Cebu Food Challenges That Can Promote Food Tourism

“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” 

- Ruth Reichl

Travel Channel's food reality series Man v. Food is one of my favorite shows on Cable TV. How I wish that Cebu restaurants can also create food challenges to attract more customers. I think this is one way to boost tourism ---through food. People like to eat whether it's for nourishment or just for pure enjoyment. Cebu boasts a variety of restaurants and food places that makes one wonder how Cebuanos stay fit. 

Wouldn't it be exciting if we can hold a major Competitive Eating Challenge in Cebu where the likes of Joey Chestnut, Takeru Kobayashi, Sonya Thomas or Matt Stonie are contestants?

I've created a list of eating challenges that can serve as inspiration for restaurants. 

Which one would you dare join?

1. Casa Verde's Brian's Ribs (Baby Back Ribs) Challenge - Can you finish a whole plate of this specialty dish in 15 minutes? Brian's Ribs is a whole rack of ribs smothered in sweet barbecue sauce. The challenger has an option to have 2 side dishes (corn and peas, mashed potato, french fries or rice). This would be an easy challenge since you won't stop until the bones are picked clean.

Casa Verde Brian's Baby Back Ribs
Brian's baby-back ribs

2. The Baked Scallops or Fresh Oysters Challenge - How many plates of baked scallops or fresh oysters can you eat in 30 minutes? Choobi Choobi Restaurant, Golden Cowrie, AA's BBQ, Neo Neo, Chikaan, Hukad, Kuya J's, The Port restaurant and STK Ta Bay! can host this food challenge.

Different Types of Baked shellfish dishes
Shellfish Challenge

3. Korean-style Fried Chicken Challenge - Dakimong, Chosun, MIGA, Bonchon, Chicken Charlie and Ziburo would be the perfect places to hold this event. Beware since Korean Fried Chicken can both be spicy hot and sweet. How many pieces of chicken can you finish in 30 minutes? 

korean-style fried chicken
Dakimong Fried Chicken

Chosun Chicken
Chosun Korean Fried Chicken

BonChon Chicken
Bon Chon Soy Fried Chicken

4. The Lechon Challenge - Cebu is known for it's Lechon and we shouldn't forget to include this in our list. How many pounds of Lechon can you eat in 45 minutes (no rice or puso)? CNT Lechon, Rico's Lechon, Ayer's and Zubuchon can definitely sponsor this event, especially during the Annual Sinulog festivities.

I've actually seen a couple of Foreign tourists devour plates of Lechon without any rice or puso which is quite amazing.

CNT Lechon
CNT Lechon

Zubuchon Lechon
Zubuchon Lechon

5. The Crispy Pata Challenge - How many orders of crispy pata can you consume? Alejandro's, Chikaan, Kusina Uno, Boosog, Cafe Laguna, Golden Cowrie and Hukad would be the best venues for this contest. Another must-have dish when you eat in a Filipino restaurant, these deep-fried pork legs are especially delicious when you dip them in a soy sauce concoction with onions, chili peppers, and garlic. 

Crispy Pataa

Another plate of Crispy Pata

6. The Shrimp Challenge - Cebu is known for its seafood and shrimp is one of the favorites. It can be fried, steamed, cooked with coconut or curry sauce. For the food challenge, how many plates of shrimps can you consume in 45 minutes? These are some of the popular places where you can get the best shrimp dishes: STK Ta Bay!, Penong's, Krua Thai, Bucket Shrimps, Kuya J's and Choobi Choobi.

7. The Barbecue Challenge - In the Philippines, when you say barbecue, it's any meat or seafood skewered on sticks and grilled over coal. But for this challenge, we'll concentrate on either pork or chicken barbecue. How much barbecue can you put away? Penong's, AA's BBQ, Yakski, Mooon Cafe, Q-Bay and Neo Neo are just some of the restaurants that offer barbecue dishes.

8. Boodle Fight Challenge - Boodle is a unique way of serving a variety of food on banana leaves and it's something that a lot of people can share. This can be a group challenge since that's the essence of a boodle feast. Blackbeard Seafood Island Restaurant and Captain's A's offer this type of menu. Most of the food found in a boodle-style spread are fried, steamed or dishes prepared with minimal sauces. 

9. The Dim sum Challenge - Dim sum are food dishes prepared in bite-size proportions. It's usually served on a small plate or steamer baskets. Here in Cebu, we have tons of restaurants who specializes in Dim sum. We have Dimsum Break, Harbor City, Ding Qua Qua, Manila Food Shoppe, Choi City, Majestic Chinese, Mandarin ---- any of these establishments can host the Great Dim Sum Challenge. How many plates of dim sum can you eat in 1 hour?