By ROBERT R. REQUINTINA
RESTAURATEUR Erwan Heussaff has been tapped to be the content creator of this year’s “Buhay Carinderia….Redefined,” a culinary event which aims to promote the best Filipino dishes.
“I may not be a Filipino food expert yet, there are so many dishes that I still need to discover but I’m curious to keep learning and I am a staunch advocate of our culinary culture,” said Heussaff, husband of Kapamilya star Anne Curtis-Smith and brother of actress Solenn Heussaff, during the launch of “Buhay Carinderia…Redefined’’ at the Rizal Park Hotel in Manila recently.
“For us, Erwan clearly represents the ‘Buhay Carinderia….Redefined’ advocacy: to focus and understand the history of local dishes; to popularize the use of natural and native ingredients; and to accentuate Filipino home-cooked flavors,” said Linda Legaspi, of Marylindbert International, organizer of the event.
Aside from being a restaurant and bar investor, Heussaff has managed to create his food and beverage niche.
His blog “thefatkidinside” has been viewed by millions since 2011. His Facebook page has about 1 million likes. He has 1.14 million followers on Twitter, half a million subscribers on YouTube and 1.9 million more on Instagram.
Supported for the first time by the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Department of Tourism, as its sole presentor, the event is scheduled to scour the whole country in search for the best dishes and the individuals who prepared them.
First to be visited will be the areas of Northern Luzon – 15 provinces composed of Regions 1 and 2 as well as the Cordillera Administrative Regions.
Later, these culinary experts will gather at Vigan Convention Center from June 28 to 29 where they will not only share their talent to everyone but also interact with chosen students of the area through mentoring partnership so they could also pass on their skills and experiences.
“Buhay Carinderia….Redefined” will also explore Central Luzon (particularly Pampanga, said to be of the culinary capitals of the country) area, the Bicol region, the Visayas region (Regions 6, 7, and 8) and finally the Mindanao region. Like what happened in Vigan, there will also be a two-day culminating event in San Fernando, Pampanga; in Naga; in Cebu and finally in Davao City.
To cap off the nine-month long culinary journey nationwide, “Buhay Carinderia…Redefined” will stage its biggest culinary exposition in November where all the regional bests under one roof will be showcased, said Legaspi.
Cesar Montano, TPB Chief Operating Officer, said that every region in the Philippines has a palatable menu of local dishes to boast.
“For us who grew up here, these foods are intrinsically woven into our everyday life. For those not from our country – our foreign visitors – many are in awe at our access to incredible produce, the diverse product offerings, and our ability to create our own version of dishes that stand on their own merit,” said Montano.
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