IN PHOTOS: Feast of Colours Gala Dinner with Chef Zakarian
MANILA, Philippines – It’s not every day that an Iron Chef makes his own version of adobo.
That’s exactly what happened last Thursday, March 20, as celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian arrived in Manila for Feast of Colours, a gala dinner presented by Colours channel and Cignal TV. The dinner was held at the Grand Plaza Ballroom of the Sofitel Plaza. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra provided musical accompaniment throughout the night.
This event was organized for the benefit of the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation. During his welcome remarks, Cignal TV chairman Manny V. Pangilinan told guests that, “This is a very worthwhile cause that you are supporting, because the victims of Yolanda are still out there.”
Pangilinan also introduced Zakarian as “a nice guy,” and shared how the New York chef enjoyed all the Filipino delicacies offered to him, except two things: durian and balut (fertilized duck egg).
Zakarian then appeared onstage, and during his quick interview with host Daphne Oseña-Paez, he shared that he learned to make adobo through his Filipina baby nurse.
The five-course dinner consisted of a sampling of Zakarian’s signature dishes, as well as a main plate and dessert inspired by flavors and colors that he experienced here in the Philippines. Each course was ushered in with a quick cooking demonstration from Zakarian, with assistance from his executive chef Eric Haugen.
Feast your eyes on the menu:
Zakarian started off with a semi-raw steak tartare, broken down by hints of pickles. The avocado and mustard seed components made every mouthful refreshing.
A rich, buttery broth was presented next, topped with citrus-infused pastry and served with bread on the side. This French supper staple is probably Zakarian's homage to his early traning years in Paris.
The third course was a hefty crab cake without the usual extenders – a delight to bite into, especially with the tangy green apple sauce at its base. It affirmed the impression that Zakarian enjoys the interplay of rich and zesty flavors in his cuisine.
We thought we've seen – and tasted – every permutation of adobo possible, but Zakarian actually managed to surprise and please the crowd with the second main course: his own version of adobo. It was smothered with what Zakarian dubbed his own "BBQ" sauce, which included roasted rice, cocoa, and cinnamon. It lent a unique, robust texture to our favorite homecooked dish.
Dessert was a combination of familiar elements. What made it uncommon was the variety of textures: it was gelatinous, crispy, and crunchy all at once.
The night was not just an indulgence for the palate, but for other senses as well. Right before the last plate was whisked away, Robert Seña and Isay Alvarez stepped up and performed some well-loved Broadway songs with the orchestra.
Now, view other highlights from the event in the slideshow below. – Rappler.com