THE Provincial Government of Negros Occidental is pushing for the preservation of homegrown flavors as measure to further boost the province's tourism industry.
Christine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said local cuisines represent Negrenses.
Meaning, it's not just the flavor and taste. It's not just how these cuisines are prepared but it is closely link to our traditions, way of living and livelihood, Mansinares said.
"It's a collective representation of who we are as Negrenses," she said, adding that local flavors is vital in terms of marketing Negros as a culinary destination.
In the bid to promote preservation of home-grown flavors, the province recently hosted the Kaon Na 'Ta sa Panaad 2019.
"Kaon Na Ta" is a Hiligaynon phrase which means let's eat.
This is like an invitation to the public especially tourists to come to the province and experience its culinary offerings, Mansinares said.
The activity held at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City is in partnership with Slow Food Negros Island and in celebration of the Filipino Food Month this April.
Mansinares said that the activity is also designed to support the province's agri-aqua farming communities.
"It is inspired by the Department of Tourism's continued push to promote culinary traditions and treasures," she added.
Six chefs, mostly with Negrense roots, showcased various dishes and drinks using local ingredients.
Chef JP Anglo prepared Batchoy Pancit Canton with Crispy Lechon while Chef Patrick Go showcased his Pork Humba Tostada.
Chef Nico Millanes prepared Crab Pinais and Crab Pinangat, along with Vegetable Kare-Kare and Ensalada nga Rabanos of Chef Joeri Arro.
Chef Don Colmenares prepared his Seared Tuna Pinaksiw.
Liquido Maestro Kalel Demetrio, meanwhile, prepared Dutang Panaad, a cold pressed mocktail made with pineapple, langkawas, hibiscus, ginger, and malunggay.
He also presented Babaylanes, a cocktail that uses batuan purée, Sirena blue pea gin, yutukon, kaffir, hoja santa, sugarcane, and citrus.
Other dishes presented were Native Chicken Binakol of Mambukal Mountain Resort, Roasted Black Pig of Negros First Organic Technology Center, and Herbed Grilled Lamb of Dutch butchery expert Jan Van Goor.
Mansinares said homegrown flavors is one the province's uniqueness where it can bank on. It actually serves as marketing Negros Occidental in unique way.
"Food is one of the major drawers of tourists in one destination," she said, adding that "culinary is one of our strongest tourism offerings."*