"Anything Chocolate Would Do A Table Justice"—Rebecca Disini On Her Go-To Desserts When Entertaining At Home
With her background from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Paris, it would be easy to assume that Rebecca Disini’s serious love affair with food started abroad. But the hands-on homemaker admits her passion for cooking started in childhood. “My influence is really family. Both my mother’s side and my father’s side had very good cooks, and I was relegated to the kitchen because I was born with a congenital heart defect. My Lola and my aunt taught me a thing or two in the kitchen and it was from my grandmother that I learned how to pick and sort every single ingredient. We would source everything together. And then she would add her own flair in that every single dessert had a story,” she shares.
It was a feast for all as hostess Rebecca Disini served select glazed cakes fit for everyone. She likes surprising guests as she has no set menu during parties.
Growing up in a big family also allowed her to practice preparing for gatherings early on. “When I am hosting, I don’t really look at it as a task. I just really enjoy doing it. Just being able to share food and flavors that I personally love and seeing people very happy at the end of the meal is all I’m after,” she admits.
Playing it by ear
Unlike other hosts, Rebecca admits that she doesn’t have set menus. But her favorite themes can range from Mediterranean, Filipino, Asian, and healthy buffet courses. “I don’t have a typical spread because I change my flavors and my inspiration always shifts and changes. So I try to use as much local fare for the savory, from salads to soup to main course. And then I use ingredients from abroad for the desserts. I’m a chocolate lover so I would say you must have dark chocolate. I think anything with chocolate would do a table justice,” she says.
Last Christmas, Rebecca’s menu started off with Truffle Mushroom Soup and Parma Ham with Crispy Parmigiano Reggiano Crisp on a bed of greens. These was followed by a roast rack of lamb and seafood. Of course, there were three or four flavors of cakes, too.
Her go-to desserts
When she’s not whipping up cakes for her family, Rebecca indulges her sweet tooth with products from other local artisans. “I actually am very fond of Joconde by Dennis and Yvette Hipolito. They have really good Stollen bread. They also have good Poppy Seed cakes. And then I also like Dessert Du Jour by Mara Dela Rama-Poblete. She has really good crepe cakes,” she shares.
Setting the right mood
Music and lighting also play an important role when she wants to have people over. “I think these things depend on the guests and their age. If it’s going to be with my friends, then, of course, maybe it’s subdued lighting, lots of wine. When I host a party, I am just relaxed and casual as possible. I tell our guests to come as they please. I always like small gatherings. I feel that everyone can be heard. I shy away from the big parties also because I personally tend to cook for everyone,” she says.
Rebecca sets the mood of the parties with the right music and lighting, depending it all on their ages. The plates and gold and black cutlery she used for the setup are all from Dos Casas.
Rebecca believes that a plate is an empty canvas. “So I like the challenge of being able to create something new all the time, something visually arresting but, at the same time, something very appealing to the senses,” she adds.
Rebecca shares three key elements to mix up when planning for a lively spread.
1. Flavors. “Let’s say you’re supposed to do desserts, not everything should be sweet. Maybe you’d have sweet and sour or sweet and salty.
2. Texture. “I don’t think everything should be the same so that whenever people bite into something, there’s an element of surprise in their mouth.
3. Color. “And, of course, color because color adds mood to any table.”
*This article was originally published in Metro Home & Entertaining magazine.
Photographs by Paola Aseron for Metro Home magazine