BGC Eats 2014

I started my company, Pinoy Eats World, on a premise – how could I make getting together through food more meaningful and fun?

(Basically I wanted my foot in the door of the local food world without having to open a restaurant. Hehe!)

The first nugget that popped into my head was to take people on food tours. I started with Hong Kong, the nearest out of the country destination frequented by us Pinoys. I’ve always had a fascination with this place – with it’s monolithic buildings and energy – and the FOOD.. oh God the food.. was always fantastic. There was just one problem – most people I knew, including mine, were stuck eating in the same places for years. Nothing wrong with familiarity, but I knew for fact that there was so much more to the city than established places – yes, like you Yung Kee, and Spring Deer and Maxim’s. I tip my hat to them out of respect, and I’m still a fan, but there were too many other joints to explore.

Mind Mover & Scientist, Artha Ting of The Mind Museum
Mind Mover & Scientist, Artha Ting of The Mind Museum

So I took a notebook and a camera and got lost in the concrete jungle. What I unearthed were such gems that I never really thought of going to until I decided to just go for it, tossing my Pinoy “hiya” out the window.

That was three years or more ago. Since then I’ve done Hong Kong a couple of times, Bangkok twice, and helped with my partners for Pampanga several times, and even Turkey.

This October I’m doing Tokyo, and next year more of Japan, a new one of Singapore, and other locations – hopefully even local ones like Bacolod, Davao, and Bicol.

I have some much nearer to home, of course! In Metro Manila, there’s something close to my heart that I do called BGC Eats. I do these little tours in cooperation with the Bonifacio Arts Foundation – and they’re always fun.

As someone who lives and plays in BGC, I take people to places that I like to frequent, meet and engage the owners and chefs, and chat about what’s going on in the city.

This year the legs of the tour were given a bit of a twist --- they were themed, and each corresponding theme came with a guest co-host – experts in their respective fields – who I could banter with, ask questions from, and generally bounce energy and ideas with.

Locusts in jello, anyone?
Locusts in jello, anyone?

So far we’ve done “The Science Of Food” with Artha Ting, Mind Mover/scientist from The Mind Museum; “Food Photography” with Mylene Chung, food photographer and creative mind of; “Drink Pairings” with Bel Castro, professor at Enderun; and finally “Eating Healthy When Eating Out” with Denise Celdran of Edgy Veggy.

What I love most about this? I love seeing the faces of people when they learn something new. Actually most of the time I was right along with them there learning things too. I have this silly little notion that if people in general opened their minds to stuff, opened up to learning and to the endless possibilities, then perhaps our food scene can progress even more than it already has.

New cafe alert! Crisp!
New cafe alert! Crisp!

In the meantime, did you know that cooked eggs can be uncooked? Or that depth of field matters in taking food pics? Or that salt removes bitterness in coffee? Or that eating your fruits BEFORE you eat the meal is better because you absorb all its nutrients? So much to learn, so little time.

The food scene is in constant motion, with concepts from all over popping up like third wave coffee joints. And that’s always a good thing to satisfy whatever it is you’re jonesing for.