Yum! Chefs Sau Del Rosario and Miko Aspiras' Dishes Star In Diamond Hotel Philippines' Filipino Culinary Pride Festival!
Get ready to hop on this gastronomic rollercoaster of flavors that takes you from Luzon to Visayas to Mindanao.
From June to July 1, Diamond Hotel Philippines invites all to partake in a Filipino-focused culinary experience. The limited time-only dishes have made the hotel's all-day dining destination Corniche their home, earning their right to be featured and enjoyed alongside diners' favorite international flavors.
The chefs behind the delectable dishes are none other than Chef Sau del Rosario—the globally successful Kapampangan chef behind restaurants Café Fleur and 25 Seeds—as well as Chef Miko Aspiras—a superstar chef known for Scout's Honor and Le Petite Soufflé who's conquered the competitive world of pastry and dessert-making.
Together, they titillate taste buds beginning with lip-smacking appetizers followed by hearty mains to beautifully plated dessert, and we're telling you—you can't and won't want to stop with just one serving!
To give you a preview of which dishes shouldn't be missed and deserve the most space on your plate, chef Sau walks us through the masterpieces he's lending to this buffet spread.
Inspired by Mexian cuisine, Chef Sau—who’s prepared a whopping 26 hot and cold appetizers and main dishes for this event—says that it won't only be Pamgpanga's best that diners should be excited about, however, his signature dishes like kare-kare, lechon, sisig, and tamales will all be there.
Sprucing up the familiar recipes, the award-winning chef explains that he's made these heritage recipes more relatable and appealing to younger diners as well as the general crowd of Filipinos whose palates have become more refined and exposed to more sophisticated tastes.
He begins, "For my lechon, I have my three versions. One is stuffed with buro which is Kapampanga, from the North. Then for Visayas, we did [a version] with Guimaras mangoes and lemongrass. For Mindanao, I stuffed it with some Malagos cheese and chocolate."
All time Filipino favorite kare-kare also gets an infusion of contemporary flavors thanks to chef Sau's use of macadamia instead of peanuts partnered with an amp drizzling of truffle. The same can be said about his pork sisig which doesn't come in a sizzling plate, but rather, greets diners in a giant pan as its made into a—you guessed it—paella. (To further excite you, Chef Sau's sisig paella was a massive hit when he presented it at Napa's prestigious World's of Flavor: International Conference and Festival some weeks ago. Introduced to a global audience by the late Anthony Bourdain, sisig, this time in paella form, was the first dish to be wiped out come meal time).
If that's not enough to get your gut grumbling, know that the equally delicious sinigang flan (sinigang gelatin with seafood), oyster ceviche (Aklan oysters with coconut cream, and calamansi topped with homemade chicharon), salted egg yolk prawn rebosado served with aligue aioli, as well as his take on Spanish colonial dish ox tongue with mushrooms will all be available to satisfy any craving or simple curiosity.
Talking about his unique approach to food, Chef Sau explains, "Pero at the end of the day, hindi dapat mapalitan ang original recipe; very narrative kasi ang food. Just like heritage, di mo pwedeng palitan, dahil nandoon yung story. Di pupuwedeng dayain. The technique, the presentation, the texture, dadagdagan ko lang," he explains.
Once you've had your fill of savory flavors, turn your attention to the dessert station that looks almost unreal thanks to Chef Miko's creations that look almost toy-like.
Fruity flavors like apple, grape, madnarin, cherry, and dayap are infused in breathe life into intricately made desserts of all kinds, but not to be glossed over is Chef Miko's original creation of "zero wastage ice cream."
Having worked extensively in hotel kitchens in the beginning of his career, this innovative mind has witnessed the searing amounts of food thrown away at hotel restaurants and banquets—including untouched pastries and sweets. Wishing to do something to correct this practice, Chef Miko invented something totally delicious, and extremely impactful: the creation of an original ice cream flavor packed with an assortment of complimenting sweets.
"I make it a point to open their eyes and to breathe new life to ingredients that they’d rather just throw away," he says.
Toasted and sugared croissant croutons, cheesecake and muffin trimmings, as well as slivers of chewy dried passion fruit and apple skin compote made up the medley of his first batch of zero wastage ice cream, but he says that more flavors or ingredients can be used depending on what's available for the day.
But desserts don't end there! Satisfying all those with a sweet tooth are also Chef Miko's keso de bola macaron that gracefully dances between subtle sweet and salty, and his ensaymada live station that's all about elevating Diamond Hotel's signature pastry. His version not only features its known fluffiness and generous servings of toppings in a gigantic serving, but also elegant additions of flambéed morada bananas and rosella, which is reminiscent of hibiscus compote.
Commenting on his focus on creating unusual twists for Filipino desserts, Chef Miko's point is to bring the vast flavors of the international culinary scene closer to home. As he says, when Filipinos go abroad, he wants them to be able to say that they've tried this dessert and tasted that pastry, exclaiming with self-confidence that Filipinos knows their sweets the same way the experts do.
Taken together, Chefs Sau and Miko represent two distinct approaches to Pinoy flavors in this five-star food festival: Chef Sau's mission to preserve heirloom recipes is evident, while Chef Miko adds broad strokes of modernity and playfulness in never-before seen creations. The two chefs are without a doubt dynamic and talented, embodying the very spirit of the Filipino that their food represents!
Visit Diamond Hotel Philippines located on Roxas Boulevard corner Dr. J. Quintos Street, Manila. For inquiries, please call (632) 528-3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested parties may call 528-3000 loc. 1121 for reservations, or visit www.onlineshopping.diamondhotel.com to purchase vouchers for the food festival.