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    The Best Salad and Strawberry Dessert Recipes at SM-Phil Star Contest

    In the Cordilleras, many dishes that find their way to the dining table have their own story to tell, stories that serve as a window to experience and to taste the Cordillera way of life, lived by their ancestors and passed on to a generation of proud indigenous folks.

    The proud people of the Cordilleras showcase their way of life by gathering themselves through rituals, with food on the center stage. These rituals may seem simple, devoid of any physical semblance of richness, but the amount of preparation, money and effort spent not only on the festivity itself but also in gathering members of a clan and practically the whole barangay and nearby areas are priceless.

    Mallgoers had the rare opportunity to get a taste of the flavors of the Cordilleras when My City, My SM, My Cuisine recently made a stop at SM City Baguio.  It also highlighted the American influence in the cuisine of the Summer Capital of the Philippines.

    A joint project of SM and The Philippine Star with support from Homeworld, My City, My SM, My CuisineSeason 2 celebrates the flavors of Philippine regional cuisine through a culinary contest featuring two signature recipes from ten cities where SM malls are located.

    The event showcased two signature dishes made from Baguio’s bounty –a Salad from its fresh greens and vegetables, and a Strawberry Dessert made from this delicious fruit. It was a star-studded cooking showdown as it brought together chefs from Baguio’s leading hotels and restaurants – the Le Monet Hotel, Bloomfield Hotel, Hotel Elizabeth, Le Chef at the Manor, and The Old Spaghetti House.

    Ricky Ibanez of The Old Spaghetti House was adjudged the winner in the entrée category with his special Asian Chicken Salad, while Christopher Ian Malinao of Hotel Elizabeth won in the best Strawberry Dessert category.

    Their delightful flavors and food presentation got the nod of the distinguished board of judges, which included Baguio Flower Festival Secretary and Aguinaldo Museum Directress Amy Gonzalez, Baguio Country Club Executive Chef Pio de Guzman, UP Baguio Math Instructor Reynaldo Rimando, The Philippine Star’s Elizabeth Lim, and Metropolitan Museum Trustee Cora Alvina.

    They each received P5,000 worth of SM Gift Certificates and Homeworld Gift Packs from the SM Supermalls Regional OperationsManager Cesar Bondoc, SM City Baguio Mall Manager Marc Jansen Pe, and SM Vice President for Marketing Millie Dizon. The rest of the finalists received P1,000 worth of SM Gift Certificates and Gift Packs from Homeworld.

    No less than Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan graced the occasion, proudly going over the spread of cuisine from the Cordillera provinces: Abra’s Miki Pancit; the Mountain Province’s Pinikpikan with Etag; Kalinga’s Binungor and Inandila; Ifugao’s Inlangin and Inutom; Apayao’s Pinalatan or meat mixed with lemon leaves and sinursor (igat fish cooked in bamboo); and Benguet’s kiniing (smoked meat), gabi leaves inlambong, and scrumptious strawberry desserts.  It also featured a Cordillera rice station as well as its best mountain brews.

    The event also featured prized heirloom recipes from Baguio’s prominent families.  These included former Baguio Mayor and Sun Star Publisher Peter Rey Bautista, who cooked his family’s Puchero recipe; and Zenaida Cating of Solibao Restaurant who gave guests a sampling of their popular PinakbetOlivia Balajadia, the lady behind the success of Kalapaw – A Taste of Laoag presented her award winning Kiniing Soup; while Baguio Country Club General Manager Anthony de Leon delighted mallgoers with his own version of Caesar’s Salad and Gambas ala ADL. Historian Sonny Tinio, whose family has a home in the country’s Summer Capital, showed how Baguio’s fresh vegetables could be transformed into a gourmet dish in his Bana Cauda recipe.

    Guests were delighted at the beautiful showcases representing a Cordillera hut with a spread of the best offerings from each of the provinces in the region; as well as a replica of Baguio Country Club, featuring some of the best of Baguio: raisin bread, ube jam, strawberry jam, peanut brittle, lengua de gato, and more.

    My City, My SM, My Cuisine in Baguio sixth in Season 2 of this exciting culinary road show, which was launched in April at SM City Rosales with the best Bangus and Tupig recipes. It later celebrated the specialties of the province of Rizal and the city of Marikina, and featuring a cookfest for the best Binabaysan na Alimango or Alimasag and Suman sa  Ibos at SM City Masinag. Just in time for the Rizal@150 celebrations, foodies vied for the best Lutong Instik entrée and Buko Pie dessert; while our National hero’s descendants featured their heirloom recipes at SM City Calamba.

    Last year, it made stops in thirteen stops all over the country, beginning in Santa Rosa where participants competed for the best Puchero with Lauya and Puto Maya withKilawing Puso ng Saging. Its last stop was in SM City Clark, where Kapampangan foodies showcased the best Tidtad and Tocino del Cielo recipes.

    More recently it celebrated the Golden Days of Coffee at SM City Lipa featuring the best Bulalo and Pinindot recipes as well as the best Serkele and Pastillas Dessert recipes in SM City Baliwag.

    My City, My SM, My Cuisine is a joint project of SM and The Philippine Star with support from SM Homeworld and SM Supermarket.


    (L-R): Cookfest winners Hotel Elizabeth’s Christopher Ian Malinao for the best Strawberry Dessert and the Old Spaghetti House’s Ricky Ibanez for the Best Salad. They are shown with Baguio City Vice Mayor Daniel Farinas, and SM executives – Regional Operations Manager Cesar Bondoc, SM City Baguio Assistant Mall Manager Rona Correa, and Vice President for Marketing Ms. Millie Dizon


    Ricky Ibanez’s winning Asian Chicken Salad recipe


    Christopher Ian Malinao’s winning Strawberry Dessert recipe


    Benguet governor Nestor Fongwan and SM’s Millie Dizon with the province’s delightful strawberry desserts


    Secretary to the mayor Ryan Mangosan with former Councilor Elaine Sembrano and Solibao Restaurant’s Rocky Cating


    My City, My SM, My Cuisine judges: Baguio Flower Festival secretary and Aguinaldo Museum directress Amy Gonzales, The Philippine Star’s Elizabeth Lim, University of the Philippines-Baguio’s Reynaldo Rimando and the Metropolitan Museum Manila’s trustee Cora Alvina


    Former Baguio City mayor and Sun Star publisher Peter Ray Bautista


    Peter Ray Bautista’s heirloom Puchero recipe


    Solibao Restaurant’s Rocky Cating, Maricel Cating, and Steve Cating


    Zenaida Cating’s Pinakbet from Solibao Restaurant


    Kalapaw – A Taste of Laoag’s Olivia Balajadia


    Olivia Balajadia’s Kiniing


    Olivia Balajadia’s Taro with Gabi


    Baguio Country Club Customer Service Officer Elaine Manangan represented General Manager Anthony de Leon during the launch


    Historian Sonny Tinio and curator Marian Roces


    The Cordillera Rice Station was a hit with foodies. Cordillera rice is known for its exceptional taste and texture, mild aroma, and cooking qualities. Over 300 varieties of rice are grown in the Cordilleras, mostly of the Japonica or round grain and Indica or long grain varieties


    A spread of the best of Baguio: raisin bread from Baguio Country Club, strawberry jam from Good Shepherd Convent, and peanut brittle from Romana


    Cordillera products like the Unoy Rice from Kalinga, Miki Pansit from Abra and Mountain Coffee were exhibited in the Cordillera showcase


    Strawberries, fresh vegetables, and strawberry cakes were the highlights of the Benguet showcase


    Heirloom recipes from Baguio’s prominent families: the popular Pinakbet of the Catings, as well as the Kiniing and Taro with Gabi of the Balajadias

    SM shoppers and The Philippine Star readers can submit their recipe of their city’s selected entrée and dessert along with their name, address, and occupation to sm_starculinary@yahoo.com. They can also mail these to the Publicity Department, Building D, SM Corporate Office, J.W. Diokno Boulevard, Pasay City, or the Lifestyle Section of The Philippine Star at R. Oca Jr. and Railroad Streets, Port Area, Manila.

    Ten finalists will be selected – five for entrees and five for dessert.  Two winners – one for entrée and one for dessert – will be selected from each city during the culinary contest that will be held in time for the city’s festival.  The two winners will each receive P5,000 worth of SM Gift Certificates, while finalists will receive packs from SM Homeworld.