September 22, 2017

Chef Jam Melchor to Feature Filipino Cuisine at Le Tavole Accademiche 2017

Held recently at Le Jardin  Café was the prescon for the upcoming Le Tavole Accademiche 2017 where Chef Jam Melchor was invited to present and feature Filipino cuisine

This October, Le Tavole Accademiche (Academic Tables) of the Università degli Studi di  Scienze Gastronomiche  (UNISG)  in  Pollenzo,  Italy  opens  its  kitchen  to  the  culinary expertise of Chef Jam Melchor, as he prepares to serve savory Filipino dishes that will open up their palates to our local flavors and feed their knowledge about Filipino food culture. 

UNISG,  founded  in  2004  by  Slow  Food  International  in  cooperation  with  the  Italian regions of  Piedomont  and  Emilia-Romagna,  has  focused  on  the  study  of  gastronomy.  Le  Tavole Accademiche  embraces  this  focus  through  food  that  combines  education, haut cuisine and local produce.  

Every year, 25 international top chefs are invited to prepare creative recipes that reflect  the school’s principles of good, clean and fair food using local, seasonal ingredients. For  the first time, a Filipino chef will present the local cuisine and gastronomy as Chef Jam  Melchor visits UNISG this third week of October, 2017.  

“I  want  this  trip  to  be  a  platform  for  Filipino  food  to  be  recognized,  especially  in  that university where they value gastronomy,” Chef Jam shares. “My goal is to inspire more  Filipinos, the youth especially, to discover more  about our  cuisine like  where it comes  from and what is it all about.” 

During his visit, Chef Jam will be serving classic and regional dishes that will hopefully  fire up more conversations about Filipino food as UNISG students and alumni feast on Filipino fare. Although he hails from Pampanga, his menu will feature different provinces through his Sinigang na Bayabas, Adobong Batangan, Binulo na Tinawon and Sinuglao.  While  the  Sinigang  na  Bayabas,  soured with  the  local  guava,  highlights  his Kapampangan roots and is a personal favorite, Chef Jam acknowledges that sinigang, just  like  a  number  of  Filipino  dishes,  has  different  interpretations.   

He  travels  to Batangas for his Adobong Batangan, pork belly braised in vinegar, garlic, and annatto. “Batangan is the old name for Batangas, where the dish originated.”  Binulo  na  Tinawon  pays homage  to  the  traditional  way  Filipinos  cook  rice  using  bamboo. This version will highlight the heirloom rice tinawon, grown in the Banaue Rice Terraces.“I  want  people  to  know  more  about our  interesting  food  culture,  its  diversity  and abundance,” Chef Jam adds. 

Chef Jam crafts his  menu around local  ingredients  such as  pili  from Albay, adlai  from  Bukidnon and  mango  from  Guimaras  and  Zambales.  In  fact,  pili  will  be  an  integral  component  of  his dessert  plates,  that  features  Mango  Pili  Sansrival  and  Pili-Crusted Turon. 

He will also be bringing several Filipino Ark of Taste ingredients, which he will have the chance to present to UNISG and use in his menu.  UNISG hones the minds of future gastronomists about the global food culture through academic discussions and practical  experiences that allow them  to discover and taste more  of  what  lies  beyond  their  shores.  Through  the  endeavors  of  chefs  like Jam Melchor, we can be assured that conversations and dialogues about Filipino food and  Philippine ingredients will continue with the next generation of gastronomes.  


Chef Jam Melchor always dreamed of becoming a chef. He grew up in Pampanga, the  Philippines’ culinary capital that boasts of prominent people engaged in food industry.   He  opened  his  first  restaurant  Villa  Café  in  2011,  serving  modernized  Kapampangan  heirloom recipes. This was followed by Bite Contemporary Cuisine in 2012, which was  hailed as one of Manila’s best restaurants for 2013 by, and known for its organic dishes and its advocacy for sustainability. In 2013, he established Healthy Eats Manila,  now known as YesPlate® and considered as the only sustainable diet delivery service  in  the  metro  that  aims  to  provide  nutritious  calorie  counted  meals  and  easy  weight  management solutions to professionals that includes top celebrities.  From 2014 to 2015, he was commissioned by the the Philippine government under the  Department of Agriculture to be the Chef Ambassador representing the Philippines for the  ASEAN  Roadshow  2014  Linamnam!:  Flavours  of  the  Philippines.  It  was  held  in  different  ASEAN  Countries  to  promote  local  products  for  export,  with  a  food  festival  showcasing Filipino classic dishes.  
This paved the way for him to convene the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, an  SEC-registered,  non-profit  movement  dedicated  to  the  promotion  and  preservation  of  the Philippine culinary heritage and gastronomy.  An active member of Slow Food International, Chef Jam participated as a delegate and  Philippine representative for the Terra Madre 2016 last September in Italy, cooking and  presenting Filipino dishes and Philippine Ark of taste ingredients to the world.  Chef  Jam  Melchor,  together  with  the  Philippine  Culinary  Heritage  Movement,  spearheaded  the  call  for  the  creation  of  a  Buwan  ng  Kulinaryang  Pilipino,  calling  out  concerned  government  agencies  like  National  Commission  for  Culture  and  the  Arts  (NCCA) and the Department of Agriculture to petition and request the President of  the Republic of the Philippines for the declaration  or issuance of an Executive Order / Presidential Order  that  Filipino Cuisine  will  be celebrated  annually  through  the  Buwan  ng  Kulinaryang  Pilipino.  This  month-long  celebration  for  the  preservation  of  Filipino  cuisine, will pay tribute to the rich culinary heritage of the country, and encourage and  support the study and in-depth research about Philippine gastronomy. 


The University of Gastronomic Sciences, founded in 2004 by the international non-profit  association Slow Food, in cooperation with the Italian regions of Piedmont and Emilia- Romagna, is a private non-profit institution. Its goal is to create an international research  and  education  center  for  those  working  on  renewing  farming  methods,  protecting  biodiversity, and building an organic relationship between gastronomy and agricultural  science.  The  result  is  a  new  professional  figure—the  gastronome—skilled  in  the  production,  distribution, promotion, and communication of high-quality foods. Gastronomes are the next  generation  of  educators  and  innovators,  editors  and  multimedia  broadcasters, marketers  of  fine  products,  and  managers  of  consortia,  businesses,  and  tourism  companies. UNISG students, hailing from around the world, gain dynamic experiences in artisanal  and industrial food production, thanks  to complementary education in both sciences  and  humanities,  sensory  training,  and  hands-on  learning  during study  trips  across five continents. 


The Academic Tables is more than just the dining hall at the University of Gastronomic Sciences  in  Pollenzo.  It  is  a  space  that  combines  education,  haut  cuisine,  and  local products at a fair price.  The preparation of each dish takes into account seasonality of locally  sourced  products,  the  furnishings  and  cutlery  are  eco-sustainable,  the  kitchen features energy efficient equipment, and finally, meals are ordered in advance through a booking system which reduces food waste at the source. In addition to the team of five UNISG chefs at the Academic Tables, each year 25 guest  chefs are invited from around the world to visit UNISG and prepare creative recipes for our  students  which  respect  the  principles  of  good,  clean,  and  fair  by  using  local,  seasonal ingredients while keeping the meal at an affordable price. 


Chef  Jam  Melchor  will  the  be  first  Filipino  chef  invited  to  present  and  cook  the  local cuisine and gastronomy this third week of October, 2017. He was invited when he met the  organizers  at Terra  Madre  2016,  and  expressed  their  desire  to  feature  Filipino cuisine and to learn more about it. Chef Jam will be assisted by Johan Movido, a culinary graduate from CCA Manila. The  road  to  Le  Tavole  Accademiche  was  made  possible  with  help  from  the  following  sponsors:  Department  of  Agriculture  -  Philippines,  the  Province  of  Pampanga  and  Albay, the city of Angeles, Carl Schmidt Sohn PH, Mama Sita's Mixes and Sauces, Le Jardin  Café,  Top  Chef  Enterprise,  Destileria  Limtuaco,  Philippine  Culinary  Heritage  Movement, and Slow Food Youth Network Philippines. 

For  parties  interested  to  support  this  endeavor,  you  may  get  in  touch  with  Chef  Jam through his email at or mobile 09178309516. 

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