This is a press release from the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON DC, USA – Internationally-acclaimed Filipino chef Claude Tayag will represent the Philippine embassy as it joins the annual Embassy Chef Challenge for the first time on May 25, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington DC.
“This is the first time that the Philippines will join the Embassy Chef Challenge. It is a significant step for our culinary diplomacy as cultural and economic objectives drive our participation. We want to celebrate our cuisine, bridge cultural differences and foster international understanding, and promote Philippine ingredients and products,” said Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose L. Cuisia Jr.
As one of Washington’s leading international culinary events, the Embassy Chef Challenge is when participating embassies wield their respective cuisines as the main diplomatic tool.
Chefs representing different embassies will prepare world-class cuisine and compete for the Judges' Choice and People's Choice Awards. In the latter category, guests at the even select the winner.
'Flavors of the Philippines'
“The Embassy Chef Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to showcase not just the unique flavors of Philippine cuisine but also the accessibility of our food. It has been said that food culture is a reflection of a nation's soul, and so I intend our offering to be a culinary demonstration of our people's inherent openness and generosity. After all, Filipino cuisine is meant to be shared,” said Tayag.
Tayag was born in Angeles City in the province of Pampanga, known as the "Culinary Capital of the Philippines." A renowned artist, food writer, and chef, Tayag is no novice to international festivals, where he showcases his delicious creations and carries his passion for Kapampangan cuisine. He was the Philippines’ culinary expert at the Memphis in May International Festival in 2012, and was part of Team Philippines in the international gastronomy congress of the Madrid Fusión Manila in 2015.
Together with his wife, Mary Ann, Chef Claude established Bale Dutung (Wooden House), his abode turned into a restaurant serving traditional Kapampangan cuisine. The by-reservation-only restaurant gained popularity when world-renowned chef and writer Anthony Bourdain personally visited and featured the restaurant in his TV show, No Reservations, in 2008.
The couple also co-authored Linamnam: Eating One's Way Around the Philippines, a culinary guide book on what food to eat in every Philippine region as well as what makes each dish unique and outstanding in its own right.
Tayag has likewise written an award winning book, Food Tour: A Culinary Journey, and co-authored Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine.
He will take on 18 chefs from other embassies, including that of Venezuela. That country's cuisine topped last year’s challenge as both the Judges’ and People’s choices.
Aside from the actual competition, this year’s Embassy Chef Challenge will also feature silent and live auctions, premium beers, wines, and spirits, and cultural performances. Tickets are available here.
Tayag’s participation is a joint project of the Philippine Embassy, Philippine Trade and Investment Center, and Office of the Agricultural Attaché in Washington DC, in partnership with the US-Philippines Society, Philippine Airlines and Seafood City Supermarket. – Rappler.com