Last April 7, Chef Philip John Golding visited La Gondola and hosted the first Disciples D’ Escoffier International Asia Dinner in Cebu together with Chef Giovanni Sias, Corporate Chef, Executive Chef Linda Hou and Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino General Manager, Mr. Anders Hallden.
Chef Philip John Golding is the founding President of the Disciples D’ Escoffer International Asia. He has worked in the Philippines for over 20 Years, positively influencing the lives and businesses of not just expatriates but many Filipinos in terms of transfer of knowledge by business consultancy, teaching, training and development as well as job placements. In November 2013, he received “BOSSING” Special Awards as a “Foreignoy” for creating massive job opportunities to Filipinos abroad. This kind of special award is only given to the pillars of certain industries that have pioneered rapid growth boosting local talent. Prior to moving to his second home, British-born Chef Philip had trained and worked in prestigious 3-star Michelin and 5-star hotels and restaurants around Europe and Asia. His perseverance continued to shine through the Philippine culinary scene as one of the pioneer chefs to open the local minds in embracing international cuisine and culinary education and training system. he was one of the pioneer chef instructors in the Center of Culinary Arts, Manila during the late 1990s, and American Hospitality Academy in 2008.
After a brief program and oath of membership of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel General Manager, Mr. Anders Hallden, an exquisite dinner at La Gondola followed.
While everyone was getting settled to their seats, a basket of focaccia bread and a hearty mixture of balsamic vinegar and olive oil were served.
After everyone was seated, we started off with Gensan Tuna 3 Ways (Mousse, Seared, Chips). The play of texture in the dish was genuinely pleasing to the palate. Shredded tuna with creamy sauce was enveloped in a soft and crepe-thin wrapper topped with slices of seared tuna, some greens and crispy tuna chips which added crunch to the dish. After finishing the plate in just a few bites, I knew then that it will be a night of splendid and lavish dining experience.
After which, we had Bohol Prawn Bouillabaisse with Shrimp Jelly. The dish looked simple yet eleborate in taste. The soup was thin in consistency yet creamy. The fat pieces of prawn was juicy and tender to the bite. The shrimp jelly added an interesting flavor to the soup.
The third dish served was Bulalo risotto with bone marrow. It was sinfully delicious. The risotto was silky and flavorful which perfectly complemented the creamy and gelatinous bone marrow.
Then came the main event — Premium Australian Lamb Rack with mint butter, bell pepper and zucchini shavings with layered polenta and red wine jus. The plating of the dish was impeccable. The Australian Lamb Rack was served medium well. The meat was browned just right and it was deep pink at the center. It was well seasoned, tender, juicy. We were truly delighted with the night’s main event.
To cap off the gratifying dining experience, we had Cebu Mango and Chocolate Sphere with Hot Caramel and Calamansi rum sauce for dessert. It came off plain when it was first served and we were wondering where the mango was. The server was carrying a jar of piping hot caramel, calamansi sauce and we instantly knew how the magic would unfold. The hot syrup was slowly poured into the white ball of chocolate which then slowly melted, revealing the mangoes that I was looking for earlier. The calamansi and rum sauce balanced the sweetness of the chocolates and fruits. The dessert was surprisingly entertaining!
It was one of the best dining experience we had and we were thankful to be a part of the first Disciples D’ Escoffer dinner in Cebu. We were pleased at how the dishes in the set menu incorporated locally sourced ingredients like the Gensan tuna, Bohol prawns and Cebu’s mangoes. Our sense of pride swelled knowing how our local produce can give certain character and distinct flavor to dishes that have great potential to be globally known.
The event ended with the awarding of certificates to the apprentices of Waterfront Cebu Hotel. The awarding was graced by Chef Philip Golding (Founding President of the Disciples D’ Escoffer International Asia), Mr. Anders Hallden (Waterfront Cebu City Hotel General Manager), and Chef Giovanni Sias (Corporate Chef). They were indeed a lucky batch of apprentices!
Disciples Escoffer is an organization where it honors the memory of Auguste Escoffier, Master of the French and International Cuisines. The purpose is to promote the big traditions of cooking in schools, secondary, superior or Chef professional trainings, as well as in apprenticeship.
Now, with the passing of the learning and transfer of knowledge of the esteemed chefs, we’re looking forward to new dishes that will be offered by Cebu’s Best City Hotel.