If one were to go to Marquee Mall’s Big Bite this weekend, it’s easy to understand why Pampanga is widely-considered the culinary capital of the Philippines.
A giant 11-feet diameter biringhe—the Kapampangan specialty dubbed as the local version of Spanish paella—wasn’t hard to miss during the opening ceremonies Friday morning and all around are booths filled with various delicacies that are sure to satisfy any palette’s cravings.
Pampanga’s native son Chef Sau del Rosario, celebrity Chef Rolando Laudico and Pampanga’s culinary historian Lillian Borromeo, led the cooking of the heritage dish, stirred in a giant paellera. The giant biringhe welcomed visitors and guests, including Ayala Land executives, Department of Tourism Regional heads, Pampanga Government Officials, Department of Trade and Industry Regional Directors and MNTC Officers.
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The three-day food festival also has cooking demonstrations, cook-offs between culinary schools, an heirloom recipe contest, food eating contests and more.
Chef Sau del Rosario headlined the afternoon’s cooking demo. Sabrina Artadi, star of Asian Food Channel’s Sabrina’s Kitchen, led the cooking demo for Saturday, October 19. On the last day, it will be Chef Boy Logro of Kusina Master and Idol sa Kusina fame to give visitors a cooking demo.
Specialties from across the different northern regions include Ilocos Norte's B.R.A.I.N. which has six booths of bagnet, okoy, Ilocos empanada and other food products. Empanada de Norte, Vigan longganisa from Juan Longganisa, Chocolate de Batirol from Baguio, Pangasinan meal dishes from Pangasinan Food Specialties and Bella’s Puto Calasiao from Pangasinan were among the available treats. CEC Food Ventures from Tuguegarao offered local condiments. Kalinga Food Treat offered local delicacies, Unoy Rice coffee, and Unoy Champorado. Kalinga’s famous organic mountain coffees were available from VBS Food Products and Magallaya Mountain Specialty Coffee.
Bulacan offered goodies from Cristy’s Chicharon and milk products from Sta. Maria dairy Farmers. King & Queen Fruits served things fresh from Nueva Vizcaya.
Pampanga was of course well-represented by Kapampangan restaurant Apag Marangle, Kuliat with their delicious empanada, Nathaniel’s with its famous fresh buko pandan salad and siomai, Susie’s Cuisine which is famous for tibok-tibok and pancit palabok, and Kabigting’s Halo-Halo.
Culinary schools went head to head in a cooking battle judged by industry experts. Students from the Philippine Women’s University, Angeles University Foundation, NorthPoint Academy for Culinary Arts, Systems Plus College and Bulacan State University showed off their skills in the daily culinary cook offs.
The family heirloom recipe contest will award P20,000 to the best Pinoy sweets recipe handed down through generations. Judges from Appetite Magazine, Restaurateurs and ISCAHM Officers, went through food entries submitted from C.A.R, Region I, Region II and Region III.
The food festival also features a Big Banquet where a minimum of P500 receipt from any MarQuee Mall store entitles foodies to sample delectable treats from participating stalls for free everyday from 6:00-8:00 PM.
MarQuee Mall’s Big Bite! The Northern Food Festival is staged in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Manila North Tollways Corporation, Asian Food Channel, Cignal Digital TV, and Mercato Centrale Group.
Opened in 2009, MarQuee mall is just an hour’s drive from the metro and is strategically located adjacent to the Angeles exit of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). With over 400 shops, exclusive boutiques, restaurants and cinemas, It is the region’s premier destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.
MarQuee Mall is the first mixed-use integrated community in the North. In celebration of Ayala Land’s 25th anniversary, MarQuee Mall brings together the community of Pampanga and nearby Northern Provinces staying true to Ayala Land’s promise of enhancing land and enriching lives.
For further details and inquiries, please call +639177527071 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Like and follow MarQuee Mall’s social networking sites, Facebook: facebook.com/MarQueeMall, Twitter: @MarQueetweets, and instagram: @iloveMarQueemall.
(Photos taken with the waterproof Sony DSC-TF1)