Celebrity Fil-Am culinary destinations
Visiting Fil-Am chefs get an introduction to some of the best local ingredients and produce in a morning market run with the Department of Tourism (DOT) Assistant Secretary Verna Buensuceso and UNWTO’s Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism Chef Margarita Gaite at the Farmers’ Market in Quezon City. Credits to DOT.

Three of the most celebrated Filipino-American chefs are in the country to join three of the Philippines’ leading chefs in a three-week-long project that showcases culinary destinations in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The Fil-Am chefs were invited to the country to discover their food roots in the “Chefs’ Food Trip Project” of the Department of Tourism which kicked off November 9th.

United States-based Fil-Am chefs invited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) for the food tour include 2019 James Beard Best Chef Tom Cunanan of the famous Bad Saint of Washington DC; Charles Olalia, owner and manager of Ma’am Sir, one of GQ’s Magazine’s Best New Restaurants in America for 2019; and chef Grant “Lanai” Tabura, host of food show Cooking Hawaiian Style and winner of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race.

The Fil-Am chefs are working with Philippines-based chefs who are celebrated for their unique take and expertise on Filipino food: UNWTO Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism Margarita Forés, Asia’s Best Chef; US Embassy Chef Challenge winner Claude Tayag who was recently featured in Germany to present Filipino dishes; and Gourmand Award-winning author Tatung Sarthou, touted the Best Celebrity Chef Outside Europe.

“This is the perfect occasion for us to institutionalize Filipino cuisine and flavors that can proudly stand side by side with other cherished cuisines of the world. Going back to their roots will certainly inspire these leading Fil-Am chefs to lend their voices and talent to raise the world’s perception and taste towards Filipino dishes,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat during the launch.

After their tour in Farmers’ Market in Cubao, the visitors were treated to Chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou’s unique take on traditional Filipino cuisine in a mouth-watering lunch curation by the celebrity chef himself at his TALISAY Garden Cafe in Quezon City. Credits to DOT.

Among the featured food stops in the “food roots discovery” project are with:

  1. Atching Lilian Borromeo, a beacon of Kapampangan cuisine
  2. Bacolod’s eponymous Mang Enting and Ramon Uy, Jr. of Fresh Start Organic Farm
  3. Olive and Rex Puentespina of Malagos Farmhouse
  4. Davao-based restaurateur Carmina del Rosario of Mindanao Butchers and Company

The project also includes interactive symposia to be undertaken in partnership with World Food Expo (WOFEX) University, the teaching arm of the World Food Expo (WOFEX), an institution in food exhibitions in the Philippines, that will engage the visiting chefs with culinary tourism stakeholders, students, and food and gastronomy aficionados alike. Dubbed “DOT x WOFEX University Fun Food Talks”.

The symposia will be held in 4 areas:

  1. Pampanga on November 13, 2019
  2. Bacolod on November 16, 2019
  3. Davao on November 19, 2019
  4. Manila on November 21, 2019

The DOT has earlier launched its food tourism program with Chef JP Anglo and Filipino-American Celebrity Chef Jordan Andino together with YouTube celebrity Mikey Bustos and the Jollibee mascot.

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