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20/04/2012: Chef Tayag, Cebu lechon and Pili nuts to Make Appearances in Memphis

20 April 2012, Washington DC. The Memphis in May International Festival has invited renowned chef, Claude Tayag, as the culinary expert from this year’s honored country, the Philippines, to share his delicious creations with the United States’ Mid-South. A selection of Chef Tayag’s dishes will be introduced in the menu of the Peabody Hotel’s Chez Philippe restaurant on May 11 and 12.

Chef Claude Tayag is the Memphis in May Festival’s chosen chef from this year’s honored country.

Tayag is a renowned artist, chef, and food writer in the Philippines. To American audiences, he may be best known as Anthony Bourdain's Pampanga host and tour guide in the Philippines episode of No Reservations. His restaurant in Angeles City, Bale Dutung, is known as one of the Philippines's gastronomic centers and reservations are hard to get. Claude is also a famous collector of furniture and wooden antiques. He is an accomplished sculptor and painter as well, and a lot of his work is visible through the grounds of his restaurant.

A team from the Philippines will also take part in the Festival’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest on May 17 to 19 at Memphis’ Tom Lee Park. A group from Marco Polo Plaza Cebu, headed by Carlos Dingding Jr., will roast lechon (suckling pig) as its entry for the event. According to organizers, hundreds of teams compete for over $110,000 in prizes and bragging rights.

An added attraction will be the launching of the Philippine Pili nut as a gourmet product for the U.S. market. In a meeting with members of the press last April 3, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia said, “During the festival we will also take the opportunity of introducing a new product that is unique to the Philippines - the Pili nut. Similar to the macadamia nut, it is unique to a region in the Philippines and considered an organic health food.”

For more information, interested parties may visit the official website of the 2012 Memphis in May International Festival at www.memphisinmay.org. END