Remembering BGC Eats 2014

Remembering BGC Eats 2014

Surprises, Horrors and Delights

Gabrielle R. Borromeo

The Daily Tribune | August 05, 2014

Bonifacio Global City (BGC) Eats 2014 is back for the second time. Chef JJ Yulo, contributing editor for Rogue and part of the Pinoy Eats World, the group dedicated to everything food, is still the curator and tour host for this event. This year he will be joined by four other experts. Not only will BGC Eats 2014 be another chance to learn more from Yulo, but the tour destinations will also be an exciting and unique experience for all.

During the launch of BGC Eats 2014, I found myself standing at an open space with an amusement ride in front of me. It was the kind of lifesize children’s train that usually circulates in malls, except this one was parked right at the center of the open space where everyone joining the tour was to meet.

I had heard BGC Eats 2014 included an exciting ride, but the lifesize train just couldn’t be it, I thought. Of course it wasn’t. Instead, a huge BGC bus was reserved just for this event to take us places within the city — places none of us knew we would go to. And that was the thrill of it. We had three surprise stops.

Inside the BGC bus, the media and the bloggers each find a comfortable seat before reaching the next destination.

First stop was Gustaré Kitchen, situated right behind The Goose Station, with the address at the ground floor of W Tower, 39th Street, Fort Bonifacio. Gustaré Kitchen is owned by Ginny de Guzman, the former owner of Sugar House. At Ginny’s Gustaré Kitchen, everyone was treated with Ginny’s calamansi sansrival, canonigo and meringue kisses.

The second stop was Prost, a German beer bar located at the ground floor of Pointe Building, 26th Avenue corner 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio. It is also beside the Early Bird Breakfast Club.

I came in early so I got the chance to see Prost empty.

This was when all the guests hadn’t arrived yet, of course except me. While waiting, I took the opportunity to take pictures of the empty German bar.

This was when everyone came in to enjoy what Prost had to offer. It was full house!


The Goulash was served with Bread Sticks

First on the table was the goulash, followed by the rosti, spaetzle, Nürnberger sausage and finally the sausage platter composed of a selection of Hungarian, kielbasa and bockwurst.

Every dish was a new discovery for me except for the Hungarian sausage that was a familiar favorite.The Goulash, which is a German soup made from stewed tomato sauce, corned beef, potatoes and Hungarian sausage, was rich in taste. This stew reminded me of pork and beans. This was served in a miniature cup, just the right amount to have space for other dishes.

The Goulash, which is a German soup made from stewed tomato sauce, corned beef, potatoes and Hungarian sausage, was rich in taste. This stew reminded me of pork and beans. This was served in a miniature cup, just the right amount to have space for other dishes.



The rosti is a pancake-sized hash brown topped with egg, cooked sunny side up. The fried hash brown was crunchy to the bite, but inside was smooth with a certain texture to the palate as the potatoes were grated like shoe strings.

The spaetzle, a dish found in Germany made from egg noodles or dumplings, I found to be like rice except it’s more like a pasta.
What everyone was digging into though were the sausages, which were such a hit.

Hungarian Sausage

The Hungarian sausages were immediately wiped out from the table because of how good it was. It was chunky, juicy and had a bite to it, although I personally found it a little too mild since I was looking for the spice usually found in Hungarian sausages.

Nürnberger Spiral

The Nürnberger spiral, on the other hand, caught everyone’s attention. The length of the sausage was coiled to fit almost the whole platter. It also came with fries so the dish was good for sharing.

Here’s my Instagram post on Prost!

Food of the Future

For the third stop, we were all transported to the Future Feast, the culminating event for “The Apocalypse Project: Imagined Futures,” an exhibition about our environmental futures under climate change. This occured at the Mind Museum, the country’s first world-class science museum that caters to Filipino families and students, both from private and public schools.

The Future Feast at the museum came to be the shock of our lives — and no it’s not the Tyrannosaurus rex that stood tall looking ready to devour us. It was the menu the chefs came up with in collaboration with the museum. Together they insisted that in 2050, livelihood will be different from today, that we should rethink our food supply and get used to munching on the kind of delicacies they had prepared for us.

The menu included chef Ian Carandang’s nut milk ice cream bar, chef Sau del Rosario’s togu moringa and aloe vera panna cotta, Kyle Imao’s croquek and seaweed tempura, Nancy Lumen Reyes’ Jello Insekto and Jeepers Creepers that both had fried locusts in it and EAT’s banana bread and burger patty made from real earthworms, not gummy worms. I gulped, my heart in my hand, just reading the dish labels in their booths.

After scanning the food around, my first instinct was to head for the safest booth I saw, Sebastian’s Ice Cream booth by chef Ian Carandang. Here he served nut milk and nut milk ice cream bars. His nut milk came from cashew nuts, which he mentioned can be “a dairy replacement. It is a climate change ingredient we can drink to survive in the future.” Before taking a gulp at his nut milk, I had to make sure it had nothing eerie in it, no secret ingredient that would widen my eyes. Thankfully it was really just made from cashew nuts. The nut milk was quite odd — like a watered down soya milk with a woody aftertaste. But the Dive Bar, Carandang’s artisan ice cream on a stick, was really good. If I had to live on this to survive, I wouldn’t mind. It tasted exactly like a banana cake made into an ice cream.

Chef Sau del Rosario, the Green Chef, had on display his togu moringa and aloe vera panna cotta. They were also at the top of my list. I would gladly be a vegetarian in the future if these were the dishes.

Togu Moringa and Aloe Vera Panna Cotta

Chef Sau said, “Moringa or more commonly known in the Philippines as malunggay, can be planted almost anywhere, and it is very fast growing and rich in vitamins. Soya bean can also be a dairy replacement. That is why these are very good resources for futuristic recipes, they are healthy and sustainable.”

I enjoyed the togu moringa and aloe vera panna cotta, which was also topped with banana, candied ginger and açai berry sauce. It was refreshing, healthy and tasted like a pastry dessert a cute little fat kid would run to.

Seaweed Tempura

Kyle Imao, the kid who won the first Junior Masterchef Philippine edition, prepared croquek and seaweed tempura.

He said, “The croquek is made from chicken, which is easier to produce rather than pork and/or beef. It also has potatoes, which can be a replacement for rice or wheat as a carbohydrate.

I also have along with me my seaweed tempura. Seaweed is very sustainable while the cassava flour replaces corn starch.”


Kyle had his croqueks shaped as an egg and showcased them together with colorful metallic plastic eggs in a plastic tray.

Last but not least were the locusts and earthworms being given their chance to shine at the booth. Of course this was the scare of my life.

Jello Insekto

Jello Insekto

Dish on the Dishes

Nancy Reyes Lumen, the Adobo Queen who comes from family-owned restaurants like Aristocrat, Reyes Barbecue and Serye, found her way to the Future Feast showing off her locust inventions. She strictly reminds people though that what she served at this booth were not served in their restaurants.

Nancy’s Jello Insekto came in clear jello’s shaped from the ice tray. Inside each jello was a locust that looked fast asleep. Though I would rather not have disturbed its peace, Nancy kept promoting her goods to people that her tray was almost consumed.

She said, “I wanted to make the locust visible, which is why I used a clear jello. I want people to know what they’re eating; I want them to see the locust. The procedure for the Jello Insekto was not too complicated. I made my own chili spice, added adobo powder and fried the locust to a crisp and then dropped it in the jello. Try it!”

I smiled back at Nancy, but I just couldn’t — not yet, not now. Maybe when the times are prehistoric, and that is still a maybe.

Nancy also had popcorn, I mean Jeepers Crispers — locusts made into a snack to delight on. They were in opaque paper bags exactly like fried snacks ready to eat, except I just wasn’t ready.

Nancy added, “Locusts are very rich in nutrients and can be farmed sustainably. It is a climate change ingredient we can look forward to!”

Salis-Vermi Steak with Mushroom Gravy and Sautéed Talilong (Water Leaf) Weed

As if locusts weren’t enough, there were also earthworms on the menu. Since when did humans become fish who preyed on worms?! I just couldn’t digest this idea, much more the dish. I tried though, I really tried.

Eric Capaque and Claudette Dy of EAT had for their dish Salis-vermi steak with mushroom gravy and sautéed talilong (water leaf) weed. They claimed that earthworms are easy to grow and are rich in protein and other nutrients; weeds are high in protein and a good source of iron, calcium and vitamins A and C, and that banana peels are waste products that we can use as food. Unfortunately, the burger patty was black and did not even look appetizing at all.

Fancy looking poop, but it’s actually banana peeling if I’m not mistaken. Eek!

It looked like a burnt patty of some sort, and what made it more disheartening was what I suppose was the banana peeling designed like fancy poop on the side. Did I mention it was yellow? There’s no other way to put it.

They also served banana vermi cupcakes still made with earthworms. It kind of destroyed my image of banana cakes especially since I love them. Unfortunately, I still couldn’t find it in me to try the worms in that form.

Banana Vermi Cupcakes

Not for the Faint of Heart

BGC Eats 2014 was definitely different that year, and there’s more room for those who are strong at heart and adventurous with food.

Gabrielle Borromeo

Author Profile

Gabe organizes what she sees around her and loves to put it into words. She has been contributing her articles for the Daily Tribune newspaper, Tinig ng Marino (maritime) newspaper, Cook magazine, Appetite magazine and F&B World magazine.

You can contact Gabrielle at:

Exploring a World of Hamburgers

Exploring a World of Hamburgers

Reggie Rullan and Gabrielle Borromeo

Published in Daily Tribune Life | May 21, 2011

Oakwood Premier Joy – Nostalg Center Manila’s World of Burgers

Our culinary tour of Oakwood Premier Joy – Nostalg Center Manila’s World of Burgers promotion, which ran in April, was ushered in with a platter of chopped house salad with tangy ranch dressing. There were only a few components on this salad plate, and each ingredient was awakened by clusters of bleu cheese. As we loved bleu cheese and ate it regularly at home, it was a knockout of a starter for both of us. Even the shallots’ piquant tang was conquered by the creamy bleu cheese. A balance of zesty and rich tastes completed the salad experience. The ranch dressing fastened the savory croutons to the lettuce and melded the flavors of the cheese and shallots in a dish you could finish in one fell swoop.

The glass of South African Nederburg Pinotage was an intense dark ruby red cinnamon rich wine, which stood up to the rich strong flavors of the bleu cheese and the shallots. The Pinotage had a full mouth feel with musky spiciness lingering long after each sip.

When the trilogy of so-called mini burgers was set before us, we literally gasped at the sight of the whoppers, towering at three inches with patties and buns four inches in diameter. Despite its daunting appearance, we decided to take the challenge and eat at least a bite of each.

Italian Mini-Burger

The first thing that came into mind after biting into the Italian Burger was Bolognese pasta sauce. The rich, crushed tomato sauce with the burgers was like eating Bolognese pasta sans the noodle. The aragula leaf tucked under the burger gave brightness to the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. It was very Italian to have a sharp tasting vegetable set off the richness of the cheese and the inch-thick, all-beef patty encased in a very Italian ciabatta bun.

Caribbean Mini-Burger

With the thinly sliced grilled pineapple, the beef burger tasted like a sausage patty and it reeked of island goodness with the mango relish. The jerk-flavored patty accounted for the island taste in a sesame crusted bun. This was a burger we had several bites of as we marveled at how well the mango married with the beef.

Mediterranean Mini-Burger

Kalamata olive accents on the bun marked the minted burger as unmistakably Mediterranean. With a thick slice of feta cheese cushioning the ground lamb burger, this was reminiscent of a Greek sandwich in a bun instead of a pita. The salty dense feta cheese added to the earthiness of the all-beef patty, a stark contrast to the mildly sweet Caribbean burger and the homey goodness of the tomato rich Italian burger.

Country French Fries

The palate cleaner alongside the bright tasting accent of the 2009 Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot was the side of French Fries with its thick cuts, skin on and crisp-fried with pillows of fluffy potato inside. We went back to each burger in between nibbles of the hearty fries. Finishing off the fries seemed no mean task as it disappeared from our platters faster than we thought, as did several rounds of the 2009 Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, a wine we could not seem to stop sipping in between bites of our Trilogy of Burgers. It flowed down our palates with seeming ease as we savored the complex notes of the blend of merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.


Super Brownie Sundae

An avalanche of whipped cream and vanilla ice cream covered the chunky chewy brownies that ended the burger bonanza. The frostiness of the vanilla ice cream surrounded the cocoa rich moist chocolate cookie bars. We reveled in the Super Brownie with chocolate sauce and a cherry on top like kids on a Sunday treat.

Other selections for this burger fest includes: Mexican grilled beef patty, melted cheddar, jalapenos, sour cream and chili in flour tortilla accompanied by nacho chips, salsa and avocado mayonnaise; Classic Double Double with two grilled beef patties, Canadian bacon, crisp smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, onion rings on a sesame bun; Korean beef patty glazed with sweet soy and rice wine, roasted sesame seeds and kimchi on crisp rice disk; French pan-fried, cognac-flamed beef patty with foie gras, Perigourdine sauce on a crusty bun served with truffles and fried potatoes; South Asian vegetarian pan-seared bean patty, light curry gravy, katchumber on grilled naan bread served open faced; South Beach grilled lean beef patty, 500 Islands dressings (low fat version of the original) between two hearts of iceberg lettuce; Argentinean beef patty, chimichurri sauce, Manchego cheese topped with an egg; and Scandinavian grilled salmon fillet, shredded lettuce, lime mayo topped with chopped shrimp salad on a toasted rye soft bun.

Gabrielle Borromeo

Author Profile

Gabe organizes what she sees around her and loves to put it into words. She has been contributing her articles for the Daily Tribune newspaper, Tinig ng Marino (maritime) newspaper, Cook magazine, Appetite magazine and F&B World magazine.

You can contact Gabrielle at:

Reggie Borromeo

Author Profile

Reggie is co-founder of Write Concepts Company, the publisher of She manages a network of professional writers and artists in the Philippine publishing world to form a pool of experts and talents that can deliver optimum communications services.

You can contact Reggie at: