ANGELES CITY- “We have tried foods from all around the world, of different nationalities, but at the end of the day, you’ll find yourself coming back to the cookery that you have grown up with,”
Thus said internationally-acclaimed Angeleño chef and restaurateur, Chef Claude Tayag, as the city government here hails him as this year’s awardee of the ‘Deng Talasinup King Singsing’ (The Keepers of Heritage) during a ceremony held on May 26 at the Museo ning Angeles.
Chef Tayag was conferred under the field of Kapampangan Culinary Arts.
“Our unique cookery is our ‘singsing’ (treasure) and we all have the responsibility to take pride of it and pass it on to the next generation,” Tayag added.
Aside from being a food maven, Tayag is also a painter, a sculptor, and a furniture designer. The chef has also introduced Kapampangan culinary in the international arena, and has been a staunch advocate of local culinary by being a food and travel columnist in a Philippine broadsheet, the Philippine Star.
Tayag is also one of the six chefs who co-authored ‘Kulinarya’–A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, where he also served as a food stylist.
With his wife Mary Ann Quioc
,Tayag co-authored the best-selling culinary travel guidebook ‘Linamnam’– Eating One’s Way around the Philippines. Now on its 2nd edition, it has sold more than 25,000 copies to date.
After years of travelling around the world, Chef Tayag returned to Angeles City and established his own reservation-only restaurant named ‘Bale Dutung’. The restaurant, which features sumptuous buffet of traditional Kampangan food, has been consistently voted by bloggers and food enthusiasts as one of the Philippines’ finest restaurants.
Tayag also garnered the People’s Choice Award from the Embassy Chefs Challenge in Washington DC, May of the present year. He bested 21 other chefs from different countries with his concoction ‘Black Bringhe’, using the best of Philippine products.
To further his advocacy in promoting local culinary, Tayag will be filming his first television show “Chasing Flavors” for Lifestyle Network to be aired this year.
John Montances, tourism officer of the city, said that “the local government and the selection committee find him as a worthy recipient of the award with the achievement he has attained both local and global”.
For his part, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan recognized the valuable contributions of the city’s “Keepers of Heritage” which triggered Angeleños to embrace their own identity which resulted to a renewed interest for local culture and arts.
“This award is just one of the many ways that the city government manifests its appreciation and pride over individual Angelenos whose works have preserved and enriched our culture, thus, protecting its identity for the future generations to appreciate,” said Mayor Pamintuan.
Deng Talasinup king Sinsing is a recognition given to local traditional artists or heritage advocates (individual or group) in the city who have established themselves as experts and masters of indigenous Kapampangan customs, beliefs, rituals, art forms and traditions of the community.
Spearheaded by the Angeles City Tourism Office (ACTO), the award is a local adaptation of the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasures Award) being handed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) during May in celebration of the country’s Heritage Month.
With the conferment, Tayag will now join fellow Angeleño ‘Keepers of Heritage’ namely Peter de Vera for the promotion of Kapampangan culture and artistry through Dance; Renato Calma for preserving the art of making traditional Angeles Lanterns; and Michael Raymon Pangilinan for safeguarding Kapampangan Language and reviving the ancient Kapampangan manuscript, the ‘Kulitan’.
The city will soon have its own gallery where hand-prints of the awardees will be exhibited. This is to manifest the city’s gratitude to Angeleños who have dedicated their lives in preserving the heritage legacies of this highly-urbanized city.