Cultural Potpourri | Waterfront’s Pinoy Food Fest with Lau and Jackie Laudico

JUST  in time for the Araw ng Davao celebration, Davao’s foodies and media representatives took a seat at the Waterfront Insular Hotel’s Cafe Uno’s table and sampled phenomenal flavors that reflect the country’s multi-cultural influences in Pinoy cuisine.

CHEFS in the ceremonial breaking of salt-crusted Maya-Maya for the launching of Waterfront’s Filipino Fiesta Buffet

CHEFS in the ceremonial breaking of salt-crusted Maya-Maya for the launching of Waterfront’s Filipino Fiesta Buffet

Pinoy cuisine is, of course, a dynamic halo-halo cuisine as it has evolved over the centuries from its Austronesian origins to absorbing influences from Indian, Chinese, Spanish/Mexican, American cuisines and yes, even including Japanese and Korean cuisines in these contemporary times. Despite these foreign influences in our food culture, we’ve made our very own distinctly Pinoy food in the process.

GM Bryan Yves Sato Lasala with celebrity chefs and the Café Uno team

GM Bryan Yves Sato Lasala with celebrity chefs and the Café Uno team

Manila’s popular and respected culinary icons, the husband-and-wife chefs Rolando “Lau” and Jackie Laudico, travelled all the way to Davao City along with Corporate Chef Giovanni Sias to share the kitchen of Exec. Chef Bienvenido Chavez for a culinary preview of the mix of flavor and culture in Waterfront’s “Filipino Food Fiesta” last March 16, 2018. The grand preview started with a showcase of the pageantry of Muslim dances including the singkil; after which the gentle giant that is the Waterfront Insular Hotel’s General Manager Bryan Yves Sato Lasala welcomed everybody to a wonderful Pinoy Culinary Fest the Waterfront way. “With Davao being home to abundant and fresh local produce, we are happy to present a mix of flavor and culture to your dining experience,” said GM Bryan in his welcome message.

CHEF Gilbert Banday with Warina, a Tausug gourmand

CHEF Gilbert Banday with Warina, a Tausug gourmand

For a preview of Waterfront Insular Hotel’s “Filipino Food Fiesta” that night, a ceremonial breaking of the salt-crusted Maya-Maya whole fish was done by celebrity chefs Rolando and Jackie Laudico (who personally prepared the ceremonial fish), Chef Giovanni Sias, Exec. Chef Bienvenido Chavez plus GM Bryan Yves Sato Lasala. The unique ceremony delighted the diners that evening who are used to ribbon cutting ceremonies.

GM Lasala with Pia de Villa, Eva Ces Gamalong, chefs Rolando and Jackie Laudico and Davao’s media reps

GM Lasala with Pia de Villa, Eva Ces Gamalong, chefs Rolando and Jackie Laudico and Davao’s media reps

That special evening presented Cafe Uno’s well-loved Filipino fusion cuisine in the signature Laudico manner along with a special Mindanaoan cuisine featuring Maranao and Tausug dishes interpreted in the Laudico couple’s style of cooking. “Everything was done from scratch using the best quality and seasonal ingredients we found here in Davao City,” said chef Lau Laudico. I just loved the Laudicos’ Ilonggo lumpia with ubod filling; rich Kare-Kare stew of Angus beef and veggies with a most delicious sauce made from ground toasted rice and crushed toasted peanuts; seafood palabok oozing with flavors and textures; a sinful and so crispy bagnet with matching sukang Iloko for dip; among so many others.

BEEF kulma and Piyanggang chicken

BEEF kulma and Piyanggang chicken

CRISPY bacon bagnet

CRISPY bacon bagnet

The interesting Mindanaoan dishes included Piyanggang Chicken (chicken cooked in coconut milk and flavored with burned coconut meat); Piaparan Shrimps (spicy and creamy curried shrimps with grated coconut meat); Tiyula Itum (black soup of beef with burnt coconut meat for flavoring); Sayur Nangka (young jackfruit curry), Fish Piyalam (Lapu-lapu in turmeric and lemongrass sauce) plus others still. These Mindanaoan dishes are quite unfamiliar to my taste buds that it would take time for me to get used to them.

ARNOLD Alvarez’s Siningtala dancers perform the Singkil

ARNOLD Alvarez’s Siningtala dancers perform the Singkil

You just have to leave room for the Ilongga chef Jackie’s namit gid desserts. For the special event, chef Jackie decided to focus on various cakes and pastries using Durian. The dessert station had Durian Fruit Pavlova, Durian Tiramisu; Durian Caramel Cake, and Durian Panacota. For non-durian lovers, there are a lot of heavenly tasting cakes and pastries, including well-loved Filipino delicacies, to choose from as promised by chef Jackie.

Waterfront Insular Hotel’s Filipino Food Fiesta Dinner Buffet will start this April 1 at the Cafe Uno. For inquiries call (082) 233 2881 to 83 local 8700

Posted in Lifestyle