Eat Sustainable Local Food for Our Sustainable Future! @WWF_Philippines

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Sustainable Food is all about knowing if you are eating locally sourced food produced by eco-friendly methods and ingredients with the profits going back to support the local community. 

What this means is importing ingredients is out, but eating local ingredient is in; eating at foreign franchises is out, and eating at a socially responsible local restaurant is in.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, with the mission of “Transforming Lives, organized a benefit dinner to educate Filipinos on the importance of sustainable consumption and supporting our local farmers and fishermen by eating local. 

Here’s a photo essay of the Sustainable Food, Sustainable Future benefit dinner…

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The WWF Benefit Dinner was held at Rizal Ballroom A of Makati Shangri-La, Manila last September 6, 2017.


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(Photo credit: WWF-Philippines / Hazel Olayres) 

CEO Joel Palma stressed the importance of food security and the ambitions of the WWF organization to have a sustainable future for the Filipinos.


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The benefit dinner featured a 5-course dinner with delicious dishes from eight of the country’s top chefs with French wine pairing. 


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Chef Eric Weidmann (Sage), Chef Nicco Santos (Hey Handsome), Chef Chele Gonzalez (Gallery Vask), Chef Patrick Go (Black Sheep), Chef Sunshine Puey (Gourmandise), Chef Miko Aspiras (The Workshop), Chef Josh Boutwood (The Test Kitchen) and, Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2016 Margarita Forés (Grace Park), came together to show diners how local produce can result in flavorful creations that can help communities and the environment. 


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PASS Around Canape:
Crab Cake on Mango Salsa by Chef Eric Weidmann
Yellowfin Tuna Loin Tartare with Shiso and Avocado on Tapioca Chip by Chef Chele Gonzales
Pork Rillettes, Pickled Shallots in Sourdough Crisps by Chef Josh Boutwood
Brie, Foie, and Raspberry Lollipops by Chef Miko Aspiras 

Most people rave about the Foie lollipops made from excess pieces of foie gras mixed with brie and shaped into a ball encased in a raspberry flavored shell. 


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(Photo credit: WWF-Philippines / Hazel Olayres) 

WWF-Philippines National Ambassador Rovilson Fernandez (leftmost) and National Youth Ambassador Janine Gutierrez (rightmost) hosted the benefit dinner. 

In the middle are WWF-Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma (2nd form left) and Chairman of the Board Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola III (2nd from right).


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(Photo credit: WWF-Philippines / Hazel Olayres) 

Northern Guimaras Strait Blue Crab, Smoked Tanigue Tartare by Chef Eric Weidmann

One of the WWF Sustainable projects is to teach the local communities on how to cultivate and promote the Blue Crab from the Northern Guimaras Straight.



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Northern Guimaras Strait Blue Crab and Lemongrass Salad on Coconut-fermented Santol and Crab Cracker by Chef Nicco Santos

I love how fresh the Blue Crab tastes with the coconut-fermented santol sauce. This is the most raved about dish of the night! 

Sustainable food needs to taste good first, and it feels good when you know what you’re eating is sustainable and that you’re supporting the local communities.


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(Photo credit: WWF-Philippines / Hazel Olayres) 

It’s awesome to see the next generation of young chefs in Manila like Chef Nicco Santos and Chef Patrick Go in one kitchen supporting a worthy cause.


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Yellowfin Tuna Belly with Szechuan and Adlai, Etag, Seaweed, and Shiitake Congee by Chef Chele Gonzalez and Chef Patrick Go. 

WWF’s Hand Line Yellowfin Tuna initiatives in Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, and Albay provide an avenue to supply selectively-caught yellowfin tuna to market actors and environmentally conscious consumers, plus give local fisher folk a source of livelihood.

This yellowfin tuna belly was cooked Asian-style with Szechuan, Adlai from Bukidno, Etag from Sagada, Seaweed, and Shiitake Congee.


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(Photo credit: WWF-Philippines / Hazel Olayres)  

Chef Josh Boutwood in action giving final instructions for the plating of the Aleli pork dish he collaborated with Chef Margarita Forés.


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Aleli’s Pork Loin, Headcheese, Sweet Potato, Humba Pineapple Glaze and Guava Gel by Chef Margarita Forés and Chef Josh Boutwood.

A sustainably sourced Aleli’s Pork from Tagaytay done two ways, served in Pork Loin and a Head Cheese, which is a meat jelly made from the head of the pig.


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Finally, Chef Miko Aspiras ending the night with a dessert made of excess pastry, super ripe fruits, and ingredients normally discarded in the hotel kitchen.


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64% Davao Dark Chocolate, Over-ripened Mangoes by Chef Sunshine Puey and Chef Miko Aspiras.

Love this chocolate and mango treat dessert of 100% locally sourced and recycled ingredients! 


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The Chefs were rewarded with photographs by renowned underwater photographer Scott “Gutsy” Tuason, reminding them to always root their work in nature.


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(Photo credit: WWF-Philippines / Hazel Olayres) 

Congratulations to Chef Margarita Forés who originally conceived the idea and organized the other chefs to support this WWF Charity Event! Galing! 🙂


For more info, please visit WWF-Philippines Facebook page and follow their Instagram @wwfphilippines.


Live an Awesome Life,



Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Shangri-La Makati. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

P.S. It was awesome meeting Ben Cab, Annie Sarthou, and Chef Chelé during the benefit event. 🙂


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