By Abigail Javellana
Pepita’s Kitchen Project Wheelchair Fund-Raising is a 12-course Lechon Degustation with each course presented by the best chefs and pastry bakers in Manila. Their passion project started with Dedet and her two daughters, Lileya and Liyora, raising funds to donate wheelchairs as a legacy to their sister Lauren. With a humble beginning of selling ButterBeer and Chocolate Happiness (Hot Choco) in school fairs, turned into a beautiful full packed 12-course Lechon Degustation at Manila Hotel’s Champagne Room, with successfully raising funds for 150 wheelchairs (P3,500 per wheelchair) for the less fortunate people with disabilities. Here’s what the chefs prepared for Project Wheelchair’s 12-course degustation… LECHON DEGUSTACION by PEPITA’S KITCHEN Private dining in Makati or in the comforts of your own home. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: Lechon Degustacion at Pepita’s Kitchen Mobile: +63 917 866-0662 Telephone: +632 425-4605 For more info, contact Dedet Santos for pledges and contributions to Project Wheelchair. The charity dinner was held at the Champagne Room of Manila Hotel. The 12-course meal is priced at P3,500 equivalent to one brand new wheelchair. 🙂 We loved that they added touches of Lauren and the people they’ve helped through their fundraising events. We were excited to try what signature dishes the chefs have to offer. Welcome Drinks: Philippine Citrus Cooler, Manille Liqueur de Camanci and Manille Liqueur de Dalandan by Destileria Limtuaco Vin Rouge Assorties by Yats Wine. Finger Food: Mini Ube Cupcakes by Karen Young by Karen’s Kitchen Their Ube cupcakes are like soft sponge cakes with an ube filling and creamy icing on top 🙂 … and Red Velvet cake. Tripple Umami Canape by Chef Arnold V’ Bernardo of Deep Dips 1. Marinated Paneer cheese, Mushroom Tapenade and Fried Quail Egg. 2. Roasted Eggplant Antipasto and gourmet Tuyo Antipasto. 3. Marinated queso puti. Full of umami and very malinamnam. Appetizers: Sharing in one plate are the creations of three different chefs. Chicken Terrine with Spice Mango Confit by Chef Jam Melchor of Healthy Eats A healthy salad starter. 🙂 Ginger and Wild Chili Gazpacho by Chef Sherwin Tee of Curiosity Got The Chef Roasted tomato and chili, mixed with salabat (Filipino ginger tea) and balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil finished with Pangasinan Fleur de sel (Pangasinan Star Sea Salt). You’re supposed to take it in one shot. There will be a big burst of spiciness on your palette that will be gone in a few seconds. It was a very surprising palette cleanser, we liked that it was something that woke us up and a perfect light starter for the upcoming rich and sinful dishes prepared. Burrata by Chef James Templo of Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza Locally made burrata from Filipino Carabao’s milk. It’s very creamy and soft cheese bursting with a gooey filling. Mushroom Truffle Cannelloni by Chef Bettina Osmena of Gourmet Corner Perfectly cooked pasta with earthy flavors from the truffle and mushrooms. Negros Lump Crab and Corn with Pangasinan Taba ng Talangka Mayo in Artisinal Bread By Chef Angelo Comsti Main Courses: Salmon Papillote by Happy Ongpauco-Tiu Baked Salmon belly baked in parchment paper with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, baked mini potatoes and lemon cream sauce. Perfectly cooked medium rare salmon with a little bit of tangy, creamy and spicy in one bite. Coq au vin by Chef John Cu-Unjieng by Jam Foods Coq Au Vin is a play on French chicken stew made with red wine. The chicken is served with marble potato, slabbed bacon, french beans, carrots and two kinds of mushrooms. In their version of the Coq Au Vin they fried the chicken instead of braising it. The flavors are still the same but with the added texture. Calamansi with Basil Sorbet by Chef Ian Carandang of Sebastian’s Ice Cream We like the palette cleanser treat, the texture is creamy, fine and quite tangy. It has a nice hint of basil for that savory edge. Refreshing. Crispy Roast Pork Belly with Lingoberries, Apple Sauce, Dijon Mustard, and Gravy by Dulce Magat Gibb by A Table The Lingonberries jam paired with the Crispy Pork Belly is a winner for us. 🙂 Lechon de Leche Stuffed with Truffle Rice by Dedet dela Fuente Santos of Pepita’s Kitchen Everyone was excited for the favorite dish at Pepita’s Kitchen. The award winning dish won in London’s Tastiest Fast Feast in Asia by Foodie Hub (formerly Chowzter). A nice touch to add the Philippine flag on top. 🙂 We love the Truffle Rice Stuffed Lechon you can smell the aromatic truffle oil as soon as they cut the pig open 🙂 Dessert: Intramuros Cacao Liqueur by Destileria Limtuaco The drink was very strong for me but I like that it tasted like Bailey’s. Assorted Tartlets- Chocolate, Pecan & Dayap by Angela Villoria Tolentino of Cinq Dessert Boutique Preferably it is supposed to be eaten in this order: First the Belgian chocolate tart that’s not too sweet, cleanse with the Philippine lime Dayap tart and end with the rich flavor of the Caramel Pecan Tart. Echire Butter Millefeulle by Chef Miko Apiras and Lileya Santos of Le Petite Souffle The last yummy dessert Finale. 🙂 Nothing too sweet with a nice contrast of the crunchy and creamy textures. Everyone got to take home The Best Ensaymadas in Manila by Pearl De Guzman of Baby Pat Breads & Pastries. Congratulations Project Wheelchair for the successful event and for reaching your goal of raising funds for 150 wheelchairs! LECHON DEGUSTACION by PEPITA’S KITCHEN Private dining in Makati or in the comforts of your own home. Email: email@example.com Facebook: Lechon Degustacion at Pepita’s Kitchen Mobile: +63 917 866-0662 Telephone: +632 425-4605 For more info, contact Dedet Santos for pledges and contributions to Project Wheelchair. Live an Awesome Life, Abi, Sheila and Nico of Our Awesome Planet Team Disclosure: We are media guests of Project Wheelchair Charity Dinner. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.