Thursday, June 6, 2013

F1 Hotel Manila: Master Chefs Share Their Regional Recipes

What do you get when Master Chefs from all over the Philippines come together to share recipes and swap stories? Magic. And that's what happened at the F1 Hotel Manila when Executive Chef Sau del Rosario invited talented chefs from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to join him for a food demonstration of regional favorites at F All Day Dining.

Chef Sau gave a shot talk on what got him inspired to create an all-Filipino menu, and a brief introduction of the chefs that would be presenting. I just love him! He's a barrel of laughs, is very passionate about his craft, and is conscious of buying organic and supporting local Filipino farms.

Chef Mark Jickain represented Luzon and did a Kapampangan classic: A Paco Salad with Shrimp and Salted Egg. Mark, a true blue Manileño, moved to Boracay after marrying his lovely wife, and currently runs the kitchen of White House.

He put together a gorgeous-looking Paco Salad, with pieces of fresh shrimp, salted egg, and edible flowers for pops of color. I never would've thought to use fiddlehead fern in a salad, or where to find it for that matter. Chef Sau explained how they try their best to buy organic and buy local. The cherry tomatoes in this dish was plucked out of Chef Sau's mini garden on the terrace, which was absolutely brilliant! I have always wanted to start my own little herb garden, and this is just the inspiration I need to start it!

Chefs Karl Noel and Paul Yap were up next, representing Visayas. These two best friends came to Manila together and work wonders in the kitchen, whipping up fresh, delicious food from their native Cebu. They demoed a Seafood Kilawin, and talked a little bit about how food in Cebu differs from the rest of the region and how the best way to taste real Cebuano food was trying a good, home-cooked meal.

The Seafood Kilawin was beautiful - with the tuna only slightly cooked and looking more like sashimi than anything. A mistake that most restaurants do is leave the fish in vinegar for too long that it cooks through, which is a total waste of getting it fresh in the first place. The ginger and cilantro elements were unique and interesting - it added a nice kick to the dish.

They also demoed a dish of Fresh Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves, seasoned very simply with a marinade of onions, garlic, and other fresh vegetables and herbs. They used, Parrot Fish, that was pretty huge and very beautiful, but it took a bit longer than expected to cook in the oven. I tasted the samplers that came out and it was fresh, simple, and tasted divine. I missed this and should really make it a point to hunt this fish down when I visit Cebu. This went very well with the fruity red wine we were enjoying.

Last, but definitely not the least, Chefs Pauline and Ed Tuazon demoed how to make Durian Panna Cotta. It looked super easy when they were making it, but I don't know how long I'd last with the smell of fresh durian wafting around my kitchen. I think I'm better off just eating it.

When mucking around F1 Hotel Manila, do say hello to the Master Chefs when you see them walking about. They're all quite open about how they make the food they serve and would gladly give you a crash course on how to make your favorite Filipino dishes if you ask nicely.

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Images taken by Jericho San Miguel

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+63 2 928 9888
32nd St.,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig