January 4, 2016

United States Potato Board (USPB) Philippines Potato Safari 3 in Davao City

The United States Potato Board (USPB) Philippines recently held its third US Potato Safari in one of the safest cities in the world- DAVAO. The campaign follows the success of the previous US Potato Safaris held in Cebu. This initiative by the USPB aims to promote local restaurants in the country while being able to showcase US Potatoes in the most creative and innovative way possible.

Selected bloggers and media were invited to this exclusive Potato Safari wherein participants got a chance to visit several local restaurants in Davao and discovered US Potatoes in a whole new light.

We were warmly welcomed at the Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao for a quick brief on US Potatoes, led by USPB Global Marketing Manager, Susan Weller.

Potato 101- Did you know?
- Potatoes are richer in potassium than bananas
- Potatoes contain more protein than many other vegetables
- Potatoes are naturally gluten-free
- Potatoes are rich in fiber
- Frozen potatoes have lesser calories than fresh and hydrated potatoes
- One serving of potato is just 110 calories
- The Philippines is the largest export market for US Frozen Potatoes in Southeast Asia

Right after the session, we had our lunch at Claude's Le Cafe De Ville for some sumptuous French cuisine. My favorite was the appetizer of Chili Potato Cheese with Shrimps.

Dinner followed few hours later at the Vinta Bar (held at Cafe Uno) of Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao. A special dinner menu was prepared by Waterfront's Executive Chef Victor Barangan, who successfully highlighted the US potatoes in each dish. The Hot Crab Salad was the highlight of my dinner that night.

On the second day, USPB Philippines invited restaurateur of the Wooden Spoon fame, and food show host for FoodPrints Chef Sandy Daza, to do a live cooking demo of his Special US Potato Exhibition Recipes.

Chef Sandy Daza shared three recipes that everyone got to taste during lunchtime.

US Potato Baked Seafood

Mixed Sausages and Crispy US Potatoes

US Potato Beef Caldereta

For our last day dinner, everyone had a great time at Polo Bistro Pool Lounge of Marco Polo Davao, while enjoying the special dinner menu prepared by Chef Alex Destriza. I enjoyed every dish he prepared, but I exceptionally loved the main course of Honey Caramelized Pork Spareribs and the US Potato Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert.

On our last day, the cooking competition commenced, with 5 teams vying for the number 1 spot. I was teamed up with Nadine Macandog of Click The City and Eugene Constantino of the Hefty Foodie, and together we named our group Team Sarah

The cook off required all teams to come up with a dish highlighting the US Potatoes as the main ingredient. After brainstorming and last-minute meetings, we came up with a final recipe - Pinoy Puting Poutine

Our poutine recipe made use of the US Potato frozen straight cut fries, tossed in paprika then mixed with kesong puti, salted egg yolk, smoked liempo, queso de bola and spring onions. 

Here are the dishes prepared by all participating teams:

After all teams presented the entries to the judges, a winning dish reigned supreme- our Pinoy Poutine!

Congratulations to Team Sarah for a job well done!! 

Our short stay in Davao was truly a fun and memorable one. Aside from being able to learn more about US Potatoes, we also got the chance to meet new friends along the way, and explore the beautiful city of Davao. Meeting Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was also a bonus during our trip! Thank you to the US Potato Board Philippines for this wonderful experience and hope to see you again on the next US Potato Safari. 

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