“It’s time for Filipino cuisine to take center stage” shares Ms. Cleofe Albiso, Managing Director of Megaworld Hotels and Resorts, the Philippines’ largest homegrown hotel chain with 4,000 room keys and 11 properties across the country.
With the love for local food and an overflow of creative talents, Megaworld Hotels and Resorts (MHR) brings people together for an evening of festive culinary delights entitled LaMeza, with its own take on The Modern Filipino Table. As a proudly homegrown brand, “We want to offer our very own” says Albiso.
Thanks to the country’s archipelagic design, Albiso notes that “Filipino cuisine is diverse and flavorful” and comes with a unique story represented by its very own signature dishes from the many regions that guests both local and foreign have all come to love. On this night, MHR gathers all its executive head chefs from all its properties as they debut the future of its culinary offers available in all its locations through an elevated 9-course dinner designed to draw you closer to the flavorful roots of “Our Heart, Your Home”.
An evening of Delight and Flavors
MHR welcomes all its guests to its newest property, the Kingsford Hotel Manila, located at the heart of the Entertainment City of Paranaque. As soon as each one enters the foyer, their senses are immediately greeted by the soothing rhythm of a live string quartet that compliments the space alongside a foreshadowing of cocktails served by its gracious hosts. Just like home, a familiar taste of bite-size creations fills the venue like kare-kare, chicken inasal, lechon ice cream, sisig, kinilaw, lechon, lumpia, empanada, humba, and dinakdakan.
With everyone ready for the main event, guests are all ushered to their tables and are warmly welcomed by MHR’s Managing Director, Ms. Cleofe Albiso. As she directs everyone’s attention to the screen, she excites everyone with the gustatory surprises that await each guest. Michelle Aventajado, the event’s master of ceremonies and a foodie herself, then takes after as she glides everyone through the evening’s program. The night becomes more pleasing with the live vocal solo of Opalhene Rose Barba with live accompaniment easing in before the first course.
Then the night begins with Baguio. For the first bite, guests enjoyed a freshly baked soft raisin roll topped with crispy quinoa and the dark sweetness of molasses. It also has cream cheese and softened butter flavored with locally picked strawberries all the way from Baguio City. We move on to Aklan. With the influence of Italy, guests follow through with a unique pasta dish cooked with the freshest crab catch from the province and the famous chorizo of Boracay’s “choriburger” fame. The pasta’s flavorful sauce is made from seafood consomme and saffron cream and making it more appetizing is the spinach tuile from a local harvest.
Deeper into the heart of the evening, Aventajado gives everyone a live sneak peek as she brings everyone to the kitchen while all chefs dedicate their attention to every dish and plating before bringing them to the limelight for guests to enjoy.
With the excitement building up for the next course, the chefs then bring everyone to Bicol! The Laing Espesyal, is a classic Bicolano food wherein taro leaves are braised in coconut milk for three hours and enhanced with scallop and prawn paste for a flavorful and rich taste. This well-loved dish is further given a twist by adding two more main components, making it an even more filling dish – prawn and lechon kawali. It is then followed by La Union. The province of La Union is known for its “pugita” or octopus, but their usual specialty is given a Spanish twist by poaching the pulpo or octopus until it is fork-tender, then searing it “a la plancha” or grilled on a metal plate. To enhance the flavors, the dish is served with creamy celeriac butter, classic aioli, and smoked tomatoes. Up next is a savory vacation to Cebu. Your visit to the Queen City of the South will never be complete without trying a fresh catch of scallops from Bantayan Island, the crunchiness of Carcar’s Chicharon, and the famous Chorizo de Cebu. These are some of the most sought-after foods that local and foreign visitors must try. We’re putting all these must-try food together in one unique dish of stir-fried scallops with crusted chicharron, served with purple yam and corn puree with chorizo oil and Sriracha cheese. Guests now take a trip to Mindanao and land their tastebuds in Davao to enjoy Calderobo with Cacao Cheese. It is in Davao where you will find the delicious combination of two of the most iconic Filipino dishes—caldereta and adobo! It’s a beef stew-like no other where the sous vide beef cheeks are stuffed with Wagyu beef fat to create the most tender beef there is, then braised in calderobo sauce. Elevating the richness of the flavors are homemade carabao’s milk cheese infused with cacao compote and heirloom vegetables. Then after this, guests are transported to Nueva Ecija. As the “rice granary” of the Philippines, it’s a must for the Nueva Ecija special to be a rice dish perfectly complemented by a delectable viand. Tiger prawns are cooked in a vacuum container, then served with pumpkin-infused risotto, nutty and earthy edamame pods, and topped with Parmegiano Reggiano.
Before heading for a sweet finish, everyone takes a break to look back on the saccharine journey of the chefs as they took the time to listen and share their thoughts with seasoned industry practitioners during a Culinary Conference conducted by Megaworld Hotels and Resorts. The training event that took place days prior was participated by Chef Philip Golding from the Center for Culinary Arts, Chef Reggie Aspiras, a chef, culinary instructor, and columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Chef Buddy Trinidad, President and co-founder of Pastry Alliance of the Philippines, Ms. Ederlinda Decano the Group Director of Finance of MHR, and Chef Josh Boutwood Executive Chef of The Bistro Group.
Nearing the sweet ending, the guests then enjoyed a delightful bite of Bulacan with a serving of pastillas macaron, macapuno truffle, espasol praline, and peanut brittle chicharon. This set of four exquisite bites inspired by the delicacies of Bulacan is a delicious fusion of classic local ingredients presented in European-style. The chewy French macaron is given the distinct sweet, milky flavor of the well-loved pastillas de Leche. The humble macapuno ball we all know transforms into a truffle ball coated in white chocolate with a waft of roasted desiccated coconut, while the soft and chewy espasol rice cake gets a praline makeover with a nutty chocolate coating. Everyone's favorite chicharron coated in glass sugar and cashew crunchies bring a unique sweet-salty end to this one-of-a-kind dessert medley. Coming to a close, one’s journey will never be complete without the sweet offers of Iloilo. How do you put Iloilo on a dessert plate? First, you place the finest cheese made from their carabao dairy farms. Then you add Iloilo’s very own batuan fruit to make sweet jam. For the final touch, create a compote made from Guimaras’ famous mangoes.
At the end of the evening, due credit and recognition were then extended to all the inspirational Executives Chefs who, through their talent, passion, and creativity, made the night truly interesting namely: Chef Francis Tugnao of Belmont Hotel Manila, Chef Alejandro Bartolome of Belmont Hotel and Savoy Boracay, Chef Victor Barangan of Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Chef Christopher Yu of Hotel Lucky Chinatown, Chef Angelo Chubby Timban of Kingsford Hotel Manila, Chef Ariel Castaneda Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, Chef Tristan Carlo Galang of Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Chef Kris Espinosa of Savoy Hotel Manila, Chef June Fernandez of Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown, and Chef Noli King-King of Twin Lakes Hotel.
Megaworld Hotels and Resorts would also like to thank its partners: All Year, Diversey, Eastern, Globalinens Worldwide, Inc., GRN Co Packaging. Harle Philippines, JMDS Hauling Services, Packaging, RGL 33 Fruits and Vegetable Dealer, San Miguel, Unilever, Wiklin Industrial Services, Windmill, Corelle, Raffles (Corelle)
This event is also made successful through the support of Agathon, Aquasolve Phil Inc., Camaligan Construction, CG Agri, CJML, Electreus Entreprise, ESV, Excelsior, Fujitec, Golden Eye Construction Services, Green Amenities, HMCI Builder, Intra Asia Laundry & Kitchen Supplies, JC Seafood Supply, King Global, Limaseto, Megavel, Mountain Garden, Nineteen Fourteen Grain Trading, NSB Engineering Design and Fabrication, PBS Seafood Marketing, PHILOK Technology Solutions, Co., RJC, RNC, Rock and Rope, Roger Acierda, Royal Flower, Sign Media, Skycable, SLC Agrifarm, Stanway Enterprises, The Culinary Exchange, Titan Universal Industries, Toprank, Upteriors,
For more information about stays and dining reservations, kindly email email@example.com or visit www.megaworldcorp.com/hotels. You may also inquire about your future stays through Megaworld Hotels and Resorts’ and any its properties’ social medial pages.