It’s a quiet beautiful Saturday night all over Cebu, but in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, it’s the start of another dinner series, this time by the Michelin-trained Executive Sous Chef Daniel Quintero. He calls this series The Culinary Guide featuring various cuisines across Spain, Germany, and France.
Volume I of this piquant journey through Europe kicks off at Catalonia where Chef Daniel worked with the best chefs and top restaurants globally. He worked with Carles Caig (Best Chef of 1999) at Restaurant Caig, a Michelin Star restaurant that was awarded as Best Restaurant of the Year in 2004. Chef Daniel was also able to work with the late Jean Luc Figueras at his eponymous establishment, also a Michelin Star, and the incomparable Ferran Adrià at the Michelin three-starred elBulli.
The evening started with cocktails at the Cowrie Cove bar. After cocktails, we moved to the function room where the tables were beautifully decorated with ornaments from the ocean.
“The smallest detail can make a world of a difference in the overall dining experience,” quotes Chef Daniel Quintero.
This was especially true when the first of a four-course meal was served. It was Sliced Tuna Carpaccio with Strawberry, Iberico Ham, Organic Cucumber and Champignon. The salad was fresh, easy on the palette, and matches perfectly with the wine Tinto Crianza’, 2014 from Vina Bujanda in Rioja, Spain. I can eat this salad every day!
The 2nd course was Grouper in Salsa Verde with Organic Egg, Green Asparagus, and Grilled Baby Squid paired with Viura ‘Sobre Lias’, 2015 from Finca Antigua in La Mancha, Spain. The fish and squid were perfect. While the sauce was light, it did not overpower the taste of the seafood. I did mini claps on this dish. Fun fact: When I do mini claps, that means the dish is really good!
Mar y Montaña US Beef Tenderloin, Bohol Prawn and Foie Gras Natural Beef Jus was the third and main course. This was paired with Post Scriptum, 2015 from Prats & Symington in Douro Valley, Portugal. The beef was really well seasoned and tender and the foie gras was good too even if I’m not a fan of liver. The shrimps were just okay. The wine, on the other hand, was very strong. The wine from the first course would have been a perfect match for this. The veal cheek ragout tastes really good too.
And finally, we’re down to the dessert they called Tierra. This pays homage to Albert Adria. It was paired with Dr. L Riesling, 2015 from Dr. Loosen Estate in Mosel, Germany. This dessert was nothing but divine. It didn’t have that wow factor when it was served but this was the best dessert from all the Shangri-La functions I’ve been to. It has all the different chocolate layers, dried fruits and hazelnut that brings out the kid in you. Haha!
The next volume is this series will take you to Valencia where another bright star of Spanish gastronomy is featured, Quique Dacosta. This charming restaurant by the beach was where Chef Daniel first experienced being on a team that was awarded another Michelin Star.
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