By Bernadette E Tamayo/Manila Times
Three Filipino dishes — sisig, halo-halo and adobo — made it to the latest edition of the Lonely Planet Ultimate Eatlist, a compendium of the world’s top 500 “memorable eating experiences.”
“Filipino food doesn’t get a lot of international play compared with other Asian cuisines. And that’s unfortunate as anyone who has tasted sisig knows,” stated an entry on the iconic Kapampangan dish. Sisig ranked highest among the other Filipino dishes on the list.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the list was drawn up by the Lonely Planet community of travellers and foodies. The entries were evaluated by a panel of 20 chefs and food writers and were ranked based on taste, cultural significance and uniqueness of location. Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo Jr said, “The world has yet to fully discover Filipino cuisine.”
“At the embassy, we share the Filipino community’s insatiable appetite to show the world that they are missing an exciting culinary experience when they miss out on Filipino food,” Lagdameo added.
He said that since 2018, the embassy, through its Cultural Diplomacy Unit, has initiated various efforts to promote Filipino food in the UK and Ireland such as strengthening its ties with the growing number of Filipino food advocates to engaging the UK’s culinary tastemakers.
The spike in the number of Filipino restaurants, pop-ups and supper clubs in the UK, for example, shows the growing interest in Filipino food in the region.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in the UK earlier reported that Filipino chef Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya of Sarap London had been shortlisted in the Brixton Kitchen competition, aimed at finding “the next big talent in food.”
The competition is run by Hondo Enterprises, owner of Brixton Village and Market Row, one of the culinary centres in the UK. Montoya competed under the Experienced Chefs category.
Lagdameo said Montoya was well known in the UK for his innovative takes on traditional Filipino cuisine.
“My aim is simple really: I want Filipino cuisine to have its own identity in the culinary world,” Montoya said.
Montoya’s specialities such as Lechon London and barbeque skewers have gained a steady following among Filipino food lovers. “New generation of Filipino chefs such as Budgie doing a great job in introducing Philippine cuisine to the UK and the world,” Lagdameo said.
“Their efforts in going beyond the frontiers of our culinary heritage contribute greatly in enriching our culinary tradition,” he added.
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