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(Special to Journal GlobaLinks)

SYDNEY, Australia -- TWO of Sydney’s most recognized Filipino-Australian chefs flew down to New Zealand recently to especially experience Filipino fare served at the 2015 Pistang Pilipino (Filipino fiesta).

Executive chef Marx Canoy and fusion chef Omar Ramos took in the tastes and scenery of the ‘Pista’ (Fiesta), hosted by the Tauranga Filipino Society, as part of the Tauranga City labor weekend celebrations.

“We particularly enjoyed tasting regional Filipino dishes including sisigs (snack fruit with salt and vinegar), various gata (coconut milk)-based viands, barbecues, bibingka (sweetened rice cake) and a variety of native desserts,” said Mr. Canoy, an award-winning cookbook author and five-star hotel executive chef.



Filipino-Oz (Australians) chefs Marx Canoy, left, and Omar Ramos during their trip to New Zealand for a taste of Pistang Pilipino (Filipino fiesta). (JGL Photo used with permission from Jaime K. Pimentel)

“It rained, but that did not dampen the festival’s Filipino spirit,” said Mr. Ramos, a former Auckland resident. Mr Ramos runs his own restaurant, Angelee’s in Blacktown.

The northern island of Tauranga is the fifth largest urban area in New Zealand and the most populous city in the Bay of Plenty coastal region.

Pistang Pilipino is a yearly festival held at different places of New Zealand, a kind of Filipino reunion - the biggest in New Zealand – with religious ceremonies officiated by the only Filipino chaplain, Father Larry Rustia, of the St. Patrick Cathedral.

“We also enjoyed watching the cooking demonstrations of the Filipino version of taco salad at the local Mexican Deli shop in downtown Auckland by Filipino shop manager Maria,” Mr. Canoy said. 



Fil-Oz Marx Canoy trying his hand at making taco shells at Pistang Pilipino (Filipino fiesta)in New Zealand. (JGL Photo used with permission from Jaime K. Pimentel)

“We had a chance to participate in the taco shell-making, which gave me ideas for my pinakbet (vegetables steamed in fish or shrimp sauce) or bakareta (beef caldereta) salad servings.

“Among many New Zealand products, I love their Anchor milk, its pure cow’s freshness and creaminess, an ideal component and a healthy cooking ingredient.”

The chefs further first visited Wanganui, a scenic region along the Tasman Sea end of the wild and wonderful Whanganui River. They explored the area’s local universities, heritage buildings, and sidetracked to the local Lemon & Paeroa (L&P) for a taste of the L & P softdrink, L & P chocolates and Anchor milk products.

They completed the visit at the summit of an inactive volcano background crater of Mt Eden. (Contact author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


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