Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper BrandedUp Hello! Create with us Privacy Policy

Chefs on tour in Dusit Thani Davao

By CHRISTINE DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published May 21, 2023 5:00 am

Like most blessed things in life, some things are better experienced than explained.

Imagine being in the company of 12 of the country’s finest chefs converging in one luxurious venue. As they each prepare their most special dish, you are privileged to sample and savor such a treat. Gastronomic poetry is witnessed here at its highest.

This most amazing and impressive culinary experience, dubbed “Chefs on Tour,” unfolded at the elegant DusitD2 Davao hotel and in the tropical haven called Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort in Davao de Oro.

So luxurious: Siam Lounge and Lobby of D2 hotel in Davao

Owned by the illustrious family of Tomas Lorenzo and his lovely wife Milette, these special mixed-use developments were the venue where the world-class chefs prepared their dishes that ranged from the most mouthwatering meat, freshest seafood and sweet cravings like chocolate temptations by chef Buddy Trinidad and apple cream cinnamon puffs by chef Jackie Ang Po. Each dish was a masterpiece in itself, a fusion of flavors, artistry and textures that left us spellbound.

The two-day event began with a 30-minute speedboat ride from the city hotel to the tropical paradise called Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort. Like Fantasy Island, all the villas, restaurants, impressive chapel, and function rooms are built in the fashion of a 1920s coconut plantation in Sri Lanka merged with modern amenities.

Lorenzo shared that his island is one where you can enjoy both the sunrise and sunset. The glorious sun hits the stained-glass window of the Holy Family Catholic Chapel, creating a most dramatic effect. You can enjoy full live-stream coverage for all your milestone occasions. All the impressive details here were thoughtfully and intentionally planned by Lorenzo.

Torre Lorenzo Development Corporation CEO Tomas Lorenzo

The sun had just set when the evening’s lovely host, Ces Drilon, introduced 12 of the best chefs in the country. We made a beeline for the dessert and savory stations and sampled delectable cuisine like chef Brando Santos’ Birria Taco, chef Tom Bascon’s Tuna Tartare on a crispy Nori Cracker with spicy aioli. Chef Kenneth Cacho’s homage to his favorite paella can only be described as having perfectly poached squid in chardonnay butter.

Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation resort is a tropical fantasy island.

After the amazing fire dance, my friends Danny Jota, Rita Trinidad, Mitzi Antolin, and Iyo Pantaleon enjoyed the cocktails created by gracious F&B manager Michael Lapid. We also met influencers Mika Salamanca, Von Razo and Jadh Onglengco.

The moving feast continued at the DusitD2 Davao the next day where the superstar chefs were introduced once again. They own their restaurants, and bakeshops or hold highly esteemed positions in food companies in the country.

It was a delightful evening of culinary greats, high-heeled guests of Davao society, friends from all over, and gastronomic aficionados.

As a fitting tribute, a very touching video of the chefs’ experiences in Davao was shown. Truly, the synergy of Chefs on Tour and Dusit Thani Hotels and Resorts in Davao is worthy of emulation.

Tropical luxury at the pool villa in Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort

It was also wonderful to hear about the development and progress in Davao de Oro, a land of rich gold deposits, golden-hearted people, and a rich cultural heritage. The Dusit Thani properties are definitely playing a significant role in promoting the potential of the province as a tourist destination for locals and visitors as well.

We left Davao with a newfound appreciation for its cuisine and culture, and a deep sense of gratitude to Tomas Lorenzo and his commitment to sustainable tourism. Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort completely utilizes solar power. The air-conditioning heats the water in the villas and this sparkling-clean water is 100 percent potable.

Clockwise: Gilbert Pangilinan’s Aklan Oysters and Bicol Uni Aburi, Buddy Trinidad’s Double Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie, Tatung Sarthou’s Patotim Bao, Carlo Miguel’s Braised US Angus Shortrib, J Brando Santos’ Birria Taco, and James Antolin’s Ikomai Tuna Taco

If you prefer not to swim, bask under the sun or play in the water at the resort, you can enjoy karaoke, play a game of tennis, and much more. You can also stroll around the resort’s beautiful surroundings or enjoy amazing food and drinks in their restaurants and bars.

Kudos to my longtime friend Keren Pascual, who successfully organized this amazing event, and my childhood friend Rita Trinidad, who always inspires me to attend these chefs’ events. Worthy to note, her loving husband Buddy Trinidad is the president of the Pastry Alliance of the Philippines and his group always bags the plum awards in Hong Kong, Singapore, and even in Europe.

Clockwise: Kenneth Cacho’s Cuttlefish Rice with Prawns Inasal, Tom Bascon’s Tuna on Nori, Jeff Boutwood’s Hamachi Tartare, Sau Del Rosario’s Roasted Veal Bone Marrow with pulled Oxtail on Biscocho, Piya Suthasiri’s Smoked Quail and Jackie Ang Po’s Apple Religieuse

Thanks to gracious Dusit Thani Philippines executive assistant for Special Projects Cora Auste, director of Sales and Marketing Leilani Merilo and Marcom manager Faith Dimaano of Dusit Davao for the opportunity to join this unforgettable event.

The idyllic and sustainable sanctuary of Dusit Thani Lubi Plantation Resort Villas, the exquisite flavors of Thai cuisine at Benjarong restaurant in the luxurious Dusit D2 Davao hotel plus the deluxe living spaces of Dusit Thani Residence Davao provide an unforgettable combination of Filipino and Thai hospitality.

The indefatigable Tomas Lorenzo and his family are transforming Davao de Oro into an impressive destination that values the environment and supports local communities.

Lorenzo extended an open invitation to one and all to experience Davao de Oro. Who would have thought that a place that was once feared is now much revered?

After all, some things are better experienced than explained.

* * *

For bookings and inquiries, please email [email protected] or call +63 82 272 7500 and +63 82 322 7000. Email the author at [email protected]Cebu Pacific flies from Manila to Davao. Visit for more details.