Edit: I want to apologize for an error I made in this poster. Just before we finalized the list for the poster, I received word that Chili’s Rockwell wanted to join Yolanda Action Weekend. I decided to add them to the poster so that we could include them in our promotion. This information turned out to be false and I clearly should have waited for their confirmation. I understand Chili’s ran their own benefit which was already finished. I apologize for any confusion I may have caused.
Thank you to all of the local food community who volunteered their businesses to raise money for the Philippine Red Cross. Here is the latest list of participants.
If you are dining out this weekend we ask that you do it where your money will also help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. We promise there are plenty of options. If you want to connect with other diners who are supporting the cause, upload your food pics to your favorite social networks with the hash tags #YolandaActionWeekend and #ReliefPH so we can all connect.
Of course we are all overwhelmed by the calamity of Typhoon Yolanda and of course we all want to help. Individually our resources might not be great but collectively we can make an impact.
This weekend, local food and beverage businesses are organizing to pool their resources to benefit the Philippine Red Cross. For this weekend 11/16-11/17 Mr. Delicious will do it’s part by donating 20% of its sales from Salcedo and Legazpi Markets directly to the Philippine Red Cross. Many, many others are following suit.
Support this further by using hash tags #YolandaActionWeekend and #ReliefPH to connect with others through social media.
If you would like to donate directly to the Red Cross you can do so here.
Witnessing this develop, I am humbled once again by the groundswell of support by this community whenever their countrymen are in need of help. Join us!
Manly Eats by Pinoy Eats World is going for another round this weekend! Come by Podium Mall in Ortigas and say hi. Many of Manila’s best and brightest food purveyors will be present with some clever mash-ups you will only see at Manly Eats 2. Entrance is free and we’ll be there all day, 10:00am-10:00pm.
See you there!
Life has been a nebulous series of distractions these last six months and I have left you, abandoned without a morsel of snobby food snark or mediocre food photography. I humbly apologize and shall return to this altar with a message of hope for the Manila food scene, for exciting things are at hand!
As many of you know, I began Mr. D’s Artisanal Sundries last year so that I could start making the kinds of foods that I like to make, and those that are often difficult to obtain here in Manila. Cured meats, sausages, pickles, I love to make the kinds of foods that require patience and those that are transformative with time.
Now, aside from these happenings of Mr. D’s, there are a number of exciting announcements to come. So please stay with me as we move forward.
Thank you to all who have made inquiries for orders of Mr. D’s Artisnal Philippine Wagyu Corned Beef. My next batch is unfortunately sold out but for the last minute shoppers I will have a batch ready the week before Christmas. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do (that pretty much leaves it wide open).
I finally made it to the Collective on Malugay last week. If you haven’t been already it’s worth checking out if for no other reason than the cool urban art on the walls inside.
Essentially the Collective is a large warehouse space subdivided into smaller units which serve as an incubator for small, independent businesses. Up front there are a number of restaurants. Toward the back on the right side of the is Ritual. This is where I found my take away souvenir, Katipunan Craft Indio Pale Ale.
I have been wanting this for some time, an alternative to the perfectly mediocre San Miguel dominance of the Filipino beer scene. I don’t particularly dislike San Miguel, and do consume my weight in it on a fair regular basis. But there hasn’t been an active micro-brewer to represent the Philippines.
It’s a well-crafted beer. Balanced, a little hoppy and full-flavored. It made me want for a steaming pot of mussels and fries… might need to make this happen.
I don’t think they produce a huge amount of this beer, but now I’ve discovered it. I can only hope there’s enough left for the rest of you.
Enchanted Farm Cafe
463 Commonwealth Ave.
0932 872 2427
Last night I had a the opportunity to attend the CSI night at Enchanted Farm Cafe in Quezon City. I couldn’t begin to talk about Enchanted Farm Cafe or its CSI night without first discussing Gawad Kalinga. However GK is a topic too vast to be shoehorned into a single post, so I will offer just a brief synopsis (I’m sure I’ll write about it much more in the future).
In Tagalog, Gawad Kalinga means to provide care. It is an organization founded by Tony Moleto, or Tito Tony, to end poverty in the Philippines and to restore dignity to the country’s poor. This is quite a tall order for a country that despite its GDP increase averaging over 4% per year from 2003-2009, actually saw an increase in poverty rates 24.9 26.5 during those same years¹. Many would put this number much higher.
Land for the Landless. Homes for the Homeless. Food for the Hungry.
This is just the beginning of what GK offers to affected communities. The GK Center for Social Innovations is a program within GK to create a business ecosystem that will benefit GK communities by creating a market for village products and employing its people. The GK CSI creates an environment that cultivates social entrepreneurs to build enterprises that will benefit those all the way down the supply chain.
I was prompted to go last night by one such social entrepreneur Julia Sevilla whose fair trade coffee brand Kape Maria supports local coffee growers and cooperatives. Julia spoke to us last night about how her brand came about.
Also speaking was Paul Rivera, who is a call center entrepreneur and CEO of a start up company called Kalibrr that teaches young Filipinos marketable skills in the tech field and assists them with job placement.
At the end we had the opportunity to listen to Tito Tony speak about the accomplishments of GK in recent years and his dreams for the future. He spoke with an infectious optimism about restoring livelihood and dignity to rural Filipinos.
Every Tuesday CSI night is a gathering of the minds at the Enchanted Farm Cafe. The cafe is a small, casual spot on the second floor of the Human Heart Nature, a social enterprise also in the GK family building on Commonwealth Ave. The cafe serves simple foods, many of which are sourced directly from GK’s farm in Bulacan from which the cafe is named.
In the spirit of Enchanted Farm Cafe’s mission of healthy, organic eating I broke from character and ordered the All Heart Burger, which is made from banana tree heart. They serve this with a small salad and kamote (sweet potato) fries for p100. The food is simple but good and thoughtfully prepared.
I also made a point to pick up some of Enchanted Farm’s hand-crafted cheeses on my way out.
I had the chance to meet with numerous people with GK and I feel I’m just scratching the surface. At the farm alone they have numerous local organic products including all sorts of fruits, vegetables, pork, poultry and cheeses.
It is awesome to me to see a group of people, not only engaged in bringing prosperity to rural communities, but also showing them how to bring on their own prosperity and do it in a way that is sustainable for the future.
As I said before the scope of this organization is far greater than what I can discuss in a single post. I leave a lot untold but will catch up with the topic again soon enough. I look forward to learning more about GK and visiting the farm which seems to represent all of Tito Tony’s hope and optimism for the future of this country.
Finally I am excited that they are taking so much interest in the quality and sustainability of their food chain. They are truly creating something that will benefit future generations in a way that was not conceived just a few decades ago. Through better growing, purchasing and eating we can create an industry.
Every year the San Pelligrino World 50 Best Restaurants comes out about this time and fires up age old rivalries, particularly in the US. For decades Ney York and San Francisco have been engaged in a transcontinental pissing contest with the restaurant scene central to the grand debate. In their fury though they may have neglected to notice that the rest of the world is really kicking both of their asses.
The San Pelligrino list is actually one of the more credible lists out there on the topic. And you should listen to San Pelligrino. After all they are smart enough to dupe the entire world into importing water. In reality though San Pelligrino is just the primary sponsor of the list and it is actually operated by Restaurant Magazine with over 800 restaurant industry experts, chefs, restauranteurs, etc. Unlike Michelin they do not view the world through tricolored lenses and measure every restaurant to a specific cultural standard.
Of the 50 restaurants I’ve only dined at three, Pierre Gagnaire, Atelier de Joël Robuchon, both in Paris and of course the French Laundry in Yountville, CA. I would count these as three of the best dining experiences of my life. Also I have worked for two of the chef’s with listed restaurants, Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, from whom my cooking has forever changed for the better.
Looking at this list, Spain is established itself as the restaurant capital of the world, hands down. San Francisco is sliding, badly. Not a single SF restaurant in the top 50 (Coi was number 58). Looking at the Bay Area though there were two, the French Laundry at 43 and Manresa in Los Gatos at 48. Thomas Keller is still a pimp for having Per Se at number 6 and the French Laundry at 43.
So what’s up with San Francisco? I thought it was this amazing west coast oasis of great food? Well, it is, still. As good as New York? Well that depends. On the highest echelon of fine dining restaurants New York will always outperform San Francisco. It takes a certain intensity to execute fine dining that San Francisco just doesn’t have. If you’re a server or cook in SF and your shift begins at 4:00, that means you’re in Dolores Park eating ganja cookies until 2:30.
What SF does excel at is the second echelon. Farm to table, casual-upscale restaurants. Hipster joints. Usually pretentious ad nauseum, these restaurants benefit from some of the best food available in the world. There are no better growing regions in the world than that which surrounds San Francisco. The product is already so good that all you really need to do is drop it on a plate and it’s really fantastic. Sonoma plums, delta asparagus or Hog Island oysters don’t require a great deal of fuss and SF chefs are wise not to fuss.
Seeing this list is really making me want to travel. As though I needed another reason to spend thousands of dollars to on a vacation in Spain. It’s cool to see the rise of Asia as well and I’m glad that they are given fair consideration unlike Michelin did. Singapore and Tokyo are cleaning up.
Let me hear your thoughts. Anything missed on the list? Is it fair? Add your comments below.