An invitation to “The Great American Barbecue” organized by the U.S. Embassy Manila and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is not something I receive every day, so of course, I happily accepted, and looked forward to it.
I don’t have any relatives or anything at the U.S Embassy, so this was really a welcome surprise. Did they find out how much I loved meat? Hahaha. But I do love a good barbecue, so I’m game.
The dress code said simply: Red, white and blue. The event was held at the Deputy Chief of Mission’s Residence at Forbes Park. Security was visible, but not obtrusive.
Upon arriving, we were given our “props” – cowboy hats, bandanas, an American-flag paper fan. The Great American Barbecue was held at the backyard of the residence. The guests were a who’s who of famous people in Manila. It didn’t feel right to take photos of them in such a private gathering, so I’ll just concentrate on photos of the food.
What barbecue fare awaited us?
American barbecues are famous for their salads, and the ones here did not disappoint.
- Chicken Potato Salad with Walnuts & Grapes
- Russian Salad with Apples
The Chicken Potato Salad with Walnuts & Grapes was so perfect. It is a bit sweet, a bit tangy, it did not have too much mayo. It’s just TDF! I have a thing for potato salad and this is probably my top favorite out of all the potato salads I have had in my life. It was so good I wanted to ask for the recipe, or at least where I can order some. It’s just potato salad but this was the one I kept coming back for the whole night!
It seemed ironic to have Russian Salad, but all’s fair in food and it was delicious, too.
On the other side was a grilling area where guests can have their fill of grilled U.S. meats:
- Grilled U.S. Tomahawk with Sea Salt and Black Pepper Rub
- Barbecued Country Style U.S. Beef Back Ribs
- Grilled U.S. Wagyu Steak with Black Pepper Gravy
- U.S. Pork Kurobota Salpicao with Corn Salsa
- U.S. Grilled Lamb Breast and Feta Kebabs
- Grilled Rosemary Infused U.S. Lamb Shoulder
- Grilled U.S. Lemon Marinated Lamb Spareribs
The meats are freshly grilled, and you can request the staff to grill them to your liking.
I also really liked this U.S. Roast Pork Loin with Buttered Vegetables:
And you know a barbecue just isn’t complete without corn! These were pretty darn good. Now you know. Roll your sweet corn in Greek yogurt and parmesan. It’s delicious. Greek Yogurt & Parmesan Corn Cobs:
Potato, Green Beans and U.S. Johnsonville Sausage Casserole:
Buffalo Chicken Wings:
There were also some desserts, flowing drinks, etc… it was a casual night where people were free to drop by and mingle.
We had a quick chat with Mr. Ralph Bean, Agricultural Counselor at USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), who told us that they organize these types of events to get their buyers, suppliers, local partners and related trades people to meet in a non-competitive setting. Without these parties, most of them never even meet each other. In a relaxed setting like this, they are able to talk and sometimes, even develop partnerships.
This barbecue also aims to showcase US products, of course! 🙂
Who knew that Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States of America Michael S. Klecheski was a fun guy? He volunteered to pose with us. While the other invited bloggers were posing by the podium, I was half worried that we might get hauled out of there for unlawful posing with the official podium or something like that. But since Mr. Klecheski gamely joined in, I decided to put my inhibitions aside and take a photo as well.
I had a fun time at my first American barbecue, and the food was great!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you! To get the latest updates, please follow me on Facebook and Instagram. xoxo, Karen