THE PHILIPPINES and Spain share a lot of things in common, especially in cuisine and gastronomy. Recently, prominent Spanish cuisine chefs of Manila gathered together for Flavors of the Philippines’s Tapas Night.
With theme “Toward a Sustainable Gastronomic Planet,” Tapas Night saw three teams of chefs, each presenting a tapas menu last April 1, at the Green Sun Hotel in Makati.
Tapas are series of traditional Spanish appetizers or small dishes, usually served with Spanish wines and liquor.
“Tapas Night showcases harmony among chefs, food and wine suppliers, and lovers of Spanish cuisine to portray the spirit of the Spanish way of life – going around, having bits and pieces of food and drink with good company,” states Jose Primo Santos, analyst, Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Manila.
Group A, represented by Chef Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry’s Selection, Chef Carlos Garcia of Black Pig, and Chef Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery, presented a spread of Crujiente de ostra y panceta curada de Rioja, cubierta con salsa de algas marinas (Crispy oyster wrapped in pancetta riojana bathed with seaweed sauce); Empanadita Toyo Eatery (Toyo Eatery Patty); Caracoles locales guisados con tuetano, ajo, perejil y salsa de cognac (Native snails sautéed with bone marrow, garlic, parsley, and cognac); Chipiron a la Mallorquina en alioli de sobrasada (Baby Squid Balearic Islands style in sobrasada alioli); and Bangus con crema de ahumados en su masa fermentada de arroz (Milkfish with smoked cream in a fermented purple rice bun).
For their main course, the group served Patorillo de Cabrito, baby goat trotters and sun-dried Rioja pepper sauce, and for dessert, Pestiños extremeños mousse de ube y queso fresco, mousse de mango y fruta de passion, y queso fresco (Extremadura Pestiños with ube mousse and fresh cheese and mango passion fruit and fresh cheese).
Group B, composed of Chef Chele Gonzalez of Vask; Chef Edgar Sanuy of La Lola Group; and Chef Margarita Fores of Cibo di M, presented Bao de Carrileras, alioli, ensalada de piparras y cebolla morada (Beef Cheek Bao, Alioli, Piparras and purple onion salad); Marmitako de atun renovado (Tuna Marmitako); Gazpacho, Sandia, Gambita (Gazpacho, Watermelon, Prawn); Flan de Jamon Serrano con crema de Manchego y guisantes (Jamon flan with jamon Serrano, manchego cream and fresh peas); Vieiras con virutas de chistorra y mostarda de pimiento (Scallops with chistorra crumble and oil and pepper mostarda).
The group’s main course was Arroz Caldoso de Marisco y verduritas (Soupy Rice with seafood and vegetables); and for dessert, “Airbags” de pan, ganache de chocolate, aceite de olive virgin Estra, Sal (Bread Pillows with chocolate ganache, EVO and sea salt).
Group C, with Chef Nicolas Diaz, Chef Amado Garcia Fernandez of Pablo Bistro, and Chef Miko Aspiras of Le Petit Souffle, offered Filo de rabo de buey con puré de calabaza (Braised oxtail and pumpkin puree in phyllo pouch with humus); Tartar de jamon iberico con yema de codorniz (Jamon iberico tartar with quail egg yolk); Zarzuela de albondigas con chipirones (Meatball ragut with baby squid); Carpaccio de vieiras, tartar de aguacate citric y crujiente de queso (Scallop carpaccio, citrus avocado tartar and cheese crisps). Fabada Asturiana (Asturian Fabada) served as the group’s main course, followed by desserts Torrijas crujientes de chocolate y frambuesa (Chocolate and raspberry Crispy Torrijas) and Conos de crèma catalane al te verde (Green tea crema catalane cones).
The three menus were complemented by an abundant selection of Cinco Jotas Jamon Iberico de Bellota, cheese and charcuterie, and free flowing Spanish wines and spirits provided by Terry Selectiion, Bestworld Beverages and Brands, Emperador, Barcino Gourmet, Premier Wine & Spirits, and Norde’s Gin & Tonic.
“With the quality of our participating chefs, we expect all of the tapas to be excellent, but we always try to improve each year,“ states Santos. “We hope to get the continued support of our Spanish and Filipino countrymen so we can have another Tapas Night next year.”
Flavors of the Philippines is a month-long culinary festival that runs this April and highlights the country’s unique region-based cuisines and specialties through events ranging from food tasting events and dinners to community-wide fiestas and food fairs.
For more information about Madrid Fusion Manila, Flavors of the Philippines and its upcoming events, visit their website at www.madridfusionmanila.com.