Cordillera cookery takes center stage in recent My City, My SM, My Cuisine cooking in Baguio

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Friday, October 5, 2012


THE best of Cordillera cooking took center stage recently through the My City, My SM, My Cuisine, in recognition of the age-old culture and tradition of the region when it comes to gastronomic pleasure.

As every region in the country boasts of its own culinary specialities, the Cordillera leg of the event was held in the City of Baguio and brought together the institutions in the field of cooking featuring Cordillera’s prized cuisines, as it is in the Cordillera where many dishes that find its way to the dining table have their own stories to tell, stories that serve as a window to experience and taste the Cordilleran way of life, lived by their ancestors, and passed on to a generation of proud indigenous folks.

On Sept. 22, honor was conferred to Peter Rey Bautista, a grandson of the founder of University of Baguio and the initiator of the International Hotel and Restaurant Management in University of Baguio, who cooked his family’s heirloom Pochero recipe; Zenaida Cating, who established Solibao which is serving appetizing Filipino cuisines since 1972, who cooked their own version of Pinakbet; Olivia Balajadia, who is behind the success of Kalapaw /A Taste of Laoag, who presented her award winning Kiniing Soup; and Anthony de Leon, the General manager of Baguio Country Club who cooked Ceasar salad and Gambas ala ADL.

Each of them shared their recipes in cooking demonstrations with Cora Alvina, a member of the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Museum, a food researcher, writer and author of books such as The Culinary Culture of the Philippines.

Another highlight of the event was a cook fest/showdown among the leading hotels and restaurants in Baguio, namely The Le Monet Hotel, Bloomfield Hotel, Hotel Elizabeth, Le Chef at The Manor and The Old Spaghetti House, which presented their best recipes and competed in the salad and strawberry dessert categories.

Ricky Ibanez of The Old Spaghetti House won in the salad category, for making the special Asian Chicken Salad, while Christopher Ian Malinao of Hotel Elizabeth made the best strawberry dessert category and delighted the judges for his concoction.

The winners were given P5,000 worth of SM Gift Certificates and Homeworld Gift Packs.

The criteria for judging were based on faithfulness to the original recipe or dish, 30%; taste, 40%; use of ingredients, 15%; and presentation, 15%.

The judges were Corazon Alvina, Amy Gonzales, directress of Aguinaldo Museum, hotelier and the corporate secretary of the Baguio Flower Festival Inc., Pio de Guzman, executive chef of Baguio Country Club; UP Baguio Math Instructor Prof. Reynaldo Rimando; Philippine Star’s Elizabeth Lim.

My City, My SM, My Cuisine aims to help discover the country’s rich culinary heritage by identifying, collecting, retrieving, and promoting traditional recipes and culinary techniques.

“This is a food heritage conservation effort at its best,” said Millie Dizon, SM Vice President for Marketing and Communications Group.

A joint project of SM and Philippine Star, with Alvina as the guide around the Philippines with support from Homeworld, My City, My SM, My Cuisine celebrates the flavors of Philippine regional cuisine through a culinary contest featuring two signature recipes from ten cities where SM malls are located.

For the Cordillera leg, the event is in cooperation with Sunnex for the gift items and prizes (available at SM HomeWorld), SM Department Store, SM City Baguio through Mall Manager Marc Jansen Pe, Regional Operations Manager Cesar Bondoc, and Benguet Gov. Nestor Fongwan.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 05, 2012.

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