Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mercato Centrale is already in Pampanga

Now in Pampanga is the Mercato Centrale.

The organizer is inviting Pampanga and Central Luzon-based food entrepreneurs to join.

Mercato’s Cocina Centrale has launched its grand opening last June 29, Saturday at the Marquee Park of Ayala's Marquee Mall in Angeles City Pampanga.

Gracing the cutting of ribbon at the launching of Mercato Cetrale in Pampanga are RJ Ledesma (middle with the bouquet), the two Capampangan chefs: Sau del Rosario of Villa Café (4th from the right side), and Claude Tayag of Bale Dutung (2nd from the right side). With them are representatives from the Ayala Land, the Marquee Mall, and organizers of Mercato Centrale.

Cocina Centrale is open on Fridays and Saturdays beginning July 5, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.

The Mercato Centrale Group has brought the premier food and lifestyle night market experience to the culinary center of the Philippines - Angeles City, Pampanga in Ayala's Marquee Mall!

The Marquee Park turns into a lush picnic ground at the opening of Cocina Centrale. All walks of life gathered in and around the tents and savored the Capampangan cuisine and other delicacies. It is a playful place for kids and toddlers
“We’re inviting food entrepreneurs from Manila, Pampanga and the surrounding provinces of Central Luzon to join our newest market - Cocina Centrale! It will be a culinary showdown where the best of Pampanga will meet the best of Manila!” said RJ Ledesma, Co-founder of the Mercato Centrale Group.
Ms. Reia Retugal of STRATOS, Inc. briefs the pack of media and food bloggers on what to expect in the launching of Cocina Centrale upon their arrival in the grounds of Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga. It was quite a long weekend ride from Trinoma Mall in Quezon City due to heavy traffic flow of the entire stretch of North EDSA and at the entrance toll gate of the North Luzon Expressway.    
“This is our first food market outside of Metro Manila, and we feel the most ideal place where we could share the Mercato Centrale experience is with the Pampanga foodies,” said Anton Diaz, Co-founder of the Mercato Centrale group and the blogger behind the popular food and travel website

Despite the presence of tropical storm Gorio (international name: Rumbia), the crowd persistently braved the rains of storm signal No. 1 that hovers across the skies of southern Luzon. Yes, it was like that just to savor the merging different flavors at the Cocina Centrale.

 “The great tradition of cooking in this part of the country means we have to ‘level up’ when it comes to the quality of our gourmet and artisanal vendors, so that the food satisfies the discerning taste buds of the Kapampangans,” added Diaz.

Meet again Ms. Mercy Teng of Polland and some of her Chinese and Pinoy deli, and of course her scissors.
Polland consistently participate in recently opened Mercato Centrale night food camps.  Must try are bacon-cheese hamburger, variants of cuapao, a roast of baby backribs, and Chinese fresh lumpia. 
The Mercato Centrale Group is the events team behind Metro Manila’s most happening night weekend markets that include Midnight Mercato in Bonifacio Global City, Cucina Andare in Glorietta Park Makati, and two in Quezon City -- Mezza Norte in Trinoma and Levante in Eastwood.

French Crepes is among the foreign participants showcasing delikatesse in the first day of Cocina Centrale. This French chef skilfully spreads the batter (above) and fillings of banana-choco crepe. 

Jiin Bakery is another foreign particpants showcasing Korean pastries. It is among the favorite of the crowd.
Pick your choice of familiar Pinoy street foods from the stall of Lariza's Grill.
Bottled water, softdrinks (soda & cola) in cans, and bottled buko juice (coco water) are just around the corner to quench your thirst or help push trough and digest smoothly the stuff into your guts.    
The heavenly sweet cake lollies of the Heavenly Sweets
To give you an idea on how delicious these many-flavored pastillas (milk candy) are, a bite-size samples are waiting to be prick with a toothpick for free taste test.
To those who crave for sweets, Aiza's has something special to satisfy their sweet tooth.   
Artful molds of tart with oat bran from Aiza's. It's creamy delicious that you could feel each filling as you chew a piece of these tarts.
Assortment of Minerva creamy cookies that include oatmeal cookies, chocochips cookies, oatmeal raisin bar, and araro (arrow root cookies). 
Plastic cookie jars of creamy Minerva araro (arrow-root cookies)
A lusciously creamy square of Minerva's sansrival topped with crunchy mixed nuts
Skirting around the Marquee Park are several trollies of rolling food trucks offering foreign deli and other delicacies.
A show of colorful jets of lighted fountain showers adorn the open ground of Marquee Park.  Children could freely watch nearby or play around, but must be under the close watch of adults. Don't let your precious children stay around here unattended. 

On our way back to Metro Manila, we encountered again heavy flow of traffic amidst heavy downpour of typhoon Gorio. All the calories of foods we tried were practically used up in keeping us going in finding our way back home as we braved the tempestuous weather. 
Interested food vendors who want to join Cocina Centrale may call (+63917)8401152 or (+632)8120102 or email

You may also visit

All food vendors undergo a taste test by the Mercato Centrale Group. Vendors are chosen based on flavor, innovation and uniqueness.
RJ Ledesma of Mercato Centrale with Edgie Polistico of Philippine Food Illustrated


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About Edgie Polistico

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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