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    The Best Bulalo and Pinindot Recipes  at SM-Phil Star Contest

    Lipa is the birthplace of the coffee industry in the Philippines.  Records show that coffee was first brought to the Philippines from Mexico by the Franciscan friars in 1740 and planted in Lipa.  And from there, the coffee industry thrived.

    When a plague destroyed coffee plantations in Brazil and other coffee producing countries, the town supplied the needs of the coffee drinking world, and the municipality became the world center of the coffee trade.

    The town of Lipa was elevated into a city in 1887 with the name Villa de Lipa by no less than Queen Maria Christina of Spain because of the prosperity brought about by the coffee boom.  It was then the richest municipality in the Philippines during the glorious years between 1886 and 1888 when Lipa was the world’s sole supplier of coffee beans and people all over the country talked about its rich aristocracy.

    My City, My SM, My Cuisine recently celebrated these Golden CoffeeDays when it made at stop at SM City Lipa, likewise giving them a glimpse of its rich culinary tradition.

    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.

    Held just in time for Lipa’s 65th Foundation Day, the event was also highlighted by a cook fest that showcased two of the city’s signature dishes – Bulalo, the hearty soup made from the meat and bone marrow of Batangas beef; and Pinidot, a dessert made of rich flour rolled in uniform balls and stewed in the thickest coconut milk.

    Jose Bryan Baldoz and Abba Abdiel Aguila were adjudged winners for their versions of Bulalo and Pinindot recipes, respectively. Their delightful flavors and food presentation got the nod of the distinguished board of judges, which included Lipa’s First Lady Bernadette Sabili, Café de Lipa’s Chef Nina Maralit, former de La Salle coach and now food blogger Raymond Torrecampo, SM Homeworld Manager Ruby Abella, and Metropolitan Museum Trustee Cora Alvina.

    They each received P5,000 worth of SM Gift Certificates and Homeworld Gift Packs from Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste, SM Supermalls Regional Operations Manager Cid Luis Victoria, SM City Lipa Mall Manager Liza F. Dimaculangan, 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.

    Two beautiful showcases gave mallgoers a glimpse of life in the city’s Golden Days. A replica of Casa de Segunda’s living room highlighted the life and times of Rizal’s first love, Segunda Katigbak.  The second featured the dining room of one of Lipa City’s most esteemed kababayans, Danny Dolor, who has received many awards for sharing his patriotism, piety, and love of the arts with his town mates.  Senor Dolor also very generously shared his family’s antique furniture to enhance the showcase, which also featured a spread of Lipa’s food specialties.

    A specially prepared video showing traditional ways of preparing and cooking Lipeno cuisine also brought back shoppers to the city’s golden coffee days.  With his advocacy of reviving Lipa’s coffee industry, retired Colonel Nicetas “Katy” Katigbak showed the traditional way of preparing the famous Kapeng Barako in his coffee farm.  Ms. Lilet Malabanan, a descendant of Segunda Katigbak, demonstrated the traditional way of cooking Sinaing naTulingan together with Lorie Linasa of Cesca’s Kitchen in the historic Casa de Segunda.

    Café de Lipa’s Yasmin and Bryan Mercado together with Chef NinaMaralit showed how the Pajo, a small mango variety, could make an excellent appetizer in their Artisan line.  Danny Dolor’s splendid home served as the backdrop for cooking demonstrations of Lomi by Chef Christinede la Pena of MMP Kainang Bayan, and the Leviste family’s heirloom Bulalo recipe by Ronin Leviste, the Vice Governor’s son, and a winner of the Amazing Cooking Kids show.

    All these dishes were showcased during the event, as were signature Batangas specialties: Liempo and Liempo Sisig by Bernard and Marife Taroc of Fae-Fae; Gotong Batangas by Althaire Tyra Bautista of Japong’s GotoHouse; and Estofadong Batangas cooked by Dalisay Salazar from the original recipe of Ely Alvarez Montenegro of Taal.

    Other specialties also showed the sweet side of Batangas:  Tamales made from an original recipe by Charing Marasigan; Matamis na Santol and Turrones from Calaca; Minatamis na Kalumpit by Ms. Elvie Ferrer of Balayan; Bibingkoy from Ester’s Bibingkahan; home made candy tamarind by Nelia Umali; Meringue from Golden Bakeshop; and pastries from Dulcissima Bakeshop.

    Los Lipenos, an all- acoustic local band, provided the perfect background music in the program hosted by history and heritage advocate Dindo Montenegro.

    My City, My SM, My Cuisine in Lipa is the fourth 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.

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


    My City, My SM, My Cuisine Cookfest winners Abba Abdiel Aguila from Lipa City Colleges for the best Pinindot and Jose Bryan Baldoz from Taal for the best Bulalo with SM Supermalls regional manager Cid Luis Victoria, SM Lipa mall manager Liza F. Dimaculangan, SM VP for marketing Millie F. Dizon, Lipa City Administrator Atty. Leo Latido and Metropolitan Musem trustee Cora Alvina


    The prize-winning Bulalo of Jose Bryan Baldoz made with beef shanks and knuckles.  As famous as the Bakang Batangas, Bulalo is served in almost every restaurant in Lipa and nearby towns


    The prize-winning pinindot of Abba Abdiel Aguila.  Pinindot combines rice flour rolled into uniform balls and stewed in thickest coconut milk


    Dr. Anthony Dolor representing Lipa’s esteemed Mr. Danny Dolor together with Vice Governor Mark Antonio Leviste and SM VP for Marketing Millie F. Dizon


    Ms. Lilet Malabanan, a great grand daughter of Segunda Katigbak’s, Rizal’s first love,  in the Casa De Segunda living room showcase


    The host of the show, a heritage and history advocate Dindo Montenegro


    The Mercado Family, the faces behind Café de Lipa and its chain of stores, Mr. Joe Mercado with wife Leei and son Bryan joined in by their chef Nina Maralit


    Grace Potoy, a cook at Casa Rap Café showcases their famous cassava okoy with organic vinaigrette


    Owner of Fae Fae, Mr. Bernard Taroc showcasing their crunchy grilled Liempo and Liempo Sisig


    Chef Nina Maralit of Café De Lipa together with Café de Lipa girls during the event as they serve guests with free flowing Kapeng Barako


    Ms. Dulcis Cumagun of Dulcissima Bakeshop whose pastry recipes were passed on to her by mom Erlinda


    Althaire Tyra Bautista of Japong’s Goto House with their famous Gotong Batangas


    Ms. Nelia Umali, maker of the candied tamarind Sampalok with a Twist


    The famous Gotong Batangas from Japong’s Goto House


    Bangus relleno from Taal


    Fae-Fae’s crunchy grilled liempo and liempo sisig


    One of the fishes of Taal Lake – the biya was made as binitad and deeply fried until crispy


    Sinaing na Tulingan by Ms. Lilet Malabanan and Lorie of Cescas Kitchen


    Tilapia in sweet and sour sauce


    Cassava Okoy from Casa Rap Café in San Jose, Batangas


    Artisan products with its own version of burong paho and ubod; (pickled paho and bamboo shoots) and atcharang ampalaya and santol


    A delicacy from Lian, Batangas – Bibingkoy is a typical sinukmani with sweet mongo filling made exclusively by Ester Villanueva of Ester’s Bibingkahan


    Calaca’s sweet delicacies, produced by sisters Rebing and Lydia – Turones de Mani and Matamis na Kalamias


    Kalamay ng Makulot, exclusively made by Veronica Blor of Cuenca Batangas


    Merengue from Golden Bakeshop in Lian, Batangas


    A variety of pastries of Dulcissima Bakeshop with their best sellers the cream puffs and éclair


    Tamales from Taal


    Showcase of Danny Dolor’s dining area in his home in Lipa


    Showcase of Casa de Segunda’s living room

    SM shoppers and 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 C, SM Corporate Office, JW 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.