Pinoy food festival a hit in Brussels

By Raquel Bernal-Crisostomo, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Nov 12 2012 04:05 PM | Updated as of Nov 13 2012 12:08 AM

BRUSSELS – Top chefs were tapped to work with the best of Philippine products in a food festival dubbed as “Hapag Yaman” at the Tour and Taxis’ Royal Depot.

Ten chefs, including nine Belgians and one Filipino, participated in the festival and offered guests their own versions of a typical Filipino dish.

Chefs Kenny Bernaerts of Seagrill, Maarten Bouckaert of Hof Van Cleve, Axel Colona Cesari of Restaurant Centpourcent, Michiel De Bruyn and Viki Geunes of t’‘t Zilte, Ryan Stevenson of Le Saint Aulaye, Michael Vrijmoed, Willem Vandeven of C-Jean and the only Filipino chef, Victor Magsaysay of Sakebar Restaurant, masterfully created dishes by incorporating Philippine products such as coconut juice, prepared sauce mixes, calamansi, mango and even San Miguel Beer.
Among the dishes prepared were Tuna Kinilaw, Crispy Shrimp, Smoked Bangus, Philippine Octopus with Misua in Calamansi, Bagoong Chips and Okra, Chicken Tinola with Malunggay leaves, Bangus Escabeche and a lot more.

Agriculture Undersecretary Antonio Fieta and Ambassador Victoria Bataclan lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Fieta, who flew all the way from the Philippines, said “the event introduces, in a very gastronomic way, Philippine food products and flavors to the European market and to European consumers”.

Adobo showdown

Prior to the event, a cooking demo was held where Belgian chef Kenny Bernaerts challenged Pinoy Chef Magsaysay in an Adobo showdown.

“The recipe can change from region to region. So I came across a version of adobo with cherry beer,” Bernaerts said.

Magsaysay, on the other hand, said he incorporated coconut juice to make his adobo distinct and appetizing.

Philippine exporters who were present during the cooking demo said they like the two different versions of Adobo. 

Hapag Yaman Food Festival is a way of introducing Philippine cuisine and hopes to encourage the European buyers to try the Philippine products which can be considered world class.