CNN Poll says Philippines one of the best, Chef Wan's argues it's the worst

June 20, 2015 by rdagumampan

“The Philippines is known to have the worst food in Asia, ask any chef and they will tell you I am right,”, a Malaysian celebrity chef Wan Ismail once said in a TV interview.

I am Filipino and like everyone else, we are proud of our food. But lets take this poll with a rational mind.

First, the poll was a result of a social media campaign by CNN. These are from online votes and Philippines having one of the highest penetration of social media and most active users on fb in ASEAN. With 30 mllion compare to Malaysia’s 13 million, we are sure to win any online popularity contests :).

Second, it’s not right in IMO that @ChefWan speaks for the rest of Chefs around the world, these kind of sweeping generalizations is just absurd if not baseless. It’s like saying all the Chefs in Philippines speaks the same. Perhaps it wil be good to share, that Executive Chef at White House for presidents Bush and Obama is a Filipina serving our dishes.

Third, I believe Malaysia deserves a better position but to what extent is something we don’t know. Malaysia have 2 main islands and 13 states while we, the Philippines, have 7000+ islands, of which 2000 are inhabited and traditionally isolated before the Spanish came. We have varieties that cuts across different regimes of Spanish, Japanese and Americans. When I tour around, I am still surprised how much I don’t know about my country’s food. I am confident we have more varieties than Malaysia if that’s Chef Wan’s only argument.

While it maybe difficult as we are a pork-oriented country, I would encourage Chef Wan to visit Philippines islands and try our different dishes. #my2cents

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