restaurants in Metro Manila

Food event: Nothing short of fabulous

Carol RH Malasig

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Manila's finest gather for a night of fine food

WELCOME. Town and Country's Fabulous Food Affair is now on its second year.

MANILA, Philippines – Manila’s finest got together for a night of celebrating the “good life” at the Ballroom of Fairmont last week.

The Town & Country Fabulous Food Affair, now on its second year, brought together some of the country’s best chefs — J. Gamboa of Cirkulo, J. Luis Gonzales of Vask, Cibo’s Margarita Fores, Rob and Sunshine Pengson of Goose Station, Masseto’s Tippi Tambunting, Bruce Ricketts of Sensei Sushi, and Didier Derouet and Miko Aspiras of Raffles and Fairmont.

THE CHEFS. Chele Gonzalez, Rob and Sunshine Pengson, T&C Editor in Chief Yvette Fernandez, Bruce Ricketts, Bruce Ricketts, J. Gamboa, Tippi Tambunting, Miko Aspiras, and Didier Derouet.

“There’s no better way of celebrating the best things in life than bringing together an intelligent, interesting, and accomplished crowd to enjoy fine food prepared by Manila’s talented chefs,” Town and Country editor in chief Yvette Fernandez said.

And celebrate, they did. Among the crowd were politicians, celebrities, and members of high society in tres chic outfits. 

Hors d’oeuvres

As guests trickled into Fairmont, they were greeted by a wide selection of cheeses from JC de Terry to pair with their wine. Cocktails were served as well while guests waited for the ballroom to open.

Wine and cheese are a classic combination. But not a lot of people can explain why they go so well together. Food scientists and chemists say that fatty types of food like cheese, make the mouth feel slimy while astringents like wine make it feel rough and dry. With that said, one would think that these two won’t blend well but wine and cheese are actually one of the best balanced food combinations out there.

At the event, 14 types of wine were served among cocktails and the usual juices. All the wines can be paired with not just with the cheeses but with the finger food found inside the venue itself.

A feast – for your mouth and your eyes

Walking into the ballroom was like entering dreamland. The venue, styled by W/17’s Andy Vazquez-Prada and Philippines’ pioneer organic florist Toni Parsons, looked like a forest from one of your childhood fairy tale books with a whimsical tree in the middle of the food stations.

One of our favorites during the event was Chef J Luis Gonzales’ sauteed lamb sweetbreats with olive mashed potato. It’s tximichurri sauce and milk merengue leave a very nice after taste in your mouth with just the right amount of sweetness.

Chef J. Gamboa’s roast bone marrow served with brioche beef belly marmalade and sea salt sure was sinful but it was worth it.

Truffle mushroom Eton mess by Chef Margarita Fores.

Seared prawns agua chile with tamal colado chorizo and salsa de chirmol with uni and lobster cream by Chef Bruce Ricketts

Sous Vide Foie Gras Gingerbread Terrine by Rob & Sunshine Pengson.

Chef J. Luis Gonzalez’ pintxo of ahi tuna on bruschetta with gorgonzola mochi had a good combination of crisp and tender, with the gorgonzola adding a creamy twist to the tuna.

Chef Rob Pengson preparing the cheese, onion, and walnut special.

The sweet life

There is no doubt why the dessert station by chefs Didier Derouet and Miko Aspiras of Raffles and Fairmont was a major hit — everything tasted as good as they looked.

The flavored caviar burst with a fruity taste as you chewed on your cheesecake.


All photos from Tammy David, Ian Santos, and Medal Elepaño – provided by Town and Country.

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