The culinary scene is very much alive in Iloilo City as the whole week witnessed a Culinary Festival at SM city consisting of cooking demonstrations, contests and exhibits. As the week-long affair comes to a close, today has been special for the cocktail creations by several promising chefs in Iloilo. Moreover, the event, organized by multi-tasker Chef Ramlo Villaluna (Cindy’s Catering owner and the only Region 6 member of the prestigious Le Toque Blanche) was graced by three of his LTB colleagues from Manila– Chef Ferns Aracama, Chef Jerome and Chef Mia Yan.
I’ll just let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy.
Our featured image are lovely tuna kinilaw on triangular wonton wraps.
Now, these canape “boats” are by Cidj Jalandoni who came up with interesting spreads sourced from heritage Ilonggo food items such as Dumangas bangus, smoked and goat’s cheese from Tigbauan and mangoes of course , all placed on half a bed of the iconic Paa Pandesal.
Bistek sliders on Dutch caramel buns by chef BJ Uy of Bacolod –that’s what the food marker said. My first bite into the meat brought back childhood memories of carne prita in Bacolod, which our family cooked with calamansi and toyo.
Another treat is by Chef OJ Salazar of Perri Todd’s. (Sorry the picture size won’t fit here. I don’t know why). Three cheeses–feta, kesong puti and cream cheese with a strip of ham, a slice of fresh strawberry and a leaf of lettuce, to fill that cream horn.
Other cocktail items included Ilonggo chorizo scotch eggs by Chef Miner del Mundo, another cream horn with a unique filling too, by Chef Miguel of Afriques fame.
Chefs Fernando Aracama, Jerome and Mia talking about the directions of the Philippine culinary scene in a quasi-talk show hosted by ms. Kate Chaves.
What I remember most is Chef Ferns observation of the recently concluded Madrid Fusion held in Manila. He happily noted that the Philippines is finally learning to be proud of its own cooking and of telling the world about it.
Chef Jerome and Mia also gave advice to aspiring chefs. Endurance is one quality they ought to have, the willingness and patience to work hard and work long.
I don’t usually post me but just had to get this shot with Chef Ferns. He was a schoolmate way back in elementary at UNOR Bacolod. I was just happy to finally meet him again, now an accomplished chef. And even happier that he doesn’t have that “air” so associated with superstars.
Oh, one last. Picture below includes Chef Ramlo Villaluna who organized this event. He is one amazing guy who successfully juggles chef work, graduate studies, iron man training and managing a print and TV modeling agency. Chef Ramlo is flanked by Chef Mia Yan and sous chef Nathaniel, Chef BJ Uy’s assistant, and beside him, Chef Ferns.