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From Magellan’s stew to tableya ice cream, Feria reimagines Cebu street food for Grand Chamber Awards

Balbacua turns into slow cooked oxtail stew topped with ginger flakes, dinuguan comes in a quiche topped with chicharon and crispy kangkong, while paella is wrapped in palm leaves shaped into a diamond container that Cebuanos call puso.

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Balbacua turns into slow cooked oxtail stew topped with ginger flakes, dinuguan comes in a quiche topped with chicharon and crispy kangkong, while paella is wrapped in palm leaves shaped into a diamond container that Cebuanos call puso.

If you’re wondering what Cebu’s comfort or street food would be like turned into fine dining fare, then Feria Restaurant at Radisson Blu Cebu has the answer for you.

Feria provided a preview of the four-course dinner menu it will serve during the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Grand Chamber Awards and Fellowship Night that will be held at the hotel’s Sta. Maria Grand Ballroom this June 30. The awards is one of the highlights of the ongoing Cebu Business Month (CMB) 2015 celebration.

Grand Chamber Awards
MAIN COURSE. The main dish is a selection of all-time Cebuano favorites: adobo, pork, chicken and chorizo barbecues, crispy pork belly arranged around the puso paella as centerpiece.

Radisson Blu Cebu director for sales and marketing Ann Olalo said CCCI asked for a different take on Cebuano cuisine to stay true to the CBM 2015 theme of a “Glocalized Cebu.”

In “Glocalized Cebu”, CCCI enjoins Cebu establishments to capitalize on local strengths as they compete in a global marketplace, said CBM 2015 overall chair Francis Dy.

Awards dinner

Rising to the challenge, Feria executive chef Roberto Kunitz and his culinary team went out and sampled Cebu street food to determine the taste of original Cebuano fare.

“Cebu is a melting pot of culture, flavor, colors and different colonial influences. Most of the Cebu dishes we tasted were flavorful and urban; it was difficult to combine all those in a plated dinner,” added Kunitz, citing he and his team came up with dishes that are local but of modern approach.

Kunitz’s 4-course menu, presented to CBM and Grand Chamber Awards organizers last week, included appetizers, soup, a main course, and dessert.

Grand Chamber Awards
STARTERS. The Island Platter contains the colorful fare of the island’s bounty.

The feast begins with starters called the Island Platter and it contains the colorful fare of the island’s bounty. It’s a full plate of kinilaw served in fish skin tortilla, sous vide pumpkin marinated in shrimp paste and coconut milk, dried fish arranged on fish bone, pork fois poached in extra virgin coconut oil, pork blood quiche with cured pork belly and crispy kangkong, and fresh herb salad with edible flowers on the side.

Magellan’s Stew is balbacua with a twist, cooked slow the traditional way but with oxtail dumpling topped with ginger flakes.

The main dish is a selection of all-time Cebuano favorites: adobo, pork, chicken and chorizo barbecues, crispy pork belly arranged around the puso paella as centerpiece.

The 4-course menu ends on a sweet note with local tablea ice cream on a rice cake (bibingka) bed and topped with diced mango, shredded buko and banana chips. Dessert is fittingly served on a coconut shell.

Grand Chamber Awards food
BALBACUA WITH A TWIST. Magellan’s Stew is balbacua with a twist, cooked slow the traditional way but with oxtail dumpling topped with ginger flakes.

Four Fs

Food is one of the four Fs that will be the highlight of the Grand Chamber Awards, said awards committee chair Beverly Dayanan. The other three are Fashion, Furniture, and Fabulous Prizes.

Cebu is acknowledged as the Furniture Capital of the Philippines and those who attend the awards night will be treated to a showcase of furniture and design, she added.

According to Dayanan, top manufacturers and designers in Cebu will be tasked with providing the dinner furniture and designing the table settings. These include Finale Furniture and Home Accessories and Luisa Home.

There will also be a runway show of modern Filipiniana fashion by such designers as Philip Rodriguez, Cary Santiago, Oj Hofer, Edwin Alba, Dino Lloren, Philip Tampus, Jun Escario, Ditas Rodriguez, Protacio, Albert Arriba, and Arcy Gayatin.

Tablea Ice Cream
TABLEA ICE CREAM. The 4-course menu ends on a sweet note with local tablea ice cream on a rice cake (bibingka) bed and topped with diced mango, shredded buko and banana chips.

At the same time, attendees will enjoy the prizes to be raffled off during the awards night, said Dayanan. One major prize will be a P750,000 discount to a condominium unit at the Bamboo Bay Community in Mandaue City.

A ticket to the Grand Chamber Awards costs P1,250 and can be bought at the CCCI office or at Radisson Blu Cebu.

CCCI will recognize outstanding businessmen and companies and give out Special Citations and awards for Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Countryside Entrepreneur of the Year, Small Business Entrepreneur, CSR Institution of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year during the Grand Chamber Awards.

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By Marlen Limpag

Marlen is the editor of MyCebu.ph and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.