Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Launch of Kain Na! at Ayala Mall, Legazpi

Food for me had always been a comfort and an adventure.  Where ever I go, or travel, my list would include what food to eat, where to get the best local food and what to bring home (or to buy as pasalubong) to extend the experience at home. It also is true in how I blog about my exploits, hence my blog name.  

Many share the same love, I believe, and I'm happy to work with them and be able to share what Filipino food is about, our food culture is so diverse it likens itself to the number of islands our country has.

With that, I came willingly when the Department of Tourism asked me join them in the launch of KAIN NA!
'Eat Up!' in English, is an initiative of Sec. Berna as inspired from the same name of the event which occurred when she was still in the Dept. of Agriculture. The desire to to enhance the image of the Philippines as a culinary destination, is KAIN NA!'s aim.

The launched happened last Friday October 12 at Ayala Mall, Legazpi and lasted until October 14.  It was a three-day food and travel festival designed to create awareness and interest on Filipino cuisine and tourism destinations.  It was a successful celebration which featured local chefs, local dishes, local products (agri, arts and crafts) and farm tourism sites with the end view of promoting the country as a center of food and gastronomy.  I  for one have been witness to the Bicolandia degustacion which is truly a good opportunity to showcase another facet of the region as a destination.

In partnership with Ayala Malls, the Food and Travel Fair have featured local dishes prepared by Filipino chefs both from the food establishments and hotel FnB's, some have demos and sampling over at their corresponding booth.  There were exhibitors from regional farm tourism associations, DOT-accredited farm tourism operators, farm cooperatives, tour operators, academe, and partner agencies that participated and presented their goods and services, which was open to the public. 

Present at the event is Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat who urges everyone to post more Filipino food photos in Instagram and reminded everyone to tag the location of where you had the food, as she herself had been doing all along to promote not only the places in our country but also the regional dishes that everyone might not know yet.

A ceremonial toast took place at the stage with giant servings of the myriad of ice cream flavors 1st Colonnial has, iconic of Bicol's most sought of ice cream brand, to open the said event and announce the succeeding events that people should look forward to.

It's a simultaneous launch which happened in two other Ayala Mall sites in Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.  It also signaled the KAIN NA! Upcoming Legs:

KAIN NA! Capitol Central-               November 16-18, 2018
KAIN NA! Abreeza-                    November  16-18, 2018
KAIN NA! Marquee-                         December 8-10, 2018
KAIN NA! Solenad-                           December 7-9,  2018

The Degustacion

Clockwise form left, Laing Paella, Sili beer, Laing Slider and Taqueria Bicolandia
Chef's like Maricar Buenaflor of Que Pasa and Que Rica prepared such a well-curated sampler of their creations, plus, it was such a delight to see and taste the only "sili beer" in the country.

Pepperland Hotel, reperesented by Chef Bernard Lagumoy and Chef Jose Lobas presented a Japanese fusion using famous Bicolano dishes.  We enjoyed slices of Pinangat Maki, Bikol Express Maki and Choco Pili Maki.

Was so sold to Oriental Hotel's Bicol Express in a Cup.

It was literally raining ice cream, as 1st Colonial was so generous to giving away cups upon cups of their uniquely-made ice cream to VIP's and spectators.

This huge paellera was a spectacle.

Crispy Pork Dinuguan from Misibis Bay Resort

Crispy Baluko, Cheesy baked tahomg and Crab Lumpia,  from Splendido De Rompeolas

What I love about this kind of event is discovering indigenous food and interesting means by which locals enjoy their own food, like this Nilantang Pili which Splendido De Rompeolas shared.  It's steamed Pili fruit where the skin is peeled off releasing a soft pulp eaten like that of boiled camote.  According to Froilan, our tour guide from Oragon Bicol Guides, the flavor is elevated when it is dipped in patis, salt and in this case, bagoong. 

In the pastry arena, the local government office of Tabaco, Albay brought their famous snack pair, Marcasotes and Tablea.  Marcasotes is a sweet bread like a breed of mamon and ensaymada but with a crustry meringue-like top, it's like their version of torta from Bohol but less sweet.

Jessica Calleja, one of the owner/manager of Casa Simeon presented their
Biniribid na Churros, Cassava Bibingka and tablea

Another fascinating find is this leveled up Biniribid from Casa Simeon, again another great snack or dessert to be paired with tablea, it's made with rice flour and coconut, fried to crisp and dusted with sugar.

 Of course, Bicol boasts of the finest and world finest chilis, and Gagfea Cafe and Bistro just thought of a way to pay homage to their chili with Pili Chili Cake, a moist chocolate cake infused with chili and topped with roasted ground pili, it's just addictingly yummy.

Lastly, Lola Sayong Eco-surfing Camp wowed everyone and proved that they aren't just surfing enthusiasts but great in the kitchen too.  They presented us with their cocktail mixes and well-presented dishes such as Smoked Fish out of Hell and Blackmeal.

Trade Fair


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  2. wow ! food festival is like , sa tingin palang busog kana sa dami ng pagkain sa paligid mo ;)

  3. Dami pagkain.. Anu kya lasa ng pili chilk cake?! very intriguing.. 😁

  4. This looks delicious! So they have an event like this again this year at Ayala Malls Legazpi?


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