Gesturing as if he was pulling out an ingredient from an imaginary cupboard, Chef Jonah Trinidad, guest chef at the Maximo Cook’s Table event at Maximo Comfort Cuisine, revealed cooking secrets told in different courses. All of which, of course, were inspired by his travels in Tijuana—where the heart of Mexican cuisine lies.
And inspired was he and the rest of the event, indeed. The food, that night, was a sight for sore eyes.
Upstairs at the event was a lost soul’s oasis, where utensils clamored an eclectic beat, where sombrero hats were in fashion, and a passionate chef awaited his guests. Behind this door is a stage for any talent, chef or jester, come aboard.
Rock and roll to the world everyone! At the backstage, Ryan Rems
Trinidad shared that Filipinos and Mexicans are only a few degrees apart when it comes to food. The blossoming cilantro scents of Tuna Ceviche with mango salsa and tortilla crisps, is the foreignoy cousin of kilawin. Experience this lightly peppered raw tuna with puree-like mangoes, sweet bell peppers, and otap-flaky tortilla.
There was poetry at Maximo Comfort Cuisine in a form of hand-sized crunchy nachos that has light to deep bean metaphors in every bite.
As the spice from the first entree silenced, the Chorizo and Shrimp Tamales displayed its amazing grace next. Wrapped in corn’s skin, it’s the kakanin version of the West with the sweetest succulent shrimps.
It wouldn’t be Mexican without the Lamb Barbacoa Street Tacos with Queso Fresca. This is one greaseless, toothsome meat with fresh salsa. Drizzling it with lime juice makes it even better. The cheese was made out of generic fresh milk. This is one note-worthy dish.
A tragedy turned into comedy: Lime Mint Sorbet. Though it turned out to be a mock-tail, it truly cleansed our palates, leaving us with the craving for more dishes.
We resumed with Grilled Chicken Molé with Mexican-Style Rice. Trinidad said that the molé sauce was made up of a mixture of liver, java sauce, chili powder, cumin, and cocoa. It was a light, nutty, delightful trio with the modest poultry marinated in tanglad herby spice, mother’s homemade style paella rice, and garden-fresh salad on the side.
The spice of the night really intensified with the Smoked Adobo Marinated Angus Top Blade with Sweet Potato. Trinidad redefined this familiar dish with an herby medallion meat blessed with pesto-like rain. It’s perfectly blended with sweet potatoes, and more vegetables on the side.
While everyone thought this performance was already such a sweet ender, we were all blown away by an unexpected surprise. This Chocolate Pound Cake made an entrance, pure with tongue whips of lashing hot habanera vanilla ice cream, pacified by strawberry coulis.
Chef Jonah Trinidad proved that life is a product of imagination. He was trying to put across a message through our stomachs: to cook is to realize. He continues to hope to put up his own Mexican restaurant. Let there be light. Maximo Comfort Cuisine transcends anyone—artist or chef—to perform on a new passage where dreams can be made.
Maximo Comfort Cuisine