10 Most Awesome Heirloom Rice Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 1)

by Kris Landrito

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Madrid Fusion Manila is perhaps the most awaited gastronomic event in the Philippines. With the theme of “Towards a Sustainable Gastronomic Planet” that addresses the issue of food wastage, sustainability, and climate change, Heirloom Rice, the theme of Day One’s Regional Lunch was the perfect way to start it off.


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Heirloom Rice is a variety of rice that has been passed on from generation to generation. Aside from being a rich source of flavor and nutrition, Heirloom Rice provides a sustainable and stable source of livelihood to farmers because of their strong resistance to climate change and environmental diseases.

Madrid Fusion 2017 Series:
@MadridFusionManila 2017: A Gastronomical Roadmap to Sustainability! (Photo Essay Recap)
• 10 Most Awesome Heirloom Rice Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 1) 
• 10 Most Awesome “Nose-to-Tail” Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 2)
• 5 Most Awesome Corn Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 3)


Here are our Top 10 favorites on Day 1 of Madrid Fusion Manila’s Regional Lunch curated by Angelo Comsti:

1. Tausug Junay with Utakutak by Myke Tatung Sarthou of Agos


This beautifully layered dish was the clear favorite of everyone in our team. With a base of gelatinous rice with burnt coconut and turmeric, topped with a spiced fish cake and a Tausug garnish called Palapa, we were pleasantly surprised with the beautiful and subtle flavors that paired well with the green mangoes, red onions, and tomatoes on top. 

2. Spanish Milk Fish Otah with Violet Heirloom Mountain Rice by Nico Santos of Hey Handsome


The complex and contrasting textures of this dish took us through an enjoyable gastronomic journey. The various layers each had distinct textures that made the dish fun to eat.

We went from soft (violet heirloom mountain rice) to crispy (milk fish otah) to silky (sous vide oyster mushroom) all in one bite. Topped off with Vietnamese mint syrup and cilantro flowers, the texture and flavors made this dish a winner.


3. Ox Tail with Onion Mousse and Fermented Black Rice by Raul Bolledo of The Test Kitchen MNL


Inspired by the nostalgia of cereals, the plating of this dish is reminiscent of cereals that kids would have for breakfast. In the same manner that cereal with milk will somehow always cure a craving or two, this dish by Test Kitchen Manila hits the right spots.

The toasted black rice provides the crunchy texture that contrasts well with the smooth onion mousse while the braised oxtail provides the juicy bite that rounds off the dish.

4. Dirty Horchata by Sly Samonte and Kiddo Cosio of El Union

With their tribute to the Filipino love for rice and coffee, the duo from El Union may have just changed the way coffee will be drinking during summer time. By marrying techniques of making horchata and cold brew coffee with that of draft beer, the duo was able to create a drink that had a mouthfeel of cumulus clouds against the lips on top of the refreshing quality of a light draft beer.

It was so good that our team wouldn’t mind driving all the way up to San Juan, La Union just for a sip.


5. Heirloom Rice Toffee Bar with A Twist by Raul Matias Manila Chocolatier

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Proof that great ideas can come at any moment, the heirloom rice toffee bar filled with langka (yes, that’s the twist) was developed only the night before day one of Madrid Fusion Manila. It just so happened that this last minute discovery was the favorite of our team among the chocolates served.



The surprising pleasant sweetness and creaminess of the langka perfectly complemented the somewhat smoky and crispiness of the rice incorporated in the rich dark chocolate.


6. Fresh Pinipig Muesli by Chef Miko Aspiras, Kristine Lotilla, and Peachy Juban


A fresh twist on the humble pinipig that’s usually incorporated in over-indulgent desserts, this breakfast dish uses three kinds of pinipig – regular white toasted, seasonal fresh green, and a rice stick made from bamboo smoked blackened pinipig from Vizcaya.

Topped off with goat’s milk yogurt and Savidug nuts from Batanes, the dish was a nutritional powerhouse that our entire team enjoyed. Who knew healthy could be so good?

(Pinipig is a type of popped or toasted rice used in many SE Asian dishes.)  


7. Sisig Stuffed Lechon by Dedet dela Fuente Santos of Pepita’s Kitchen

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A Madrid Fusion Manila mainstay, Dedet’s signature stuffed lechon never fails to please our palates. The crispy pork skin and juicy meat paired perfectly with their chili sauce, a favorite of our team for sure!


8. Mt Kayumanggi Smoothie by Kalel Demetrio of Liquido Maestro

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Creamy, smoky, crunchy, and comforting are just some of the words that can be used to describe this creative concoction named after the skin color of Filipinos.

With the use of rice in almost all components of the drink – from the smoked rice syrup to the whipped cream made from burnt rice with malt powder, it was surprising that each sip gave out complex (and addicting) flavors.

It was one of those drinks that got better with every sip. One of our photographers didn’t want to let go of his drink.


9. Black Rice Arancini by Chef Kevin Tuason of Tahanan Bistro

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Made with black rice arancini with coconut cream and seafood ragout, this dish caught our attention with its mellow flavors and a nice crunch.


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So happy for this young couple Chef Kevin Tuason and partner Andrea Keesha Reyes of Tahanan Bistro.


10. Luz’s Batangas Bulalo Carne Asada by Chef Happy Ongpauco-Tiu


This black rice tortilla bread topped off with ginataang santol, ube, and repolyo was a standout among all small-bite tacos with its perfect blend of creamy and melt-in-your-mouth umami flavors released by the roasted bone marrow.

 Madrid Fusion 2017 Series:
@MadridFusionManila 2017: A Gastronomical Roadmap to Sustainability! (Photo Essay Recap)
• 10 Most Awesome Heirloom Rice Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 1) 
• 10 Most Awesome “Nose-to-Tail” Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 2)
• 5 Most Awesome Corn Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 3)


Live an Awesome Life,



Disclosure: Day 1 of Madrid Fusion Manila Regional Lunch was sponsored by the Department of Agriculture and was curated by Angelo Comsti, the Editor-In-Chief of F&B Report Magazine. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

P.S. One of our favorite dishes from the lunch was not part of the rice inspired dishes but was unique and flavorsome.


Served in an alagao leaf, the alagao salad by crescent moon café took us through a journey of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors as we devoured the dish. With the use of eight different condiments, the dish is a playful twist on traditional Asian flavors. 

One thought on “10 Most Awesome Heirloom Rice Creations! @MadridFusionManila (Day 1)

  1. The Crescent Moon specialty is already a classic in memory of Bey Fernando – (s0n of Gilda Fernando, husband of Lanelle Abueva)…when he was still around he was already deep into Asian fusion food experimentingscraft…and Crescent was his laboratory …and his food was simple, but dedicated to his craft. Yes, this dish is a keeper

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