Chef Fernando Aracama AKA “The Maestro”. You should know him from being a judge of a local TV culinary competition, he is a long time culinary veteran with more than 30 years under his belt. Got his degree from the University of the Philippines and the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, USA; with Filipino cuisine being touted as the next big thing internationally (If you’ve been watching some international food and travel shows lately, Filipino dishes has been featured a lot) and with an ethos of championing Filipino cuisine on the world stage, Chef Aracama is at the forefront by cooking up home grown flavors with a modern technique.
Get more of Chef Fernando Aracama this coming August 23 & 24/ August 30 & 31.
Sinanglay is dish in where tilapia is stuffed with tomatoes, wrapped in pechay leaves and simmered in coconut milk. Here, parrot fish was used with a French cooking technique en papillote (or al cartoccio in Italian, I learned the term from Mario Batali and which also means “in parchment”) that will steam itself with it’s own juices. Then the paper will be ripped open and the perfectly cooked fish be drizzled with coconut milk sauce. I had sinanglay before and my mom makes it every now and then but this is just classy.
I secretly had two servings of this dish, don’t ask me how.
For more of The Maestro, you can also check out: Aracama Filipino Cuisine: Live Out The Good Old Negrense Flavors
The chef known as “The Boss”, Chef Bruce Lim is probably a familiar face to most who regularly watch the Asian Food Channel. Earned his culinary chops at the Cordon Bleau in London, England; sharpened his skills via the demanding MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada; Chef Lim’s main goal is to showcase to the world the beauty of Filipino cuisine.
For a glimpse of the chef, you can visit him once “The Boss” gets in charge of the kitchen on August 9 & 10/ August 16 & 17.
A take on braised pork and laing. The pork was moist succulent and tender on top of rich laing. At first, the kamote gnocchi did not make sense to me but as I took a bite of it with the fried espada and lathered the rich aligue sauce on it, it just worked.
You can check out more of Chef Bruce Lim here: What Made Me Go Back to Chef’s Lab Two Days After?
Another tandem that needs no introduction. Chefs Jackie and Rolando Laudico are well known in the local culinary circle. Creating the Chef Laudico Group in 2000 that garnered the attention of top corporations and of the beautiful people. Armed with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, the international working experience and in tandem with an internationally awarded pastry chef and a chocolatier in her own right; one can just imagine how highly sought after the dynamic duo is.
You can sample the tandem’s dishes as early as July 26 & 27/ August 2 & 3.
According to Chef Lau (Rolando), good food with wine along with the view of Taal does not really get better than that.
Surprisingly, Chef Lau is easy to approach. As he sat just in front of where I am, he enthusiastically described it as Chef Jackie’s homage to Suman sa Ibus, an Ilonggo sticky rice dish and a variety of suman that can be found all over the country. Chef Jackie fondly remembers her lolo enjoying it for breakfast or as a snack with cream or coconut milk and muscovado or condensed milk.
The suman panna cotta was her modern Filipino inspiration and according to Chef Lau, who does not eat suman without any mangoes?
Want to read more of Chefs Jackie and Rolando Laudico? Max’s and RockStar Chef Laudico Elevates Filipino Cuisine To a Whole New Level with Their New Dinner Specials
After a sumptuous 5-course meal and a glass of wine paired for each, we were happily toured around the hotel grounds and while doing so I just can’t help but reflect on the history of the Taal Vista Hotel, the memories of the people that visited and the incoming visitors during the 75th anniversary and another 75 years to come as establishments lasts rarely like this.
And of course the wonderful buffet awaiting the guests once the chefs man the kitchen when in Manila – or, well, Tagaytay.
Taal Vista Hotel
Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City 4120, Philippines
Telephone No: +63 (2) 917-8225 | +63 (46) 413-1000
Mobile No: +63 (917) 809-1254
Fax No: +63 (46) 413-1225