CHEF Myke ‘Tatung’ Sarthou is the resident chef and segment host of Umagang Kay Ganda on ABS-CBN. His first cookbook, Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter, was the big winner in the World Gourmand Awards in 2017, and he has since come up with several other cookbooks. He is so highly respected as a professional chef that he became the first Filipino chef to appear on the main congress stage at the 15th Madrid Fusión Congress that took place in Spain.
His stature comes from the fact that he creates playful yet seriously delicious Filipino dishes with contemporary influences.
So when The Blue Leaf, an events venue company, and Our Awesome Planet, one of the country’s top travel and food blogs, decided to organize a dream project like their recent Who’s Cooking?, they just had to include Chef Tatung’s name on the list of 11 well-known chefs to be paired off with established caterers in a culinary collaboration. The objective: To come up with a signature five-course menu that will only be available for events happening at The Blue Leaf events venues.
Chef Tatung was paired with Juan Carlo Catering, a company that started in Saudi Arabia and thrived in Batangas. Together, they took a cursory glance at contemporary Philippine cuisine and transformed seemingly ordinary ingredients into vignettes of flavors that evoked nostalgia in small bites. The impressive signature five-course menu that they came up with:
Duck for Cover. Tender Mascovy duck rillette and creamy foie gras mousse on crunchy blackened toast.
Pig and Bananas. This is a celebration of pork in the form of honey-glazed pork cooked with crunchy bits of longganisang Taal, which combines sweet and sour flavors with smoke, highlighted by the fragrant sweetness of mofongo or mashed bananas.
Sultan’s Kiss. It is a small molded roll of al dente Maranao rice that has been colored and flavored with buttery uni (sea urchin), mixed with shrimp and topped with salmon roe. As Chef Tatung puts it, “popping it into your mouth is like tasting the ocean in one bite!”
A Bull of Its Horn. Slow-roasted Batangas beef in Barako demi-glace, which lends its smoky caffeine strength to the beef. The calamansi mostarda on the side surprises the palate with its bittersweet tanginess, effectively cleansing the palate in between bites.
Tropical Rendezvous. Deconstructed Brazo de Mercedes resting on small dollops of ube and leche flan, topped with crispy cassava chips, and garnished with sweetened coconut toppings.