OCTOBER was a busy month for Davao City with the staging of several food and beverage events.
One of the highlights of the month was the Davao Food and Wine Festival from October 8 to 14. The Department of Tourism-supported event puts the spotlight on the vibrant food scene in Davao City and brings new culinary experiences to Dabawenyos. The festival was held across Davao City in different restaurants.
This year’s festival kicks off with the Grand Tasting, a mouthwatering buffet featuring food from chefs around the Philippines and free-flowing wine from Davao Wines. Thanks to DusitD2 Davao, I was invited to take part in the Grand Tasting.
The grand buffet was divided into two major sections — The Lumphini area where the appetizers, wines, and grilled meat are being served; and Madayaw Cafe where the entres are being served.
At the Lumphini area was the grazing table of Malagos Farmhouse, the wine bar of Davao Wines, and the appetizer station of DusitD2.
I started my tasting journey with Malagos Farmhouse and a glass of rose. I have to say Malagos Cheese’s grazing table was a sight to behold. I have never been so fascinated with a grazing table but this takes the cake of being among the best I have seen. It just draws you in and kickstarts your appetite. Some of the cheeses that I enjoyed were the Peppato (cheese with peppercorns), La Regina, and their Sublime Line of blended milk cheese.
After the appetizers, we moved to the Madayaw cafe where the entrees were. There were a lot to choose from but my top picks were:
Chef Marco Anzani’s Beetroot Homemade Ravioli stuffed with Ossobucco stewed in Porcini Mushrooms Cream Sauce. This was a flavorful dish. Once you bite into the ravioli, the filling bursts into your mouth. You get this rich and savory Ossobuco in each bite.
Chef David Thien’s Rustic Chicken Pie with Malagos Pecorino Pepato. This is my favorite of the dishes I tried during the Grand Tasting. This was a very comforting dish and I returned several times for this.
Chef Tippi Tambunting’s Beef Rendang and Sunmade Brown Rice. The beef rendang was tender and tasty.
Chef Jorge Mendez’s Roasted Lamb with Pamapa Itum Curry and Nori Chip. This was a beautiful dish that brings in Western, Asian, and Mindanawon flavors.
Other dishes served are Dusit Davao Executive Chef Piya Suthasiri’s Thai-Style Cured Local Fish Kinilaw with Oyster; Chef Tambunting’s Heirloom Tomatoes and Capsicum Ensalada, Feta and Brioche Crisp with Microbasil; Chef Lisa Revilla’s Crispy Sushi with Crispy Rice, Marinated Tuna, and Smoke Sriracha Aioli; and Chef Mendez’s Cured Gensan Tuna with Pampa Itum Tossa and Palapa Bushi.
I then went to try La Cabrera’s Argentinian parillada of chorizo, entrana, ribeye, short ribs, and sirloin. I had their sirloin and chorizo, which were well-seasoned and delicious. The meat was tender too.
We had Joel Osvaldo’s Chocolate-coated Tinagtag and Malagos Blush Blue, Fig, Walnut Cheesecake with Honey Drizzle for dessert.
Overall, the food that was served was generally good. The wine from Davao Wines was also a treat and the selections were good.
The Grand Tasting was a foodie’s paradise. It introduced me to new flavors and approaches to different flavors. I love how you can interact with the chefs and learn about how they came up with the dishes. Hoping for a more vibrant Food and Wine Festival in 2024!