Full Menu of The No Reservations Philippines Lechon Lunch, Cebu


Several folks have asked what was on the menu when Mr. Bourdain came to Cebu for lechon/inasal. Below is the summary that I sent the show’s producers and it details all of the food that was available that day. :)

No Reservations
October 28, 2008
Lechon Lunch, Cebu



1. Chicharon Carcar – Fried Pork Rinds from the town of Carcar, in Southern Cebu, cooked late afternoon the day before the event, hand carried to Cebu City hours before they were served.
2. Fried Salted Peanuts – Raw peanuts purchased the day before, deep fried with a little garlic and chilli on site.
3. Dried Mangoes – a local delicacy, purchased from a local factory nearby.




4. Kinilaw na Tanguigue / Seviche of Spanish Mackerel

This was the dish made from the six-kilo fish at the shoot. The fish, a tanguigue or Spanish mackerel, was caught earlier that morning in Northern Cebu, purchased by our scout, packed in ice as though swimming and rushed down to Cebu City, arriving a few hours before Mr. Bourdain arrived. To make the seviche, the fish was simply sliced into skinless bite-sized pieces, similar to sushi, then bathed in a local coconut vinegar for a few seconds and drained. Then we added some chopped tomatoes, sliced small red onions, chopped siling labuyo or bird’s eye chillies, slivers of ginger, salt and some freshly squeezed coconut milk combined with a little coconut vinegar. This must be served and enjoyed minutes after it is made.

5. Kinilaw na Lukot / A Salad of Sea Hare Secretion

This was the salad made with a green capellini or spaghettini looking ingredients.


6. Kinilaw na Guso / A Salad of Blanched Seaweeds

This was the salad made with small coral finger looking like seaweeds, first blanched in hot water and plunged into ice cold water.

7. Kinilaw na Lato / Sea grape or Caviar Seaweed

This was the small caviar looking seaweed served au naturel with a vinegar dip.

All the salads above (5,6 and 7) were dressed with native coconut vinegar, salt, and some tomatoes, onions, garlic, chillies, etc.

8. Ensaladang Talong / Grilled Eggplant Salad

Eggplants are charbroiled until their skins are black then peeled and chopped up and mixed with tomatoes, onions, vinegar, salt, garlic and chillies.

9. Tomato Salad with Fried Dried Squid

Chopped native tomatoes with a spicy vinaigrette served topped with shredded dried squid that has been fried (we purchased this at the dried fish market with Tony) for a second or two in hot oil.

10. Fruit Platter with a Shrimp Paste Dip

An assortment of peeled tropical fruit was served with a shrimp paste dip made with coconut milk. The fruits included green carabao mangoes, green Indian mangoes, pomelos, singkamas (jicama) and firm guava slices.



11. Lechon or Inasal “Cebu Style”

This was the FIRST of the lechons that was stuffed and roasted (the slightly smaller one). Actually, if you filmed the third pig roasting, it was also seasoned in this manner…

Ingredients included:
– lots and lots of green onions
– ½ kilo of shallots
– ½ native bell peppers
– black peppercorns
– fresh leaves from a siling labuyo or bird’s eye chili plant
– lots of sea salt
– lots of garlic
– butter
– unripe tamarind juice mixed with the salt and other spices

12. Lechon or Inasal “a la Marketman”

This was the second of the lechons that was stuffed, pin-pricked or “accupunctured” skin and which had the puffy, crisp skin after cooking… less attractive to look at but the texture and flavor make up for the lack of looks… This is really an evolved version of the classic cebu lechon… with some western herbs and ingredients but with classic local cooking technique.

Ingredients included:
– shallots
– green onions
– garlic
– chilli peppers
– peppercorns
– lots of fresh thyme
– rosemary
– lemons
– lemongrass
– lots of sea salt
– olive oil

13. Paksiw na Lechon / Roast Pig Stew

This was the stew made in the clay pot on the grill. This is traditionally made the day after a lechon feast, and is a superb leftover meal…

– Pieces of lechon
– Vinegar
– Water
– Peppercorns
– Bay Leaves
– Garlic
– Muscovado Sugar
– Liver Sauce (if you have used this as a condiment to the previous day’s lechon)


14. Grilled Tanguigue / Spanish Mackerel

After making the kinilaw or seviche, the remaining parts of the fish were cut up and simply grilled with some salt and pepper and some oil.

15. Steamed Lemongrass Prawns

Some medium sized sea prawns were steamed in a clay pot with boiling water and several bunches of lemongrass at the base of the clay pot. Sea salt to taste.

16. Steamed Alimasag / Blue Crabs

Steamed earlier in the day, these were served on the buffet chilled and to be enjoyed best with a garlic flavored vinegar.



The rice, served in a very traditional manner, wrapped in young woven coconut leaves and steamed and allowed to cool is called “puso.”


Ripe Mangoes

Bodbod Kabog – A millet seed and coconut milk delicacy that is steamed in banana leaves.
Biko with Latik– A heavy rice cake made with coconut milk and brown sugar
Broas & Tortas – Baked goods from the neighboring island of Bohol.


146 Responses

  1. wow! wish I could have partaken of that staggering buffet! It must be food bliss to be part of the No Reservations crew. Hard work, but your tummy gets rewarded for it. :)

  2. MM,

    I wonder if he liked the accuchon better than the traditional cebu lechon…. did he make that distinction? He just said Cebu lechon… :) just wondering…

  3. When you care enough to serve the best. This is what “putting your best foot forward” means. I know it’s been said many times, “Another great job, Marketman.”

  4. Hi Market Man,

    I watched the Philippine segment of “No Reservations” an hour ago. Thanks for helping show the best of Filipino food to the rest of the world.

  5. awesome menu! this kind of food is best enjoyed in a setting like you had, out in the open, in the backyard, eaten with hands and not utensils. I so miss the Philippines now. The fresh and simple salad of seaweeds of different kinds, the eggplant salad… nothing like eating them back home. You may find the ingredients here in the US at the Filipino or Asian store, but the taste is definitely different.

    Way to go MM and thanks for sharing the menu!

  6. You did us good! Kudos, you represented us well. Thank you! Fantastic show and all of us pinoys on FB in the US are ecstatic with the show and how you represented us.
    Galing galing!

  7. I just saw No Reservations. Good job, Mr. MM! My mouth was watering when I saw you guys munching on the crispy skin!

  8. MM, what a delectable feast! Great job on showcasing to the world not only great food but warm Filipino hospitality ingrained in our culture.

  9. wow! how long did you plan this menu? i would have gone crazy planning and executing this menu. Can’t wait to watch the show. My cousins in the US loved the show especially the lechon part.

  10. Wow, reading your lunch menu felt like reading a full menu in a restaurant! Awesome spread MM!! :-D

  11. ROCKSTAR!!!! MM rocks Salamat on showing how Pinoy food should be shown ans eaten!! Sarap Saludo Kami Sayo !! sama Na rin Si Claude Tayag !!!KUDOS !!!!

  12. Grr am starved just reading this post! Does anyone know where I can get Cebu Lechon in Quezon City? I just had the biggest craving in a long time!

  13. Oh yes thank you for having been a great host to the NR show. My husband and I are great fans, we rarely miss an episode. :-) Thank you too for showing AB and his crew how rich our gastronomic delights are!

  14. Well done!!!!! I’m so glad he was one of Tony’s food guide. You gave wonderful insights and highlighted the right dishes. I was proud of how your communicated with Tony Bourdain. We’re so lucky that he got to talk to you. Yes….read his blog!!!! With you spearheading that lechon fiesta for him, he now ranks the Philippines as the number 1 in the slow roasted pig category!!!! Yeah…. Proud of your work, guys!!! Another thing that we should be proud of!!!!

  15. Just saw your segment a couple of hours ago. Yes!! MM, way to go. I could just taste the skin, delich. And the salads of seaweeds, gosh, the last time I was there they were hard to find. I am going to make that fried squid/tomatoes salad. Looked so good. Congrats on a job well done.

  16. I haven’t seen the episode yet but from the comments on your and Tony Bourdain’s blogs, it looked like a smash hit, especially among our kababayans. That was a swell way of helping focus on what’s good and great about the Phlippines. You do us proud, MM, thanks! Mabuhay ka!

    P.S. Any idea when the episode’s gonna be shown here?

  17. Hey! I just saw the first youtube post… AB said it… BEST PIG EVER… BAR NONE!!!!

    BAR NONE!!! YES!!!!

  18. Hi MM! Just finished watching the episode and the lechon looked amazing! I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have linked to it from my own food blog… gonna be posting my own thoughts tomorrow on the episode. While I enjoyed it, I did find some parts of the ep to be lacking- like why didn’t they show him enjoying any local pastimes (KARAOKE?!) or fiestas? You got almost no sense of Cebu or Manila besides two food markets. And Augusto… sigh. As another Fil-Am, I’m just a little disappointed. But you did great :)

  19. mardie c, thank you so much for uploading that segment for everyone. THANK YOU and your husband, as well! And thanks to mikel and alilay for wonderful running updates as well!

  20. no, thats the 2nd part. the 1st part was in augusto’s family’s home. the 3rd part was when you were all on the table talking about why the philippine cuisine is not recognized so much like the rest of our asian neighbors. and youre welcome MM, its the least i could do.

  21. mm, you did more to showcase the philippines in that segment of NR than the combined efforts of all the deadbeats in the department of tourism in one year.

    awesome! congratulations!

  22. MM, hope you have another Lechon EB! I’m sure a lot of us (those who haven’t been able to) want to try the best pig.. EVER!:)

  23. Hey Marketman,

    All I could say is “You’re the Bomb Dude” and that Kapampangan Guy “Not only he sucks, he also swallows. Everthing he told Mr. Bourdain is a LIE!!! Good answer I must say. Augusto did his thing. But somewhat disappointed that the entire regional culinary was not covered. Perhaps next epeside.

  24. One More thing Mr. Marketman,

    I’ve send the show 3X today and dude, you’re place in Cebu is what I’ve dreamed off to be my last place before I DIE. I am so envious of what you got. Right now I wish, I am YOU.

  25. hello marketman, is the video alreasy posted at you tube?i already checked it out, but i only saw the preview of the episode. have u seen the complete episode already? guys, pakiupload naman na po sa youtube… thanks

  26. MM, BRAVO!!!!

    AB has to come back….he didn’t get to try the best ever Sisig that you make!!!

  27. I missed the 10pm show,coming in late from work, then the gym did not have the Travel Channel on, so I waited until 2am Pacific Time to get a glimpse of the lechon adventures of Marketman! I finally settled on the couch, and what can I say? I am so proud of you and your crew. The spread was awesome!! Finally, I saw the Accuchon up close. The show highlighted our great food and diverse culinary traditions. Who are we really? We speak through our palates and the flavors of a thousand adobo recipes! Bravo! Maybe I will get out of the posting slump, cook, shoot and post again…soon…

  28. It’s great watching a mini-Market Manila coming to life in Cebu via “No Reservations”. Saw the episode last night with you guiding Tony around a market capped by that “best pig ever” as Tony proclaims. Congratulations!

  29. MM – it was a wonderful show. You looked good in it. My only disappointment is that there were no Ilonggo dishes like pancit Molo, La Paz batchoy and my fave — lumpiang ubod.

  30. it was a “droolfest” for me last night, especially with the lechon part! nice job! but the highlight for me was when Bourdain tasted the “buro”, it was like a special short segment from the show, like an ad. my folks are from pampanga and buro is as normal as bagoong in our household. if youre not familiar with it, youll find it disgusting , like my husband whose from iloilo. that’s why i was so happy Bourdain liked it!!!Yipee!!!!

  31. WHAT A FEAST!!! if i were on death row, i would request that for my last meal!!

    will watch the you tube segments no…i had the episode recorded and will enjoy it when i get home.

  32. Hearing that crunch… even the sound alone tells you it is the pig of destiny.

    Excellent work, sir!

  33. the day after…that was my first liveblogging ever! it was only after the show that i realized he didn’t cover his visit to cousin chef gonzalez’ café ysabel. maybe because he’s had cocido/puchero before. anyways it was great TV.. hooray for the cebu lechon!

  34. mikel, thanks again for your posts yesterday… everyone enjoyed them. Yes, I did wonder about Chef Gonzalez portion. And they also cut out the tapsilog segment as well…

  35. congratulations, marketman! the show was wonderful. they saved the best for last – the lechons. heard the crispy skin crackle and crunch as they bit into it. your buffet spread..WOW sarap!

  36. Congratulations Marketman! Your segment has our whole family drooling over the lechon. My girls were preparing to go to bed and just came down for water when they saw the episode on TV. They were glued to the TV even if its a weeknight. They were grossed out with the goat segment but were thrilled over the Cebu segment. We can almost hear the crackling of the lechon skin. They were drooling over the bubling skin. It was so nice that the show featured the fish ball and taho. But protested that we do not eat the chicken bum.

    IMHO, you saved the rest of the show.

  37. mon plaisir MM. you must be over the moon. what a trip it must be. no small feat for THE pig, MM’s golden roast as the best pig ever for the pigmaster anthony b!

  38. MM, those were intelligent comments you made about the local food culture. I’m sure glad they found you to interview and show Tony around Cebu! The few sentences you said were way more informative than a whole show’s worth of babbling from some local food and travel shows.

  39. I enjoyed the show last night and thank you for the recipes. The lechon is really mouth-watering and you did well marketman..More power to you.

  40. Amazing show! The episode was showed twice here last night in San Francisco. Congratulations to all who showed Bourdain a great time and what Philippines is all about when it comes to good food and “nice” people!!!

  41. Dear MM,

    This entry would not show up on the Bourdain Blog. Since I wanted to thank you anyways, I hope this comes up on this site.


    I must say, I thought you did a great job with the Philippine Episode. Though a gargantuan task was bestowed upon you, in learning and exposing a beautiful culture; you did a fine job. You hit several social and cultural nails, with one hell of a mallet. The Food, the Identity and where do they go from this point.

    A brief bio of who I am: A Filipino-Chinese that was raised all over. I lived in Spain from age 3-6, New York 6-9, Philippines 9-12, back to NYC from 12-13, then the Philippines for a year and Los Angeles since the age of 14. All those years were critical especially the NY-Philippines.

    The Philippines has several postulating theories of its ethnic origin. The most common one told in Philippine Grade school goes like this: Aeta’s (Pygmie Tribe), Proto Malays and Indonesians, Chinese – Middle Eastern (sorry for the outdated term), then the Spanish.

    SIDE NOTE: Truthfully I cringe when a Filipino claims that they are part Spanish when they do not look anything Spanish, and by default they feel like they have earned their “Spanish” blood due to their last name being of Latin heritage. I encourage those people to watch the movie “Amistad” or read some excerpts from Antonio Pigafetta’s book “Magellan’s Voyage.” Or anything that boasts’s about the Filipino Fishermen navigating the South East Asian Sea’s. Please gain some Filipino PRIDE.

    Due to the Historical Cultural blending, I feel that it is impossible to cover the Philippines in one attempt. I mean c’mon, the Singaporean Episode could have been a Sir Thomas Raffles series. Not to mention the open trades during pre Brit invasion. Or even the Brazil episode could have gone on and on about Bahia as a slave port and the historical implications of today.

    So to the blogger(s) that mention that the episode was poorly done, get over it. And also to the multi posting trolls that type the same complaints with a different user name, and a close proximity in time, stuff it. Go watch Rachel Ray, or Bobby Filet (Pun Intended) stand on top of the cooking surface with his Culinary “New Money” braggadocio after finishing the Iron Chef challenge. Also, if you feel that “Your Family” could have done a better tour of the country, maybe you should have submitted a video. And if you did, maybe the producer’s thought that your submission was more like a Flavor Flave or I Love New York crap reality show audition tape. (I hope the SAG strike is settled soon) Reality TV sucks.

    Moving on, I feel the Market shopping concept was right on. Most families (Rich or Poor) will shop at Wet Markets. The term “Suki” brought to attention by Market Man is very critical to your food shopping relationship. Your “Suki” is the one that will give you better and bigger portions of your purchase. The “Suki” is the bridge between swimming fish, and yesterday’s purgatory catch. The Dampa portion showing the live seafood bought, and cooked several feet from your vendor was amazing. Just like the Mexican Cooks in the USA, the Filipino cooks bang out delicious meals with fast food timing, and Heavenly delivery.

    The Sisig consumption goes beyond a culinary consumption. For Tony to find the original Sisig joint, shows the extensive research he has put in. It is something practiced in the Filipino Culture to consume Alcoholic Beverage Food while engaged in conversation. It is both a quiet yet dignified joy to eat from the same plate, which makes the experience Communal. The concept of fraternal sharing is displayed in this segment.

    The regional difference is the beautiful spiraling food experience in the Philippines. I mean Quail Adobo? Shrimp Adobo? Multi use of Pork? That is exactly what we used to experience in Hip-hop music during the Golden Era. THAT’S WHERE YOU ARE FROM. Represent.

    Also, there was tons of Kulintang Music playing in the background. I thought this was a nice subtle touch. This is an indigenous tribal instrument; aurally produced from a gong like surface, shaped reminiscent of a xylophone, poly-rhythmically banged to my cultures blood. Research – research – RESEARCH. Great job.

    The social aspect is a constant tug of war between Filipino Natives – Filipino Immigrants, and American born Filipinos. There has been Astounding ability for Filipinos to ASSIMILATE in their migrated country. Eager to be Western in accordance to blend, slight Ethnic shame due to the impoverished representation of other nationals, and the lack of Cultural upbringing.

    While the kid Augusto is the wrong person if you want a foodie, or even a person with heavy Filipino Enculturation to guide Tony; let’s not forget he was in a mission to discover his roots. Besides, the guides that Tony had were very sophisticated and knowledgeable. Though I did find Augusto to be a $#%& for brains for candidate having only a week’s experience visiting the Philippines and not watching Apocalypse Now. In the end, it was an Episode about learning and Showcasing.

    Aside from Manny Pacquiao, DJ Q-Bert, and the Nurses working in the USA, this episode will create great strides for the culture and the people.

    Just like the Columbians and people from Laos; I thank you sincerely for putting us on the map .Sincerely.

    Thank you: Tony, the Producers of the Show and the Travel Channel.


    Charles Yao.

  42. MM, You are definitely World Class!!! You make every Filipino proud!!!

    You honestly carried the NR-Philippines by yourself.

  43. I love bagoong with my Pinakbet, but I wish you had not shown how it’s made. Those putrefying buckets of salted fish were a buzzkill.

  44. MM, I’m glad you were around to pick up the slack for Augusto. While I relate to his personal story, his lack of knowledge was distracting, but luckily you were there to drop knowledge. Great job!

  45. This comment is not a criticism of any of the hosts but simply a curious observation. I saw the episode but it left me wondering; Filipino families and celebrations are famous for the very warm and very gregarious welcome typically showered on all the guests, invited or not. If it was in the episode, I missed it. Perhaps it was displayed all around but the camera just failed to capture it. It just seemed to me that people were too tense and reined in. Not the relaxed, care-free, everybody-here-is-a-friend-today samahan kind of salo-salo usually in full force when a special guest is in town. There was a hint of it in the sisig segment with the old gents in Pampanga. Maybe the cameras made it uncomfortable so perhaps the real fiesta celebration was after the cameras were switched off.

    In any case, I’m just happy that Philippine lechon is finally acknowledged by an internationally renowned food critic to be the best. Vindication for all the years I’ve proclaimed it to be. Thanks for your efforts Marketman.

  46. Charles, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I did think that they could have found someone better suited to show Anthony Bourdain around on a culinary journey of the PI, but MM and the other hosts did a great job.

    I loved, loved, loved this show and beyond ecstatic on how it showcased how amazing and diverse our country’s foods truly are.

    MM, thank you for posting the menu! I can’t wait to go home next year and do an eating tour of our country a la Anthony Bourdain.

  47. Thanks for the recap of your menu served to acclaimed international foodie Anthony Bourdain and the recipes provided thereto. I cannot ask for more. Thanks again for sharing the highlight and one of your most significant and memorable days in the kitchen which was aired internationally. Vow lang ako nang vow sa iyo, Mrs. MM, The Teen, BettyQ and your able and trusted crews and office staff on file and ranks.

  48. MM, any chance you can add Tony’s reaction as he tasted the various dishes above. It would be great to hear what he thought. Great job MM :)

  49. I saw the show last night 10pm EST. It was really mouth watering seeing all the food. I finally know how you look and sound like. :) Congrats!

  50. AnnaP,

    Thanks for your post. At least the young fellow paved the way for the episode. Though Augusto was not the most verbose or educated, he was sheepishly dedicated.


  51. AnnaP,

    Thanks for your post. At least the young fellow paved the way for the episode. Though Augusto was not the most verbose or educated regarding his culture, he was sheepishly dedicated.


  52. Oh man I didn’t see it! I’m going to cry! Must be my karma. Well, it’s good to know that Tony tried some sisig.

  53. Best Pig Ever! WoW! Best Hospitality Ever. Great job, MM! And thanks to Agosto for his effort to lure AB to our motherland!

  54. Congratulations MM. I am giving credit for Augusto’s effort to convince No Reservation to come to the Philippines. He may not be the best person but he has guts and not like the rest of us. For Toni Bourdain and his crew ,thanks for coming.

  55. oh my, oh my, oh my….i should have read first…haha…now i know…

    how i wish No Reservations would go to Pampanga as it is the Culinary Capital of the Philippine (or at least for me it is).

  56. this post surely have one of the most rousing comments in this website! i was smiling and laughing a bit while reading Charles Yao’s honest comments.
    at parang bumara ang puso ko sa mga tenga ko when I saw that Tony ranked Philippine lechon as no.1 in his list. all thanks to you MM! :)

  57. Bottom line will the show entice folks to visit? probably not because while the food was good, the company was boring and you can see it on poor Anthony’s face who was desperately trying to make a show out of the whole stiff episode…my own review from my multiply site below – peace to all.

    The long anticipated “No Reservations” episode Philippines finally aired last night. Like most Filipino fans of the show, I was listless in wondering what the opinionated and acerbic Tony Bourdain’s impressions of the Philippines will be. Let me get this out of the way. He never complained about the food and proclaimed Cebu Lechon the best pork in the world. That has a lot of Filipinos chanting “we’re number 1” all over the blogosphere but I’m afraid they were sorely missing the point.

    Boring Hosts

    The episode was a gigantic snooze-fest, starting with no introductions about the country and straight to food close-ups. Of all places to take Bourdain in Manila, no Spanish architecture or insight to the culture, they take him to Ongpin and feed him “taho” right of the bat. What happened to longaniza and eggs? His first host was so bland that he looked and sounded like a call center worker. Manila is an intriguing proposition, but there was no insight into the nightlife, the bustle and it’s better restaurants. Instead we venture into a smelly “dampa” with the sound of Ifugao gongs as background music. Yep that’s Manila alright. It’s almost as if Tony didn’t want to show the Philippines and just gloss over the food and only the food.

    Enter host No. 2 – Claude Tayag. Unexciting as he was, compared to the other hosts, he was “Mr. Excitement”. Again, goat’s head soup notwithstanding, I was waiting for Tony to start getting drunk on San Miguel and start buddying up to his drinking partners. But alas his threesome who partook of “Sisig” looked more like his bodyguards rather than newfound friends. Do you see a pattern here?

    Claude Tayag’s house was beautiful, the food perfect and the atmosphere- well – stiff. All this time Tony Bourdain was asking “who are the Filipinos and what are they all about?” and there was no satisfying answer. Oh yeah there’s one, “I’m Pampangueno first, Filipino second…” (well that’s true Filipino identity!). Mrs. Tayag made things worse by commenting “well no one really comes to the Philippines anyway…”

    And sadly we came to hosts Nos. 3 and 4 in Cebu. Cebu is a gorgeous jewel teeming with history and joyous carefree people. Yet we wouldn’t know from the sorry, doe-eyed Fil-Am Augusto and his whiny identity crisis rants. At this point, all poor Tony could do was remind the guy of how animated he was in the video and how wooden he is now. Augusto’s family while relatively hospitable was as quiet as a tomb. Perhaps as Tony pointed out, they were conscious about the cameras (or maybe they were just mute…) At about this point, I glanced at the clock and it was 45 minutes past the hour and I knew that the show was not the “Happy Warm Philippines” show I had hoped for. Tony Bourdain will probably not come back to the Philippines. Why? He couldn’t relate to anyone – or more precisely, no one could relate to him. Tony was coming out of his skin trying to get some more action out of the folks and in the end when all the world was looking upon us, that most reprehensible of all Filipino traits reared its ugly head – timidity.

    Best Foot Forward?

    With sorry, boring hosts, no nightlife scenes and no beach shots (the Philippines has the world’s best beaches for crying out loud!) the show easily fizzled. If the Philippine Tourism Authority who were acknowledged in the episode had half a brain, they would have put him up with more outgoing, exciting people. Sure there are the obligatory, “thank yous” and praise for the his favorite pig. But I don’t think this episode will change a lot of minds about going to the Philippines instead of Thailand, Vietnam or Malaysia.

    I sum up my disappointment this way, when asked why Filipino cuisine is a “blank sheet”, his Cebuano host exclaimed well it’s because we’re so adaptable to other cultures that we easily assimilate. The show’s host quicklly batted down that statement, as if to add his own disappointment. He says, “the problem is is that Filipinos are too damn nice…to forge an identity” That hit me in the gut. He’s right. We’re too apologetic about our culture that we never stood our ground relative to other cultures. We’re too nice to assert our pride, too nice to engage in meaningful exchanges, too nice to say something interesting and too nice to shout “I’m Filipino, if you have a problem with that – f**k off!” and demand respect.

    We were too nice to put our best foot forward and that resulted in an epic timidity fail…

  58. calfran, I will address your comment in an upcoming post. Perhaps if you knew some of the facts about the show and how they managed their schedule, you wouldn’t be so certain of your strong opinions…

  59. I was so ecstatic watching the show and i was left wanting more. The food preparation was just unbelievable I can almost taste the food that was prepared that day. I have been following your blog but this is my first time actually posting. My favorite post of yours was the true pork adobo minus the soy sauce I have yet to make that since pork here in the states is generally dressed without the fat. more power and hopefully you can bring or elevate true Filipino food to the international scene

  60. some comments deleted as no real email addresses provided and were likely made only in order to incite reactions to calfrans comment, which is, in my opinion, is a whole lot of armchair opinion.

  61. you can’t put a complete story in one hour. what was shown were just snippets of filipino life and food. as mr.mm said, we dont know all of the facts – we don’t know what happened in the pre and post prod, what went behind the scenes, how they spent their days without the camera rolling… in the end, it’s the producer and editor who decides what to show and what not.

    i havent seen the whole thing as i am at the mercy of those who posted the show on youtube.i’ve watched the cebu portion only and i saw somehow, how they’ve balanced the personalities in the show. there’s mr.mm who is so sure and proud of his filipino heritage, there’s augusto who’s still learning about his roots. he was animated in his audition video but was kinda shy or timid when the real thing was on. my guess was that he was overwhelmed by the experience of the journey towards himself – discovering his roots in the company of the locals and the food he must just have heard of from his parents and elders. and there’s mr. bourdain, asking the right questions to know us better as a people and help augusto in his self-discovery.

    food is the gateway in knowing the people and their culture. hands down, the menu prepared by mr. mm was delectable. it wouldn’t be the best pig ever if it were not. the foods were fresh, simple and uncomplicated, and colorful,and yummy!!! and that, too, is our beauty as a people.

  62. It would be okay if you delete this comment. but I’m posting my opinion on Calfran’s comment. I had to go to your blog first before I react to what you’ve said. First of all, Augusto was proud enough to send his video to AB. Did you? I honestly don’t know. Second, If you were to return to a place you haven’t been to for such a long time wouldn’t you be “alienated”? Wouldn’t you feel that everything seems to be new? The thing is, Augusto hasn’t been to the Philippines for a long time and he still is proud of his heritage and he still is brave enough to send his video.

    Reading through the comments from AB’s blog reminds me of what happened to the Philippines which I’ve learned in history class, where the government had to build walls and paint over them to cover the shanties.

    If AB really liked to showcase the “lively” Filipino, I think his research would have shown the countless fiestas the Philippines have, and he would have gone to one. Could it be said that there are also the “timid” Filipino? We have are term “Maria Clara”. Isn’t that part of being a Filipino?

    Honestly, the reactions and Calfran’s comment, made me think if I could represent the Filipino heritage well. I can’t. It also made me think how very much of a Filipino I am. I’m writing in english and that says something.

  63. smiles, I think and write in English and it doesn’t make me any less Filipino (or Cebuano, as I prefer to be identified over Filipino) than Augusto.

    The mere fact that he wanted to explore his heritage says a lot. I know of many other pseudo Americans or other nationalized former Ilonggos, Ilokanos, Bulakeños (or what other tribal origin )that make an effort to disown their lineage and claim a new one.

    That’s their prerogative, too.

    But just because you think and act in a manner which the rest of the world can relate to, doesn’t make you any less of the person that your parentage has contributed to.

    So you write in English, and you love lechon. So does Marketman. And a lot of other people as well.

    Enjoy it. Think of the rest of the entire nation that can’t. And consider it a blessing.

  64. I do apologize to marketman – I realized only belatedly that you are one of the hosts. Nevertheless the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Please don’t get me wrong, I love the country immensely and I would want it seen in the best possible light. And I do realize that there may have been time constraints and scheduling conflicts – but from the viewer’s perspective, all the confluences of what went on resulted in a non-event.

    My response to smiles for angels comments are as follows: Tony Bourdain was not looking for “timid” Filipinos. If he was he wouldn’t have mentioned it repeatedly during the show on how surprised he was on how subdued they were. Perhaps that was the original mistake. That Tony B. put so much faith in Augusto’s enthusiasm that it all became a let down. In the end it wasn’t and shouldn’t have been about Augusto (least not to the Filipino fans who wanted to showcase the friendliness of the people).

    While I admire Augusto’s video entry and his earnest search for his roots, he was not equipped to showcase the Philippines in that precious 45 minutes of program footage – period. I do not presume the qualities of being a good host, however I am free to criticize an ENTERTAINMENT program. No matter what went through poor Augusto’s mind or his family getting toungue tied etc., The Philippines show made for very bland TV.

    I’m not to second guess these people’s motives, psyches or background – all I know is that comparing the Philippine episode to let’s say, Uzbekistan where he got drunk and danced at a wedding or Laos where he was blessed in a buddhist ceremony or even Romania which infamously had him in a tacky Vampire hotel, Tony B’s main experience was eating crispy lechon skin in silence…thanks for your comments.

  65. To PanchoA: Come to think of it, I think saying that I write in English says I’m less of a Filipino was a poor representation of how un-Filipino I am. You have a point there. Thank you.

    To Calfran: I agree about what you’ve just said and to this “In the end it wasn’t and shouldn’t have been about Augusto” Thank you.

    Perhaps my part of argument was the comments about “the Philippines not being represented well”. Because what I see was that the Filipinos were represented well. But not in a way everyone would want to.

    But then, I guess there would always be a variety of reactions and in retrospect it was also something to digest. Rereading the comments made me realize how varied the Filipinos are. :)

    Oh, by the way, there were the only 2 times I’ve tasted lechon from Cebu (it flown to Manila), and I have NEVER ever tasted anything like it. Never mind the sauce, that’s how tasty it was. I can’t imagine how delicious the one in this episode was. And they made sure you could hear the crackling and the crunch.

  66. Smiles, your inclinations as well as your sentiments betray your heritage. And I applaud you for your pride of place.

    Take the time and explore the other flavors in the Visayas and enjoy them. They’re as varied and just as interesting as those in Bulacan, another province of which my bloodlines come from.

    Kind regards!

  67. you make us proud marketman! your version of the lechon sounds amazing…i’ll be sure to convince one of my titos in mindanao to do it your way.

  68. What a selection … truly a great introduction for Bourdain. Congratulations for a job well done.

    I finally saw the episode … Bourdain was incredibly gracious and I think quite intrigued and surprised by what he saw and tasted. I didn’t see that snark and snide that he sometimes show in many of his shows (he was quite horrible in Top Chef – like when he dismissed Pinoy-Chicagoan Dale Talde’s halo halo by saying, oh yeah, everybody in that part of the world have their own versions … they’re very good at doing that … or something like that).

    True, he didn’t have those superlatives praises like when he was in Bali or when he says he is moving to Vietnam but I think he didn’t really close his book on the Philippines. Yet.

  69. It’s Anthony’s show and he can do whatever he pleases. Even a super genius can’t fully showcase centuries of Philippine foodlore/foodways more so diverse history and culture in just an hour. Of course the episode was edited according to the producer’s and host’s best judgment. I’m sure the production costs thousands of dollars/ millions of pesos spent while in very tight economic environment and continuous downfall of tv ratings, do you think the production crew and Anthony will show an episode they think is unsatisfactory? of course not! And also who won’t be starstruck kay Anthony. As a Filipino, I would rather be known to be nice and polite, rather than rowdy drunkards just to make an impression. Congratulations Marketman! I am very thankful that you’re one of those who represented our country.

  70. OMG, so much bile being traded. There is just no way AB could have pleased everyone, so he did the show the way He wanted it. Congratulations, his staff did their homework and Phillipine food got a lot of free publicity world wide.
    This is Fashion Week in NYC and after a very chi-chi show in Soho I was introduced to the designer’s family as “this is the sister of Pig Man”. Uhuh, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
    Marketman has come full circle, when we were children my grandmother would always have a Cebu lechon roasted, and rushed to the airport to make the 3pm flight and we would have it for the birthday dinner. Lola would have been very proud of marketman.

  71. I love the No Reservations series. I am a big fan of Anthony Bourdain and find his shows refreshing, full of entertainment and always leaving me hungry for more! He and his staff are fabulous; I would really like to see a documentary on how he makes destination decisions and arranges travel to so many interesting locations. There is no way the show could be as in depth as many might like because of time limitations as well as the physical impracticality of eating both sides of a menu. I would be very interested in the Cebu Lechon but will not be traveling to the Phillipines in the near future. It appears there are numerous followers of this show who are native to Cebu or it’s environs. If anyone has a recipe that might approximate the “Best Pig in the World”, I would love to try it. Down here in the New Orleans area, pig is king. There are few Asian markets here but I might be able to find a substantial portion of the ingredients. Any help is appreciated.

  72. @PanchoA: Yes, that’s one of my dreams, to be able to go around the Philippines, not just the “tourist” spots, to discover the locales and get a taste of their lives. Hoping one day it will come true and will be able to write about it. Thank you and God bless.

  73. Somehow this did not get posted twice, must be my work blocking outgoing messages?
    MM, You indeed served a bounty of a feast with the freshiest, choiciest ingredients for the NR show! We are truly grateful for how gracious, generous and hospitable of a host you were. You did us good. Maraming salamat po.
    In this light, how about a gathering of MM fans this December ( we are going home ^-^)? I know Christmas is such a busy season for you, but a gathering in a restaurant will do, just for the chance to meet you, your family & the legions of MM fans. I am sure you will have a good attendance from those abroad coming home for Pasko. I am lightly gregarious but may be timid in your presence ;-).

  74. Hi Laurel if you read MM’s main post up top, I think he did listed his ingredients for his lechon for everyone to see. oh! MM have several lechon experiments too (if you browse them through out this site) yielding different ingredients and ways to come up with The Best Pig Ever. =)

  75. Hi Laurel if you read MM’s main post up top, I think he did listed his ingredients for his lechon for everyone to see. oh! MM have several lechon experiments too (if you browse them through out this site) yielding different ingredients and ways to come up with The Best Pig Ever. =)

  76. thanks for the tip on the bagoong to use. I liked how Anthony ate kambing and your lechon. The Dept of Tourism should get a hint, tourists want the local flavor not a steak house in Boracay. The DOT should have retired policemen trained as tourist guides to have walk in tours and also eat the local carinderia and paluto in the markets. There’s a lot of nice places to go in the Philippines but unless your a local or with a local they are off limits.

  77. Sister — you’re hilarious. If I was introduced as “pig man’s sister,” I would’ve burst out laughing until the designer’s family thought I was looney.

  78. I think Tony is just very careful to say anything that would trigger an outcry, he wasn’t the usual Tony, the I’ll say it in your face and I don’t give a f*&^% attitude.

  79. nICE WATCH!!!! ooopss… nice menu.i havent seen the video yet. did he like the lechon? what particular dish did he like? i know , he is fond of spicy foods.

  80. Sister,that was so funny….sister of pig man..funny indeed. But hey!! They watched. Publicity at its best!!

  81. Lava Bien – I actually think this was just another aspect of the real Tony. He did say he did not like the pancit palabok and by the choices of what he showed in the final show, it had the true stamp of what NR is about….just the food, not the glitz. He was genuinely curious about our culture and that came through loud and clear but he was also very respectful….thank god he didn’t find a Filipino Zamir.

    Am thankful that he showed our culture that respect.

  82. Pigman…este Marketman…(hehehe)…which version of lechon did Chef Tony like better? Cebu Style or ala Marketman?

  83. Artisan, I can’t tell, he ate a lot of both types of skin. He noticed just how crisp the accuchon was, but also liked the smoothness of the classic… so honestly, I don’t know which one he would have picked if forced to select only one…

  84. Hi, MM, congrats and good work, apparently. I wouldn’t be too worried about Bourdain’s apparent disappointment. From what I know of TV production and more of reality TV, they do tend to pick out a ‘storyline’ with which to tag the show with. In this case: Augusto’s naivete with regards to Philippine culture.

    Easy to say Borudain picked Augusto because of the video, but we have to remember, he initiated the show after both video AND interview, where he realized Augusto pretty much didn’t know what he was talking about.

    So–the storyline became not “snarky Bourdain won over by Filipino culture” but “snarky Borudain finds culturally lost Filipino and saves him with pork.” Simple as that.

    And ulteriour motives aside, I don’t think he bullsh*ts with food. If he says best pig ever, I believe he means best pig ever.

    Thanks MM. Could I possibly link to your pics? Thanks.

  85. By the bye, noticed that the ingredients of your classic Cebu lechon didn’t include lemongrass. Did you leave it out or does classic Cebu lechon not use lemongrass? Curious.

  86. noel, that particular lechonero doesn’t like to put a lot of lemongrass or tanglad in his version as he feels it turns out too lechon-manoky… I personally put lots of lemongrass in my version.

  87. MM – just curious how did you find that lechonero – maybe an upcoming feature blog later on? That guy deserves kudos in my book….maybe he’s got some other words of lechon wisdom….!

  88. One of the three shows that I used to never miss in Discovery Travel and Living was Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations – and him in Cebu, my Cebu?, and him rating Cebu’s lechon as #1 in his list? – WOW! I so admire his being brutally honest that sometimes when it seemed as if he’s restraining himself I somewhat felt letdown.

    Thank you, MM, for taking up to the challenge from the NR crew – you got a follower in me starting today. I still have to explore your site as I only stumbled upon it when a friend posted a link about Cebu’s lechon and Anthony Bourdain in Facebook. I sure will try (okay, ask the lechonero) your lechon recipe when I go home this April. I miss Filipino food so much that just reading the menu prepared for the NR show made my mouth water so much that I can almost “taste” each food!

    (Btw, I said “used to never miss” above because for a little over 7 months now, I am (quite) successful with my resolve not to have cable TV. And as for Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations? There’s always the internet – and I’m hooked – to it – the internet.)

    Again, thank you MM and pag-amping pirmi! :)

  89. Congrats MM. Our Lechon is now Number one. Confirmed by Tony himself. Lechon Cebu is the best in the World. Thank You MM From the Florido’s of Cebu and the US (We love our Lechon). Job well done…

  90. Wow! Philippines is #1 in the Hierarchy of Pork (accdg. to Tony)..Too bad I missed that episode..Gotta search the net for that episode..

  91. Hi! we’re planning a Cebu side trip soon, i was just wondering if you’re selling lechon or you have a restaurant in Cebu where we can go and get some or if not maybe you could suggest a particular lechon resto or something. thank’s!

  92. Anne, we don’t sell lechon but you may want to check out Talisay on a Sunday for a LOT of lechons, or in the city several restaurants such as Cnt that serve lechon…


  94. Hi MM,

    I watch that guy often on Travel channel and on FLN, and I didn’t know he went to PI and did one of his shows there. Nakakatuwa naman. I love everything that I see in your website. Next time try to feature “Pinapaitan” or “Kinigtot” (please.. hehe) I want to know other ways on how you cook it.

    Jennifer Cole

  95. marketman,
    I have the same reaction with your lechonero with the use of tanglad as it is too lechon-manoky. I cringed when I saw all those tanglad in your roasted pig. For me, the lechon in Carcar is good because we do not use tanglad, but the aromatic herb pasiotes. It can be eaten too, unlike the inedible tanglad leaves. In fact, some people fight over the pasiotes as a kind of accompaniment to the roasted pork. I found pasiotes, called by the same name, in Mexican markets. I used it to stuff the chickens and they came out smelling pretty good.

  96. Wow!! I’m so proud of being a filipino! i’m proud also to my countryman who introduced the lechon and some of our filipino dishes to Anthony Bourdain. I have been in food industry for almost for years and you know what guys filipino cuisine is my stepping stone. i learned how to cook from my Lolo. this june i will be visiting my relatives in the Philippines. I wanna try the lechon from Cebu it would be great.

  97. everything was good! but not the tapsilog part!..who (brought) anthony bourdain in that tapsilog fastfood..the rice is not even garlic.is that even real tapa? its not even marinated in garlic, we’ll the sunny side up looks normal. and the rice.thats a carrot rice..have you watched no reservation man?…ive got your point, but can you like google for a better tapsilogan?..rodics in u.p. would be better.



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