"Breaking Bread With Our Heroes" was a culinary event Ilustrado Restaurant had in cooperation with the National Museum. It aimed to showcase different dishes in relation to certain Filipino heroes, and a few years after, these dishes are passed on to those who attended the event. Now, it's my turn to pass on this knowledge to you, my dear readers.
For this featured class, four dishes from the said event were demoed, but the people behind Ilustrado Restaurant, headed by its president - Mr. Boni Pimentel, also shared two dishes from the restaurant. Here were the dishes:
A dish that traces its origin from Tondo, Manila where the hero Andres Bonifacio hailed from. Back then, that part of Manila was still known for its smoked fish, which was the main ingredient for this dish. Flaked smoked fish wrapped in Pechay leaves and drizzled with olive oil was a good appetizer, although I found it a little salty. Maybe it needed to be paired with steamed rice to mellow the saltiness, but it was a very easy dish to do that my mom and I wanted to try it one time at home. We just have to find a not so salty smoked fish or maybe add a little something to tame that sodium level a little.
Bagnet with KBL
A very famous Ilocano dish for the sons of Ilocos, Juan and Antonio Luna. Not for the weak of heart as this was a cholesterol rich food, but even if the process of making this was a little tedious (from boiling to baking to frying), it was still very delicious! In Ilocos, the best partner for this would be the KBL or the Kamatis - Bagoong - Lasona (tomatoes, fish paste, shallots), but it was made better with the addition of minced ginger.
Manok ng Mga Bayani
A dish that was said to be served in one of the events hosted by the former Philippine President, Manuel L. Quezon. A very interesting dish because it tasted like a cross between Kare Kare (because of the toasted peanuts and rice) and Adobo (because of the tangy flavor brought by the Kamias or Bilimbi). So delicious and so tasty!
A dish inspired by the National Hero, Jose Rizal because of the abundance of guava in his hometown. Tasted a little bit like guava jam, but made creamy because of the milk. A simple way to end a historic dining experience.
Like I said, Mr. Boni Pimentel and his team also shared two dishes from Ilustrado Restaurant:
I love fried rice, but I admit I am not a fan of flavored rice, Paella included. However, there was something in this dish that made me like it - rice not resembling the texture of the suman. I truly don't like mushy flavored rice, but since this one wasn't mushy, I quite enjoyed eating it.
Sampaguita Ice Cream
As a treat to the people who attended the event, we were all served Sampaguita Ice Cream, one of the most unique ice cream flavors I have tried. The jasmine scent and flavor was prominent, but the ice cream's consistency and feel in the mouth was so awesome that it made me really thankful to have tasted such delight.
A country's history isn't just measured with the words from the books, or the pictures taken... it can also be seen through food. Thank you, The Maya Kitchen for making me a part of this event.