Have you tried Ant Eggs, a popular delicacy in Mexico called escamole from giant ants?
This was one of the most raved about dishes of Chef Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil in Mexico, #35 in World’s 50 Best and #6 in Latin America’s Best. The
The Cross Cultures by Cheryl Tiu 6-Hands Collaboration Dinner also featured Chef Jungsik Yim of Jungsik, Seoul, South Korea, #22 restaurant in Asia together with Chef Chele Gonzales of Vask Gallery, #39 restaurant in Asia.
Here’s a photo essay of our awesome experience when Manila meets Mexico and Korea dining cultures…
Gallery Vask by Chef Chele hosted Chef Jorge and Chef Jungsik for one night only 6-hands collaboration 16-courses dinner last April 10.
✮ Course #1: Gim Cone (Jungsik).
Gim (Korean seaweed) shaped into a cone with beef tartar seasoned with gochujang, sous vide egg yolk, Asian pear, and sesame leaf.
Loved the crunch and the subtle flavors of chili, and egg yolk.
This tostada dish was served like a vegetable garden chip with the crab hidden under it.
✮ Course #2: Crab Tostada (Quintonil)
You have to put the generous chunk of crab meat on top before eating it in one bite. Can I have one more tostada, please?
Course #3: Empanadita (Gallery Vask)
The next appetizer is a mini-empanada with pork longganisa with an acidic taste from the pinakurat. It’s small and bitin.
✮ Course #4: Ukoy (Gallery Vask)
It’s popular fried shrimp snack in the Philippines but Chef Chele’s version is smoked shrimp with ginger and crème fraîche. Yum!
Gran Codorniu Vintage Pinot Noir (Cava)
The overflowing cava was good to loosen us up and initiate conversations without an overpowering buzz.
✮ Course #5: Tiradito (Gallery Vask)
This is a signature dish at Gallery Vask which is inspired by Nikkei cuisine but made with raw Yellow fin tuna topped with kinilaw gel (white) with tabon-tabon taste and lato (also called ar-arosep or arorosep) seaweed.
This dish is named after region Region 5 for the Bicol Express coconut sauce and Region 6 where the Aklan Oyster come from. The pickled rabanos (baby radish) cuts through the creaminess of the sauce.
I like how the combination of this dish challenges your senses to get you ready for the next dish.
We had a smooth transition to white wine as a pairing for the seafood dishes.
✮ Course #7: Eggs, Charred Avocado (Quintonil)
Chef Jorge served Escamole which is giant ant eggs with elastomers served with torched avocado, serrano peppers, and charred onions powder.
It was a bit exotic but love the slimy texture of each ant egg complemented by the avocado and a good spice kick. Glad we ate it first before checking the google images of escamole.
✮ Course #8: Sea Urchin – Tuna (Jungsik)
This was a simple dish of Sea Urchin from Japan, Tuna in soya calamansi on a bed of fried quinoa with rice soy sauce and sesame oil and a dash of gim powder.
Course #9: Bauhinia (Gallery Vask)
It’s Mackarel sinigang with alibangbang broth. Love the clean taste of the soup to clean your palate.
✮ Course #10: Parrot Fish (Jungsik)
This next dish is our favorite from Chef Jungsik – Pan seared Parrot Fish with white kimchi, gim powder, tofu, and yummy clam juice.
The soup combination was the best and would leave you wanting for some more broth.
Scala Dei Garnatxa Priorat 2014
The red wine is served to pair with the rich meat course.
✮ Course #11: Tear Drop (Gallery Vask)
People can’t believe that this dish is served with cheeks from Tuna which taste like actual meat. It is served with Talinum and Sibujing local shallots to complete the flavor.
It is named teardrop because of the local barley called adlai in beef ju flavored with local cinnamon from the Kalingag bark.
✮ Course #12: Short Ribs Salsa Borracha (Quintonil)
The short ribs are cooked in fermented cactus juice with sweet chili and tomato. The plate is painted with the black from huitlacoche fungus and white from corn kernel.
This dish is a bit dark, heavy and an acquired taste. I love it because it is something different and entices you to visit and explore the flavors of Mexico.
✮ Course #13: Pingol Bato (Gallery Vask)
The first dessert course is quite refreshing with Praline pili nut, dalandan mousse, pingol bato, pili nut, dalandan meringue, fermented yogurt and ginger ale granita.
The pingol bato (begonia leaf) from the Aetas is an edible sour leaf-like kamias but in leaf form.
Course #14: Manila – Mexico (Quintonil)
The next dessert is made with avocado puree, chico zapote, ash chocolate chip, marshmallow mango ice cream, and meringue mango.
This is the dish that Chef Jorge presented during Madrid Fusion to pay homage to the Manila – Acapulco galleon trade exchange.
✮ Course #15: Pintos (Gallery Vask)
This is the best dessert by Chef Chele so far Burnt milk ice cream with Binatog in a corn husk. Sarap!
Course #16: Sungka (Gallery Vask)
Finally, Chef Chele’s Sungka of different sweets from his travels from the different regions in the Philippines.
Thank you for the wonderful conversations and it’s an honor dining with you all!
Chef Jorge Vallejo’s dishes were the most raved about dishes because of the unique ingredients he used from ant eggs, fermented cactus juice to huitlacoche fungus. I personally loved his Eggs, Charred Avocado, and Short Ribs Salsa Borracha.
Chef Jungsik courses were more familiar flavors playing with gim (Korean seaweed) which is the topic of his presentation at Madrid Fusion. My favorite was his Parrot Fish with Clam Juice.
Chef Chele’s new dishes are impressive and my favorites were appetizers: Ukoy and Tiradito, main dish: Tear Drop, and desserts: Pinggol Bato, and Pintos.
Congratulations to Chef Chele Gonzales and Cheryl Tiu for this awesome 6-hands collaboration dinner with Chef Jorge of Quintonil and Chef Jungsik!
Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 Series:
- Spanish Tapas Night Kick-off to Madrid Fusion Manila 2016! @MadridFusionMnl
- Michelin-Starred Chef Ivan Cerdeño’s Secret Spanish White Pork Recipes @MadridFusionMNL
- DANI GARGIA’s 10 Course Little Prince-Inspired Michelin Star Dining Experience @MadridFusionMNL
- Vask Gallery x Quintonil x Jungsik #SixHandsManila @MadridFusionMNL
- Top 10 Favorites @MadridFusionMNL’s “Panlasa” Theme Regional Lunch (Day 1)
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Please stay tuned for future Cross Cultures by Cheryl Tiu dinners here: http://www.cheryltiu.com/