

WOFEX 2013, celebrating its 13th year international expo on worldwide food & beverages, technologies & machineries, is the best way for industry buyers to meet up with industry sellers, with about 400 exhibitors in attendance. It will cover both trade and retail exhibits in two huge venues.

Included in WOFEX 2013 is the Philippine Culinary Cup (PCC), now on its 4th year. Endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS), this is the most prestigious culinary competition where the best meet to compete. For this year, winners for some categories will get the chance to win trips to the US and Asia.

And to add to this already exciting event is Wofex University, now on its 2nd year, which takes education to the next level, and where advanced learning opportunities from industry experts are being offered. The highlight of Wofex U this year is the participation of Chef Rick Moonen, founding member of the Seafood Choices Alliances, owner of RM Seafood in Las Vegas, and finalist of Top Chef Masters.

Organized by Premier Events Plus Group, Inc. (www.pepgroup.com), WOFEX 2013 will also have an extensive line up of seminars, product demonstrations and workshops for the four-day exposition.

For more information, please call (632) 9297993, 9297963, log on to www.pepgroup.com, www.wofex.com, www.philippineculinarycup.com, or Like us (WOFEX) on Facebook!

Sentro’s Sinigang na Corned Beef

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Sentro and Sinigang na Corned Beef have become synonymous. Balikbayans (returning Filipinos) and foreign visitors alike love this dish. And would you believe this famous dish is already 10 years old?!

A brainchild of Executive Chef Vicky Rose Pacheco of Chateau 1771 Group of Restaurants, sinigang na corned beef is a creative take on the popular Filipino soup, sinigang soup.

Chef Vicky was thinking how she could put into good use the excess corned beef broth, and discovered that she could make the broth into sinigang by adding sour ingredient and putting in beef cuts with sinews, fat, and bones. The result: a hearty soup, and Sentro’s signature favorite dish— heartwarming, flavorful and meaty.

For the Sinigang na Corned Beef, the beef is exclusively sourced from a mix of local suppliers trusted for ten years. The pot is loaded with vegetables such as tomatoes, okra, taro corms (gabi), daikon (labanos), water spinach (kangkong), and eggplant stewed in tamarind. The broth from scratch is loaded with flavor-boosting natural spices. This is served hot and steamy.

One interesting tradition is to ask guests to sip the delicate soup stock prior serving so the sourness, saltiness, and spiciness can be adjusted according to preference–another personalized approach that this dish had built  a reputation on.

Executive Chef Vicky proved that there’s more to Filipino food, especially if it’s reinvented with fresh ingredients which give that unique but homey experience. If you’ve been craving with something like this or your curiosity has been piqued, there’s no other better time than now to get to know this decade-old dish which can only originally be found in Sentro.

Sentro 1771 in Greenbelt 3 is open from 11am to 11pm (Monday to Sunday) while Serendra is from 7am to 10:00 pm (Sunday to Thursday) / 7am to 11:00pm (Friday to Saturday). For inquiries and reservations, call Sentro Greenbelt 3 (02) 757 3941 or Sentro Serendra (02) 856 0581.