It was surely a gastronomic experience last April 1, 2017 with the staging of Flavor Fusion: Davao on a Plate at SM Lanang Premier, Davao City.
The culinary event was organized by SM Lanang Premier in partnership with the Department of Tourism in Davao Region (DOT 11) and the culinary community of Davao City.
“Flavor Fusion is SM’s way of demonstrating our support to the tourism industry in the city and DOT’s Flavor of the Philippines campaign,” said Russel Alaba, SM Supermalls AVP for Marketing Mindanao.
He said through the event, SM aims to be the platform for the best of Davao’s cuisine to be showcased and appreciated by all, tourists and local alike.
“This year’s Davao on a Plate, highlights our fresh take on the city’s unique flavors with new players and other well loved local gastronomic gems. Davao’s flavors are truly taking a step forward,” Russel said.
“There is a certain flavor that we have here in Davao…it’s the freshness of everything,” said Roberto Alabado III, DOT 11 regional director.
He said vegetables here in Davao City are harvested a few kilometers from the downtown area. Some of the seafood, on the other hand, are fresh from the gulf while the fruits are freshly picked from the nearest farms.
“That is when we cook it (after harvest or catch) and that is how it tastes, the sweetness of it, the freshness of it,” Alabado said.
“It is really about time that we step it up in terms of the culinary gems in the city,” Russel said.
This year’s partner establishments, led by their extremely talented chefs and executives, prepared a sumptuous cocktail meal for the foodies of Davao City.
Malagos Food, Inc., led by Olive Puentespina, showcased their famous cheeses.
Chef Patrick McCarthy and Chef Wade Watson of Bondi and Bourke prepared a Saranggani Sea bass Ceviche and Backyard Farms Fresh Rolls.
IChef’s Chef Eduardo Tuazon and Chef Clinton Gregorio prepared Seafood Fiesta Brown Rice and Chicken Pianggang on Coco Creamed Crispy Shells and Davao Brown Rice Pudding topped with durian jam and pomelo bits.
Chef Marty Morales of Yellow Fin prepared Grilled Ubol-ubol.
Blue Post Boiling Crab and Shrimps, led by Jun Dulla, prepared Crab Claw in Sambal Sauce and Garlic Fried Crab Claws.
Marco Polo Hotel Davao’s Chef Alex Destriza gave the classic mac and cheese a twist with the Bangus Saranggani Sardines Mac & Cheese with Malagos Goat and Cheddar Cheese. His team also prepared a Spicy Coconut Stewed Bangus Belly, Toasted Smoked Bangus, and Lime Mayo in a steamed Cua Pao.
Chef Anton Abad of Viking’s prepared Crocodile Kebab (yes, crocodile) and Roasted US Beef in Caimito, Kare-kare, and Walnut Sauce.
Lastly, Chef Jovi Uy of Park Inn by Radisson Davao prepare desserts with Cacao Nib Meringue, Durian Crepe Maki, and Lemon Coconut Donut.
I tried most of them except for the ceviche, I avoid eating raw seafood or meat dishes, which doesn’t sit well with my tummy. However, I was told it was good. I also failed to get a bite of those delicious Malagos Cheeses and and a taste of Viking’s Roasted US Beef in Caimito, Kare-kare, and Walnut Sauce.
Anyway, I would like to share some that stood out to me.
I started off with the Davao Brown Rice Pudding topped with durian jam and pomelo bits, which was surprisingly good.
I also made my way to Blue Post Boiling Crab and Shrimps’ table to try their Garlic Fried Crab Claws, which was delicious. I like how garlicky it was.
Out of curiosity, I tried the Crocodile Kebab. The crocodile meat tasted like chicken and its texture was also similar to that of a cooked chicken. It was flavorful though a bit dry and tough. Also there was no hint of aftertaste coming from the crocodile mint.
The Backyard Farms Fresh Rolls from Bondi and Bourke was refreshing.
I really enjoyed Marco Polo’s Bangus Saranggani Sardines Mac & Cheese with Malagos Goat and Cheddar Cheese. I did not expect that I would enjoy it.
I also loved the Durian Maki and Cacao Nib Meringue.
It was surely a great way to spend my day-off. I enjoyed many of the dishes prepared.
Despite being a one-day celebration, it really reminded me of the wonderful ingredients Davao has to offer to its culinary community. Being the primary urban center of Mindanao, lots of premium and fresh ingredients do find its way here.
Personally, I think Flavor Fusion: Davao on a Plate has further highlighted the culinary community of the city.
I hope in the coming years more food establishments will join this culinary festival and it will not only be a one-day event but eventually become a three-day event just like the other food festivals held in the city annually.