The gastronomic journey throughout the Philippines continues for Filipino-American (FilAm) Chefs Tom Cunanan and Grant “Lanai” Tabura, this time going to to Iloilo and Bacolod—two of the most exciting foodie havens tucked away in Western Visayas.
To ramp up efforts to bolster culinary tourism in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has invited Chefs Cunanan and Tabura to the Chefs’ Food Trip to the Philippines, a 2-week tour around the country’s most-popular culinary destinations, meeting seasoned Filipino chefs and learning about the richness of the Philippine culinary scene along the way.
Since November 10, Cunanan of Bad Saint (Washington D.C.) and Tabura, Winner of the Great Food Truck Race, have been touring different culinary destinations in the Philippines, with Quezon City as a starting point and moving up north to Pampanga.
Now joined by Chef Charles Olalia (of Ma’am Sir and Ricebar restaurants in Los Angeles) for the rest of the tour legs, the chefs will be going around the two nearby cities of Iloilo and Bacolod from November 13 to 16, starting with a visit to the Jaro Huebesan market and a food crawl to sample Iloilo’s specialty dishes like the Decos La Paz Batchoy, and pasalubong favorites from Iloilo including the original barquillos of De Ocampo’s, the famed Roberto’s siopao, and the “bingka sa Mohon” of Arevalo-Bingka. The group is also set to visit the Camiña Balay nga Bato, for a cup of thick hot chocolate or two during their tour around Iloilo.
Chef Margarita “Gaita” Fores , who led the FilAm Chefs in a highly-informative tour at Farmers’ Market in Quezon City, returns to guide the group once more in going around Bacolod’s local markets, organic farms, and tourist sites like the famed Ruins of Talisay and Balay Negrense in Silay, trying out Bacolod’s treats like the guapple pie of El Ideal, pili bars of Emma’s Delicacies, Piaya by Fresh Start Organic, Chorizo by Ereneta-Manaloto and Local Artisan Cheese by Casa del Formaggio along the way.
Another exciting component of the Chefs’ Food Trip to the Philippines project is the interactive symposium called DOT x WOFEX University Fun Food Talks, a series of events in each tour leg where the invited FilAm chefs can inspire local food enthusiasts through talks and cooking demonstrations.
The DOT x WOFEX University Fun Food Talks Negros happens today, November 16, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at the Conference Hall of the newly-renovated Negros Residences in Bacolod City.