ANGELES CITY- “Our culinary expertise is beyond compare. Let us claim it!”
Thus said Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan during the oath-taking rites of the members of Culinarya Pampanga, an Angeles City-based organization of culinary experts, held May 8 at the Museo ning Angeles.
Culinarya Pampanga is a united alliance of chefs, restaurateurs, and culinary educators in Pampanga who pledges their professional knowledge and skills to culinary excellence with a vision of furthering Pampanga as the Culinary Capital of the Philippines.
“The organization cements our claim that Pampanga, specifically Angeles City, is the country’s premier culinary destination,” Pamintuan added.
A total of 18 chefs and a dean were inducted namely: Des Castro of Teaspoon Café; Chloe Cauguiran of 25 Seeds and Café Fleur; Froi Cruz of Grand Palazzo Royale and Cioccolo; Sau del Rosario of 25 Seeds/Café Fleur; Dennis Lim of Denlim’s Kitchen; Howard Dizon of H.D.D Catering Services; Leonard Vincent Garcia of Rainforest Kitchen and Velvet Ganache; Danilo Giampaolo of Piccolo Padre; Poch Jorolan of Everbody’s Café; Chris Locher of Amare by Chef Chris; and, Josie C. Mendoza of Tollhouse.
Also inducted as honored members of the organization are Bong Sagmit of Pigs & Pints, BBQ & Co. and Century Hotel; Rex Soriano of Bahn Mi Station; Ramon Jr. Tayag, owner of Century Hotel; Patricia Tayag of Sweet Maven; Arceli Timbol of The Village Chef; Judy Uson of Café Noelle and Northpoint Academy; Nikki Wilkerson of Uni-chefs Catering; and Dean Rennier Perez of Systems Plus College Foundation.
World-renowned Chef Sau Del Rosario said that he is a proud Kapampangan and “even with the fast-phase development in trends and tastes, we should always look back to our history as to who we are and where we came from.”
“Let us help the youth to widen their knowledge and bring back the old recipes and at the same time improve and experiment to create new ones while preserving the culture of Kapampangan culinary” Del Rosario added.
Culinarya Pampanga will be active in the local culinary scene through different projects and agenda that are to be introduced this year.
Patricia Tayag, chef and owner of Sweet Maven, introduced the Food Crawl Project that will happen quarterly starting this June wherein different Kapampangan dishes will be served to different restaurants in the City to share the ‘feeling’ of the taste to others.
The next project is a Weekend Market which was discussed by Howard Dizon, chef and owner of H.D.D Catering Services. The weekend market is the chance for Kapampangans and tourists alike, to visit the local restaurants in the city.
While Judy Uson, pastry chef and director of Café Noelle and Northpoint Academy, introduced the plan of having scholarships and grants to youth in order to further constant educational attainment and culinary study.
“The scholarship grants will be a way to preserve, to promote and to pass on the culinary traditions of Pampanga in the Philippines” Uson said.
Josie Mendoza, owner and chef of Toll house, highlighted the idea of institutionalizing a culinary competition to be hosted by no less than the capital city for culinary.
“It is about time to hold up a culinary competition in the culinary capital of the Philippines, and the possible participants of this are the culinary students as well as cooking professionals.”
Moreover, “the book about Culinarya Pampanga is a book that we need to watch out for” said Rennier Rerez, Dean of Systems Plus College Foundation.
The said book will be published through the collaborative efforts of Culinarya Pampanga’s chefs and honorary members. The book is a guide to do the proper steps and procedure of the Kapampangan cookery.
Culinarya Pampanga believes that all of these could be achieved by further research on the cooking traditions here in Angeles City and the whole of Pampanga.
(AC-CIO with reports from Camille Balbuena, Luz Marcelo and Jericho Tiglao)