Chef Andrea Burzio brings his dinner series to a close in a celebration of contemporary French and Italian flavours accentuated by an interesting Asian twist. Mia Percorso, the fifth and final chapter of The Many Lives of Chef Andrea, tells the story of his culinary journey in Asia and his travels around Europe.
Much like the earlier installments in this series, this final night also featured a new cocktail by Kirby Enecio called Apple Jack. Using Jack Daniels as the base, Kirby created the cocktail with apple juice, honey, and a dash of lime, shaking the mixture properly then strained, and finally topping it off with Italian white wine pinot grigio. I enjoyed this drink so much that I gobbled down a couple of glasses before dinner started! Talking to my friends from the media, I also mentioned another favourite cocktail of mine that was served in the previous chapters, Tequila Paloma. At the mention of this, Jacque then requested everyone to have a glass of this cocktail. To my surprise, they all loved it too (Good job, Kirby)!
Tonight’s dinner was a four-course meal and first up was Som Tam Caprese. This is Buffalo mozzarella cheese with kaffir lime leaves, sicialian cherry, tomato, green papaya, and roasted chashew. While Chef Andrea worked in Thailand, he found out that one of his staff had never tried mozzarella cheese yet. This became his inspiration in creating a delicious and well-balanced appetizer.
Next on the menu was Kare-Kare Plin Agnolotti, which, as you can decipher from its name, is a fusion of Filipino and Italian flavours. It is rustic piedmontese plin agnolotti of slow-cooked ox tail in light peanut butter sauce with aged parmesan. This dish reminded me so much of the Capellacci pasta with cotechino Bechelli that Chef Andrea created with infused lentils and foie gras. It must have been the lentils and light peanut sauce that made me think the two dishes were akin to each other.
Highlighting this feast was the main course: Pigeon Aux Pommes Roties, Petites Carottes, Pommes de Terre Paysannes et Sauce au Calvados. You may not believe me when I say this, but I was literally clapping while eating this dish. Every bite was so tender, letting you know that the medium-cooked pigeon was carefully prepared for hours. This is probably the best pigeon dish I’ve had in my entire life!
As soon as everyone finished their pigeon servings, dessert was ready to be served. Chef Andrea prepared his version of Schwarwalder Kirshtorte, a German classic chocolate and cherry cake. I enjoyed this a lot because the sugar level was just right plus it was paired with a dessert wine that made everything absolutely perfect.
In between courses, I asked people around to identify which capitolo they favoured most out of this five-part dining series. Everyone had different thoughts on the matter with good points to back each choice up. I, for one, had trouble deciding since everything was utterly delightful. In the end, I decided it was Capitolo III: La Mia Famiglia.
The Many Lives of Chef Andrea was nothing but a banquet of divine culinary experience. Thank you Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa for the experience! Special thanks as well to Ellyn Heng for always helping me with the cocktail details in every chapter I’ve attended.
I’m now looking forward to another dinner series happening at Cowrie Cove Seafood Bar & Grill on the 28th of April! Gather up your friends for a new dining series, this time by the Michelin-trained Executive Sous Chef Daniel Quintero.
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