The Night Staker

Ayala Centrio Mall marks the 5th edition of the Big Bite Food Festival with the trademark Mega size Food Concepts that has become its calling card.

This time, it was Big Food: Serving the Largest Boodle of Street Food, or “the biggest boodle fight” as Ms. Cagayan de Oro 2012 Grey Mendoza put it in between spiels as she emceed the opening launch of the four day food fest.

Past editions of the festival have featured the giant halo-halo, the region’s largest maja blanca, humungous ham sliders, a titanic pineapple crumble, and a gigantic bowl of salad, among a host of other local favorites served in epic proportions.

Started in Mindanao by Centrio Mall in 2014, Big Bite has become one of the main pillars of Ayala Malls institutionalized support for local food business and concepts.   

“Today we celebrate a milestone in the 5th edition of Big Bite Food Festival which is not just about Centrio Mall but which has enabled us to reach out beyond the four corners of the mall,” said Centrio Mall Manager Hammer Bagani  Roa in his welcome remarks. “We give them that platform to reach their potential by finding their maximum reach, and Big Bite has become that platform.”

This year’s festival will feature national personalities such as Chef Boy Logro, the Philippine’s Idol sa Kusina, and TV host and former VJ Joyce Pring as they host the many culinary events and competitions, Celebrity Chef JP Anglo, host of CNN Philippines’ Hungry with Chef PJ, as well as some

The grand launch was also graced by local luminaries including Ms. Eileen San Juan, representing City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno who was attending an RPOC meeting in Davao City in her capacity as the Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer; City Tourism Council Chair Dorothy Jean Pabayo, and Ms. Carol Valdez, COHARA director representing COHARA President Bong Pelaez.

“This event is very timely as Cagayan de Oro is getting noted for its food scene, just as it is expected to become the country’s next metropolitan center after Manila, Cebu and Davao by 2025,” San Juan, a past president of the Cagayan de Oro Hotels and Restaurants Association (COHARA) noted. ‘As Metro Cagayan de Oro, it would encompass not only the city but also neighboring municipalities from Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon.”

She also noted that for the next edition of KUMBIRA, COHARA’s signature food show, is eyeing the participation of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP) East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga).  

And not the least, Big Bite Northern Mindanao Food Festival makes its bid to enter the international food scene through Lifestyle Network’s FoodPrints, a food and travel show hosted by Filipino Chef and food personality Sandy Daza that’s aired to Filipino communities all over the globe through The Filipino Channel (TFC).

TFC is a global subscription television network based in the US owned and operated by ABS-CBN. As of 2014, The Filipino Channel has over three million subscribers worldwide, most of whom are in the United States, Middle East, Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan

The son of well-loved chef Nora Daza, Chef Sandy is not only a renowned chef but also author of the best-selling cookbook “Cooking with Sandy Daza”, a columnist, food critic, and has a new restaurant, Wooden Spoon.

Chef Sandy hosts FOOD PRINTS, a food travelogue show on Lifestyle Network that puts a whole new light to Filipino cuisines by rediscovering its roots through the locals. Chef Sandy learns from them on how to cook their own special blends and uncovers the unique Filipino food culture in the process.

Among the salient events for the four day food fests are CDO Humba Challenge with Cagayan de Oro’s culinary schools and Grill& Chat at Centrio Garden with DJ Kyle (March 14); Krispy Kreme Challenge to create a signature ‘Northern Mindanao” donut (using the original glazed donut); Longest Line of Maruya, both with culinary schools; Event with Host Joyce Pring and Chef Boy Logro; Grill & Chill at the Garden with Aira & DJ Red; and Media & Bloggers Food Sampling (March 15); Beach Eats Competition to create a Cocktail using local fruits in season; Gourmet Street Food Challenge  to  turn street food into gourmet creations (with culinary schools); Demo with CNN Phils. Celebrity Chef  JP Anglo; Grill & Chill at Centrio Garden with Krna & DJ Ms DJ (March 160.

March 17 is awarding day with the Culinary Challenge winners and Grill & Chill at Centrio Garden with the Vamenta Brothers featuring Shekaina DJ Mark D.

As Centrio Mall Manager Hammer Roa puts it in his open invitation to everyone:

“Take part, enjoy, this is our very own, and we encourage you to awaken that amazing love for food, rediscover your cravings, and take that one big bite!”

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