Cebu Food & Wine: The Best Food at Grand Tasting 2023

Cebu Food & Wine Festival 2023 kicks off with a Grand Tasting at the Crimson Resort & Spa. It features renowned chefs, wine merchants, and the best of Cebu, including Talisay Lechon. The festival spans multiple venues across Cebu and Mactan for 15 days. Unlike other festivals, CFWF is a collection of pocket events that encourage attendees to explore Cebu and its culture.

We met Kate and Chef Marco Anzani last year at the 2nd Cebu Food & Wine Festival. We were so impressed by the food, wine and festival format that we are inspired to host the Food & Wine Festival in Manila, together with Spanky Enriquez, this coming July 13-30, 2023.

The Grand Tasting began with Cebu-inspired appetizers, welcome drinks, and catching up with Cebu friends.

Talisay’s Cebu lechon is the best! The herbs and flavors in the meat are truly evident, and the charcoal smoky flavor and crispy skin is a testament to the expertise of the lechoneros from Talisay.

Chef John Buenaventura

Everyone was raving about Chef John Buenaventura’s food, which was the highlight of the evening. He has a bad boy exterior but a welcoming smile. He recently won the Global Culinary Challenge and will represent the UAE in the Global Chefs Challenge in Singapore.

Slow Cooked Wagyu Short Ribs – Adobo Mango Glaze – Coconut Rice Banana Danggit Sambal
Saang Sea Broth with Danggit Dashi, Red Miso, Shemiji Mushrooms, Black Sesame Oil and Chili Leaves

The Saang Sea Broth is unique, with a clear broth and umami flavor from the delicious combination of danggit, miso, mushrooms, and chili. The Wagyu Short Ribs have a unique sauce of adobo mango glaze and danggit sambal. Ang sarap!

Chef Tatung Sarthou

Despite the controversies, Chef Tatung always impresses us with the food he serves. He is proud of his hometown of Cebu and always honors it in his cooking.

Beef Short Ribs Balbacua, Creamy Polenta, Pineapple Salsa

Chef Tatung’s Balbacua is made with tender beef short ribs, served on a bed of creamy polenta, topped with pineapple salsa, and finished with its flavorful sauce.

Prawn Kilawin – Green Mango Relish

Chef Reggie Aspiras is the featured chef during this festival and served prawn kilawin with mango relish and introducing the Cebu-Cano lechon.

Cebu Cano Lechon features the classic aromatics of Talisay lechon, enhanced with Ilocos shallots, garlic, and karimbuwaya with tart hinge. The cavity of the lechon is marinated with Chef Reggie’s aromatic seasoning, made from local herbs, spices, and Philippine rice wine. Sarap ng innovation na ito.

La Carne knows their meat! I loved the tasting portion of halang ribs, humbao, and lechon baka. I’m excited to try their premium steak and wine pairing with Chef Edward Diñoso.

This was the best wine I had all night: the DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 from Casa Robles. It is full-bodied, with cherry aromas, berry flavors, and a spicy finish. While most drink stalls only serve tiny portions of their entry-level wines, The Wine Club put their best wine forward.

Chef Christian Bernard Tan
Shellfish Valenciana – Shrimp & Scallop, Kroeung, Kabog
Chicken Rending with Charcoal Sourdough & Onion Sambal

Taiwanese-Chinese chef Christian masterfully serves Southeast Asian flavors. The combination is a bit confusing, but I can’t wait to eat at his restaurants in Cebu to get to know more about Chef Christian.

Congratulations to the organization committee of The Cebu Food & Wine Festival!

Check out the official CFWF events in their official website:

I’m excited and nervous at the same time on how we would host the Manila Food & Wine Festival in July!

Live an Awesome Life with Christ,

Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet

Disclosure: Thank you to the Cebu Food & Wine Festival committee for the invitation. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.

P.S. Please email me to know more about or if you want to participate in the Manila Food & Wine Festival this July 13-30, 2023.

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