Cagayan de Oro – The best food and flavors of the Mindanao group of islands gathered at the Ayala Centrio Mall at Cagayan de Oro City for the Department of Tourism’s Kain Na!
From November 22 to 24, the four proud regions of Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, SOCCSKSARGEN, Caraga, and the Province of Lanao del Norte paraded their respective specialties for the food and travel festival.
“The DOT has been at the forefront of promoting food tourism for more than a decade now. We continue to strengthen this fruitful partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and Ayala Malls championing food and farm tourism,” said Tourism Assistant Secretary Roberto Alabado III, pride of Mindanao and former regional director for the Davao region.
Ayala Centrio Mall became the fourth Ayala Mall to host local cuisine and chefs for this year’s edition of Kain Na following successful stints in Baguio, Alabang, and Manila Bay.
Local chefs from the Mindanao bloc were ably represented by Chef Queny Villarante from Region 9 who prepared daral, a coconut sweetmeat crepe, biyaki, steamed corn sweet tamales, and jaa, crispy rice flour treat, Chef Neal Roa and Chef Rowel Gomez from Region 10 who cooked pineapple chicken stew and Bukidnon roast beef, and Chef Precious Pearl Valdez and Chef Dina Tuan from Region 12 that sampled Gensan rolls and tuna sushi.
Other notable chefs joining the culinary extravaganza are Chef Paolo Lumbres and Chef Leo Calub from Region 13 who prepared buntaa, coconut-stuffed crabs in coconut milk and kinilaw, raw seafood dish, and Chef Roseller Fiel from Lanao del Norte who cooked chicken biryani, beef randang, and browa.
“Tourists now are becoming more curious of the Philippines because we are now presenting to them there’s more than beaches in the Philippines. We have food, we have textiles, we have so much more to offer and this is what tourism is all about,” added Assistant Secretary Alabado.
The food degustacion and chef demonstration was complimented by Food and Farm Travel Exchange between the local food suppliers and their tour operator counterparts. DOT-accredited travel agencies and tour operators across the region presented ‘Eating your way through the Philippines: Fun Food Trips & Farm Tours’.
Capping the three-day food fanfare was a Mindanao Fashion exhibit featuring the candidates of Miss Teen Philippines Mindanao 2020, Oro Fashion Designers Guild with Miss Teen Philippines Mindanao.