Washingtonians relish PH binalot at Embassy Chef Challenge
WASHINGTON, DC — Washingtonians and visitors were introduced to binalot at the Embassy Chef Challenge 2017 held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. on May 24.
Red Garcia, owner and executive chef of Kalye DC, represented the Philippines in Washington’s top culinary competition, making over 800 pieces of binalot with Filipino-style pork barbecue as the featured dish.
“The competition brought me back to my roots. It was an amazing experience to show our culture through food by bringing the classic binalot to the table, to relive our culture and to share it with people from all over the world. My crew and I are so very proud to be able to carry the Philippine flag for the Embassy Chef Challenge. It was so very surreal and quite humbling,” Chef Garcia remarked.
Using the distinctly Filipino style and Philippine ingredients, Garcia infused the pork meat in a mixture that included Datu Puti soy sauce and vinegar, and made the basting with UFC Hot and Spicy banana ketchup.
Jojo Valenzuela, a renowned Filipino bartender/mixologist in the Metro DC area, complemented the binalot with his award-winning cocktail, Rizal. Made primarily from gin and spiced guavamansi soda, Rizal played well with the sweet, spicy and smoky flavors of the barbecue.
“The Embassy recognizes Filipino talents like Chef Red and Jojo,who make an impact every time they bring their creations to the table. They are very skilled in what they do, and always passionate about highlighting their Filipino heritage,” said Patrick A. Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy.
Chef Moha Fedal of Morocco won the Judges’ Choice Award, while Chef Cynthia Verna of Haiti took home the People’s Choice Award at the Embassy Chef Challenge 2017.
“Although we did not get the golden pineapple this year, I am still so happy and proud to represent the Philippines. It was a huge honor and I would love to do it again should the opportunity present itself,” said Garcia.
The Philippine participation in the Embassy Chef Challenge 2017 was spearheaded by the Philippine Embassy, Philippine Trade and Investment Cente, and Office of the Agriculture Attaché in Washington, D.C.; and generously supported by the US-Philippines Society, Tito Al’s Choice, Seafood City Supermarket, Datu Puti, and UFC Banana Catsup.