SELDOM does it happen that some of the top chefs and caterers in the country get together and “jam” to produce a truly exceptional menu for the dining public to enjoy. Even more rare is the act of pairing 11 chefs with 11 caterers to come up with 11 exciting signature five-course menus, such as the feat achieved by The Blue Leaf (an events venue company) and Our Awesome Planet (one of the country’s top travel and food blogs) in their recent Who’s Cooking? event.
Held at The Blue Leaf Filipinas, Who’s Cooking? served as the Grand Reveal Party, where the 11 signature menus were not just presented but served to guests as well. Each signature five-course menu had its own character and theme, and one of those which turned out to be the most impressive was the menu created by the team of Chef Francis Lim and Tijoe Catering.
Chef Francis Lim (of Nav and Tipple & Slaw) likes to keep his menus hip, relevant and unexpected. He enjoys working with underrated ingredients and making them shine in his cuisine. Tijoe the Caterer, which has over two decades of experience in the catering business, likes to put modern and innovative twists to traditional dishes. Together, Chef Francis and Tijoe took advantage of their shared Chinese heritage to come up with dishes that stay true to classic flavors but have been given a playful touch.
Pork Satay Cups, Fried Crumbled Tokwa. A crispy triangular base topped with pork satay and fried crumbled tokwa.
Pork Belly Patatim, Fried Mantou Sliders, Pickled Radish, Pickled Cucumber. Bite-sized patatim, anyone? This open-faced fried mantou slider is topped with melt-in-the-mouth patatim and a sprinkling of peanuts.
Steamed Lapu-lapu, Wansoy Chimichurri, Sweet Soy Mayo, Crispy Fish Skin. Bite-sized steamed lapu-lapu? Why not? This dish features classic steamed lapu-lapu but with a modern, ready-to-eat presentation. It is punctuated by sesame oil and fresh shoots of green onion. The texture and crunch of the crispy fish skin provides a fitting end note to the dish.
Beef Terrine, Crunchy Tendon Chicharon. This beef terrine packs a wallop of unadulterated beef flavor that’s pure, heady and comforting. Adding texture and crunch to it is the tendon chicharon.
Haw Flakes Buchi with Cream Cheese. Remember the haw flakes of your childhood? The tangy plum bite that filled your childhood years is packed inside the buchi—a fun replacement for the usual sweet bean filling of the Chinese dessert.