Canadian Beef For The Filipino Palate
The Canadian Embassy, led by Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes, hosted a dinner for foodies, bloggers, and food service industry representatives last February 28 at the official residence in Makati.
Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes with Lala Ventura-Lazaro, Channel Head for Lifestyle Network
The menu was conceptualized by chefs Quentin Glabus, a Canadian chef specializing in modern indigenous cuisine, and Lifestyle Network’s Curiosity Got the Chef host, Sharwin Tee. They were assisted in the kitchen by students of Magsaysay Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts who had undergone mentorship with both chefs leading up to the event. The four-course dinner featured the star of the night—Canadian beef.
What makes Canadian beef special?
Canada is the second largest country in the world and has an abundance of fresh water and wide-open spaces. It is also one of the largest grain producers globally. What this means for their cattle is that they are given the best environment to thrive in, and fed only high-quality grains like corn, barley, and wheat, to ensure that Canadian beef is in excellent shape. Feeding corn, barley, and wheat contributes to well-marbled, flavorful, and tender beef.
Canadian beef represents a commitment to excellence without compromise. Apart from the physical care that cattle is given, Canadians pride themselves in being hard-working, creative, and interdependent with their land and the animals they raise to drive them to develop innovations that constantly better everyone and everything in their country, and it is this that they hope to share with Filipinos and the rest of the world represented by their beef.
Chef Quentin Glabus and Chef Sharwin Tee doing a cooking demo
To introduce Canadian beef to the guests, the chefs talked a little bit about the menu. Guests delighted in the delicious interpretation of modern indigenous dishes from both cultures which meant they included elements native to Canada, like corn, shaped into a taste that Filipinos respond well to, which would be on the sweeter side of the palate. The menu also incorporated a variety of Canadian ingredients including beef, maple syrup, frozen blueberries from Silver Valley Farms, canola oil, and Canadian wines and juices.
As they started to serve the dishes, there was a film showing of a special episode of Curiosity Got the Chef that featured Canadian beef and Canada150 with Chef Quentin. It was one of the initiatives last year that celebrated Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Appetizer of Beef Carpaccio, local green salad, and sawsawan dressing
A glimpse of the menu
The first course was a light green salad with beef carpaccio. It was just enough meat to give guests a taste of what else was to come.
Chef Sharwin Tee’s Beef Sinina Pate Chinois
The next dish was Chef Sharwin’s Beef Sinina, inspired by a beef stew from Maguindanao, placed in the center of a velvety smooth mashed potatoes, purple yam, and lots and lots of butter! There was no way it wasn’t going to be good. The beef was so tender it literally melted in your mouth. The slivers of fat made the beef even juicier, together with the herbs and spices it was bathed in to infuse it with Filipino flavors.
Chef Quentin Glabus’s Espresso and Cocoa-charred Ribeye Steak with sunflower seed purée, crushed roasted garlic, corn polenta
Then came the dish everyone was waiting for, the Angus ribeye. There were three generous slices of the espresso and cocoa-charred steak, laid down on a bed of corn polenta that had amazing texture and flavor on its own. There was a smidge of sunflower seed purée on the other side of the plate whose taste resembled a familiar taste—peanut butter. It was an interesting combination to say the least, but it was a little plate of Canadian heaven.
Dessert of Honey Pie with Maple Fruit Compote
To end the night on a sugar-high note, they served Honey Pie with Maple Fruit Compote. Which was a favorite among the guests. Maple, of course, being a known product of Canada, complemented by the Philippine mango as well as other fruits.
If you would like to get your hands on some of this Canadian beef and try it out for your personal menu, the Canada Beef International Institute is working to ensure that Filipino consumers have easy access to Canadian beef products by collaborating with selected brand partners in the country. CBII puts a special focus on the high-end and foodservice segment, collaborating with retailers such as Rustan’s Supermarket to increase consumer awareness of Canadian beef.
If you would like to learn more about Canadian beef, visit www.canadabeef.ca
Photos by Chris Clemente