After being put on hold for a year due to the health pandemic, the annual “Tabu-an” (meeting place) Western Visayas Ilonggo Heritage Cooking Competition will be back on Nov. 26, 2021 with 10 teams participating from various places in Western Visayas.
“Tabu-an is a cooking competition held annually with its main objective is to promote the ways of cooking and methods and use of local ingredients of the region,” said advocate Rafael Jardeleza in an interview.
Jardeleza is an advocate of the Ilonggo heritage cuisine and the man behind the event.
It started eight years ago when six teams with six members each were given four hours to prepare sample dishes of appetizer, main course, and dessert for 300 guests using the traditional method of cooking only with firewood or charcoal.
“They made it right there in front of the people,” he said.
This year given the restrictions due to health pandemic, he said that the participants will only be cooking for the judges.
Bacolod City and Iloilo province will have two teams each, three from Capiz and the rest will come from Iloilo City.
“They will be preparing using all our local ingredients and has to have heritage composition,” he added.
In line with Iloilo's declaration as the country's food haven made by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) last week, organizers will come up with a series of activities to promote the tag with the cooking competition as one of the highlights.
Jardeleza said he has been advocating for the tag "food haven" for the past 20 years.
“Why the food haven of the Philippines? Because we have the freshest ingredients available anytime of the day in our markets and anywhere that we can eat every day,” he added.
Councilor Rudolph Jeffrey Ganzon, author of the resolution, said that if not for the pandemic, there could have been a series of events held in Iloilo.PNA