IT’S always exciting to go on a food trip, especially if you’re doing the rounds of an exciting food destination such as Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which is home to Bonifacio High Street, Serendra, Burgos Circle and other dining complexes and establishments. It’s such an exciting place that more and more dining destinations – fast-foods, casual dining places and fine dining restaurants – are opening left and right. Even if you dine there every day, you won’t run out of new places to try.
Now, there’s an opportunity to go on a food trip around BGC for free, as BGC Eats, a citywide food tour cooked up by Passionate Minds for Passionate Stomachs, gets underway. Showcasing the city’s healthy culinary tourism and featuring the simplest to the finest dining outlts, coffee shops and bars around the city, BGC Eats is a series of weekend food tours that treats shoppers who have made a Php2,000 single receipt purchase from retail stores or restaurants around BGC between July 21 to August 16, 2014, to an afternoon tour on board the BGC bus, with stops at several establishments to sample their specialties.
The series of weekend tours started with Tour 1 last Saturday, July 26, 2014, which focused on the science behind food and featured Artha Ting, biologist and Mind Mover from The Mind Museum with BGC Eats curator JJ Yulo. Days prior to the actual Tour 1, media people had their own special tour with JJ and Artha, plus Monica Llamas and Martha Asuncion, both of BGC, leading the tour.
EGG WHITE TREATS
Boarding the BGC bus at the Hop On, Hop Off Bus Stop along 9th Ave. (near Krispy Kreme), the media group headed towards the more quiet Northern area of BGC and made its first stop at Gustare.
Located on the ground floor of W Tower Residences along 39th St., Gustare started out as a commissary that was supplying cakes to cafes. It then opened to walk-ins who wanted to buy ready-to-eat food but eventually became a sort of café, as some of those who bought food also started requesting to have them heated and to be able to eat them there. Owner Ginny de Guzman obliged, and now, Gustare also sells interesting food stuff in jars and bottles, such as Santol Bagoong and Champorado Cookies. Gustare now also accepts reservations for private dinners of a Moroccan theme.
Gustare served its media guests Canonigo, Calamansi Sans Rival and Meringue Kisses, as it worked its theme around egg white.
Next stop was Prost Braumeister, a German beer pub at the corner of 26th St. and 5th Ave. Its main product is beer – in different brands, such as Paulaner draft beer, Becks, HP Anno, Erdinger, Franziskaner, Bitburger, Oettinger and SMB beer – as well as sausages. Sausage choices include Bockwurst, Bratwurst, Hungarian, Kielbasa and Nurberger.
For the media tour, Prost brought out Nurnberger spiral sausage, Hungarian and Kielbasa sausages served with sauerkraut and fries. It also served Goulash (corned beef, Hungarian sausage, potatoes and stewed tomatoes), Rosti (a type of hash-brown topped with poached egg), and Spatzle (a sparrow feet type of pasta). Sadly, there was no beer for tasting.
The menu was built around the process of “fermentation,” which is an important process in beer-making. “Sausages, such as salami and pepperoni, also go through some sort of fermentation,” explains Prost store manager Mario Sarapanan.
Third and last stop in the media tour was The Mind Museum, a science hub. The lobby of The Mind Museum featured a Future Feast interactive exhibit put together under The Apocalypse Project. The project fast-forwards the time to 2050, when climate change has rendered out supply of meat, dairy and wheat insufficient to feed mankind and thus we must rethink our food and include ingredients that we have not been consuming on a regular basis. The Mind Museum posed this challenge to certain chefs and culinary experts to pick a unique ingredient for the future and work some dishes around their chosen ingredient.
Chef Sau del Rosario picked soy (dairy replacement) and moringa (fast-growing and rich in nutrients), and made Tofu Moringa and Aloe Vera Panna Cotta with Banana Candied Ginger and Acai Berry Sauce with his ingredient combination.
Culinary expert Nancy Reyes Lumen made the most exotic ingredient choice, locust, which she said can be farmed sustainably and is rich in protein and other ingredients). She made Locust Jello, which is crickets “buried” inside gelatin blocks, and Jeepers Crispers, a rice krispies and peanut mix with crisped-up locusts as a munch food for movie time. Surprisingly, a number of media people tried them.
Kyle Imao, grand champion of the Junior Master Chefs reality cooking show cum competition, used chicken (easier to produce than pork or beef) and potato (can replace rice and wheat as carbohydrates) for his delightful Croquek, which he made into balls and served in colorful plastic egg containers. He then used seaweed (can be grown sustainably as a meat replacement) and cassava starch (can replace flour and cornstarch) in his Seaweed Tempura.
Ian Carandang of Sebastian’s Ice Cream made Nut Milk from cashew, which really tasted good, and also used cashew milk in making his Banana-Cashew Nut Milk Ice Cream. Nut milk, he explained, should be a good dairy replacement.
Finally, Eric Capaque and Claudette Dy picked earthworms (easy to grow and rich in protein and other nutrients) as their futuristic ingredient and used these to make Banana Vermi Cake and Salis-vermi Steak with Mushroom Gravy and Sauteed Talilong (Water Leaf) Weed. They also incorporated banana peel, an otherwise waste product, in their steak.
OTHER FOOD TOURS
The series of BGC Eats food tours continues with Tour 2 on August 2, 2014, which focuses on the aesthetics of food and featuring tips from food photographer Mylene Chung. She guides guests to shoot their way through food, so participants of this tour must bring a camera or phone camera.
Tour 3 takes place on August 9, 2014, and it focuses on beverage pairings featuring Enderun’s assistant dean of hospitality management, Bel Castro. She will be sharing some tricks on how to enhance one’s dining experience and drink one’s way to a better meal. Since wine will be involved, participants of this tour must be 18 years old and above.
Tour 4 is on August 16, 2014, and it focuses on Healthy Eats, featuring Edgy Veggie café owner Denise Celdran, who helps guests discover delicious and healthy food options.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FOOD TOURS
Who are entitled to join the BGC Eats food tours?
Qualified participants are shoppers with a single receipt purchase worth a minimum of Php2,000 from retail stores or restaurants located at Bonifacio High Street, The Fort Entertainment Center, Crossroads, Bonifacio Stopover, One and Two Parkade, and The Mind Museum, from July 21 to August 16, 2014. A shopper can only redeem a maximum of two tickets per day.
BGCitizens are also entitled to a free ticket upon presentation of any proof of residence, employment or enrolment in BGC.
Other than these, interested persons may also purchase tickets 15 minutes before a tour takes place. Tickets cost Php1,500 each, and slots for a food tour are subject to availability.
Tickets can be claimed at the Bonifacio High Street Central Concierge inside the C1 Building from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily until August 16, 2014. They have to choose a tour date, which will be final and not subject to change. Tours start at exactly 3:00 p.m. and lasts approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours.