State dinner w Filipino food: Somm U

President Obama just wrapped up a four-country swing through Asia. There was lots of diplomatic talk, to be sure, but inquiring food minds want to know what of the local cuisines Obama got to sample. Thanks to the official food feed (?) of the White House on Twitter, Obamafoodorama (aka Eddie Gehman Kohan), we have some of the foodie details of his trip. The real culinary highlight must have been dining at Sukiybashi Jiro where owner and sushi master Jiro Ono served Obama and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Must have been tough to score that rez!

We always enjoy taking a look at the wines poured at state dinners at the White House. But at the state dinner in Manilla, we have the official menu but no wines listed. You know what that means: “impossible food-wine pairings” meets “leaders and liters”! Readers new and old are no doubt salivating as if it were grower champagne and kumamoto oysters! In the absence of word on the actual wines served, here is a combination of two of our favorite themes and the chance for you to play sommelier! Un, deux, trois: voila! The menu from the Philippines:

First course:
Lobster Kilawan capaccio, baby sprouts, and fiddle fern with Kalamansi jam

Second course:
Seafood stew with River Prawns, scallops, and smoked mussels, sweet banana in rich tomato and coriander sauce

Red-dotted Lapu-Lapu with Pili nut crust
Pumpkin mash and local vegetables cooked in coconut milk


Annato lemongrass marinated US Prime Rib
Pumpkin mash and Batangas farmed vegetables

Coconut lychee ice cream served with mango macapno strudel

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5 Responses to “State dinner w Filipino food: Somm U”

  1. Love your blog and been reading it for a while.

    Comment – only one ‘p’ in “Filippino”.

    Also, wine isn’t popular in Manila, maybe they didn’t have pairings.

  2. Eric – Thanks for the comments and kind words.

    Here’s a photo that indicates there was at least something visually resembling a champagne toast in Manila:

    Why do you think wine isn’t popular in the Philippines?

  3. Me again. In response to your question, the Philippines is beer country (I’m from there btw). Hard liquor comes in second, and wine brings up the rear.

    In recent years there has been more interest in wine though, so much so that there are now wine bars (not many, but it’s a start). However, even in my recent visits it’s hard to find restaurants with good wine lists unless they’re high-end (i.e. catering to expats, foreigners, the 1%). Mid-range restos might have 2 bottles of red and 2 bottles of white, usually plonk from South America.

    P.S. I’m sorely tempted to sign up for your next NYU Class, if and when there is one.

  4. Ah, yes the champagne toast, almost forgot about that. Bubbly is usually available for special occasions (weddings, State Visits apparently), but not really indicative of general wine consumption.

    I recall Asti Aspumanti being popular back in the day. Filipinos have a sweet palate, I can imagine someone making a killing on moscato and sweeter rieslings.

  5. Eric – Apologies for the delayed reply but thanks for the interest in my next NYU class! The next session is slated for the fall: six consecutive Wednesdays, October 15 – Nov 19, 6:30 – 8:30 in the Washington Square area. Registration isn’t open yet (I’ll do a post when it is) but mark your calendar now! 😉 Hope to meet you there!


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