It's true, the lechon de leche stuffed with truffle rice and foie gras exists! Philippine Tatler Dining experiences it, and more, at Pepita's Kitchen with the Lechon Diva herself, Dedet Dela Fuente.

The year 2009 was a big year for lechon, the roasted pig that Filipinos love. It was then that Anthony Bourdain visited Cebu and ate lechon for his show, "No Reservations." TIME picked up on the hype and included lechon on its annual Best of Asia list as "The Best Pig." That was pretty fun, but Filipinos already knew that. What Filipinos probably don't know, however, is that lechon stuffed with truffle rice and foie gras exists, too, thanks to Dedet Dela Fuente of Pepita's Kitchen.

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Known as The Lechon Diva, Dedet opens her home and lets loose her spectacular imagination of the Filipino fiesta staple, lechon, while demonstrating the culture's hospitality in a charming home-cooked meal. 

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Her latest lechon degustation, "Dinner at Tiffany's," brings together her knowledge of international flavours, her knack for hosting dinners, and her very rooted passions of eating, cooking, and going to the market. After a night at Pepita's Kitchen, a polished table set-up juxtaposed with her eight-course lechon menu will reveal that there is no juxtaposition at all: dining on Filipino food is fine, and it's time in the international spotlight is really coming.

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Just a week after she stole the scene at the World Street Food Congress in Singapore and days before Madrid Fusion Manila happens, Dedet introduces new dishes and proves the Filipino cuisine may be simple but it's truly exceptional. Have a taste of the dishes Philippine Tatler Dining feasted on:

Ube Pandan Cosmopolitan

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Dehyrdated ube pandan "dusts" this refreshing lambanog (fermented coconut liquor) concoction before the dishes come out.

Lechon Scone with Mr. Thomas Butter

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Dedet feigns a British accent to detail how she created this regular scone with lechon skin and whipped a butter infused with the flavours of Mang Tomas, which is a popular liver sauce she says she has banned from her home.

Tendoncini with Mango Atchara dressing

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This lechon tendon shaped like a ball, wrapped in chicharon bulaklak, or fried pork intestine, created a playful mouthfeel with complementing strong flavours of the pickled mango dressing.

Salad

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This was the healthiest dish of the night, featuring carrots, sweet potatoes and turnips, and salted red egg. After this, Dedet went all out.

South Sea Pearls

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The only seafood dish in a lechon degustation, this medley of a shrimp, scallop, and "a thousand pearls," stood its ground and would not be forgotten. The savoury combination was delicious and the presentation just gorgeous! The right amount of salt and spice in coconut milk richness, no one will judge you if you slurp the seafood and pearls to the last drop.

Pepita's Lechon Manok

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"This is a simple lechon manok (roasted chicken) dish," Dedet started, "Stuffed with foie gras and truffle essence." If you don't eat pork and feel like you're missing out on the lechon craze, it wouldn't do it justice to call this a mere alternative. It was heavenly.

Vinta

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Let your imagination do a little work: this is a Mang Tomas ice cream in carabao milk and taro, with crispy lechon skin for scooping it all up. This was not originally a part of the degustation menu, but it was a welcome treat.

The Ultimate Lechon

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This is the famous lechon de leche, or suckling pig, in all its crisp and golden glory. Even the sound of the knife cutting through its skin was delicious. It opened up to the fragrance of truffle rice specked with foie gras, and it tasted so good it must be sinful.

KKK

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The palate cleanser of kundol, or wintermelon, was absolutely refreshing.

8 Treasure Lechon

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The lechon degustation usually only features one lechon de leche, but when Dedet brought out this lechon stuffed with sticky rice, chestnuts, cashew, salted egg, and Chinese sausage, no one was complaining.

Laksa Lechon

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As a tribute to her successful participation in the World Street Food Congress in Singapore, Dedet created this mildly spicy laksa rice stuffing for a third lechon de leche.

Binatog Panna Cotta, Super Suman, and Mango Trifle

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Dedet was unstoppable that night. She had originally intended to serve the light binatog (boiled corn) panna cotta, but she also set out two of her famous desserts: the Super Suman and Mango Trifle.

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The Super Suman is super.

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From ronquillos to leche flan, the Mango Trifle got it right.

Book your own lechon degustation experience with Pepita's Kitchen at +63.917.886.0662, or order for pick-up. Dedet also offers paellas, which you can find more about here.

 

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