by: Jay Labrador
After last year’s much-applauded Diner Amical at the Shangri-La, the Chaine des Rotisseurs’ Bailli Delegue for the Philippines, Michel Lhuillier, requested that the Manila Bailliage headed by Freddy Borromeo hold this year’s Diner Amical also at the Shangri-La. With Chef Paul Lenz still heading the culinary team like last year, Manila was more than happy to oblige Mr. Lhuillier.
This year’s dinner was to be inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ great work Don Quixote. Thus a Spanish dinner complemented by Spanish wines was prepared. Although the dinner is still scheduled for March, I was fortunate enough to be on the committee to approve the food and wines and so I got a glimpse of what we were to enjoy.
Prior to the dinner, however, cocktails were to be served featuring roasted kid goats and piglets from Mr. Borromeo’s farm.
Although these are to be served in bites-ized portions, we were able to get substantially more than that.
We also had to approve the various canapes for the cocktails:
y Chorizo and mushroom tortilla
Perhaps we should have stayed with smaller portions as the menu was quite substantial and we had to try both main courses offered in order to make a final decision as to which would be served at the dinner proper.
Although supposed to be an amuse, the cervelle provided far more than a mouthful. No complaints, though as it was delicioius.
Cervelle frisee and rucola salad with Jerez vinaigrette
This was followed by a salad with a good portion of shaved truffles.
Endive tatin with duck salad and black truffle
One of my favorites was the soup course. The black garlic on the crouton was a particularly nice touch.
Castillian white bean and garlic soup with poached scallopa nd crisp Joselito ham
The fish course had a surprising piquancy to it which was rather unexpected but a good way to brighten the dish.
Red mullet fillet stew with olives and tomato
A rather elaborate but very well made sorbet was presented to help us transition to the main course.
Roasted spanish pepper and raspberry sherbet with turron bridle
Ultimately we settled on the guinea fowl for the main course. Some minor ingredients as well as some elements of presentation will be changed for the dinner proper but over all we were very happy with the dish.
Duo of guinea fowl - pan fried supeme and red wine braised leg
The cheese course was fairly straightforward. Just two different ages of manchego.
Manchego with almond biscotti and apricot chutney with sherry
We were able to simplify the wine pairing by having the first two dishes with a rosado, the next two with a white and the mcourse and cheese with a red. All Spanish, of course.
CVNE Monopole Viura 2011, Gran Feudo Rosado 2011, Altanza Lealtanza Crianza 2009
A deconstructed Crema Catalan was presented for dessert. I was also very impressed by this.
Creme Catalan with red wine ice cream and orange cinnamon streusel
Some chocolates finally ended the meal.
Mignardises - Olive oil, white chocolate and vanilla, and milk chocolate with passionfruit and rosemary
Those attending this year’s Diner Amical and Intronisation will surely be treated to a great time at the Chaine des Rotisseurs’ most important event of the year.
The Chaine des Rotisseurs is a club dedicated to enjoying the art of the table. It has its origins in the Guild of Goose Roasters during the reign of St. King Louis IX of France in the 13th century, making it one of the oldest clubs in the world.