It truly has been the year of four hands dinners, with culinary juggernauts all over the world making Manila their pitstop. I wrote about Nouri’s collaboration with Toyo a few months ago as part of their Salu-Salo series with Nespresso, which also hosted chefs from popular restaurants such as Den Tokyo and Suhring Bangkok. This month sees an influx of talent arriving for more than just the requisite dinner; the first Asian Culinary Exchange is being held in Manila.
Angelo Comsti, my fellow food editor, who is incredibly well known for his contributions to Manila’s food scene through his cookbooks and work as consultant to gourmands around the city, is organizing a forum that will bring together talents from across Asia. Over two days, there will be panel discussions and individual talks about everything important in food today, from food trends to sustainability, so anyone interested can listen in on industry experts.
Some of the names include Vicky Cheng from VEA Hong Kong, who earned a Michelin star in 2016, Woo Wai Leong, MasterChef Asia winner who’s now behind Singapore’s Restaurant Ibid, and chef Thitid Tassannakajohn of Le Du in Bangkok, which currently sits at number 14 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
There will also be local chefs and speakers, such as Bruce Ricketts and Dedet de la Fuente, ready to impart their knowledge.
Our very own Secretary of Tourism, Berna Romulo-Puyat will be kicking things off on 26 November as she shares how farm tourism can benefit the Philippines.
However, you can still look forward to a plethora of four hands dinners, as the guests will be cooking in the kitchens of Manila’s best restaurants such as Gallery by Chelle, Toyo and Hey Handsome on the second night of the conference.
I’m looking forward to the one in Helm in particular, if I manage to find a seat. Joining Josh Boutwood in the kitchen is Rishi Naleendra from Cheek by Jowl in Singapore, one of the best restaurants I’ve been to this year.
His beautiful space earned a Michelin star within a year of opening and rightly so. His plates were so playful but conducted with precision, and is a wonderful example of the modern Australian trends in fine dining that has taken off across the globe. Gamey cuts of meat like lamb, venison, quail and kangaroo are balanced with light sauces, crisp vegetables and smooth purees. His style is not too dissimilar from Boutwood, which means their partnership would make for delicious plates.
These two days will certainly be filled with spectacular insights and interesting food.
For tickets, visit smtickets.com.