Davao Food & Wine Festival officially opened on October 7 with an epic grand opening event at Dusit Thani Residences Davao. Ten chefs and artisans showcased their culinary skills to over 250+ Davaoeños, making it the most successful grand opening event of the festival’s history, surpassing the Cebu and Manila’s Food & Wine Festival at Dusit D2 Davao.
Congratulations to Carmina Mapa-del Rosario of Mindanao Butchers and the Davao Food & Wine Team for an awesome inaugural Food & Wine Festival in Davao!
Here is what you missed and our favorites from the Grand Tasting event:
Argentinian Parillada of Chorizo, Entrana, Ribeye, Shortribs, Sirloin
The Argentinian Parillada grill, custom-made in Manila, moves and rotates over burning charcoals to perfectly cook the meat. The entire setup is impressive, and they were able to cook the meat perfectly even during the rush hour in the pouring rain.
We loved the smoky Chorizo and tasty medium-well Entrana, Ribeye and Shortribs. The station was the most popular, and it was literally eat-all-you-can until you stopped. This alone was worth the ₱3,000/head entry price for the grand tasting event.
Congrats to Carlo Lorenzana, Bobby Tenchavez, owners of La Cabrera with Chef Auditor Agustin Figueroa for an awesome showcase of Argentinian Steak culture in Davao.
The meats goes well with the Argentinian Malbec and it was endlessly pouring the entire night.
This is the most delicious cheese table we’ve ever tried, and each cheese has a delicious story. We spent most of our time here, captivated by Ingrid’s stories of how each cheese is hand-made by the family.
Our favorite was Queso Roberto, named after the multigenerational Roberto/s in the family. It has the quirky, tasty flavor of blue cheese without the smell and pairs well with Malagos’ guava jelly. The best!
We also loved the Borracho cheese, which literally means “drunk cheese” because it is aged for two years with Cerveza Negra. It pairs well with white wines, and we couldn’t stop eating it.
Congratulations to Olive Puentespina, the Queen Cheesemaker of Malagos Farm House! We are so proud of you and grateful for your dedication to elevating the art of cheesemaking in the Philippines.
CHEF DAVID THIEN & CHEF LISA REVILLA
This Filipina and French chef couple from Singapore made a splash when they decided to move back to their hometown and soon to open a private dining establishment in Davao.
Chicken Pie by Chef David Thien, Co-Founder, Shelter in the Woods
French Chef David Thien showcased his heirloom version of Chicken Pie with Malagos Pepato cheese. We want to take a whole pie for ourselves and take home to the kiddos.
The chicken pie was creamy and cheesy, with a delectable crust. Kakaiba and not your usual.
Crispy Sushi: Crispy Rice, Marinated Tuna, House-made Sriracha, Pickled Jalapeño
One of the most unique dishes of the night was the crispy sushi with Gensan-marinated tuna on top of crispy rice, drizzled with Chef Lisa’s version of Sriracha. It was an explosion of flavors in the mouth, leaving you wanting more.
Congrats Chef Lisa Revilla (formerly from The Dempsey Cookhouse and Bar) for presenting an interesting dish and makes us crave for your private dining in Davao.
CHEF MARCO ANZANI
Beetroot Homemade Ravioli Stuffed with “Ossobuco” Stewed on Porcini Mushrooms Cream Sauce
This is one of the best ravioli we’ve ever tasted, with handmade beetroot pasta and a creamy porcini mushroom sauce that kept us coming back for more.
Congratulations to Chef Marco Anzani of Anzani Restaurant for the most talked-about ravioli at the grand tasting event, thanks to the backstories of how each one is handmade and how you sourced the porcini mushrooms in Davao.
CHEF TIPPI TAMBUNTING
Every time we ask our foodie friends what their favorite dish is at the grand tasting event, they always say, “ang sarap ng beef rendang ni Tippi.” The beef is tender, and we love the burnt coconut taste in the rendang sauce served over Sunmade Brown Rice.
Chef Tippi Tambunting served Heirloom Tomatoes and Capsicum Ensalada, Feta and Brioche Crips with Microbasil. The heirloom tomatoes in Davao are sweet, and this dish explodes with sweet juices from the tomatoes in your mouth.
CHEF PIYA SUTHASIRI
Chef Piya of Dusit Thani Davao presented Thai-Style Cured Local Fish Kinilaw with Oyster served on an ice bowl to keep the raw seafood at the right temperature.
Congrats to Chef Piya Suthasiri and Dusit Hotels and Resorts Davao Culinary Team!
CHEF JORGE MENDEZ
Famed Modan Chef Serves Roasted Lamb with Paitum Curry, a Japanese-style curry with burnt coconut. The sauce was excellent, but the lamb was dry.
He also served Cured Gensan Tuna sushi with Paitum Toss and Palapa Sushi.
Chef Jorge Mendez of Modan looks shy and intimidating at first but has a pleasant demeanor when he smiles.
Chocolate Coated Tinagtag on Dark Caramel Cheesecake with Malagos Guava Preserve on Coconut Kaffir Macaroon Crust
For dessert, we enjoyed this unique cheesecake with Malagos guava preserve and a citrus kick of Kaffir lime to cut through the rich caramel and sweet flavors. Rache’s favorite.
The crowd favorite was the Malagos Blush Blue, Fig, Walnut Cheesecake with Honey Drizzle.
Congrats Joel Rodriguez and can’t wait to visit the Oswaldo’s Cakes store in Davao.
Love the Luisita’s Reserva Single Estate Rum to enjoy the night with friends.
Awesome to meet the Davao Wines people serving their curated wines throughout the night.
Overall, this was the best grand tasting dinner we’ve ever had. All of the food was delicious, and featured Davao’s ingredients and produce. My top three dishes for the night were the Argentinian Parillada by La Cabrera, the Awesome Cheese Table by Olive Puentespina of Malagos Farm House, and the dishes by Singapore and now Davao-based French Chef David Thien and wife Chef Lisa Revilla @twoofakind_davao.
The Davao vibe was great: people were not pretentious, they dressed well, and there were so many beautiful young women. Old Davao families came out in full support, without being flashy, and hung out for the entire night. The Davao food and lifestyle scene is booming because of the abundance of produce and the city’s ability to attract culinary talents due to its better quality of life.
Congratulations to all the chefs and artisans for a successful Davao Grand Tasting Opening!
Congratulations to Department of Tourism Region XI Director Tanya Rabat-Tan, Carmina Mapa-del Rosario, and the Davao Food & Wine Festival team for a job well done on the Grand Tasting Opening of the festival!
Live an Awesome Life with Christ,
Founder & Digital Creator, Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Despite the problems with the rain and electricity, no amount of problems can dampen the mood because the food and drinks are quite good throughout the night.