LOOK: APEC's economic leaders ate tinola, bistek, maja blanca

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The 21 economic leaders, delegates, and guests were treated to a uniquely Pinoy meal by Via Mare founder Glenda Barretto and Margarita "Gaita" Forés of Cibo during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) welcome dinner on Wednesday (November 18).

The 700 guests were served Ensalada Tagala for appetizer, Yamang Dagat Tinola soup made with ground lapu-lapu meat and prawns, Bistek Manilenya for the main course, and Maja Blanca Moderna for dessert.

Barreto said the dishes were classic when they chose to highlight the country's well-loved dishes, such as adobo, tinola, kesong puti, and salted eggs, but were plated in a modern manner.

The two premiere chefs also added an edgy twist to the dessert. The classic maja blanca was further enhanced by adding smoked coocnut meringue and lambanog-poached mangoes — highlighting the Philippines' growing mango and lambanog trade.

All the ingredients were sourced from all over the Philippines to showcase the diversity of the country's resources. The chefs used alugbati, sigarilyas, pink heirloom rice from the Cordilleras, and ubod cooked with blue cheese from Davao.

"All these microgreens and herbs that we’ve taken for granted, that we thought were just weeds in the garden, are things that very important restaurants abroad have. It’s great that we realize now that all these [local ingredients]…are actually quite unique for [foreigners], things that they don’t have in their parts of the world." Forés shared.