DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte graced the launching of Kain Na! Food and Travel Festival Davao version, Kaon Ta!, led by Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, Ayala Corp. Chairman and CEO Jaime Zobel de Ayala, their representatives, and local dignitaries recently at the Abreeza Mall, Davao City.
The Kain Na! is a project of the Department of Tourism to promote the country’s rich and diverse regional culinary offerings.
“Showcasing the skill, talent, and creativity of our local chefs, many of them world-renowned, Kain Na! also serves to inspire budding culinary artisans to strengthen our position as a gastronomy hub in this side of the world,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
“Through Kain Na!, we not only convey an invitation for guests to sample our local dishes but also showcase our own Filipino brand of friendliness and hospitality. Food will always be a top-of-mind consideration in the places we visit. It is in the daily itineraries of our tourists and comprise a third of total traveler expenditure,” Puyat added.
The Tourism Chief explained that the series of events, held in partnership with the Ayala Malls, aims to promote distinct regional Filipino cuisine, as well as tourism destinations. Two simultaneous events were launched in Legazpi City, Albay and Cebu City last October while the launch in Cagayan de Oro was done in November.
“We are doing this simultaneously with Pampanga and Laguna. On December 19, we expect a warm welcome in Bacolod, and in the next year, we will continue this in the other regions,” Puyat announced.
Puyat likewise thanked President Rodrigo Duterte, “It is, of course, a bonus that during my stint in the DA (Department of Agriculture up until my appointment to the DOT (Department of Tourism), that our President was a staunch ally in this advocacy to promote our food and help our farmers.”
“I am truly pleased with your efforts to ensue the success of this food and travel festival, which highlights the Philippines as the centre of food and gastronomy in the world,” said President Rodrigo Duterte during his speech.
Exhibitors will include hotels and restaurants, farm resorts, agro industry groups, eco-farm adventure parks, transport operators, and academe.
The local tourism offices will present specialty food products, coffee, vegetables, juices, handicrafts, and culinary tour packages.
Puyat added, “I’d like to invite everyone to gather your family and friends alike on a trip around the country. Together, let us all rediscover the beauty and diversity of our nation through a gastronomic journey. After all, isn’t it true that food tastes better when in good company? ‘Food trip,’ as we Filipinos love to say, is definitely “more fun in the Philippines!”
Culinary sampling at the launch consisted of creations by Chef Datu Shariff Pendatun, culinary consultant and writer of Madrid Fusion Manila 2015 and 2016 books; Chef Giovanna “Bang” Sibala of Seda Abreeza Hotel; and Chef Paolo Garcia of Balik Bukid and Kitchen owner.
Dishes featured were Tinunuang Pirit (tuna simmered in coconut cream, roasted eggplant caviar, with Maranao style shredded coconut), Kagikit + Sinagapuna (Digos organic rice cooked in traditional kayan topped with shredded native chicken salted egg pasted, Maguindanaon ginger), Ensaladang Pako (fern salad dressed with mangosteen vinegar with Tausug burnt coconut infused fresh cheese), Malagos Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, Durian Panna Cotta, and Mangosteen Peanut Oat Bars.
On the other hand, booths featured were local favorites including halo-halo and sautéed mung beans with pork trotters said to be President Duterte’s favorite dish.
The food and travel fair will be open to the public free of charge from December 7 to 9, in Davao City’s Abreeza Mall; the Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga; and at the Ayala Mall, Solenad, in Sta. Rosa Laguna.