It’s carbo-overload for excited foodies who queued up for a taste of a wide variety of heirloom rice dish, at “Flavors of the Philippines”, during the first day of Madrid Fusion Manila 2017 on Thursday at SMX in Pasay City.
 
Organized by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, the Luzon and Heirloom Rice culinary extravaganza at Hall 3 of the SMX was truly a feast for the eyes, mouth and tummy.
 
Heirloom rice are varieties that have been passed on from generation to generation. These are typically grown void of technology. These often are sought after for their distinct flavour and nutritional value.
 
Many were in awe after trying Chef Dino Dizon of The Smoking Joint’s surprise treat– the Goat Barbeque. Dizon  explained the meticulous process behind it where goat meat is  brined for 24 hours in ginger and  sea salt and  placed in a fire box with wood charcoal sprinkled with black rice and cooked in 230 centigrade until tender. The pulled smoked goat meat is then lathered up with BBQ coconut syrup sauce and coleslaw on top of flat pan de sal made from grounded wild rice flour. 
 
Some chefs made use of grounded heirloom rice, such as the delectable Roasted Vegetable Black Rice Arancini with Coconut Cream and Seafood Ragout by chef Kevin Tuason of Tahanan Bistro. Josh Boutwood of The Test Kitchen had Ox Tail with onion mousse and fermented black rice.  Executive chef AJ Reyes of The Commissary and Privatus Dining presented Tinuktok made with Tinawon rice, crab meat and aligue wrapped in taro leaves and cooked spiced coconut milk.
           
Some dish served on fresh palm leaves and other in small wooden bowls, the curiosity of foodies and gourmets were piqued upon seeing the   Violet heirloom mountain rice with Smoked Milk Fish Otah of Chef Nicco Santos.
 
And if you still can’t get enough of rice, Paul Samson and David Cruz, chefs and partners of 5060 Bar and Restaurantt, presented Rice on Rice: Innawi rice balls stuffed with kesong puti, watermelon gherkin, and catfish (hito) with duo sauces of burnt eggplant and balatinaw fermented rice aioli and mustasa pesto.
 
With her advocacy in making lechon a global sensation, Dedet[u1]  dela Fuente-Santos of Pepita’s Kitchen bestowed on foodies her Lechon de Leche with sisig rice, chorizo and taba ng talangka stuffing and  its lechon sauce made of black heirloom rice, red heirloom rice paste with local child sauce.    
 
  Happy Ongpauco-Tiu of Pamana Restaurant and Tsokolateria had Luz, Vi and Minda’s heirloom tacos made from Ifugao black rice tortillas with pickled vegetables, fruits in gata and choice of filling – Batangas bulalo carne asada, pit-roasted Cebu lechon, and GenSan tuna tataki. 
 
 
Meanwhile, the sole Filipino chef presenter during the Madrid Fusion 2017 in Spain, Myke Tatung Sarthou of Agos offered Tausug junay with utakutak: sticky rice cooked with pamapa and spiced fish nugget.
 
There were the unusual rice desserts too, such as the New York-bred Raul Matias of Manila Chocolatier initially experimented with heirloom rice toffee bar with a twist.  Using Davao-grown cocoa with Ivory Coast and Indonesian chocolates, his products are now available at Rustans and have become favourite pasalubongs in attractive packages featuring Philippine icons. (TGU)
Mountain Violet, Lasbakan and other heirloom rice varieties by the Department of Agriculture
Lechon de leche by Chef Dedet de la Fuente of  Pepita's Kitchen
Heirloom rice toffee bar with a twist by Chef Raul Mateo of the Manila Chocolatier
Tinuktok Tinawon Rice by AJ Reyes of Privatus Dining