‘Four hand dinner:’ A rad culinary treat

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While some of the world’s most celebrated chefs prefer to manage their kitchens alone, the more adventurous ones do not mind working with an equally talented chef, giving birth to the current trend in the culinary world: the four hand dinners.

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In essence, four hand dinners involve a restaurant’s executive chef collaborating with a visiting chef to create one-time special dinner menu. The creative collaboration is not limited to two culinary experts, hence, the six hand dinners.

Chef Bertrand Charles of Peninsula’s Old Manila (left) and Chef William Mahi of 210° Kitchen + Drinkery

The challenge in these special dinners is for the culinary experts to work with new ingredients while treading in an unfamiliar territory. Most importantly, the success of these dinners lies in the chefs’ mutual respect for each other.

In the Philippines, gourmands got a culinary treat as two Michelin-starred chefs collaborated for the first time in a four hand dinner dubbed as “FOURtaste.”

Held at The Peninsula Manila in Makati, Bertrand Charles—chef de cuisine for the five-star hotel’s in house restaurant Old Manila—and Patron William Mahi, 210° Kitchen + Drinkery’s chef, joined forces to pay homage to fine French fare and Asian flavors.

The culinary treat started with Brittany clams paired with wild gambas, Chardonnay jelly and tarragon by Charles; followed by a serving of Pearl oysters with Hijiki seaweed, six-month ceps (European mushroom) vinegar and caviar by Mahi; then came a lovely dish of White asparagus, cooked Meuniere, spaghetti, morels and whisky by Charles.

Mahi’s Asian-inflected fish course of Atlantic cod with ph consommé, cuttlefish, sea Snail, piquillo, calamansi and Brussel sprouts came next.

The main course of Pigeon de vendée with roasted breast, confit leg cromesqui, and stuffed braised cabbage was a collaborative effort between the two chefs.

By dessert, a third party collaborator, The Peninsula Manila’s executive pastry chef Xavier Castello, joined the creative fusion, to create Bailey’s cremeux with feuillantine praline.

AOC Chinon Le Domaine Bernard Audry Cabernet Franc and other fine wines complemented the five-course dinner prepared by the young chefs.

The evening coincided with conferment of the red sash of Les Disciples d’Escoffier on both chefs, an honor bestowed on exemplary culinary talents who espouse the development of French cuisine overseas.

Part of the proceeds raised from the four hands Escoffier Epicurean dinner benefited the lone Philippine delegate to the Young Talent Escoffier Competition 2017 and Training Kitchen for Le Club Disciples Escoffier (Junior Chefs).

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