FOR F1 Hotel’s Filipino buffet, “adobo queen” Nancy Reyes-Lumen presents Rodrigo’s Roast, a carving of roasted pork with sugar coating similar to the Pinoy-style Christmas ham.
She’s quick to point out that the dish is not named after the incoming President, but an heirloom recipe that she has discussed in “The Adobo Book.”
“Rodrigo is the husband of Enriqueta David-Perez, author of ‘Recipes of the Philippines,’ one of the longest-running Filipino cookbooks,” Lumen explains. “She would roll a slab of liempo, cook it as adobo, then pat sugar on top of it and broil. It’s like adobo ham!”
Lumen was tasked to create dishes representing the Luzon region for F1 Hotel’s Luzviminda Filipino buffet, available for lunch and dinner at F All Day Dining Restaurant until June 25.
For the Visayas, chef Pauline Gorriceta Banusing is preparing hearty Ilonggo and Bacolod dishes, while chef Teng Collantes is serving seafood delicacies from Mindanao.
F1 Hotel has been holding the Luzviminda buffet for four years around Independence Day, to celebrate local flavors and showcase the creativity of Filipino chefs.
‘Mechado’ ni Aling Asiang
Lumen presents her adobo specialty as an appetizer called Liposuction Adobo with Adobo Aspic, a deconstructed adobo without the fat, served in small tray samplers.
“I took the fat off the adobong liempo, cut up the meat, made chicharon out of the skin and jelly from the sauce,” she explains.
Her other dishes are Prawns à la Nancy and Mechado ni Aling Asiang, a family recipe from her grandmother. It is a no-frills mechado made of beef flank flavored with patis, vinegar, shallots, tomato paste and panocha, topped with cubed potatoes and served in a palayok.
“Luzon cuisine is colonial, since most of the areas are land,” says Lumen.
Other dishes made by her team of talented chefs include the Kare-Kare Soup with creamy peanut broth by Neneth Tiongkiao Ma, which has seafood, fish balls and squid balls sautéed in spicy bagoong.
Also try out the Talangka Pâté topped with roe by Jaja Andal; and Seafood Flan and Bacalao Okoy by Popit de Leon.
Luzon desserts, done by Gel Salonga, are Langka Brûlée and Sta. Cruz Kesong Puti Cheesecake.
Over at the Visayas station are heartwarming Batchoy and Chicken Inasal created by chef Banusing, along with KBL, the trademark Kadios-Baboy-Langka Ilonggo soup soured with fragrant batwan, a local lime.
“I want the traditional dishes to be served as if they were cooked at home,” says Banusing, who heads Gruppo Al Dente Catering Service in Iloilo City. “These are the kinds of food Ilonggos grew up with.”
Her appetizer is a spread of delectable munchies: Kasag Crab Cakes made with native crab meat, Lechon Kawali Croquettas and Coconut Fish Balls.
Then there are seafood dishes such as the Kinilaw na Isda sa Gata, Pinalmahan na Salmon and Alimango na may Ginisang Guinamos, a pungent but flavorful bagoong.
For dessert, chef Banusing is serving Mango Empanaditas from Iloilo with flaky shell and chewy mango filling, and Fried Suman sa Ibos topped with muscovado. Never mind that the rice cake is heavy for dessert; this suman reminds us of kakanin made by our lola.
Chef Collantes of Park Inn by Radisson Davao dishes out seafood specialties to represent Mindanao: Seared Tuna Loin with Pepper Slaw and Sesame Seeds; Blackened Tuna with Wasabi Mayo; and even a Seafood Sinigang soured with mangosteen.
Seafood can also be had in her starters, such as Squid Stuffed with Native Herbs and Baked Mussels with Mozza-Feta Cheese.
Her specialty, though, is the Biyasong Boneless Lechon, a recipe from her uncle.
“The pork belly is brined in lemongrass, garlic, onion and bay leaf for five hours, then chilled overnight,” Collantes says. “The secret is adding biyasong wedges, a citrus found in Mindanao that gives a fresh and zesty flavor to the lechon belly. After roasting, the meat is very tasty and the skin becomes crispy, perfect to dip in spicy pinakurat vinegar.”
Chef Collantes uses Davao fruits in her desserts: Durian Trifle and Mangosteen Panna Cotta, which go well with strong barako coffee.
Luzviminda Filipino buffet is available until June 25 at F1 Hotel, Bonifacio Global City, for P1,499 per person. Tel. 9087888