Chefs man food trucks in SM MOA cook-off

By Vladimir Bunoan, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 25 2013 06:30 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2013 12:53 AM

Chef Bruce Lim and his staff man their food truck at the Celebrity Chef Food Truck Cook-Off Challenge last Friday. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) Food trucks have indeed invaded the metro’s food scene.

Eager diners braved the rains last Friday to sample the offerings of six chefs who participated in the first-ever Celebrity Chef Food Truck Cook-Off Challenge, the kick-off event of the four-day Manila Food and Wine Festival.

Organizers set up tables under a tent at the SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds surrounded by the six food trucks of chefs Sau del Rosario of Food Garage and Villa Café, Robby Goco of Cyma and Charlie’s Grind and Grill, Florabel Co-Yatco of the Florabel chain, Bruce Lim of the Asian Food Channel, restaurateur Marvin Agustin and culinary endorser Tristan Encarnacion.

Chefs Sau del Rosario, Robby Goco and Bruce Lim pose for a photo at the Celebrity Chef Food Truck Cook-Off Challenge last Friday. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com

But the meals didn’t come cheap. Diners have to shell out P350 for a meal from a chef – ranging from sushi (Agustin) to bagnet (Encarnacion).

Lim offered three versions of chicken wings: Coke-glazed soy chicken wings with garlic chips and sesame seeds; Singapore-style chili wings with crab butter and egg; and candied chili wings with fresh fruit and bacon.
Singapore-style chili wings with crab butter and egg from Chef Bruce Lim. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com

Del Rosario, meanwhile, opted for Chinese as he served jumbo dim sum with rice. Diners had a choice between siomai dumplings with truffled yang chow rice, shark’s fin dumplings with roasted duck fried rice or hakaw dumplings with smoked fish fried rice.
Hakaw dumplings with smoked fish fried rice from Chef Sau del Rosario. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com

But my personal favorite that night – and the one that’s worth the P350 price – was Goco’s Porchetta, his take on the Pinoy favorite lechon. Goco created an Italian sandwich with cubed roast pork, smeared with onion marmalade and garnished with fresh arugula, which was served with roasted herbed potatoes. He also made available several sauces including a salsa verde, although the sandwich was already flavourful as is.
Porchetta from Chef Robby Goco. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com

The evening was spiced with entertainment, led by hosts Tuesday Vargas and Ramon Bautista, who announced that based on early returns del Rosario was running second to Co, who was offering hotdogs that night.
All-meat hotdog from Chef Florabel Co. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com

Co was declared the winner at the festival’s gala dinner on Monday night at the Makati Shangri-La Manila.

The five-course dinner, created by Lim and Shangri-La’s area executive chef Paul Lenz using local ingredients sourced from small organic farms throughout the country, was priced at P10,000 per plate. Proceeds will go to a scholarship fund under the Culinary Education Foundation (CEF) for 500 poor but deserving students.