NOMA by Rene Redzepi is one of the top restaurants in the world. So when Sous Chef Yannick Van Aeken and Pastry Chef Louise Bannon — who both worked in NOMA — visited the country on a quest to savor the best of Philippine flavors, the Manila Food community was abuzz with excitement! 🙂
Together with Chef Robby Goco, they hosted a private pop-up dinner for Manila’s top chefs, foodies, and food editors in Aleth’s Kitchen. The former NOMA chefs were fascinated with Philippine ingredients, and were challenged to use it in a memorable degustation in Makati. 🙂
The dinner experience was a historic moment because of the cultural foodie exchange between Belgians and Filipinos. And it was also a foodie celebration because Filipino Food and our very own ingredients were getting the attention they rightly deserved by the top chefs in the world.
Here’s a photo essay entitled “A Taste of NOMA in Manila” to immortalize the experience…
The pop-up dinner was held somewhere in Makati, in the beautiful home of Ms. Aleth Ocampo.
The dinner mood was set with a nice relaxing view of the pool.
GLEN RAMAEKERS shared with us the story that led to this epic dinner, which started in 2012.
I love the simple style of his cooking and how he made sure the tastes of the ingredients speak for themselves. I also love that he used the natural sauces of the seafood as flavoring and our very own spicy vinegar, Sinamak.
I must say, we should be all proud of our very own Diwal, also called Angel Wings clam.
Course #2: ✮ Organic Mussels with Pumpkin Sauce and Kalamansi
This second dish was light but very tasty, a combination of pumpkin, seaweed, kalamansi, mussles, and chicharon. It was a learning experience for all of us, knowing that our very own ingredients could taste this good and hold their own. We need to take risks to discover different flavor combinations.
You can hear everyone raving about the meal so far. 🙂
The third course was a fish & pork soup with moringga — our very own Malunggay!
Course #3: ✮ Pure Dashi, Malunggay, Seaweed, Daikon, and Egg with Consomme Broth
The presentation was beautiful! The colors of the ingredients speaking simply, without pretention.
You eat the soup with malunggay and with a bit of the egg yolk to fully experience the flavors. Sarap!
It was also a pleasure meeting the players in the Philippine Food scene in one dining table. 🙂
Course #4: Ube with Wild Oats, Organic Brown Rice and Kiziek (a Nordic bread/biscuit)
This was interesting…Ube mixed with cherry beer from Belgium. They recommended pairing it with the cherry beer.
Just a bit disappointing because it lacked taste. I feel they should have put some protein, either a piece of beef or pork, to complete this.
Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat deserves a special mention for partnering with Glen Ramaekers to jump-start this Belgium-Philippines Food Cultural exchange.
Thank you to my foodie seatmates, Jin Loves to Eat and Devon. 🙂
Thanks also to Chef Aileen Anastacio and Chef Pixie Sevilla, who were seated across me, for the great company throughout the dinner.
Course #5: Cabbage with Home made Kimchi
The next course was a roasted cabbage with Kimchi.
I must admit, the taste was forgettable.
It’s always fun to eat with these foodies, chefs, and food writers respected in their own fields.
Aleth’s home was very beautiful and the attention to detail was superb 🙂
Happy Faces and Smiling Tummies 🙂
I had to sneak in a photo-op with the chefs in the kitchen to immortalize this moment. 🙂
The dessert was served on coconut shells with mango.
Dessert #1: ✮ Mango with Homemade Ice Cream made of coconut milk, kalamansi, and mango
It was served with home-made coconut milk ice cream and bit of thyme. 🙂
Jin loves it so much that we had to fight over the extra serving. I ended up conceding to Jin. 🙂
Gaita was raving about it, too!
Dessert #2: ✮ Yema Balls by Heny Sison
The yema was served and all of us loved it…it was very addicting!
Initially, we didn’t know who made it. Then we found out it was made by the Queen of Philippine Cakes and Pastry — Chef Heny Sison!
Dessert #3: ✮ Truffle made out of reduced coconut cream fudge topped with latik.
This was a bonus dessert of Coconut Milk reduced with glucose. You can taste the distinct latik flavor.
The banana was very already good but it would have been more awesome if it was coated with the chocolate coconut cream. 🙂
Thank you and Congratulations to Chef Yannick Van Aeken and Pastry Chef Louise Bannon for the awesome dinner!