The Press Comes to Lunch (Part II)…


The lunch sounded simple enough, and we planned a simple outdoor setting. One member of the press and her photographer to lunch. Well, that quickly snowballed to four members of the press and their photographers and some 8 other foodies. So what was on the menu? Lechon, of course. In this case, we made a Zubuchon with accupunctured skin and a more classic smooth skinned lechon with the same stuffing/flavorings as the Zubuchon. I wanted guests to compare the more classic smooth dark brown shiny skin with the ruptured, bubbly, crisp wackiness of the Zubuchon. I think, for the most part, folks seemed to think once they had tasted the crunchy wacky version, they were less inclined to reach for the classic smooth skinned version… or at least that is the impression I took away from the lunch…


We roasted two lechons to ensure that there was enough skin for everyone, and there were extras despite the gorging. I was amused to see that perhaps the champion fan of the skin was the GM of a large hotel just about to open in Cebu. He must have consumed some 25 square inches or more of the skin, yikes, I hate to think what kind of calories that translates into! :) Many of the guests were really rather surprised by the crispness of the skin, but then again, I think most folks today tend to eat their lechons HOURS after it comes off the flame, so we have conditioned ourselves to a substandard product. The skin is truly at its finest when the pig still has steam coming out of its butt. :)


Joan, a regular, brought along the General Manager, their F&B Manager and Executive Chef of the Radisson Hotel, and it was my absolute pleasure to explain how the pigs were prepared as well as the essentials of the other dishes served at lunch…


Myra Magsaysay Sun of the Sun Star Cebu checking out the luncheon buffet. On the menu, a couple of cast iron hot plates with Lechon Sisig cooked over the charcoal grill, followed by a Lechon Sinigang cooked in a palayok, Paksiw na Lechon also cooked in a palayok or traditional earthenware/clay pot, an eggplant and tomato salad, sliced tart green mangoes with bagoong or shrimp paste, and of course, the two lechons. Myra brought a wonderful acharra that she made that was sugar free and therefor diabetic friendly…


It was a VERY informal lunch, what with the table set out on the driveway, just outside the garage, but near the roasting pits (lechonan), and guests just milled around until everyone just loaded up on food, sat down to the table and spent a good hour or more talking about food, cebu, and things good about the world…


The lady in orange was Aissa dela Cruz of the Cebu Daily News, and she was making her way to sit beside Honey J. Loop of the Freeman/Philippine Star.


And the Editor-in-Chief of Zee Magazine, Cebu, Ms. Cybill Gayatin, also joined us for lunch. She mentioned that they were just putting in the final touches to their November issue which is all about food… It was an extremely pleasant lunch, with light engaging conversation and enough food to feed another 10 guests… Thank goodness one of the guests was a doctor, just in case anyone had cholesterol overload! She jokingly said we should give Lipitor as party favors when guests headed home after the meal! :)

Some photos on this post taken by AT.


49 Responses

  1. I like that—-Lipitor as party give aways! :) Really hope that Zubuchon makes its way to Manila soon!

  2. So thats all the purpose of the table decoration! a celebrity informal lunch but seems not informal to me? it was prepared fabulously and simply attractive…So among those 2 species of lechon, what they preffered most?….

  3. Gener, as one of those lucky enough to be invited, I vote for the crunchy wacky version. The classic version, while the meat tasted exactly the same as the zubuchon, lack the extra crunchy skin that the zubuchon offers.

  4. You’ll be doing celebrity catering very soon. Just let me know and I’ll ship over this stash of linen and plates that I have here…

  5. MM, you are making me yearn for that Zubuchon!
    What better way to show it to the world than get the press in to taste it! And about setting the luncheon in your driveway, this made it pretty rustic and informal.
    I hope the Sunday stand at Banilad Towne Center goes beyond December as I’m going there in January, 2010 yet. On second thought, I will just keep the contact number (next to the passport, no kidding, smile!) and order one whole Zubuchon for family and friends to feast on, accompanied by the native “tuba” or ” lambanog”, or a good Cabernet ,or even a cool Chardonnay! Right on!!!

  6. Chocolatier,
    Im sure that while munching those lechon infront of you, comparing the taste cannot be avoided prompting you to eat both! well from the photos alone can kill a persons imagination to dream of it…It was just prepared so simple but professionally talks as it is..You are just lucky enough to be there otherwise if im there too, being not invited will not stop me to wade thru, ill force myself to get in!…

  7. Gener, Hahahahaha……I’m sure if Marketmanila followers here in Cebu knew that this lunch was going to be held before hand and they were not invited, they would also wonder in to the MM’s driveway. Afterall, the gate was open…..I too would have walked in, if I was not invited….hahahaha.

    One ingredient that makes MM’s affair always a success is his passion for excellence and attention to detail. And this 2 traits have rub off to his crew as well. You can see it in their eyes and the way they move.

  8. Chocolatier,
    Yeah! i see all people involved are professional in complex fields, watching their glooming eyes makes me wonder how they are going to treat all those food prepared and perhaps reserving more on their stomach pockets..Im sure they are expecting a second party on that driveway…Good day…

  9. The expression on the faces of the hotel executives (3rd photo) says it all….The best pig ever!!!! Btw, thats my arm (blue pineapple shirt) grabbing a piece of skin from the crunchy -wacky Zubuchon version…..Caught in the act!! hehehehe

    I understand Zubuchon will be the official lechon at the Radisson Cebu when it opens in 2010!!

  10. This morning (Sun., 6am, US West Coast), ABC News had a feature article on Miniature Pigs! Bred and raised as pets. the little beauities grow to a max of 24 lbs. They are pot belly variety with a pronounced cheek (Guanciale!) and are soo cute. I would lechon one in a New York minute!

  11. Well MM, you’re making history here… :) … and we, your avid followers, are a witness to it.

    To RoBStaR: If you mean Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods.. that’s not him… if you mean one of the guys from the bad… sorry. :) (although I can see the “blinding” resemblance… LOL)

  12. Appetizing. I haven’t had lechon for a while.

    It’s OK. Cholesterol (or too much of it), I can stay away from. *trying to convince myself, it is OK not to have that crispy, mouth-watering pig’s skin*

  13. I’d take the wacky version in a heartbeat. It looked so good and crunchy, hmmm. Yes, am looking forward to coming home in 2010 to try the Zubuchon skin. I better take lots of Lipitor with me, :D.
    I must tell my brod to try, too, as he will be there by the end of this month.

    MM, congratulations!

  14. hi MM!!! how come its now called a zubuchon? i thought it was called accuchon. is there a difference in the ingredients and the way of preparation? hope it will be available in manila too!!!

  15. MM how bout a regular Marketmanila TV food & travel show. I’ll promise to subscribe even it will cost me my weekly allowance for my cooking experiment hehehe…..can someone submit a petition to Asian food channel or TFC :)

  16. The great thing about the Zubuchon is now the local commercial lechon makers will have to react. This might mean more native pig lechons and less knorr cube rubbing. Also there are a few exellent small scale lechon makers around cebu, hopefully this shows them they can concentrate on quality and still make a buck.
    In the end we all win!

  17. goodness!!! i wish i was home in cebu right now….i would love to have one bite of that crunchy lechon, whether the original or the wacky one (it doesnt matter which, as long as its lechon). why, oh why, wasnt this happening while i was home in june? bummer!!! the 3 cebu paper giants (sunstar, freeman, cebu daily news) together in one place…that’s something. it definitely was the place where news happened :-)

  18. The expression on the 3rd photo tells everything by facial features and body reaction(they dont care about photo shots either as if consentration is on that subochon piece) and mind you that this person that holds a knife do all the choir! i guess? slicing subtle skin and sharing with outdoor guests.. the photographer is rude enough not to show the shot from other angle…ha-ha-ha!(im piously jealous)

  19. Zubuchon in Manila please. Anyway, you’re a frequent at Makati’s weekend markets, right? hehe…

  20. joan, ang daya mo!

    my gulay……THAT sisig is calling me again! this post is pure torture, MM!

  21. Naku Millet and Lee, i was imagining your presence na lang ala EB. The sisig was so yummy, but I couldn’t eat a lot because I couldn’t handle hot (maanghang) food. The sinigang na lechon was, for me, the best sinigang I’ve ever had because of the simplicity of the taste yet
    lechon na lechon ang lasa. By the way, I had the Zubuchon again last Sunday :) ….punta na kayo dito!!!!!

  22. Hi MM,

    Just discovered your blog today and I must say, I love it. I am in my late 20’s and as a fan of fine dining and exquisite foods, your blog impressed me big time.

    I hope when i get to have my vacation soon, Zubuchon will be able to find its way to Manila, otherwise, a visit to Cebu will all be worth it!

    Oh, by the way, your blog address actually found its way to my fave bookmarks in my laptop.


  23. MM,

    any feedback which one they liked better, the old fashioned classic lechon or th enew version of Zubuchon? I’m sure it both tasted awesome but just curious which one got the most ahhh or ooooh. Btw did you do a home made sauce? :)

  24. Just catching up on the posts, MM. And you probably have already figured a special device of multiple accupunture needle instead of the time consuming individual needles you used the first time, or simply using the one for flower arrangement ( I forget how you call it).

    Move over Martha Stewart! on your wonderful casual chic table setting. I love it!

  25. Hi teny. may i just say, cebuanos eat lechon with just soy sauce(which they call it patis – and that’s different to me as i am from QC) and lime or calamansi with it. but it would really be more exciting if it’ll be paired with lechon gravy or sarsa(?). i hope Mr. MM will be able to come up with a unique lechon sarsa for his Zubuchon.

    golly! i wanna come home… now na!

  26. Thanks Anton for that info.

    MM, Anyplans for a lechon/zubuchon eb in manila? I missed the cebu one sometime back. Our last eb in manila was at gourdo’s.

  27. You are welcome, Teny. You should try it once. It’s actually good. The simplicity of the mixture and it’s unrefined texture actually brings out the lechon na lechon taste. And when you’re munching the fatty parts, it’ll kinda neutralize the greasy taste.

    I actually have gotten used to this combination because back there, I would always spend summertime or holy week in bantayan island. if you have not been there, you’ll be surprised that they actually cook lechon on good fridays, as it is their town fiesta.

  28. Anton and Teny….Having had the opportunity to try several (including the early attempts) versions of zubuchons, including the ones served at the press lunch. Everyone went crazy over the crunchy version.

    Also, like any good cebu lechon, Marketman’s Zubuchon does not need any sauce (not even toyo and calamansi). The flavor of the herbs and spices in the cavity of the pig, permeates thru the meat and skin (actually, even to the bone).

    Ergo, The best of the best pig ever is the wacky crunchy zubuchon!! ;-)

  29. Artisan Chocolatier,

    Oh man! You made me drool the more! I wanna come home and fly to Cebu… yay!



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