July 17, 2024

The Spanish dish paella will be given flavors of the Cordillera during the culmination of the Farmers and Fisherfolks Month on May 30.

“We were thinking of something new to showcase the products of farmers in the Cordillera and we thought of the paella,” Department of Agriculture Cordillera Executive Director Jennilyn Dawayan said.

But the plan is not to simply to cook the dish, but also to give those who will partake of the dish a farm-to-table experience as the ingredients will be sourced directly from farmers and fisherfolk in the Cordillera.

The team who will cook the dish has also been carefully chosen. Gypsy Baguio executive chef Waya Araos-Wijangco, who is known for her advocacy of buying ingredients direct from farmers, will lead the team who will prepare the dish.

DA Public Information Office head Aida Pagtan said days before the event, chef Waya and her team of chefs from restaurants outside Baguio will visit the farms where the ingredients will be coming from.

Pagtan said this is one way of linking the farmers to direct end users of their produce.

The chong-ak heirloom rice variety of Kalinga, native chicken meat, the pinuneg blood sausage, the kiniing smoked meat, and highland vegetables will be the stars of the “paella ala Cordillera”, which will be served at the Melvin Jones open field, where the Baguio City Veterinary and Agriculture Office is also conducting a trade fair featuring agricultural products from the Cordillera.

Paella is a rice dish made of the bomba short grain rice, saffron, and an assortment of proteins like chorizo, chicken, and seafood. It originated from the Valencia region of Spain. – Rimaliza A. Opiña