Food Truck Cook Off
The unexpected rain didn’t deter hungry bellies from flocking to the Mall of Asia open grounds for the Manila Food and Wine Festival’s Food Truck Cook Off last Friday. Wet and famished, we watched the celebrity chefs prepping in their food trucks. While the crowd waited, we were entertained by hilarious hosts Ramon Bautista and Tuesday Vargas who also informed us that the proceeds of the event will go to deserving culinary scholars sponsored by Culinary Education Foundation, Inc.
The celebrity chefs were called on stage and were each grilled by the hosts as to why they’ll win the cook off. The audience cheered for their favorite chefs as they talked about their best asset (I cheered for Chefs Bruce Lim and Robby Goco).
Finally, it was time for the chefs to man their stations. Chef Sau del Rosario (Purple Truck) prepared three kinds of Chinese dumpling dishes. Chef Bruce Lim (Green Truck) whipped up three variants of chicken wings. Chef Marvin Agustin (Blue Truck) brought the way of zen to three Japanese favorites. Chef Tristan Encarnacion (Black Truck) gave a twist to three Filipino favorites. Chef Florabel Co (Red Truck) brought different worlds together by way of sausages. Chef Robby Goco (Orange Truck) stuck with one dish but promised it will be the best porchetta we’ll ever eat.
I was really ravenous by this time and I impatiently lined up for the first of my two food trucks, Chef’s Bruce Lim’s chicken wings. I chose his Coke-glazed Soy Chicken Wings with Garlic Chips and Sesame Seeds and it was worth the wait. The chicken was tender and the glaze slightly sweet and salty. I wish there were more chicken though.
My last food truck, Chef Robby Goco’s was a longer wait. While I was waiting, I can’t help but hear the raves of those who were already eating his Porchetta Sandwich (Roast Pork Sandwich with Onion Marmalade and Arugula). The sandwiches coming from his truck were huge and I was excited to try it. When I finally had mine, the first, second, third and so on bites were exquisite. The raves were right. The porchetta was very tender and slightly salty but flavorful. The caramelized onion and arugula highlighted the pork by their contrast. The sandwich is good enough for two people but I doggy bagged my leftover and ate it when I got home. I hope Chef Goco will make his porchetta sandwich easily available.
While I was munching on my Porchetta Sandwich, I faintly heard my name being called over the P.A. System. The announcer said I should head to the Green Truck to get my prize. I was puzzled because I don’t remember there being a raffle for the event but I headed to the Green Truck nonetheless and true enough, Chef Bruce Lim gave me a Masflex Ceramic Sauce Pan. What a lucky day!
I didn’t stay long because I was tired and I just came from sickness. I don’t know who won the Cook Off but I hope it was either Chef Goco or Chef Lim.
The number of people who braved the rain and came to the event proved to me that there are so many foodies in the Philippines. Filipinos certainly know how to appreciate good food. The amount of talent of celebrity and emerging chefs in our country is astounding. Isn’t it almost weekly that we hear new restaurants opening? Perhaps we are indeed witnessing a culinary revolution!
Artisinal Ice Cream Class
My second Manila Food and Wine Festival experience was educational. I took a short class in Artisinal Ice Cream-Making by Chef Anne Anastacio at CCA Podium. She demonstrated how to make Green Tea Ice Cream, Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream and Strawberry Sorbet. (If you want me to post the recipes, just let me know).
I love artisinal ice cream and I used to consume a lot. A tub once a week made me balloon so I stopped.
Unlike commercial ice cream, artisinal ice creams use rich ingredients so they are higher in calories. However, their texture is silkier and the flavor is fuller.
I want to make ice cream at home especially Salted Caramel. It’s possible to make ice cream without a machine but it will be a challenge. Maybe I’ll invest in a small machine just for home use.
My favorite among the ice creams that day is the Cheddar Cheese. Well I like cheddar cheese so I’m biased.
I spent my final MFWF event alone. I consider it as dating myself. I had a buffet lunch at one of my favorite Spanish restaurants in Manila, Alba.
I love Alba’s buffet. It’s not expensive but the quality and selection of food is good. There’s a number of appetizers like pates, chorizo, and croquettas. For main entree there’s paella valenciana, cochinillo, lengua, and other Spanish dishes. Then for dessert there is assorted fruit selections, leche flan, gypsy’s arm cake, and my favorite canonigo. It was sweltering outside but the cool interiors of the Tomas Morato, QC branch provided a nice respite from the heat. I enjoyed every morsel of what I ate.
I want to thank the organizers of Manila Food and Wine Festival for giving me all these delightful foodie experience. I hope to be a part of it again next year!