Mission: Claude Tayag at the Raffles Makati

Mission Manila presents Claude Tayag for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers
Monique Today of Raffles and Fairmont Makati with World's 50 Best No. 1 Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain
Raffles & Fairmont Makati Hotel Director of Communications Monique Toda with World’s 50 Best reigning No. 1 Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, Spain

It all began out of a desire to make World’s 50 Best No. 1 Chef Joan Roca and the other speaker-chefs at Madrid Fusion Manila experience a real Filipino dinner because there was no Filipino chef lined up in the parallel dinners to the Madrid Fusion Manila congress.

Roca flew out on the last day of the Congress and missed this but I think something bigger came of it —

Mission: Manila, long-term project to promote Philippine cuisine and Filipino chefs.

April 9, 2016. Mission: Manila was launched in cooperation with Raffles & Fairmont Makati with Claude Tayag as the first featured chef.
Mission Manila, MissionManila, Claude Tayag, Madrid Fusion, Madrid Fusion Manila, Margaux Salcedo

Claude Tayag, genius that he is, and with the generosity of Raffles & Fairmont Makati HotelAlex Ong and Rey Lee of Artisan Cellar Wines, and Olive and Aaron Limpe-Aw of Destileria Limtuaco, put together this TEN-course dinner in just 5 days! He asked me to confirm if we would push through with the dinner Sunday; I messaged back “Game!” on Monday. And the dinner was held five days later on Saturday!!

Mission Manila presents Claude Tayag for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers
El Kusinero Claude Tayag with his team and the “kusineros” of Raffles & Fairmont Makati Hotel.

I have known Claude for over ten years now and I trusted whatever menu he would have come up with but this one really blew me away. Here’s what he served:

Pakwan Two Three.
Red and yellow watermelon, kesong puti, glazed pili nuts, honey-mansi vinaigrette.
Paired with Ruggeri Prosecco Argeo
This dish had us at hello. Claude skipped the amuse bouche-ing. He went straight to this delightful salad with no greens whatsoever. He also emphasised that for this dinner, ALL his ingredients were local. As can be seen with the carabao cheese, Pili nuts and calamansi with honey vinaigrette.
Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presents Claude Tayag for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers

Sisig Terrine.
Paired with Ruggeri Prosecco Argeo
He called it “sisig” yet this was not at all like sisig as we know it. Instead, Claude took the idea of using a pig’s head, specifically the jowl, and instead made it into a refreshing appetizer paired with cucumber strings. I freaked out a little bit when I saw the slither of fat but Claude winked, emphasising that it’s not THAT kind of fat so you CAN eat it whole. This totally reminded me of the cuisine of Lyon, which also likes to utilize every part of the pig!

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Guava Gazpacho.
Chilled Pampango guava soup served with ulang (freshwater prawn).
Paired with Luis Canas Blanco Joven
This was my favourite dish of the night. I’m a huge fan of guava – totally love sinigang sa bayabas. And a whiff of the guava “cold soup” here turned heads as the waiters entered carrying our bowls. Claude made the soup much thicker than usual. As for the ulang, I really think we need to promote this more – it is such a delightful, meaty viand!

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Tuyom Rice Balls.
Guso seaweeds, cherry tomatoes, KBL dressing spiked with rum cooked Tausug-style in a sea urchin shell.
Paired with Luis Canas Blanco Joven
This was another favorite. First of all, who doesn’t love uni? Secondly, I loved how Claude presented it as a “ball” – actually, he made little cups out of indigenous rice – that you get the full benefit of a mouthful. He was inspired by how the Tausugs of Mindanao cook their uni – in the sea urchin shell itself. I think of all this dishes, this is the one that has representation from all three island groups – Luzon for the KBL sauce, a very popular Ilokano sauce with tomatoes, shrimp paste or shrimp sauce and sliced onions; Visayas through the guso seaweeds; and Mindanao with the sea urchin and the way it was prepared.

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Fish-charon.
Crispy tilapia skin with Pampango burong hipon and fresh mustard leaves.
Paired with Langmell Spring Fever Chardonnay
This was Claude’s tribute to his home province of Pampanga. He explained that because Pampanga has no surrounding waters, they would usually use freshwater fish in their dishes. Hence, the ulang and the tilapia. And in Pampanga, they like to use mustasa or mustard leaves and wrap the fermented rice in it with the fish. Here he made the tilapia skin extra crunchy, like another specialty of the region: chicharon.

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Tres Dilis-cias. 
Fresh anchovy fillets three-ways: kinilaw, fried adobado, salted sun-dried with alto seaweed.
Paired with Selbach Oster Kabinett Bernkasteler Kurtfurstlay Riesling
Claude’s humor really cracks me up – it actually carbon dates him because the play-on-words humor is so seventies LOL. First “Pakwan two three” and now “Dilis-cias” -bwahaha! Anyway, this dish I think we could have had while enjoying generous pours of cocktails with Manille liqueur generously sponsored by Destileria Lituaco. These yummy bite-sized slivers of fish would have been perfect for that!

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Talangka Bringhe. 
Pampango fiesta rice medallions, taba ng talangka, crisp fried crablets.
Paired with Langmell Spring Fever Chardonnay
This was another winner. When I bit into it (without reading the menu), at first I was surprised by the kick of umami. Lo and behold, upon checking, there was a spread of crab fat on top of the bring he!

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Pork Choplet Adobo Confit.
Paired with Langmell Steadfast Shiraz
Sure there were pork chops and these were yummy but the highlight of this dish for me was the dinardaraan/dinuguan that it was paired with. We are the only country that makes a thick stew out of pig’s blood. In Europe they have blood sausage which is a delicacy that people love even in gourmet capitals such as Lyon. But here we make a stew out of the blood. Claude specifically used the version of the Ilokanos where the meat that is used is made crispy. It was a great way to appreciate dinuguan without shocking foreign guests.

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Pata-Patita Mole.
Traditional Pampango tomato-based pig trotters stew with Guagua smoked lingginita at ginseng patani.
Paired with Langmell Steadfast Shiraz
Another hearty dish and tribute to Pampanga. Aside from the pig trotters, Claude used longganisa from Guagua, which are small in size so he calls them “longganitas”. He explained that some appreciate it like a sandwich so he also served pandesal with it.
Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Sorpresa de Yema.
Paired with Selbach Oster Kabinett Bernkasteler Kurfurstlay Riesling
The menu sub-heading was: “Almusal na Tocilog na pang matamis?”
So we thought he was serving Tocino del Cielo or heavenly custard. But no! Presenting the quintessential Filipino breakfast, Claude literally served a slither of tocino, dried it, then coated it in a Nana Meng Tsokolate dip. And placed it atop a hardened yolk that was resting on top of a meringue. How creative!

Mission Manila by Margaux Salcedo presented Claude Tayag at the Raffles and Fairmont Makati for a Madrid Fusion inspired dinner for Kidapawan farmers.

Seating for this dinner was limited to just 16 because Claude wanted it to be really intimate, allowing him to give a talk on the anthropological background of each dish that he served. It almost felt like a Madrid Fusion talk as each of the ten courses was bussed out. It was truly an evening where the education on Filipino food matched the deliciousness of each dish.

Mission accomplished!

Mission Manila, MissionManila, Claude Tayag, Madrid Fusion, Madrid Fusion Manila, Raffles Fairmont Makati
Many thanks to those who made the mission possible: Raffles & Fairmont Makati’s David Batchelor (seated, right) and Monique Toda (seated, third from left); Artisan Wine Cellar’s Alex Ong and Rey Lee (seated, first and second from left); and Destileria Lituaco’s Olive Limpe Aw and son Aaron (seated, second from right).

Watch out for the next Mission: Manila … Follow @margauxsalcedo on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

Joan Roca, David Thompson, Narisawa, Virgilio Martinez Coming to Manila for Madrid Fusion 2016

The World’s No. 1 Chef, Latin America’s No. 1 and two Asia’s No. 1 ALL coming to Manila for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016!!!

Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 is all set with this Memorandum of Understanding signed just this morning between the Philippine Department of Tourism (in photo is Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.) and the ICEX España Exportacion e Inversiones (public export promotion agency belonging to the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the Kingdom of Spain).

Sec. Mon Jimenez and Minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz of Spain sign the Memorandum of Understanding for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016
Sec. Mon Jimenez and Minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz of Spain sign the Memorandum of Understanding for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016

Madrid Fusion Manila is scheduled on April 24-26 with the theme The Manila Galleon: East Meets West.

And here’s the line up of celebrity chefs – and I mean WOW – can’t believe they are all coming to Manila!!

The following have been confirmed by the Tourism Dept as either as speaker or presenter for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016:

At the signing today, the DOT also presented this list of speakers:

Madrid Fusion Manila 2016

This list is just BEYOND. My jaw dropped. Props to DOT for taking it to the next level. Can’t wait!!!

Spain Back at Top of World’s 50 Best; El Celler de Can Roca is No. 1

Congratulations to El Celler de Can Roca as it resumes its position as No. 1 Restaurant in the World in the list of World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

El Celler de Can Roca, a restaurant in Girona, Catalonia, Spain, had previously won the World’s Best title in 2013, beating Noma, which was World’s No. 1 in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

El Celler de Can Roca holds 3 Michelin stars. The kitchen is run by three brothers: Joan, the chef; Jordi, the pastry chef; and Josep, the sommelier.

El Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca, World's 50 Best, Margaux Salcedo
With Chef Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in 2014

Here’s a further background on El Celler from World’s 50 Best:

“El Celler de Can Roca was opened in 1986 by brothers Joan and Josep alongside their parents’ simple restaurant in Girona. In 2007, younger brother Jordi completed the trio that has since created a gastronomic phenomenon. Head chef Joan, sommelier Josep and 2014’s World Best Pastry Chef, Jordi Roca, have created a culinary experience which explores traditional Catalan ingredients combined with an extraordinary variety of cooking methods that stimulates diners’ senses, emotions and memories – whether via an evocative smell, an explosion of flavour or a visual trick. The food is matched with an ambitious array of wines and finished with a selection of Jordi’s magical masterpieces.”

Narisawa Back as Asia’s Best

Yoshihiro Narisawa, World's 50 Best, 2015
With Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa, Asia’s Best Resto at the 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards

Restaurant Narisawa was among the first few Asian restaurants on the list, ranked 20 in 2009. Last year it was ranked #14. This year it made the Top 10 at #8.

Gaggan, serving modern Indian cuisine in Bangkok, Thailand, which went home with the No. 1 in Asia title at the Asia’s Best Restaurant Awards earlier this year, jumped an impressive seven places to likewise make it to the Top 10 (ranked No. 10).

Shanghai’s Ultraviolet in China also made the news as it hit No. 24, impressive for a first timer on the list.

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How The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list is compiled

(From World’s 50 Best press)

The list is created from the votes of The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of almost 1,000 international leaders in the restaurant community. The Academy comprises 27 separate regions around the world, each of which has 36 members, including a chairperson, and each member casts seven votes. Of those seven, at least three votes must recognise restaurants outside of the academy member’s own region.

The panel in each region is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded ‘gastronomes’. Members list their choices in order of preference, based on their best restaurant experiences of the previous 18 months. There is no pre-determined check-list of criteria, which helps to make the list as varied and open as possible.

This year, for the first time, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is working with professional services consultancy Deloitte as its official independent adjudication partner. The adjudication by Deloitte will ensure that the integrity and authenticity of the voting process and the resulting list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 are protected.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (Full List)

Here’s the full list:

Here’s the full list:

1 El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain
2 Osteria Francescana, Modena, Italy
3 Noma, Copenhagen
4 Central, Lima
5 Eleven Madison Park, New York
6 Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain
7 Dinner, London
8 Narisawa, Tokyo
9 D.O.M, São Paulo
10 Gaggan, Bangkok
11 Mirazur, Menton, France
12 L’Arpège, Paris
13 Asador Etxebarri, Atxondo, Spain
14 Astrid y Gaston, Lima
15 Steirereck, Vienna
16 Pujol, Mexico City
17 Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain
18 Le Bernardin, New York
19 Azurmendi, Larrabetzu, Spain
20 The Ledbury, London
21 Le Chateaubriand, Paris
22 Nahm, Bangkok
23 White Rabbit, Moscow
24 Ultra Violet, Shanghai
25 Faviken, Jarpen, Sweden
26 Alinea, Chicago
27 Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy
28 The Test Kitchen, Cape Town, South Africa
29 RyuGin, Tokyo
30 Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
31 Restaurant Frantzén, Stockholm
32 Attica, Melbourne
33 Aqua, Wolfsburg, Germany
34 Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy
35 Quintonil, Mexico City, Mexico
36 L’Astrance, Paris
37 Restaurante Biko, Polanco, Mexico
38 Amber at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
39 QuiqueDacosta, Denia, Spain
40 Per Se, New York
41 Mani, São Paulo
42 Borago, Santiago, Chile (tied)
42 Tickets, Barcelona (tied)
44 Maido, Lima
45 Relae, Copenhagen
46 Restaurant Andre, Singapore
47 Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, Paris
48 Schloss Schauenstein in Furstenau, Switzerland
49 Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York
50 The French Laundry, Yountville, U.S.