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Posted on May 03, 2016
Sampling Manila’s best at the Flavor Nation Festival
Written by Gaby Gloria
Photo by GABBY CANTERO
Updated May 3, 2016 5:47:00 PM
Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Considering the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila, it’s become increasingly difficult to travel the short distance from Makati to Bonifacio Global City, and even more so from Cubao to Intramuros. Spending up to three hours on the road for the sake of flavorful food isn’t something that many would be willing to do, no matter how established a restaurant is.
Hoping to bank on the opportunity to taste dishes from some of Manila’s best chefs in one place, whole families and groups of friends braved the humidity and the heat of the late-April sun, for McCormick’s Flavor Nation Festival, presented in partnership with the magazine F&B Report.
Though it was a scorching hot afternoon, eager food lovers occupied the wooden tables set under a tent at the Bonifacio High Street Central amphitheater, happy to be able to skip the long lines usually seen outside such noteworthy establishments.
Let’s face it: Who wouldn’t resist the perfect pairing of Ilustrado’s paella ilustrado and callos madrileno, finished off with a bite (or more) of La Lola Churreria’s golden brown churros dipped in chocolate?
Chef Margarita Fores’s booth offered Cibo’s panino porchetta, a lechon sandwich served on a crusty roll and served with a side of three sauces: apple and pear, red wine liver, and lemon mayonnaise.
All of the signature dishes were readily accessible since each chef had booths set up on one side of the venue. Chef Marc Nocon of Burgers & Brewskies served juicy three-piece slider sets, while Chef Margarita Fores’s booth offered Cibo’s panino porchetta, a lechon sandwich served on a crusty roll and served with a side of three sauces: apple and pear, red wine liver, and lemon mayonnaise.
For rice meals, Buta + Wagyu’s Chef Jerome Lim offered a generous serving of wagyu udon, a dish of rice topped with Japanese wagyu beef and a raw egg. Chef Bernice Pimentel’s paella and callos pairing was also a hit.
Aside from the generous spread, there were also five noodle stations offering samples of McCormick’s newest line of noodles from Asia, with flavors like chap chae, palabok, birthday noodles, pad thai, and laksa. To complement this, Chef Sabrina Artadi of Sabrina’s Kitchen served a unique dish of laing, finely diced green mangoes, and sisig spiced with cumin.
To balance out all of the savory flavors, aside from the churros offered by Master Churrero Jordy Barraca, Chef Aileen Anastacio of the Marmalade Kitchen provided a cool ending to everyone’s meals with giant snow cones flavored with grape, tropical punch, bubble gum or strawberry syrup.
With bellies full and cravings satisfied, guests left the Flavor Nation Festival knowing that when the opportunity arises to taste some of Manila’s best food, it is always wise to take it — traffic or no traffic.