Food, people, culture, drinks and news — learn more about the year that was and the topics that you (and we) enjoyed reading about the most this 2021

This year the dining industry began to find its footing once more. Despite setbacks, there surely is a lot to be thankful for. This year, I was personally thrilled to see the vibrancy of the F&B community coming back in full force. From industry professionals to eager diners flocking to old haunts and testing new eateries, there is no doubt in my mind that the Philippine dining scene has great things in store for its future. New culinary creations hitting menus, burgeoning home-grown brands, a booming digital marketplace, and a hunger for shared experiences have kept us foodies full of excitement.

Reporting on trends, new openings, fresh finds and dining news has been fascinating, emotional, and most importantly, fun. Here, we round up our best stories of 2021:

See also: A Love That Lasts: F&B Tastemakers Share Why They Love The Philippines

1. Where to Order Cakes

Our article listing the best, must-try cakes in the metro has reigned supreme, holding the number one spot on our dining page. This story proves that as Filipinos, we love to celebrate, and these milestones (big or small) are pretty much synonymous with a beautifully baked sweet treat. With how well this performed, I think it is safe to say that even on days where there isn’t anything to shout about, our readers sweet-tooths, plain and simple. These eye-catching and drool-worthy confections certainly do deserve the attention, so make sure to order up and pick out that perfect dessert meal-finisher for your lunch and dinner.

Read the article here.

See also: Pie-Lovers Beware, These 14 Brands Will Keep You Coming Back For More

2. Meet Chef Pilar Valdes

This story profiling chef Pilar Valdes, the Filipina who became Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore’s private chef, friend, co-author, and TV show regular performed extremely well, not only in the Philippines but in other Tatler regions, too. Throughout our experience sharing stories and reporting dining news, one thing we have learned is that our readers (in the Philippines) love to know about our kababayan. As a culture, Filipinos are known to be supportive, even of countrymen we do not know personally. Their success is our success, and vice versa–cheers to that!

Read the article here.

See also: A Taste of Home With Drew Barrymore's Chef, Filipina Pilar Valdes

3. Meet The Sous Chefs

Here we introduce readers to the sous chefs, the somewhat unsung heroes who play vital roles in running our favourite restaurants in the country. They are the right-hand men and women of the Philippines’ top chefs who oversee day-to-day operations and help execute the overall vision. To me, this article deserves a spot on this list because these talented culinarians deserve the shoutout and recognition. In fact, keep an eye out for more stories of the like coming your way in 2022.

Read the article here.

See also: Filipino Delicacy: What Do Chefs Like To Eat Bagoong With?

4. Must-Know Women in Food

We put the spotlight on the most notable women in the F&B industry. These smart, sharp and skilled ladies certainly know what they bring to the table and have made their presence felt. From the kitchen to the board room, and from pen to paper, these gourmands deserve a round of applause.

Read the article here.

See also: Childfree By Choice: 7 Asian Women Share Their Stories

5. Tastemakers

Asia’s Most Influential: Tastemakers profiled the region’s most important faces in the dining industry. From agriculture experts, chefs, purveyors, mixologists, winos, to writers and restaurateurs—we honoured those who have truly impacted the country.

Read the article here.

See also: Top Chefs In The Philippines Talk About Who & What Inspired Their Journey

6. Launch of Foodie Finds and A Taste Of Home

This year we proudly launched two original series: Foodie Finds and A Taste Of Home.

In Foodie Finds, we asked our epicurean friends where they love to get their take-out from, and what their go-to orders are. Seeing as we were in and out of lockdowns and the digital marketplace, filled without delivery-first concepts and take-out menus from top fine-dining restaurants grew aplenty, we were eager to find out what brands should be on our radars.

With A Taste Of Home, we connected with Filipinos living overseas. From those in the food industry to foodies working totally different fields, we asked them what they missed the most (on the F&B front) about home.

View our Foodie Finds collection here, and our A Taste of Home collection here.

See also: Foodie Finds: Author Angelo Comsti Shares His Top 5 Takeout Picks

7. Best Asian Rums and Asian Gins

Tatler Asia rounded up the best Asian rums and gins that you ought to know. From the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Japan to  Korea, Thailand, Singapore and more—be sure to pick up a few bottles during your travels.

Read the rum story here, and the gin roundup here.

See also: Order Cocktails From Your Favourite Metro Manila Bars

8. Ijo Bakery

We drove to Lipa for croissants and did not regret it. This article proves that when in search of great food, Filipinos have no problem going the distance, literally. Located away from any major bustling dining scene is the quaint viennoiserie, Ijo Bakery which in our opinion, makes the Philippines' best croissants.

Read the article here.

See also: Bread Lovers, Do You Know the Difference Between a Pâtisserie, Boulangerie, and Viennoiserie?

9. How can Filipino food go further?

Our cuisine has come leaps and bounds over the years and has even made waves overseas. With our Philippine food culture becoming more known outside of the country, and with local establishments pushing the boundaries of what it means to serve and cook Filipino food, we ask, what’s next? In this article top chefs like Margarita Forés, Chele González and Jordy Navarra discuss the topic and the future of our food.

Read the article here.

See also: Filipino Cuisine: Do We Really Need International Recognition to Push the Industry Forward?

10. 9 Easy Ways To Support Restaurants

Simple as it may be, this story is a must-read as a reminder of how easy it is to uplift one another. There are a plethora of ways to show your gratitude towards the many restaurants that have kept you well-fed, and trust us, they will appreciate it.

Read the article here.

See also: Sorry We're Closed: Tatler Pays Homage to Restaurants We've Lost During The Pandemic

11. Tim Ho Wan's Purchase

One of the biggest news bits of the year was that Tony Tan Caktiong's Jollibee Foods Corporation bought out the remaining shareholders, taking ownership of Asian restaurant chain, Tim Ho Wan. The famed international restaurant chain, which has been awarded Michelin stars, is now Filipino owned.

Read the article here.

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