I want to follow Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” journey while on sabbatical (replacing the “Love” part with “Realize“). In her book, Liz hopped from one country to another–countries that start with the letter “I” (i.e. Italy, India, and Indonesia) doing some soul searching after her divorce.
In my case, I have two requirements for my mission: (1) I want to do something similar but don’t cost much, and (2) it has to be within Cebu (as much as possible!).
After weeks of contemplating different ideas, I’ve decided to witness a cooking demo of one of my favorite celebrity chefs–Chef Roland Laudico–for the “Eat” mission.
Husband-and-wife team Chefs Roland (Chef de Cuisine) and Jacqueline (Executive Pastry Chef) Laudico of Bistro Filipino flew all the way to Cebu to be Bluewater Maribago‘s August guest chefs for their “Northern Exposure 2012: The Best of Manila’s Restaurants and Chef Series” event. So, I dragged my food blogger friend, Red Yumang of Cook My Garden, and made reservations for two.
The Culinary Adventure with The Masters
My last culinary experience was way back in 2009 during my training in Magsaysay Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts (MIHCA) with Chef Napoleon (read about my first-hand experience in baking chocolate chip cookies with my colleagues here). And last August, Chefs Roland and Jackie’s cooking demonstration brush up my culinary knowledge of hot dishes and pastries.
Chef Roland showed off his culinary prowess with a brief discussion of the different varieties of Filipino adobo. He keeps his audience captivated with his jests and remarks of his sidekick-of-the-day Daniel-san (I’m sure he was honored to be Chef Roland’s assistant for the afternoon).
There are four dishes to be cooked in limited time and he set things in motion while talking. Chef Roland started with appetizer Lumpia Cones with Frozen Vinegar Granite, followed by Adobe Shiitake Puree with Garlic Cream, complimented with 3 kinds of Mango Salad in Bagoong Vinaigrette topped with Cashew Crusted Cheese and, finally the main course, Grilled US Ribeye Bistek served with Kamote Blue Cheese Croquette and Grilled Vegetables.
Every now and then, Chef Roland would mention some tips and trivia (for non-culinary experts like me) while cooking. Some of his cooking tips involved putting green veggies last because they cook easily and use freshly ground pepper instead of store-bought pepper. He also shared he doesn’t follow recipes to the dot but relies on his taste buds. And no, he doesn’t believe the power of MSG.
After Chef Roland’s stint, Chef Jackie (his lovely wife) showed us the ropes of making a classic Filipino dessert. I’ve always thought that we don’t have a dessert but she mentioned that the Filipino dessert is usually considered a snack. To complement Chef Roland’s dishes, she prepared the Filipino doughnut: Bicho-Bicho Bread Balls filled with Decadent Egg Custard served with Hot Chocolate Fondue (i.e. Yema-filled Bicho-Bicho paired with Hot Tablea–the Filipino version of churros).
While her hubby may depend on his taste buds for his dishes, Chef Jakie is all about following the measurements down to the smallest detail. Yes, opposites do attract in the kitchen and they are the living proof.
Chef Roland informed us that one of the pastry chef’s requirements is being patient. And Chef Jackie is the epitome of that virtue when she patiently whisked the ingredients for yema and hot chocolate (separately, of course) with the help of Chef John–Bluewater Maribago’s Pastry Chef. So, to the aspiring pastry chefs who are reading this, you must have the patience of a saint.
At the end of the lecture, Red and I devoured their samples and took photos of the dishes they prepared. I love Chef Roland’s lumpia cones and adobo shiitake puree while Chef Jackie’s bicho-bicho reminds me of a childhood favorite: Cebu’s very own shakoy (a twisted bread sprinkled with sugar).
Following the power couple Chefs Roland and Jackie Laudico is Chef Sau del Rosario of Villa Café. Catch him in action on Sept. 28 to 30, 2012. Enjoy the Northen Exposure lunch (four-course menu) at ₱950 nett per person or the degustation dinner (eight-course menu) at ₱1,250 nett per person and enjoy complimentary use of resort facilities. For more details or reservations, email [email protected].
About Bistro Filipino
Two of Manila’s Top Chefs and leading experts in modern Filipino cuisine, Chefs Roland and Jacqueline Laudico opened Bistro Filipino on October 10, 2006. This fine-dining Filipino restaurant promotes Filipino cuisine in a modern light but preserves its traditional flavor creating exciting flavors in a world-class setting. Its patisserie whips up inspired desserts and handmade Belgian chocolate truffles infused with indigenous flavors. They also serve excellent wines and signature cocktails to complete the experience.
When in Manila, drop by at Bistro Filipino. They are located at the Ground Floor net 2 Building, 3rd Avenue, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.