THERE ARE NO April Fools this month, as the country readies itself for another round of a gastronomic fiesta. Get ready for a delightful gastronomic road trip as Flavors of the Philippines showcases the best regional delights and specialties of the country. through various events like cook-offs, food bazaars, market tours and agri-fairs.
Organized by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Flavors of the Philippines is now on its third year of promoting different food and local cuisines from the different regions through activities held simultaneously across the country.
The festival was kicked off by the ‘Paella Gigante’ recently held at Greenbelt 3 Park, Makati City where chefs from Les Toques Blanches (LTB) Philippines cooked an 11-foot diameter paella, completos recados with chorizo, chicken, and seafood cooked the traditional way over charcoal and firewood. The fund-raising proceeds are earmarked for the benefit of Sociedad Española de Beneficencia (SEB).
Here are more gastro events in line with Flavors of the Philippines, that will run throughout April. Kain na!
- In National Capital Region (NCR), there are two simultaneous events are ongoing until April 30: “Smokey Tour” will walk visitors through the market area of Old Manila with merchandise ranging from medicinal herbs, birds and clothing to digital gadgets, open every day except Wednesdays. “Glimpse of Filipino Culture,” is a cultural exhibit in Art Gallery Sining Kamalig in Quezon City; Other events include “Sabado Mercado” in San Juan City, “All Natural Health Fair” and “Vegan Fair” in Lucky Chinatown, week-end fair “Cheese and Deli Festival” and international cuisine fair “Taste the World at Eastwood City” at Eastwood City.
There will also be “Culinary Weekend Fair” at SM North Edsa, as well as culinary sessions and food tasting with outstanding chefs called “Food Meets Fun: Chef Creations.” There will be a “Tapas Night” at Green Sun Hotel in Makati; “Dessert,” an extraordinary confectionaire dégustation at Le Petit Souffle at SM Megamall; and “Flavors of Brunch at Forbes Town” that aims to draw attention to the brunch dishes and pairings on the menu from participating restaurants within Forbes Town in BGC, Taguig.
- The Cordillera Region will mount “Flavors of Cordillera” wherein their local dishes will be fused with mainstream recipes.
- The Ilocos Region will host several bangus-related activities like “Bangus Rodeo” and “The Search for Ms. Tisang Bangus’” in Dagupan, Pangasinan.
- It is a gigantic celebration for Central Luzon as two of their event highlights are the “Giant Bringhe,” a 15-ft diameter variation of famous Arroz Valenciana prepared by four of their best chefs, and “Giant Bucket of Chicharon,” featuring Galan’s chicharon. There will also be food and gourmet fairs, cook-off challenges and food truck fest with concerts and shows hosted by different parts of the region.
- CALABARZON will parade the “Pamana ng Quezon Kulinarya,” featuring the heirloom recipes of Quezon passed on from generation to generation and photo and recipe exhibit of historian Mr. Ige Ramos called “Cavite: Culinary Destination.”
- Aside from food fairs and buffet, the Bicol Region will have a one-day event called “Kinalas Y Kinolor,” where they will expose the art and culinary preparation of ‘kinalas’ mami, a uniquely Naguena dish that makes use of bowls.
- Central Visayas, along with their celebration of Kadaugan Festival, will highlight their own Cebu-grown restaurants through “Flavors of Mactan” and “Sugbo Flavors,: featuring a Cebuano chef and Cebu’s best dishes and delicacies.
- For Negros Island Region, it’s all about the sweet favorite mango with their “Mango Festival” to be held at SM Bacolod City.
- Zamboanga Peninsula will once again have their “Savores” (chavacano term for ‘flavors’) comprised of two activities namely “Savores Expo,” featuring the cooking skills of the local chefs, and “Savores Dine,” highlighting the different specialties of Zamboanga.
- Northern Mindanao will have “Humba de Oro Festival,” where different COHARA member establishments will display their own variations of Humba. Humba de Oro is a stewed pork dish similar to Filipino adobo, only the former is sweet, sour and salty.
- To celebrate Davao’s gastronomic treasures, the Davao region will hold “Flavors of Davao” at their SM supermalls
- SOCCSKARGEN will have their “Seslong Festival” at Kule Gono on the way to Lake Holon and “Mahin Festival – 4Gs (Great Glan Gourmet Getaway)” at Glan, Sarangani Province. This aims to highlight the food offerings and specialties or participating restaurants in Glan where Sarbay Fest, the largest beach festival, is held.