Tastesetters Victors Night celebrates innovations in the F&B industry, reveals food trends forecast

Tastesetters believes that food is a work of art, which is why they have chosen the famed Yuchengco Museum to be the setting of the event. By putting together complex flavors and intricate plating techniques, gastronomic masterpieces were created to surprise and delight the senses.
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MANILA, Philippines — Tastesetters brought together culinary experts and enthusiasts to celebrate the innovations that continue to push the food and beverage industry forward at the Yuchengco Museum last April 11.

Tastesetters believes that food is a work of art, which is why they have chosen the famed Yuchengco Museum to be the setting of the event. By putting together complex flavors and intricate plating techniques, gastronomic masterpieces were created to surprise and delight the senses.

They also partnered with local artists Mario “Ram” Mallari Jr., Nina Bantoto and Bimbo Yance, bassist of The Dawn, who generously exhibited their skill and expertise that commemorate the creativity that food and art share. 

Upon arrival, guests were greeted with cocktails at the outdoor reception area. Sweet and savory creations were served to set the tone for the evening—Manong Sorbetero’s Adobo Caramel Sorbetes with Pork Floss and Kare Kare Sorbetes with Tulip Dark Chocolate Paste and Jif Crunchy Peanut Butter.

Appetizers such as Palabok in Pani Puri—using San Remo Angel Hair Pasta with Clara Olé Cream-based Pasta Sauce Crab Flavor, Kinilaw na Hamachi at Scallops with TABASCO Sriracha and US Beef Belly Kansi were impressive teasers for the feast to come.

Food forecasts: Innovations to expect

At the main hall, the event started with Tastesetters displaying their expertise by speaking on the food and beverage innovations that they spotted. In the past years, they identified emerging trends that eventually made it big in the scene–like the dominance of matcha, return of black-colored dishes, craze for Korean cakes, and more. This year, they presented various upcoming innovations that they think will excite and inspire chefs and diners alike.

First is Gastronomic Artistry, which is the theme of the event. This interprets the plate as a blank canvas that encourages chefs to create illusions, illustrations and even sculptures that turn dishes into awe-inspiring masterpieces. 

The second looks back on how Korean culture has increasingly influenced local industries, notably through its cuisine. Samgyeopsal and bingsu have become favorites, while ramyeon and kimchi are now pantry staples for Filipinos. The Next K-Wave invites culinary experts to discover the new ingredient, flavor or dish that will be the next big sensation in the country. 

Tropical ingredients like coconut, mango, calamansi and watermelon get the spotlight it deserves on the third trend. This invites industry leaders to get a Taste of the Tropics by incorporating these island elements into dishes in unexpected ways. 

Complex heat in food has slowly emerged through the years. From just challenging others with increasing intensity, this fourth trend creates a wider spectrum of spicy flavors up and down the spicy scale. Turn the Heat Up by being more clever in adding that more intentional kick of spice to food and drink.

Now is the opportune time to put Health on a Plate. This fifth trend rides on people’s shifting behaviors to, now, being more mindful about what they eat and put into their bodies. By swapping certain ingredients to go for more wholesome alternatives or indicating the calorie count of each item on the menu, restaurant owners can create healthy and refreshing plates that revitalize from the inside. 

Getting in on the Saucy Secrets may be easier said than done. With this sixth trend, popular dishes, like sisig, are remade into intriguing condiments. Its iconic flavors are taken from the sizzling plate and put into bottles that can be used as a surprising addition to other dishes. 

Lastly, Gourmet for All democratizes certain elements of upscale dining to create food that’s within the reach of a wider market. Fine ingredients like truffle and caviar are put into more accessible food like chips, instant noodles, fries and more. 

Degustation dinner

After all the forecasted food trends were presented, the evening transitioned into the awaited degustation dinner. Created by Tastesetters’ very own chef Sonny Mariano and chef Wado Siman, the menu celebrated iconic Filipino cuisine. The chefs pushed the envelope further by adding surprising twists and flavors with SYSU products that updated these beloved dishes. 

The experience started off deliciously with the Benguet Corn Chawan Mushi and Reconstructed Tokwa’t Baboy with TABASCO Chipotle. Then guests dined salu-salo style as they enjoyed reimagined Filipino classics such as Balamban Lechon Baboy seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning that had three sauces, including one made with Clara Olé Pineapple Jam, Adobong Pusit Adlai, prepared using the Clara Olé Pasta Negra Sauce and Kare Kareng Gulay made with Jif Peanut Butter complemented with a vegan bagoong.

The final course included a Cassube Flan, made with McCormick Ube Flavor, and a Cashew Mazapan, made using Embassy Chocolate’s Zen 33% White Couverture and McCormick’s Vanilla and Ube Flavors, intended to be eaten with the edible menus—much to everyone’s surprise. 

Once the guests were delighted by the feast, the much-anticipated awarding ceremony commenced. The Tastesetters team identified three nominees that embodied each of the five categories and one winner that stood out from the pack. 

First, the Rookie-Up and Coming award celebrated the businesses new to the Tastesetters scene. They are the ones to watch and are anticipated to make it big in the industry. While Lawson and Chick n’ Juicy were nominated, Mrs. G Cakeshop Corporation took home the custom trophy by artists Ram Mallari and Nina Bantoto. 

Second, the Operations Efficiency award highlighted establishments that optimized workflow, customer service, resource management and the like. Binondo Foods Corporation clinched the award after being nominated with Waffle Time and Philippine Seven Corporation. 

The Marketing & Promotions award was up third with the nominees being Pho Hoa, Binondo Foods Corporation and Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings. This accolade puts marketing efforts front and center. Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings ultimately won because of their impactful strategies that made waves online and offline. 

Being the bread and butter of Tastesetters, the Menu/Product Development award focused on those who create innovations that consistently impress their customers–whether they’re regulars or newcomers. Philippine Seven Corporation won the prize after being nominated with Bon Chon and Hopia King Bakery. 

Finally, Collaborator of the Year celebrates establishments that initiate productive partnerships, keep good supplier relationships, and more. Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings and Hopia King Bakery were nominated alongside the category winner, Authenquick Foods Corporation. 

To close the event, Sandy Cu, product and business development head of SYSU International, led a toast to celebrate the coming together of industry experts and enthusiasts for an evening of impeccable food, beautiful pieces of art and inspiring displays of innovation.


Stay tuned for exciting news on Tastesetters’ upcoming events, workshops, seminars and more. Be the first to know when you follow Tastesetters on Facebook. For more information, visit their website

Editor's Note: This is a press release from Tastesetters. It is published by the Advertising Content Team that is independent of our Editorial newsroom. 

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