Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Fresh: Urban Farmers PH at PassionFest BGC

What happens when two Polish chefs visit the Urban Farmers PH booth in BGC's PassionFest? You get some amazing pesto made from the freshest local ingredients harvested straight from the garden. 

Fresh basil and oregano harvested just a few minutes earlier from the garden, calamansi, extra virgin coconut oil, pili nuts, garlic and salt. That's all you need to create a refreshingly different spin on the classic pesto. And when you have the freshest ingredients, the flavors simply drapes the palate with its clean and all-natural notes. Urban Farmers PH presents infinite and flavorful possibilities with its fresh and bountiful harvest of fresh herbs and vegetables at PassionFest in BGC. And when two noted Polish chefs visit Urban Farmers PH, something truly amazing happens...

Leading the way with its advocacy on sustainable farming and food security in an urban setting, the recent PassionFest at BGC showcased the relevance of Urban Farmers PH in these uncertain times.  A designated green zone for two days in November, Urban Farmers PH lights up the busy commercial and business district...

...with its fresh harvest of herbs, salad greens, edible flowers and ornamental plants. Urban Farmers PH also demonstrates how easy it is to set up your little plot of fresh produce in your home with their kits. Now a movement that's gaining momentum and increasing popularity, you'll soon agree that's it's about time. Creating lasting impact often starts with little changes. Urban Farmers PH shows you how to take that first step. 

Throughout the Urban Farmers PH booth, the vibrant colors are in full bloom in stark contrast with the concrete landscape of Bonifacio Global City. 

And you'll have to agree this looks way better than concrete. Then, there's the nourishing garden with its harvest of herbs, vegetables and salad greens... 

...including fresh Romaine lettuce ready for harvest and your salad bowl. It's fresh produce like this that keeps Urban Farmers PH relevant as a concept as we begin to appreciate food provenance. 

Led by the creative and passionate vision of Louie Guitierrez, the idea for an urban farming concept began at the height of the global pandemic and the long days of lockdowns. Three years later, Urban Farmers PH now boasts of a growing network of pocket farms throughout the metro. 

It's a concept that caught the eyes of noted Chefs Aleksander Baron and Agnieszka Kraszewska from Poland. The chefs are part of the official delegation organized by the Polish Investment & Trade Agency to promote Polish products at PassionFest in BGC. Each time Chef Aleksander Baron visits a foreign country, he always makes it a point to check out the local markets. Immersing himself in the local culinary heritage, Chef Aleksander Baron gets to use local produce at the Urban Farmers PH booth

Louie Guitierrez and Chef Agnieszka Kraszewska share ideas on the urban farm concept and possible applications in Poland as Chef Aleksander Baron takes a crack at the available local ingredients on hand at the Urban Farmers PH booth

Local basil and oregano, pili nuts, extra virgin coconut oil, calamansi, salt and garlic, definitely not your usual cast of ingredients for a classic and traditional dish like pesto but Chef Aleksander Baron is out to prove that a little creativity and imagination goes a long way in recreating familiar flavors. 

Using readily available and accessible local ingredients, Chef Aleksander Baron demonstrates just how easy it is to recreate flavors driven by an imaginative flair. No pine nuts and imported basil? No problem. Extra virgin olive oil too expensive? Relax. Chef Aleksander Baron has a solution. 

Blending the ingredients by feel, portions are based on personal preferences and flavors. Chef Aleksander Baron samples the blend, and adds more of the ingredients accordingly. 

Chefs Aleksander Baron and Agnieszka Kraszewska adds an extra pinch of salt to taste and throws in a handful of whole calamansi, peel and all, into the blender. And after a few more minutes...

...Chef Aleksander Baron's localized pesto made with readily available and accessible local ingredients is done. And the verdict? 

Chef Aleksander Baron's version recreates the same deep nutty and garlicky richness of the traditional pesto with the pine nuts and calamansi weaving distinct local notes. The fragrant herbal notes from the local basil and oregano also brings in layers of flavors from sweet to mildly bitter in a delicately balanced finish. Pesto made from local ingredients is possible. 

The spontaneous demo by Chefs Aleksander Baron and Agnieszka Kraszewska clearly illustrates the infinite and flavorful possibilities with fresh local produce. It's always interesting to see how foreign chefs approach local ingredients, and both Chefs Aleksander and Agnieszka just nailed it with their inventive pesto execution. Feeling inspired and creative? Just drop by the Urban Farmers PH BGC Community Garden on the corner of 5th and 34th Streets and pick your fresh harvest. 

Urban Farmers PH and the BGC Community Garden are located at The Flats grounds corner 5th and 34th Streets, Bonifacio  Global City, Taguig City. You may call 0920 903 0992 or visit their website at and FB Page at for updates.

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