PILI KULINARYA (Regional Launch of Pili Recipes), a component of DTI-Region 5’s continuing Food Business Development (BizDev) Program was held last November 29, 2011 at the Villa Caceres Hotel in Naga City. The unprecendented event, intended to mainstream pili nut in the culinary category, was attended by hoteliers, restaurateurs and other pili industry stakeholders from the Bicol Region’s provinces and Metro Manila.
The guest celebrity chef was Ms. Glenda R. Barretto, Executive Chef and CEO of Via Mare Foods Corporation, who aims to put Philippine cuisine in the world map. Ms. Barretto (dubbed the ‘Ambasadress of Philippine Cuisine’) epitomizes the true Filipino restaurateur – hardworking and loyal to her food culture. Bicolanos are privileged to have her as guest and consultant of this event, especially so, that she is sharing her skills to promote Bicol pili, not only as confectionery but also as a main dish ingredient. She was happy to be a part of discovering the bounty and potential of Bicol’s resources particularly another unique specialty of Philippine cuisine, the Pili Nut, the region’s flagship commodity.
Committed to make Filipino food popular among people from different international circles, Ms. Barretto developed more than ten (10) recipes with the Bicol pili nut as an ingredient. She truly believes that the Bicol pili, Bicol patis, Bicol express and other Bicol products have a rightful place in the Philippines and the world.
She presided over a coaching session (attended by master chefs of selected Bicol hotels and restaurants) on how to prepare and present the pili nut recipes which she devloped upon the initiative of DTI-Region 5. With Ms. Barretto’s expertise in the culinary field, the Pili nut as a cuisine ingredient would be elevated into higher standard and would gain recognition worldwide, as in her previous undertakings.
Also highlighted in the event was an Exhibit featuring pili nut snack foods, Bicol patis and Bicol express products. The exhibit was mounted by the BizDev core group of pili nut processors, showcasing the development of the various pili nut products which have now reached the international markets.
The event is a precursor of a twin activity, Kulinarya Showdown, in San Francisco, USA this month, initiated there by DTI’s Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Silicon Valley, under our Commercial Attache Jopin Romero. CA Romero has successfully integrated a “Pilinut Recipe Competition” in the Showdown (with professional and amateur categories), as an offshoot of the Pili Nut Trade & Business Mission to the USA by the Bicol BizDev Food Team last August, 2011.
The Pili Kulinarya 2011 in Naga City is a project of DTI-Region V in cooperation with Via Mare and ABS-CBN.