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INTERNATIONAL ADOBO DAY COOK, SHARE & UPLOAD

INTERNATIONAL ADOBO DAY COOK, SHARE & UPLOAD

Unite with Filipinos all over the world for International Adobo Day--let us all cook, share, and upload now! Send your photos to adoboday@filipinofoodnetwork.com. :) SUBO, MGA KAPATID!

WE DECLARE JUNE 12 AS INTERNATIONAL ADOBO DAY!

WE DECLARE JUNE 12 AS INTERNATIONAL ADOBO DAY!

Don't deprive the world of our unique culture, especially of Filipino food! Let us all unite with an Adobo Compact! How? ON JUNE 12, LET'S COOK, SHARE, and UPLOAD! - COOK your own version of adobo - SHARE it with fellow Pinoys and other nationalities, and then take a picture - UPLOAD and email it to info@filipinofoodnetwork.com We will feature your pics here on our FB page as a testament to the Adobo Compact! Join us, and join the whole world on International Adobo Day!

Cuisinero (Pilot Episode)

Cuisinero (Pilot Episode)

Let Chef J Domingo show you how to celebrate the blessings come harvest time by whipping up the tastiest dishes from farm to plate. Nothing is wasted or taken for granted here, as all ingredients are given equal importance. What this cooking show will make you realize is that farmers are unsung heroes, toiling day and night to feed not just their family, but the great human family that inhabits the earth.

Tales From The Food Zone (Pilot Episode)

Tales From The Food Zone (Pilot Episode)

From the creators of Tales From The Friend Zone comes the cooking show of the ages--Tales From the Food Zone! This is dedicated to all who have been friend-zoned, and the millions of Abangers out there. Remember, there is hope. You may not have Ramon Bautista's dashing good looks, but you can learn how to cook. And the way to a woman's heart is sometimes the road less traveled--through her innards. So enough talk, and let Ramon lead the way!

In the Mood for Food with Ara (Pilot Episode)

In the Mood for Food with Ara (Pilot Episode)

Life is filled with different stories all pointing to the human drama--whether it be about love, family, or friendship. In The Mood For Food with Ara Mina gives you the best of these stories tied together with simple-to-follow cooking demos. Watch how Ara's life unfolds and how she cooks her way through the hearts of the people in her life.

Sawsawan (Pilot Episode)

Sawsawan (Pilot Episode)

What is the one thing that HAS to be on the table of every Filipino household during mealtime? You guessed it--sawsawan! See, what's nilaga without patis, what's chicharon without vinegar? And there are so many different types of sawsawan that if you want to learn them all, you've got to watch the cooking show that's all about that ubiquitous Filipino dip--Sawsawan.

What is Filipino Food Network.com?

What is Filipino Food Network.com?

Teaser video featuring Chef Gino Gonzalez, Chef China Cojuangco, Chef J Domingo, Ara Mina, Sam Oh, Ramon Bautista, RA Rivera, and food blogger Spanky Enriquez.

What Is The Future of Filipino Food?

What Is The Future of Filipino Food?

Filipino Food Network.com chefs and hosts give their answers to this burning question.

Lutong Bahay with Chef Mitchie Sison

Lutong Bahay with Chef Mitchie Sison

Let Chef Mitchie Sison share time-honored dishes from family cooks. Learn the basics of Filipino home cooking only here on Lutong Bahay.

PINOY HOME COOK VIDEOS! Video #1: My Lola's Arroz Valenciana

PINOY HOME COOK VIDEOS! Video #1: My Lola's Arroz Valenciana

Love to cook at home for family and friends? Love to watch cooking shows? Then we'd like to see YOU cook here on Pinoy Home Cook Videos! Simply record yourself with a camera making a special dish that you'd like to share with the world. You can appear in it as the host, or not. You can record a voice over for it, or not. Whatever works for you works for us, as long as you cook a Filipino dish. If it's a classic, give it your own twist. Or invent your own. Then, upload your video on YouTube and send us the link. If you already have an existing cooking video on YouTube, go ahead and send us the link. We will screen the entries and pick the ones that will go on the show. Not everyone will get in, so make it good!  There will be two cooking videos for every episode. At the end of the show's season, we will pick one winner who will get a special prize and the chance to be featured on Filipino Food Network.com.    

ART & FOOD: ‘Frieda, Kankan and Nina Sketches and Paintings’ at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club

Chef Jessie Rockwell Club located at the Ground Floor of Amorsolo Square, Rockwell Center, Makati City presents ‘Frieda, Kankan and Nina Sketches and Paintings’ for the whole month of August.

This is the first group show of Frieda Colet Lim, KanKan Ramos Lim and Nina Lim Yuson who are connected by marriage and most of all by a shared passion for the arts.

Frieda will have 20 pieces of charcoal, watercolor and pastel mostly portraits. Painting for her is a therapeutic tonic and considers her portraits personal. “I have to be inspired by my subject.”

KanKan’s 15 pieces are mostly pen and ink with a number of large acrylic abstract pieces. A digital marketer by profession, KanKan says that painting and sketching keeps her grounded and provide a way for her to bond with her 3 kids. “We all love painting together.”

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Travels are the main focus of Nina Lim Yuson’s works. She does quick on-the-spot sketches then lay on watercolor on the pieces later on. She has published three editions of ‘Nina’s Travel Sketches’ filled with inspirations from her travels in Asia and the Pacific as well as in Europe and the Americas. Nina will have 35 pieces on show, pen and ink and watercolor.

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For more information, call Chef Jessie Rockwell Club at 890-6543 or 890-7630.

TWO SEASONS CORON ISLAND RESORT AND SPA: WHERE DINING IS AN EXCITING ISLAND ADVENTURE

 Indulge your palate with something exotic like Crocodile BBQ and Octopus Ceviche.

Two Seasons Coron Island Resort and Spa has a lot more to offer than its distinct natural beauty  (the blue sea, sun-kissed shores, powdery sand, lush mangroves).  A visit to this tropical paradise is made exceptional because of its luxurious bungalow-type accommodations, a world-class spa, top-rate amenities and delicious cuisine.

Dining at the resort’s Sulu Restaurant and Bahura Bar are island adventures on their own  that guests can look forward to.

The gustatory experience consists of indulging in Sulu Restaurant’s Filipino and international dishes amidst a tropical ambiance while relishing a breath-taking view of the surrounding waters in nearby islands.

Start with the Crispy Soft Shell Crab with Pomelo Salad, Octopus Ceviche with Papaya and the Lobster Sashimi to whet your appetite or the Crocodile BBQ for the more adventurous guests.

The pizza and pasta dishes are great options. Try the specialty of the house: Four Cheese Pizza— a thin, crisp fusion of cheddar, blue cheese, mozzarella and parmesan. Indulge in the creamy Truffle Shiitake Mushroom Pasta or the Gambasetti, a classic concert of fresh shrimp, garlic, chili and pasta in a delicate paprika sauce.

For Asian delights, choices include the Beef Rendang, Crispy Rack of Pork with Char Siu Rice, and all-Filipino comfort food like the Angus Tapa, Lechon Kawali, Lengua Sisig and Crispy Pata.

But if you want to go all the way and spoil yourself with specialty meats, Two Seasons Coron recommends the Lengua Sulipena and Crocodile in Coconut Sauce which would challenge any adventurous appetite. Desserts, of course, should not be dispensed with because there’s always room for Maiz Con Hielo, classic Halo-Halo and other western and Filipino decadent sweets to round up every meal.

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Two of the bestsellers at Two Seasons Coron Island: Crocodile BBQ (left) and Lobster Sashimi (right)

Chef Ryan Dimapilis also welcomes the special preferences of guests—molecular gastronomic dishes included. So be prepared for unique tastes, breathtaking execution and bursts of flavor in every unusual dish requested off the menu.

Bliss at Bahura Bar

Gratifying one’s senses doesn’t only mean basking in the sun or taking a trip in one of  the resort’s speedboats to  the ideal snorkeling  or dive site. It can also mean getting a relaxing massage at the Narra Spa and winding down at the Bahura Bar after an action-packed day.

Guests can choose to sip their rum, cognac, and whiskey while playing a fun round of billiards or they can enjoy their drinks as they try to outdo each other in a croon-fest at Bahura Bar’s videoke room.

Two Seasons’Sulu Restaurant and Bahura Bar offer dishes that warmly greet each morning, provide excellent repast at noon and cap the night with much aplomb.

At Two Seasons Coron Island Resort and Spa, the ultimate island adventure beckons.

(For inquiries, call (632) 410-2075 to 80; fax number (632- 732-1747/ (632)  411-8209; email address – bliss@twoseasonsresorts.com. Also check out www.twoseasonsresorts.com. Like us on facebook: Two Seasons Coron lsland Resort or visit Nena Building, 132-A Bayani Street, corner Araneta Avenue, Quezon City 1113).

HOTEL BENILDE MAISON A “Gem” in the City

It’s true, there’s now a hotel in the City of Manila with five-star amenities but at three-star rates!

Right in the heart of downtown Manila, you’ll find Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle, the first and only “premier hotel school” in the Philippines. Actually, it was first launched in 1999, formerly as College of St. Benilde Hotel. But a year ago, CSB Hotel was closed for a major renovation and rebranding which cost the management as much as P250 million.

The move was imperative and Br. Dennis Magbanua, FSC, President & Chancellor of DLS-CSB said, “Being the trailblazer in tourism and hospitality management education, we needed to walk the talk.” He added that, “We also want to give SHRIM students the most realistic simulation that we could by providing them with facilities that are at par with industry standards. As far as our name is concerned, we also changed it in line with our branding strategy; Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle will become the standard in all subsequent La Salle properties of the same nature, not only in Manila but around the world.”

On the other hand, Gil Victor Acuña, Program Chair for the Hospitality and Tourism track of DLS-CSB SHRIM (School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management) pointed out, “We are the only premier hotel school that uses equipment at par with five-star facilities in order to simulate a real hotel setting for the practicum requirements of our students.” He also said during the opening that they are grateful to the late Br. Andrew Gonzalez, FSC who greatly inspired them and was a prime mover in applying global industry standards in the school.

Not only that, Acuña also revealed that they are also “promoting Filipino cuisine.” In fact, they have a subject solely devoted to our native cuisine from Day One. Part of this program is taking the students to various provinces to learn more about regional cuisines, “from how to cook signature dishes and to sourcing the ingredients.”

Benhur Ong, Vice President for Administration, DLS-CSB. disclosed that the hotel’s new look was brought to life through the collaborative efforts of the faculty who are industry practitioners, administrators and famed architects like Manny Samson and Rogelio Villarosa. Ong affirmed, “Together, they put together the hotel’s warm and cozy vibe, an elegant though minimalistic and modern impression.”

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Dennis Sebastian, General Manager of the hotel, who headed the tour of the facilities for the media, said that the hotel has 49 well-appointed rooms which include a Presidential Suite, Deluxe King and Deluxe Queen as well as Dormitory Rooms. The hotel also boasts of rooms that are friendly to PWDs and the hearing-impaired. It is the only hotel which provides free mini bar, WiFi, local calls, use of the gym, in-room coffee and tea and more!

To date, the hotel has two F&B outlets open to the public such as the ground floor coffee shop and the unique Restaurant Vatel at the top floor with a view of the Manila and Makati skyline. The hotel also has facilities for corporate and social events like the Halle de Aquitaine that can comfortably seat 250 guests for a banquet.

Robert Tang, Vice Chancellor for Academics, said that “the renovations we implemented were not only physical, we also redefined the hotel experience.” Hotel Benilde is a “teaching hotel” and a “live laboratory” which prepares “industry-ready” men and women.

Hotel Benilde Maison De La Salle (Arellano Street cor. Estrada, Malate) is a mere 15-minutes ride from the country’s major international and domestic airports via SLEX. Moreover, it is near premier tourist attractions such as Intramuros, Rizal Park and Manila Bay. It’s very accessible to major malls, LRT, jeepney and bus lines.

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By the way, Hotel Benilde offers “soft opening room rates” at 40 percent off inclusive of tax rates and service charge. A “gem” indeed!

For more details, please visit www.hotelbenilde.com.

CALCIUM from CALCHEWS for a STRONGER FILIPINA

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Women empowerment is not a fad, it is recognized worldwide as an essential element for sustained development. The United Nations has included it among its Millennium Development goals. Empowered women perform varied roles society—economically, socially, politically and militarily, aside from taking care of their families.

Filipinas are no strangers to women empowerment, however, not a few tend to overlook their own physical needs. To stay empowered, women must be healthy and should take mineral and vitamin supplements such as iron and calcium if these essential nutrients are not satisfied by their diet. For instance, women lose iron during their monthly period. Women who are pregnant may also suffer from iron deficiency and this may lead to a weak immune system, lack of energy and they may end to get tired easily.

Another strong foundation of a productive life is strong bones, thus women need to build a calcium bank from childhood to enhance bone development. Based on the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Dietary Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D, the daily recommended dose of calcium is 1,300mg for women 9 to 18 years old; 1,000mg for women 19 to 50 years old and 1,200mg for women 51 and older. Lack of calcium leads to osteoporosis especially when menopause occurs and estrogen production declines.

Many foods are now fortified with vitamins and minerals but still, these may not be adequate to meet a woman’s daily requirements. Although there are supplements available in the market, some women find them difficult to take citing formulation that are hard to swallow or leave an aftertaste.

Now comes CalChews in convenient chewy candy form available in 2 variants—Creamy Caramel and Rich Chocolate. CalChews also has Vitamins K and D, the latter enhances calcium absorption, helps build strong bones as well as in maintaining bone density. On the other hand, Vitamin K helps in the formation of normal bone protein.

Health Alert: VITAMIN C POTEN-CEE— ALL WEATHER PROTECTION

Stay healthy in any weather with a daily dose of Vitamin C.

potencee

Keep yourself and your family healthy with Poten-Cee Vitamin C. Cochrane Collaboration, a group of experts which systematically reviews existing clinical studies, revealed that regular intake of Vitamin C is effective in shortening the duration of common colds among children and adults.

By reducing the colds’ severity, Vitamin C cuts by half the risks of common colds among people exposed to short periods of physical stress like athletes. Vitamin C is more effective when taken regularly instead of taking it when already sick or just about to go into strenuous activities.

In the Philippines, the Food & Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), disclosed that the daily intake of Vitamin C has decreased considerably since 1978. Daily per capita intake in 1978 was 66.8mg but dropped to 46.1mg in 2003; lower than the recommended 65mg to 75 mg daily intake for males or females, 13 years and older.

For those who are not getting enough Vitamin C, Poten-Cee can fill the gap. It’s available in drops and tablets for children, infants and adults.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant which increases the body’s immunity against diseases; it helps the skin and the hair stay healthy; keeps the teeth and gums strong.

“MORE LIFE HAPPENS HERE “ at CHILI’S

Dining gets more exciting at Chili’s and its unique Southwestern cuisine.

There’s nothing like good food to bring people together and bring them closer. That’s the reason behind Chili’s recently launched “More Life Happens Here” (MLHH). The 4 simple words embody the memorable dining experiences in every Chili’s visit.

“It gives us joy to be witnesses to every bonding and every celebration that happens from table to table—defining the true Chili’s experience. This is the essence of our new tagline, More Life Happens Here,” says Laine de Jesus-Vallar, marketing manager, Chili’s Philippines.

It first opened in the country in 1996, ever since, Chili’s has become the dining place of choice for professionals to chill out after work and for families to celebrate milestones. The American casual dining restaurant that offers bold Southwestern flavors has 7 branches around the Philippines; it has a total of 1,400 outlets to date around the world.

Chili’s began as a hamburger resto in Dallas, Texas with a Southwestern flair. Now 35 years old, Chili’s is found in 33 countries offering more than just hamburgers but more dishes with a signature Southwestern twist.

To truly experience “More Life Happens Here,” choose any of Chili’s 3 new dishes—Fried Quesadilla Bites, Bacon & Cheddar Cheese Steak and Parmesan Chicken or Tilapia. All 3 dishes come with a choice of 2 sides; a guest can have “Chili’s-your-way” sides such as home style fries, corn-on-the-cob, Chili’s cilantro rice and fresh veggies plus the staple steamed white rice, mashed potatoes and broccoli spears.

Bacon-banana

Don’t forget to cap the meal with the new Banana Bread Pudding served with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, chopped walnuts and caramel drizzle. Also a must-try is Sparkling Soda, a fruity and refreshing drink of strawberry puree and soda.

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Enjoy Chili’s MLHH experience at Greenbelt 5, Makati;  T. Morato, Quezon City; Rockwell Power Plant Makati, SM Megamall, Alabang Town Center and Fairview Terraces.

HEIRLOOM RECIPES

One of the best things that happened to Filipino cuisine is Romulo Café.

No less than Alessandra Romulo Squillantini, granddaughter of the late statesman, Carlos P. Romulo, recently presented a fresh, new approach to well-loved Filipino dishes. Ms. Alessandra and her husband, Enzo Squillantini proudly and lovingly shared heirloom recipes that date back several generations.

At a recent cooking demo at The Maya Kitchen and Culinary Arts Center, the Squillantini couple showcased some of the Filipino dishes that are bestsellers at Romulo Café. It is one of the best dining destinations in the Metro patronized by both local foodies and foreigners who would like to enjoy the best of the country’s cuisine. Among them are Kare-Kare, Chicken Relleno and Turon (prepared with fresh pineapple instead of saba bananas).

Romulo Café, named after the famed diplomat, war veteran, journalist and esteemed statesman, provides a glimpse of another facet of Mr. Romulo’s life—that of a doting father and grandfather. He loved big family gatherings and on those occasions, he made sure that the best Filipino dishes were served.

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(Left photo): Alessandra Romulo Squillantini and her husband Enzo shared heirloom recipes from the menu of Romulo Café during a demo at The Maya Kitchen. (Right photo): Lola Virginia’s Chicken Relleno

“What better way to appreciate our own cuisine than to get the cue from the dining table of a public servant who had such enormous love for his country and his people?” asks Chef Rory Subida, the manager of The Maya Kitchen and Culinary Arts Center.

Like the renowned statesman, The Maya Kitchen is also an exponent of Filipino cuisine. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, The Maya Kitchen continues to highlight native cuisine bringing it to new heights of quality, flavor and popularity.

 

LOLA VIRGINIA’S CHICKEN RELLENO

(Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Ground Pork, Chorizo, Raisins and Peas)

Ingredients:

1 pc. whole chicken (about 1 kilo)

160 grams onion

100 grams chorizo bilbao

25 grams processed cheese, grated

50 grams frozen peas

100 grams pickle relish

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 pcs. whole eggs, beaten

2 tsps. butter

1 can Vienna sausage

50 grams raisins

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2. Debone chicken. Chop the onion, chorizo and Vienna sausage. Put in a bowl and add grated cheese, pickle relish, raisins, peas and beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients well and stuff into the chicken’s cavity.
  3. Place chicken on a baking pan or dish. Brush skin with butter. Cook in preheated oven for 1 hour or until the skin of the chicken is golden brown.

 

GINATAANG SIGARILLAS WITH SMOKED TINAPA

(Winged Beans Cooked in Coconut Milk and Smoked Tinapa)

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Ingredients:

250 ml oil

9 grams garlic, minced

15 grams white onion, sliced

90 grams smoked tinapa, deboned & flaked

300 ml fresh gata

450 grams sigarillas, sliced

3 tsps. bagoong

9 grams chicken broth cubes

250 ml water

Procedure:

  1. In little oil, sauté garlic, onion and tinapa.
  2. Add sigarillas, bagoong, chicken cubes and water.
  3. When sigarillas are cooked, add fresh gata. Simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot.

Yield: 3 servings

 

TITO GREG’S KARE-KARE

(Oxtail & Tripe Stew in Peanut-Based Sauce)

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Ingredients:

750 grams oxtail, tripe

80 grams white onion

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. whole black peppercorns

30 grams glutinous rice

100 grams dry roasted peanuts

150 grams eggplant

150 grams string beans

30 grams annatto oil

10 grams garlic, minced

50 grams shrimp paste

150 grams banana blossom

salt to taste

Procedure:

  1. Wash oxtail and tripe very well. Place in pot with enough water to cover. Boil for 10 minutes then discard water. Refill pot with water. Peel white onion and cut into quarters. Add to oxtail and tripe in pot along with salt and peppercorns.
  2. Bring to boil immediately then reduce to simmer (82 C/180 F).Cover and cook for 90 minutes or until meats are tender.
  3. Remove from fire, cool then move to the refrigerator to bring the fat to the surface. Remove meats from pot; reserve the cooking liquid.
  4. Toast glutinous rice in a skillet until brown. Cool then pulse glutinous rice in a food processor. Repeat procedure with dry roasted peanuts until creamy.
  5. Slice the eggplants lengthwise leaving the stem intact. Cut the string beans into 5-cm. pieces.
  6. In another pan, heat the annatto oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic with shrimp paste. Add the oxtail and tripe, sauté for a few more minutes. Add 4 cups of reserved broth.
  7. Lower fire until broth is reduced to half. Add toasted glutinous rice and stir continuously until thick and creamy.
  8. Add peanut paste and keep stirring. Turn off heat but keep the pan covered.
  9. In another pan, boil remaining water; add salt. Add string beans and cook but string beans should still be firm and green. Add banana blossoms and eggplant; simmer until cooked.
  10.  Serving suggestion:  You may serve the meat and the vegetables separately or arrange all nicely in a serving platter and pour sauce over. Serve with additional shrimp paste on the side.

Yield: 3 servings

 

TROPICAL TURON

(Pineapple-filled Served with Calamansi Sherbet & Lemon Sauce)

turon

Ingredients:

1kl. fresh pineapple, peeled & chopped

250 grams brown sugar

50 grams cinnamon powder

10 pcs. lumpia wrapper

125 grams Maya All Purpose Flour

75 grams butter

250 grams lemon juice

125 grams honey

250 grams oil for frying

Procedure:

  1. In a pan, combine pineapple and brown sugar. Cook until pineapple is done.
  2. Add cinnamon powder, then cool the mixture.
  3. Cut lumpia wrappers into 2 equal parts. Put a tablespoon of pineapple mixture at the center of the wrapper and fold to form a triangle.
  4. Heat oil in pan and fry turon until golden brown.
  5. In another pan, combine butter, lemon juice, honey and flour and cook to make sauce. Serve with turon.

ART & FOOD “Oriental Brushstrokes” at Chef Jessie’s Rockwell Club

Savor the good food at Chef Jessie’s and complete the feast with the Lingnam style of master painter Caesar Cheng

Chef Jessie Rockwell Club is a favorite culinary destination but it has more than great food to offer. It also actively supports the arts, a passion and a mission for Chef Jessie Sincioco, the culinary artist behind the fine dining resto.

Chef Jessie is currently featuring “Oriental Brushstrokes” which showcases the one-man exhibit of Caesar Cheng. The painter/teacher presents his masterpieces that echo the essence of the Lingnam School Tradition of Chinese Painting.

His approach is realistic with bold, fluid expressions. Lingnam style dramatically depicts silence, serenity and stillness as experienced in a lotus pond, moonlit scenes, early spring morning and misty mountains.

The artist studied the Lingnam style under master Hau Chiok. Although painting is his passion, he also worked in a pet shop and a pet-related company. It is no wonder then that his affinity for animals is clearly manifested in his paintings.

Painter Caesar teaches Chinese painting at the Confucius Institute of Ateneo de Manila University. He also conducts workshop at Fully Booked in Bonifacio Global City.

Chef Jessie is a restaurateur and a passionate exponent of Filipino cuisine. But her mission goes beyond the kitchen and has opened Chef Jessie Rockwell Club for visual artists. For more details, please call tels. 890-6543/7630.

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“Prosperity” by master painter Caesar Cheng at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club

CHEF EDGAR MAYAM-O “Experience Highland Cuisine…”

It may take some time but this young chef is confident more people will appreciate what Banaue has to offer on the dining table.

How do you like to wake up to the chirping of birds, window panes misty with dew and a vast expanse of greenery glistening with the early rays of sunlight? And it is no ordinary greenery for once you look out of your balcony at the Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel in Ifugao, you will be looking at a portion of the famed Banaue Rice Terraces or Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan ng Banaue.

The hotel, built in 1973 and under the management of TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority) formerly PTA (Philippine Tourism Authority) is right in the heart of the village of Tam-An. It is supposedly one of the areas where the indigenous people of Ifugao began the construction of the Rice Terraces some 2,000 years ago. Others believe, the terraces could be 6,000 years old, thus pre-dating the Roman Colosseum.

But today, there are other interesting areas to marvel and understand the “terrace culture” of the Ifugaos. There are the amphitheater-like terraces in Batad which is 16 kilometers away from Banaue; there are the terraces of Mayoyao about 41 kilometers from Banaue and Hapao, both known for their extensive stone-walled terraces.

The awe-inspiring Banaue Rice Terraces continue to command attention and make the country proud. It is recognized as the Eight- Wonder of the World, a UNESCO Heritage Site and lovingly honored as the “Stairways to the Sky” and a National Cultural Treasure.

It is no wonder then that there are young professionals like Chef Edgar Mayam-O who prefers to practise, share and hone his culinary skills in Banaue. He is one of the three chefs-in-charge of Banaue Hotel and its F&B outlet, Imbayah. Named after an Ifugao post-harvest thanksgiving festival, the restaurant has a fantastic view of the terraces.

Imbayah offers both international and Filipino cuisines. Foreign and local guests may enjoy different pastas as well as native favorites like adobo and tinola. Savor your American or Continental breakfast with a cup of hot, freshly brewed Benguet coffee. Or go Pinoy all the way with daing na bangus and Ifugao longganisa.

Chef Edgar who says that he is a proud, full-blooded Ifugao would like Banaue Hotel guests to get to know more about the little-known-dishes of his birthplace. One of the items he hopes to include in the hotel’s menu is Inlagim, a chicken dish. He explains that it is a traditional Ifugao dish that takes center stage  during a cañao, a thanksgiving or in a ritual done for someone who is seeking  public office, taking the board exam and opening a business. If the Inlagim is for a ritual, then it has to be prepared by a mumbaki or a native priest.

According to Chef Edgar, native chicken is used for the dish and the blood is allowed to drip slowly and set aside. Over an open fire, the chicken is “roasted” until the feathers are totally burned. Once the chicken skin is exposed, some of its fat is allowed to drip. Remaining feathers are cleaned out and the innards are removed.

The chicken legs and wings are pressed together (not tied) to shape it and then slowly boiled. Only plain salted water is used. The chicken is served as soon as it is cooked and Chef Edgar explains—the legs are given to children, the breast part for women only, the butt section for the elderly and the married ones. He remembers that in the olden times, the rich ate the Inlagim with rice while the poor ate their share with kamote. “But times have changed and everybody eats with rice,” he notes cheerfully.

If the Inlagim is done for a ritual then the vile must be removed first and examined. “If it is covered by the liver and its color is yellow, then it means bad luck but if it is blue and not hidden by the liver, then it means good luck,” remarks Chef Edgar.

Should the Inlagim be part of the hotel’s menu, the chef would need a two-day notice to prepare it properly. “Like  having the healthy, native chicken which is not available all the time,” says Chef Edgar. He would also be recommending more salads on the menu made with local greens like young sayote tops, ashitaba and kamote tops. He is also looking at seafood dishes such as Agudong with Watercress.

Agudong is tasty snail native to Ifugao. “The snails are out after the harvest in August and they are simply sautéed in little oil, garlic, fresh tomatoes, ginger and onions. A little water is added then the dish is seasoned with salt and pinch of pepper (optional). Add fresh watercress (pakhuy in native dialect) and remove from fire.”

Chef Edgar knows that he has a lot of things more to do like doing studies, research, developing recipes and checking out the availability of local ingredients. He believes that more attention should be given to highlands staples like Banaue’s Ginger Tea, Benguet Coffee and Tinawon Rice which is brown, healthy and organic rice harvested from the terraces.

A graduate of Olivarez College ( Parañaque City) and Purisimo L. Tiam College (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya), Chef Edgar looks to the future with optimism. He says, “The wonder of the Banaue Rice Terraces is there, it continues to attract visitors from all over the world—let’s keep them interested not just about the Rice Terraces but for every beautiful thing the people of Ifugao has to offer such as its cuisine.”

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The spacious Imbayah Restaurant of Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel with a magnificent view of the world famous Banaue Rice Terraces.

 

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A twin occupancy room of Banaue Hotel which allows guest to wake up to a grand view of the 8th Wonder of the World—the Banaue Rice Terraces.

 

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Chef Edgar Mayam-O  is doing more research to develop highland recipes that will entice guests at Banaue Hotel