I don’t know about you, but the 9-course degustacion dinner named as Bulung (Kapampangan word means leaves) was something special – that unique experience when classic cooking and local ingredients meet modern technique anything seems possible, creative and fearless.
Pampanga’s celebrated chefs – Sau del Rosario of 25 Seeds and Bong Sagmit of Pigs & Pints collaborated for a revolutionary dinner last July 21 at 25 Seeds in Angeles City. Putting new life to dying ingredients by showcasing different leaves from Pampanga that are almost forgotten was the epitome of Bulung.
“We will serve you not only good food but also the technique we applied. We want to send the message across on how to promote dying ingredients like the leaves; plants and local fruits found in the backyard. We whisper intimately our advocacy of reviving these dying ingredients, “ del Rosario says.
The line-up includes alibambang from San Martin, caramay from Manibaug, wild mulberry berries and leaves from Sapang Bato, sampaguita from Lubao, and talinum from their pocket farm, to name a few.
The promising Chef Sagmit who is well known for molecular cooking and modern technique says without tradition, there will be no innovation.
That’s why each dish was magical and work of art. After a delightful bite, you’ll be surprised to learn what were the ingredients and techniques used. For starter, we were served with Sorrel – aklan oysters, dehydrated ashitaba, guava granite and tabon-tabon vinaigrette. Then came Pancit-Pancitan, one of my favorites, never thought that egg would go well with cocoa nibs, vinegar and butter salt soil. This dish was served in a nutshell and made of unique concoction of sous-vide egg, cacao nibs, paco, batuan vinegar, mushroom soil, pusa-pusa, ashitaba, guava smoke and brown butter soil.
Another Bulung’s best was Kaffir (similar to Laksa) – latik-poached ulang, papaya, lemongrass, ginger, coriander, coconut cream, prawn sheet, Chinese malungay and alibangbang twig. And then came six more playful dishes on the table that gazed everyone in the room with awe.
Both Del Rosario and Sagmit are founding members of Culinarya Pampanga – a network of chefs and restaurateurs in Pampanga, which aims to make it the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. Part of the group’s mission is to commit themselves in preserving, promoting, and passing on culinary traditions of Pampanga and to support local producers. The group has been working on projects and events that are aligned to their mission since they were founded in 2016.
With many positive reviews, Bulung II is now in the process. Again, it will be a fusion of playful feast with Chef Sau’s classic style of cooking and Chef Bong’s modern techniques, along with a meaningful advocacy.
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