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Batac: Ilocos Norte’s first coffee and food festival features Fil-Aussie chef

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The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, in partnership with Dovetail Social, an Australia-based cafe by Filipina-Australian chef, Rejoice Thomson, launched the first-ever Ilocos Norte Coffee and Food Festival at the St. Augustine Church in Paoay town on December 13 and 14.

Chef Rejoice Thomson is a Filipino culinary expert who has won distinctions, such as the 2021 Lord Mayor’s Multicultural Entrepreneur of the Year in Australia.

Her café, Dovetail Social, is a renowned café in Brisbane, Australia, that shares Philippine cultural heritage through food and desserts. It is co-owned by her husband, Mr. Adam Thomson.

The festival is part of Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc’s initiatives to promote the coffee industry in Ilocos Norte and provide more livelihood opportunities to Ilokanos who are in this business.

Gov. Marcos Manotoc always highlights his support to his constituents, saying:

“We want to make sure na may kita po kayo (the people), para sa inyo at sa inyong pamilya. Basta hanapbuhay at trabaho sigurado po na bilang gobernador po ninyo, ibibigay ko po lahat ng kaya kong ibigay.”

Meanwhile, Chef Rejoice Thomson said that “the trip is really about reconnecting, and I am very grateful for the opportunity that has been extended to us by Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc.”

The festival commenced with a “Kakanin Cook-off,” where Chef Thomson served as the head judge, and local culinary artists from the different towns of Ilocos Norte competed to create the most delightful rice-based delicacy.

On its second day, Chef Rejoice Thomson and Mr. Adam Thomson conducted a lecture regarding “Food Culture and Coffee Trends” for a cultural exchange.

Chef Thomson shared her expertise in baking by demonstrating the process of making “lamington,” a square of butter or sponge cake coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut.

On the other hand, Mr. Thomson showed techniques for brewing and provided tips on how to manage a successful business.

The festival concluded with a competition where talented baristas showcased their skills and abilities in coffee brewing.

Laoag City, the City of Batac, and the municipality of San Nicolas emerged as winners in the cook-off, respectively.

Among 27 brewers who participated in the brewing contest, Rey Llacuna (champion), Alex Morales (first runner-up), and Hanz Abad (second runner-up) won the competition. (Kenneth Dhovan C. Natividad)

(Source: Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte)

 

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