Rediscover Filipino Cuisine

In Photo: Chef Tatung Sarthou

If you are to describe Filipino cuisine, you might find yourself looking for adjectives or words to encapsulate the best definition of Filipino cookery.

And most of us would claim that we know Pinoy dishes, as most of us love to eat and dine. From humble carinderias to posh fine-dining restaurants, most of us have already tried at least one dish from these places, and we can certainly tell that the taste and texture are most of the time different.

According to celebrity Chef Myke “Tatung” Sarthou, there is a need to raise awareness among Filipinos about our own gastronomy. The “self-proclaimed” Pinoy foodies somehow lack knowledge about our diverse cuisine since there are many “unexplored” dishes that come from the farthest parts of the country. And it looks like Pinoy’s characterization of our cuisine is limited to our usual adobo, sinigang, bulalo, bagnet, inasal, etc.

filipino food festival dishes

Sarthou, who advocates Filipino gastronomy, said Filipino cooking is really hard to define since our way of cooking is simple, yet complex.  He added there are a number of dishes from Luzon, Visayas  and Mindanao  that are almost alike and only differ in the main ingredients used, but the way they are cooked are the same. “Filipino cuisine is often dictated by the region it comes from,” he explained. He added there are many dishes especially those from Mindanao, which are unheard of but deserves to be recognized in every Pinoy’s dining table.  He also said other dishes are really the same, but only cooked in different cooking vessels.

He also explained the availability of food resources in a locale greatly influences the cuisine that Filipinos prepare. Citing an example, those who are from Luzon, where livestock, poultry and vegetables abound, the dishes’ main ingredients are meat, however, those who are from Mindanao, where seafood is plentiful, use fish, seashells and other seafood as their main ingredients.

Laing Stuffed Prawns Topped with Laing

With this in mind, Sarthou also noted the need to raise awareness on how to make our food resources sustainable.  According to him, the quality of our cuisine is also affected by the natural resources that we have in the country.

“We cook a dish the Filipino way, but many of us are not aware that we are no longer using ingredients that are raised or cultivated in the country, so how do we really define Filipino cuisine if the ingredients we use are not from our land anymore? This is what makes Filipino cuisine complex.”

On June 2 Sarthou will showcase the best gastronomical fares, which originated from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindano at the Diamond Hotel Philippines. From June 2 to 12, 2017, dubbed as the “Philippine Archipelago”, the Filipino Food Festival will highlight a diverse spread at the Corniche lunch or dinner prepared by Sarthou.

Mindanaoan rendang

Sarthou and the Diamond Hotel invite everyone to rediscover how the best of East and West found its way into Filipino cooking and prepare to excite your taste buds with an outstanding gastronomic feast.

Sarthou will take the center stage at Corniche to give you a taste of renowned flavors from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. He will share also his passion on indigenous cooking methods and in-depth knowledge of Philippine gastronomy.

In celebration of unity and Philippine independence, savor the best flavors and culinary treasures of the Philippines. Sarthou will showcase at least 50 Filipino dishes, which he said will make you love Pinoy cooking even more.

Inasal and Pomelo Salad

Enjoy creatively prepared dishes akin to traditional fiesta table hopping at the Corniche buffet in this grand celebration. Start with some appetizers such as Embutido, Kinilaw and Chicharon Bulaklak. Then head on to the soup section for a fill of warmth and comfort – choose from native Chicken Tinola na may Mais, Classic Molo Soup and Traditional Nilagpang. Satisfy your cravings for palatable must-try mains such as the classic kare-kare, adobong pula, and kalderetang kambing. At the carving section, relish an assortment of juicy meats such as hamonado, the ever-famous Bagnet and adobo glazed roast beef.  Finally, indulge in a degustation of confectionery delights like durian triffle, champorado mousse, buco merigue pie, and halo halo flan.

All these and more are available for your gastronomic satisfaction for only P2,380 net per person. Match your meal with a bottle of wine and get a 25-percent discount on the Wine of the Month.

To spice up the celebration, Diamond Hotel Philippines will also be giving away two round trip airline tickets to Cebu. Guests with a minimum of P5,000 spend at the buffet will be entitled to a raffle stub for a chance to win the prize.

As a way to promote Filipino artistry, there will be a live demonstration by Abel Iloco weavers, and you may purchase the fabrics and other goods at the selling counter of Ylocos Heritage Arts and Crafts at the hotel’s upper lobby for the duration of the Filipino Food Festival.

For restaurant reservations, call (632) 528-3000 local 1121. You may also purchase buffets online via