The goal of this column is for Philippine cuisine to make an impact on the world culinary scene. This is also the goal of “Foodprints with Sandy Daza,” a new show on the ABS-CBN Lifestyle Network that will air its first episode on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
I’ve always believed that the only reason our cuisine is not as popular as those of our neighbors is that the dishes we offer don’t seem exotic to the diner.
A lot of the dishes we offer have Western ingredients, such as cream, cheese, tomato sauce or paste, etc. That’s the Spanish influence. And because these ingredients are familiar to the Westerner, our cuisine does not seem authentic. At least some of it.
Caldereta, for example, is just beef stew to a foreigner no matter how good it is. Take Macau cuisine. It also has very good food but because of the Portuguese influence, its cuisine is not as popular.
I’m sure our local dishes such as Inasal, Dinakdakan, Bicol Express and Sinigang will be very interesting to a foreigner. If the diner is not familiar with the ingredients, the dish becomes exotic to him.
Such was the case in our Paris restaurant. Diners loved the Sugpo with Taba ng Talangka sauce. The French flipped when having something they hadn’t come across.
In “Foodprints,” we will go all over the country and feature the hidden treasures of each province. Only the best.
How do we find these? I believe that the best source of information about delicious local cuisine is the local politician.
The politician entertains a lot and gets gifts of food from constituents and is eager to showcase the cuisine.
But “Foodprints” will have no political features. We want to surprise the viewer. If we are featuring Davao, for example, we want someone from the Ilocos to say, “Wow, I didn’t know they have that in Davao.”
And we want the viewers to try what “Foodprints” has featured and recommended.
On my last visit to Bacolod, we were brought around by Bambi Borromeo and shown the best of the best. I had been to Bacolod many times, but was still surprised to discover new things.
“Wow, Bacolod has great food,” I thought. We want that same reaction with “Foodprints.” (For a culinary tour of Bacolod, call Bambi Borromeo, 0918-9090916.)
Who will be our target audience? Our local tourists, balikbayan through The Filipino Channel (TFC).
We hope that the Department of Tourism will support the endeavor. I’ve always believed that one of the attractions of any country is its cuisine. Take Singapore. It has shopping and food. Shopping we have, but we need to work on the food.
It’s about time we made an impact on the world market.
Visit the author’s blog sandydaza.blogspot.com; follow on Twitter @sandydaza.