Monday, May 6, 2013

Flavors of the Visayas!

This versatile and inimitable Ilonggo chef had her culinary trainings at the Culinary Institute of America, New School of New York, and at the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump’s New York). At present, she runs the various restaurants in Iloilo City, namely: Al Dente Ristorante Italiano, Steps of Rome, 101 Luna Steak Room and Rooftop Brewery. Today, she cooked lunch for us.

How lucky can we get?

When Mandarin Oriental launches some kind of food festival, I am always so blessed to be part of the guest list because I get to try the best food prepared by the featured chef and get to meet them too!

The Visayan region’s iconic seafood delicacies and other gastronomical delights take center stage at Mandarin Oriental, Manila’s Paseo Uno with a week-long festival, featuring chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing. Renowned for representing Iloilo’s famous culinary scene, the enterprising chef returns to the hotel for the “Flavors of the Visayas” food festival that will be held from May 6 to 12.

Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing is no stranger to the kitchens of Mandarin Oriental, Manila. Back in May 2006 she had her debut as a featured chef at an Ilonggo food festival dubbed as “Manamit!” at what was then the Captain’s Bar (now the MO Lounge), where she delighted guests with a medley of her hometown’s signature cuisine. In a fitting encore the following year, she continued to bring the culinary treasures of the Panay Islands to the heart of Makati while reinventing classic dishes such as Steamed Talaba, Batchoy and Chicken Inasal for individuals with the most discerning taste.

The only Batchoy that I get to eat is from a styrofoam bowl that requires only hot water but today, I was able to try the best Batchoy I have ever had. 

Crabs with Shrimp Paste, coconut milk and lemongrass is something my family would love since they are crab eaters!! 

This is the most authentic Chicken Inasal I have ever tried. As you can see, I don't get to eat much of food from Visayas but apparently, I am in love with the cuisine. I just didn't know it until now. 

Who can say no to lechon? 

Lumpia is just a lumpia until you've tried Chef Pauline's lumpia. It's simple, delicious and fresh. 

More Visayan treats being passed around. 

Refreshing drinks! 


Kadios, baboy kag langka na may batuan
Ilonggo Pork Stew with Jackfruit and Black Peas

Lukon na may aligue kag paho
Prawns from Kalibo with sautéed crab fat and topped with green mango slices

An exquisite Mother’s Day lunch buffet wraps up the food festival on its last day on May 12. Moms can enjoy their favorite Ilonggo dishes, and, if in a group of four paying guests, she also gets to attend a complimentary flower-arranging class at the hotel, before or after lunch. All moms who dine on Mother’s Day receive a pretty fan memento, in keeping with this year’s celebratory theme. The Mother’s Day lunch buffet is priced at PHP 2,450+.

Mandarin Oriental
Paseo Uno
Reservations: 7508888

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