IT was one grand celebration that brought foodies in the metro together at the SMX of SM Aura Premier last February (2014). The occasion: the grand launch of SM’s My City, My SM, My Cuisine book, which celebrates the exciting flavors of Philippine regional cuisine as well as treasured heirloom recipes of some of the country’s most prominent personalities.
Published by People Asia, the book is a compilation of both winning and participating recipes from the My City, My SM, My Cuisine campaign that SM spearheaded from 2012 to 2013 in key cities around the Philippines where SM malls are located. The campaign made more than 20 stops in SM’s host cities that spanned from as far North as Baguio to as far South as Davao.
In each stop, the SM team ‘discovered’ and got to savor some of the heirloom recipes of prominent families living there. These families, including the Lijaucos and Tiongcos of Santa Rosa, the Pastors and Montenegros of Batangas, the Escuderos of San Pablo, the Remullas of Cavite, the Aquinos and Yaps of Tarlac, the Aboitizes of Cebu, the Gastons and Puentevellas of Bacolod, and the Lazatins of Pampanga, opened their homes and shared their heirloom recipes with the SM team.
Several descendants of Philippine heroes, such as Dr. Jose Rizal, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Marcelo H. del Pilar and Mariano Ponce, also shared their own heirloom recipes and gave the team a taste of the favorite dishes of a number of Philippine heroes. Their recipes have thus also been included in the book. So with heirloom recipes of well-known chefs like Claude Tayag of Pampanga and Rafael Jardeleza II of Iloilo.
During the launch, some of the prominent personalities who contributed their recipes to the book were on hand to present their respective dishes to the guests as part of the formal launching rites. Highlight of the launch was the presentation of a copy of the book by People Asia publisher Jose Manuel Romualdez to SM Investments vice chairperson Tessie Sy-Coson.
Four exciting food showcases spread around the SMX gave guests a taste of their regional specialties – Suman Bar from Antipolo, Baraka showcase from Laguna, Food of Our Heroes display from Bulacan, and Chef Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung station from Pampanga.
The Suman Bar of Antipolo’s Vieux Chalet gave everyone bite-sized samplings of Philippine delicacies, including a modern take on the suman itself (glutinous rice cake cooked in coconut milk) – Suman Adobo, Sushi ni Susie, Manga con Caramelo, and Tsokolate.
The Baraka station from Laguna featured the legendary Mang Bok’s ice cream, which post-war migrant Felimon Bok-Beltran and his wife Caridad started, as well as delightful Puto Maya (sweet rice balls topped with freshly grated coconut), Sinukmani (boiled rice cake with coconut milk and sugar, topped with latik), Atole (boiled ground dried corn with coconut milk and sugar topped with latik), Lumpiang Hubad, Pancit Grade 1 (miki noodles with freshwater shrimps and kamias) and Mache (boiled ground sticky rice balls with sugar and roasted sesame seeds filling rolled in finely ground rice).
The Food of Our Heroes showcase, put together by the family of food historian Mila Enriquez of Bulacan, featured a unique tableau of favorite dishes of our heroes.
Chef Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung station from Pampanga had a queue of guests who lined up for generous portions of Mini Pan de Bagnet and Mini Bringhe.
Several copies of My City, My SM, My Cuisine book are available for sale at Kultura Filipino branches in SM Aura, SM Megamall, SM Makati and SM Mall of Asia.