French lechon de leche. Photo by Jeeves de Veyra for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA -- The stuffed lechon of Pepita’s Kitchen was named best dish in Asia at the Chowtzer fast feasts awards in London on Sunday.
Chowzter, which is “committed to finding the tastiest fast feasts on earth each year,” according to its website, announced its 2014 awards, which are based on nominations made by local food experts and bloggers, which were then tested by a tasting team.
“While there are no real surprises on the list, the awards celebrate the quality and variety of authentic regional food around the globe, served at diners, street stalls or food carts rather than exclusive restaurants,” the UK newspaper The Guardian said in a report.
Pepita’s Kitchen, which was nominated by Filipino blogger Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet, is famous for its lechon degustacion events at the Magallanes Village home of chef-owner Dedet de la Fuente.
In its report, The Guardian noted the growing global popularity of lechon, citing celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who called the Pinoy favorite, “the best pig ever,” in the Philippine episode of his show “No Reservations.”
“Roasted over charcoal or in an oven, this succulent dish was handed down from the area's Spanish heritage and improved with Filipino ingenuity. Lechón is so popular in the Philippines that an annual festival, Parada ng Lechón, is celebrated every 24 June, and people from all over parade decorated pigs with their mouths stuffed with apples,” The Guardian wrote.
“At Pepita's Kitchen, a dining experience in a private, Makati home, Pepita's Stuffed Lechón is the star. The falling-off-the bone piglet is prepared with various stuffings, including truffles, Thanh Long de Leche, and other Filipino favourites such as as binagoongan and laing,” it added.
Diaz, who attended the awards in London, immediately congratulated De la Fuente for the recognition via the Facebook page of Our Awesome Planet.
"Congratulations to Dedet's Pepita's Kitchen for winning the Tastiest Food in Asia in the second Annual Chowzter Award in London! This is the first international award for Filipino Food in a Global Award giving body! Let's promote Filipino Food one award at a time #ItsFilipinoFoodtime," he wrote.
The top prize for “tastiest dish in the world” was given to the ceviche at Chez Wong in Lima, Peru.
Other dishes from Asia that made the list were: the Pad thai at Pad Thai Thip Samai in Bangkok as best noodle dish; the Hainanese chicken rice at Tian Tian in Singapore as best rice dish; and the Roast goose at Yat Lok in Hong Kong as best bird dish.
Read our review of Pepita’s Kitchen here.