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The best of Asia’s street eats at the World Street Food Jamboree 2017

Admit it: Street food has never looked this good.

Despite developing a bad rep over the years for its supposed “unsanitary” practices, the street food culture has continued to thrive both in the Philippines and in our neighbouring Asian countries.

The continent’s finest low-key gastronomic finds were once again in full display during the World Street Food Jamboree at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds over the weekend.

The five-day event, held from May 31 to June 4, featured a total of 28 food stalls operated by chefs and hawkers from India, China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, as well as from Mexico, Germany and the United States.

The Philippines’ own was well represented as well, with six stalls hailing from both Northern and Southern parts of the country.

Aside from numerous food stalls, event goers were also treated with live cooking demonstrations from both local and international chefs.

Chef Him Uy de Baron demonstrates how to make his version of Prawn ball Scotch Egg. Photo by Khristian Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net
Chef Sau Del Rosario (left) and Chef Odillia Winneke (middle) together with culinary students. Photo by Khristian Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net
Brew Master Allan Sienes highlights why street food is best enjoyed with a cold one. Photo by Khristian Ibarrola/INQUIRER.net

Bringing street food to new heights

Sisig Paella. Photo from Instagram/@chefsau
Pork Trotters with Black Bean Tostadas from Mexico. Photo from World Street Food Congress/Facebook

Much like last year, one of the Philippines’ most prominent names in the culinary industry, Chef Sau Del Rosario, headlined the event for the host country.

“Whats beautiful about the World Street Food Congress (WSC) is it brings street food to a whole new light,“ the internationally renowned chef and restauranteur told InqPOP!

Alam kasi natin ang Filipino interpretation ng street food marumi, like fish ball, isaw (animal intestines). [For some, the Filipino interpretation of street food is it’s unsanitary].

For others, street food is soul food. Its a heritage cuisine passed on from generations,” he said.  “You’ll see how the food is prepared. The food has a story and culture is best served in a platter.”

He added: “Every year is going to be big and hopefully next year will even be bigger. This is a good event for us Filipinos para masala yung  [to rid of] stigma natin against street food.

Furthermore, Chef Del Rosario lauded the presence of culinary icon Anthony Bourdain, who graced the event and engaged with Filipinos during an earlier WSC open dialogue event.

Anthony Bourdain. Photo from World Street Congress/Facebook

“Anthony Bourdain is obsessed with food,” he described the the culinary rockstar.

“And gusto ko sa kanya hindi siya [what I like about him he’s not] biased sa street food.  In fact, he looks up sa mga street food vendors. He knows its a way of life and identifies it as real food.”

Aside from Bourdain,  other talented chefs from around the world were present as well, including Michelin starred chefs Andy Wang and Malcolm Lee, along with KF Seetoh, founder of Makansutra restaurant chains and initiator of WSF 2017.

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