Eat Slow, Eat Local, Eat Filipino At Marco Polo Ortigas Manila
Local Philippine ingredients, farmers, and sustainability take center stage at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila as the hotel collaborates with Slow Food In The Philippines, the local branch of the internationally-recognized grassroots organization based in Italy. Entitled “Locally Green: Reviving Traditions, Rediscovering Good Food,” the campaign seeks to introduce some of the country’s indigenous ingredients and sustainably-grown produce to diners of Cucina, Marco Polo’s all-day buffet restaurant.
And what’s a more (literally) tasteful way of kick-starting this year-long gastronomic partnership than by featuring the cuisine of our country’s culinary capital, Pampanga? Highlighting adlai, grass-fed yellow cattle, and free-range native chicken, Marco Polo Ortigas and Slow Food In The Philippines curated three select dishes available at Cucina for lunch and dinner until the end of May.
Free-range native chicken tinola has a light- flavored broth complemented by the chicken’s distinctly tasty and tender meat. Marco Polo’s chefs adds a slight twist to this classic dish by putting in banana blossoms along with malunggay and green papaya.
Steamed stone-ground adlai in pandan leaf with butter and purple corn is a filling and healthier alternative to your typical rice. Offered by Down To Earth, adlai is a gluten-free grain that contains less carbohydrates and is actually one of the most promoted products of the Department of Agriculture.
A hearty and savory option is this beef afritada with achuete, potato, and carrots, using grass-fed yellow cattle from Down To Earth
The chefs of Cucina have prepared other Kapampangan classics as well, to complement the Slow Food-endorsed dishes. These include Fresh Lumpiang Ubod, Grilled Eggplant Ensalada, Seaweed Ensalada, and Sautéed Snails with Coconut Cream, among other dishes.
“Sustainability is important to us because we believe it is a step further into a more responsible future. Likewise, we from Marco Polo want to promote locally grown and sourced Philippine food. Slow Food, on the other hand, is about real, clean food and primarily about the farmers and the producers. When we saw the opportunity that we can be part of responsible farming, looking after some of these products that might disappear if bigger players like us don’t get involved—it was a natural fit for us and just jumped right into it,” says Stuart Stancombe, Director of Restaurants, Bars, and Events.
For Slow Food In The Philippines’ Gina Lumauig, she shares that for years, we have been told that imported food is better. However, she says, “We have to go back to how our grandparents ate and grew food. The more we ask for these types of cookery and ingredients, then the more the farmers will produce them. Slow Food encourages farmers and producers.”
“We’re very happy that Marco Polo invited us to be their partner in putting out in the open what good, clean and fair food is and what are the Philippines’ heirloom ingredients. With the three ingredients we’re showcasing here, we hope to disseminate to a wider audience what Slow Food In The Philippines is advocating for,” Lumauig explains.
If you’re looking for new and ingenious ways of mindfully consuming food, then this is surely the kind of culinary endeavor you must try. Locally Green’s Pampanga Edition runs until the end of May, and we are excited to see and taste the next months’ regional and provincial specialties.
Marco Polo Ortigas, Manila, Meralco Avenue and Sapphire Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, (02) 720-7720
To learn more about Slow Food, visit www.slowfood.com