The National Day of France, also known as Bastille Day, is a reminder of the French Revolution that began with the Storming of Bastille on July 14, 1789. It was significantly followed by the unity of the French people with Fete de la Federation exactly a year later.
In modern times, Bastille Day has become a celebration of French culture by around the world with public events, dining festivities, performances and grand firework displays.
Thus, as the leading French-hotel brand in the country, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is marking the 14th of July with a month-long celebration of French gastronomy.
To offer nothing but the best and most authentic French cuisine, Sofitel Manila invited no less than a “Master Chef” in the name of Matthieu Garrel.
The man behind the sought-after Le Belisaire of Rue Marmontel in Paris, Garrel has cooked for former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and has been awarded Maitre Cuisiner de France (Master Chef of France) in 2014.
Arriving in the Philippines on July 2, chef Garrel immediately showcased his signature French flavors the following day with a press luncheon held at Sofitel’s Spiral.
The event featured Garrel in a foie gras cook off challenge with one of Sofitel’s resident Filipino chefs, Bettina Arguel-les. Foie gras is a fattened duck liver that is considered an expensive French delicacy by foodies around the world.
For his authentic French take, Garrel fried the foie gras with just salt and pepper and served it with steamed seafood and vegetable. On the other hand, Arguelles’ foie gras version was freshly Filipino as it featured caramelized pineapple.
In an interview with The Manila Times after the challenge, the French chef opened up that he had started cooking at a young age of 14. Thirty years later, he now perfected the technique of cooking and could determine the taste of food just by looking at and smelling it.
But more importantly, he shared, “I cook from the heart. And as long as you cook from the heart, everything is good.”
Chef Garrel’s recipes like Homards Bretons en Macedoine (Lobster Macedoine), Duo de canard aux as-pergers sauvages (Duo of duck with wild asparagus), and Verbena Crème Bru-lee, among others, were featured at Sofitel’s food outlets Spiral and Le Bar.
Celebrations for Bastille Day continue throughout the month at the hotel. From July 12 to 14, head on to Spiral where a French-inspired styling and live entertainment can be seen among its 21 dining ateliers.
On July 12, Sunset Bar reminisces revolutionary France with thematic cocktails and signature barbecues with live entertainment. A grand firework display set against the Manila Bay will cap the feast.
If looking for excitement, experience a friendly game of Petanque throughout July at Sunset Bar every afternoon. Petanque sees participants throw metal hollow balls as close as possible to a small, wooden target while standing inside a designated circle.
Come nighttime, sip Ciroc Rose De Martin to be featured at all dining outlets until July 31. It is a bespoke cocktail inspired by Circoc Vodka’s French heritage and blended with rose wine, rose water and zesty lemon juice.
For inquiries and reservations, call 832-6988, or email H6308firstname.lastname@example.org.