The Filipino and the Filipino dishes need to be known worldwide. I've learned more about how to involve heart and love for the Filipino in fusion dishes from the famous chef of American Culinary Foundation (ACF) Philip John Golding last Saturday at Upper East Restaurant Makati City. Recently appointed by the American Hospitality Association (AHA) Philippines as the Vice President for Culinary Arts and Linkages, Chef Philip John Golding was admired by many of my friends from his famous stint in "Secrets of the Masters" a local television program on QTV in 2008. Humbled by his presence which to my fellow blogger (who used to be my student) was a dream-come-true, I became excited at the dinner he personally created for us.
He smiled and greeted us while he kept the student chefs busy with the first appetizer, Mongo Hummus with Fresh Herbed Bread. While AHA Philippines Marketing Director Daki Fernando was introducing us to Chef Philip John Golding, another appetizer arrived, Fresh Herbed Bread with Mushroom Salt.
He introduced the student chef holding the Pakwan Mint Shooter and told us about where she came from. It was that moment I knew the certified Executive Chef-Educator of the ACF had a heart not just for the student chef but for the Filipino. It was then that I knew AHA Philippines will be surprised at stellar improvements in discipline, skills and network with Chef Philip Golding. The student chefs who concocted the dishes from the local produce started only since May but it made us all feel that they've already graduated and they've been certified professional chefs because of their behavior and attitude.
Isolating them in the classroom will deprive them of the experience to attend at every customer's wish and complaint according to Chef Golding. He was keen at every learners' preferences which led me to reflect on my own teaching skills and methods. Chef Philip John Golding joined AHA in May 2011 as Chef Instructor-Director for Industry Linkages, following his stint as Executive Chef for the New World Hotels in Saigon (Nov.2011-June 2012). His experience as Corporate Chef for the Azzuro Bistor and Wine Bars in Manila (November 1999-2004) and Culinary Specialist-General Manager of Yats-International Club, Restaurants and Cellars (20004-2011) in Clark Freeport, Angeles City in Pampanga may be his influences on the love of wine-pairing dishes and particular interests on local cuisines. Being married to a Filipina in Pampanga, he also shared to us how he appreciates the local dishes and he hopes to incorporate them in the dishes the student chefs will prepare for Upper East Restaurant. It's that story on Pampanga and the Filipino cuisine that led to the UP Repertory Philippines discussion.
While I listened to the chat of friends on common grounds being UP Rep members in the 90s, we were served the Piadina Fresh Ratatouille, Anchovy and Honey Dressing. I was suddenly lost at the conversation savoring the crunch and sweetness of the fresh ratatouille drizzled with hints of anchovy and honey dressing. It was Tuyo not the regular anchovy and I was surprised at the explosion of flavors in my mouth. The fresh berry on top punctuated the dish even better as it bursted like sweet pickly-type of sour and sweet crunch on my tongue.
Then the Minestrone Soup Kesong Puti Ravioli with Malunggay Pistou arrived and I was left at awe again. Blogger friend Robelle hesitated at the Malunggay Pistou thinking it would taste bitter and she was wrong. Surprisingly not bitter, the Malunggay Pistou (green topping) was perfect with the Kesong Puti Ravioli with crunchy veggie cubes. It was a soup that didn't look like soup because of the Kesong Puti Ravioli.
"Sous Vide" Tarragon Chicken, Laing, Pumpkin Risotto, Rosemary and Lemongrass Reduction was our main entree. A method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for a long time, "Sous Vide" came from the Americans during the war who had no choice but to cook food in water bath that became so popular for its exquisite taste and flavors in meat and seafood. The chicken was moist and juicy yet too soft that made me taste its distinct flavor punctuated by the tarragon herb. It was Chef Golding's passion to serve and teach cooking healthy food at AHA Philippines that will benefit the upcoming students. We listened to the chef awarded the Presidency of Disciples d' Escofier, Philippine Chapter as he boasts of his skills in Laing.
Congruent to the goals of the Disciples d' Escofier International promoting and preserving great culinary traditions through culinary education and apprenticeship, he exudes the passion to encourage young people to discover the desire and motivation to work as a professional chef. He told us of the student chef who used to be a nurse who served our dessert, Lychee Pannacotta Cranberry and Passion Fruit Sauce. Chef Golding was Executive Chef and General Manager for Tutto!! Restaurants, Cafes and Bars from 1995-1997 at the same time he worked as Executive Chef and Lead Instructor at Butlers Wharf Chef School in London.
The food spoke of Chef Golding's heart and AHA Philippines is really fortunate now to have him as the Vice President for Culinary Arts and Linkages. This will spell of more surprises for the school and the lab resto, Upper East Restaurant soon to be renovated and re-made with his legacy creating world-class Filipino chefs soon to be known here and abroad. I was humbled at his love for the Filipino and the Filipino cuisine and I will keep teaching that it does not take a non-Filipino to love the Filipino at AHA Philippines.For more information:
AHA Philippines is the first international American School in the Philippines. Formerly inaugurated on October 22, 2006 by then US Ambassador to the Philippines Her Excellency Kristie Kenny, AHA Philippines is part of the International Hotel Management Schools (AHA-IHMS) with sister schools worldwide - AHA South Africa, AHA India, AHA Nepal, AHA Romania and AHA USA. For inquiries and courses offerings, please visit www.ahaphil.com or call (+632) 218-4334; 0916-286-7615