Hillary Clinton dines on Filipino food

Posted at 11/14/09 1:09 AM

Sec. Clinton (left) with Pres. Gloria Arroyo (right) at a state dinner held at the Palace. Clinton was conferred the Order of Sikatuna, a national order of diplomatic merit.

MANILA - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dined on Filipino food with an American twist at a state dinner prepared by the Malacañang Palace on Thursday evening.

The state dinner for Clinton was held at a clubhouse on Palace grounds. Only 50 select guests were invited to the event, including Clinton's entire delegation.

The menu - prepared by Malacañang Executive Chef Babes Austria - included Tawilis or freshwater sardine with white cheese and Milkfish plantain Napoleon or "bangus" salad with banana fritters, Davao pomelos, Tagaytay micro-greens (plant shoots like celery or arugula), and Dalandan orange vinaigrette.

For soup, the US dignitary had free-range Philippine native tinola chicken chowder topped with crispy chili leaves.

This was followed by Kamias (a sour fruit) sherbet.

'She tasted them all'

The rack of lamb served to Clinton at the state dinner. Clinton's favorite dish is said to be lamb.

Austria said she took the state dinner as a chance to showcase Filipino food with American touches here and there.

"Ito naman ang aking pagkakataon na ipakilala ang ating mga Pilipino na pagkain," she said.

The main course included Palawan Lapu-Lapu (grouper fish) in crépinette (a small flattened sausage coated with melted butter and bread crumbs) with parsley tamarind ginger sauce and foie gras (fattened-up duck liver), served with tropical salad and pandan rice.

Clinton was also served a duo rack of lamb with Meltique beef cube roll with guava jelly and Barako coffee sauce. According to various reports, Clinton's favorite dish is lamb.

For dessert, the guests had Guimaras mango mousse and open-faced apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

Austria said Clinton took bites from each plate.

Intimate talk

Though Arroyo and Clinton had already held a meeting at the Palace on Thursday afternoon where they talked about RP-US bilateral relations, the two diplomats still shared an "intimate conversation" over dinner, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said.

(Read what Arroyo and Clinton talked about in their 30-minute meeting on Thursday here.)

The state dinner lasted for over 3 hours. It started at 7 p.m. and Clinton's delegation left at past 10 p.m. the same night.

Clinton was in the Philippines for 2 days, during which she visited typhoon victims, met with senior Philippine officials, and participated in a public dialogue with Filipino students.

State dinners, paid for by the government, are usually hosted by heads of state for visiting dignitaries in the spirit of celebrating ties between two countries. Report by Niña Corpuz, ABS-CBN News.