Young Foodies Fire Up the Stage for Savores 2017

For two years now, Paseo del Mar bears witness to a thriving food culture as some of Zamboanga’s most adventurous young foodies take the stage in introducing brand new flavors for the public. In this year’s Savores 2017, the Gastronomic Event grabbed the attention of thousands as the young chefs introduced a unique mix of Malay, Chinese, and Spanish in their food offerings.

DOT Region IX Director Antonio Fernando Blanco (middle) led the opening ceremony of Savores 2017 last Saturday at Paseo del Mar in Zamboanga City
DOT Region IX Director Antonio Fernando Blanco (middle) led the opening ceremony of Savores 2017 last Saturday at Paseo del Mar in Zamboanga City

New Generation Trendsetters

Even as the event gives due acknowledge to the old generation restaurateurs, one can’t help but pay close attention to the offerings laid out by the new generation.


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Jomari Alfaro of Zamboanga’s Alavar Restaurant
Jomari Alfaro of Zamboanga’s Alavar Restaurant

Starting the line up is one Jomari Alfaro from the well-known Alavar in Zamboanga City. At just 21 years old, this young foodie firmly cemented his position in Savores 2017 by presenting old favorites with a twist. Some of the dishes presented hailed from age-old family secrets including sumptuous sauces with curacha and mangrove clams with garlic sauce.

Bay tal mal, one of Zamboanga's Halal restaurants, serving Moro cuisines like tiyulah itum, piyassak, beef kulma, chicken piyanggang
Bay tal mal, one of Zamboanga’s Halal restaurants, serving Moro cuisines like tiyulah itum, piyassak, beef kulma, chicken piyanggang

There’s also Rob Patania who was trained in US and raises the flag for local names such as Tribeca Modern Kitchen and Bar and Fellini Pizza. His background in one of the most food-forward countries in the world guarantees the introduction of new flavors to tease the palate of the gastronomically adventurous Pinoy. Since this is their first time taking part in Savores, Patania hopes to make an impact in this year’s celebration as well as participate for more of the same in the coming years.

Seafood skewers by Evan Fernando of South Avenue Grill are always first to get sold out every year
Seafood skewers by Evan Fernando of South Avenue Grill are always first to get sold out every year

Topping up the list is Martin Go from Chinito’s Asian Kitchen. A graduate of Sports Science, the young restaurateur undoubtedly has several ideas on how to move forward when it comes to the Zamboanga food culture.

Food, Youth, and Travel

The close attention to food given to this year’s celebration is more than just acknowledging Zamboanga’s enduring romance with everything edible. According to DOT Region IX Director Antonio Fernando Blanco, the evolving foodscape is bound to invite people in the province as it adds to the multitude of attractions Zamboanga has to offer.

One of Alavar's best sellers, imbao (mangrove clams) in their signature garlic sauce
One of Alavar’s best sellers, imbao (mangrove clams) in their signature garlic sauce

In any place you go, people will always look for the best distinct local flavor to taste. And when people start talking about your food that is the time they will start coming in and visiting your place,” he adds.

Fried curacha has always been a hit each year
Fried curacha has always been a hit each year


The tourism chief is of the strong opinion that the innovative dishes doled out by these new blood of culinary entrepreneurs will offer an additional boost to the province while at the same time enforcing their connections to home, family, and friends.

A Unique Slice of a Unique Archipelago

Food frenzy at the Savores 2017 in Zamboanga City
Food frenzy at the Savores 2017 in Zamboanga City

Philippines are unique in itself when it comes to food. An archipelago of more than 7000 islands, tourists will find that one province is unlike any other when it comes to food preferences. In Savores, Zamboanga takes that all-important step towards further cementing the uniqueness of their culture from the rest of the country, creating a food experience that is undeniably their own. While Savors 2017 may be over, many restaurants in Zamboanga no doubt will be serving their brand new culinary discoveries until the next Savores Event comes along.

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