MOTHERS are special, and so, for Mother’s Day this Sunday, May 10, 2015, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila has come up with a special treat for moms and their families. The hotel’s team of master chefs are teaming up with celebrity chefs—Mia Manuel, Suzette Montinola, Nina Daza Puyat and Judy Ann Santos—who are sharing their respective families’ tried and tested heirloom recipes so everyone can feast on them.
CHEF MIA MANUEL
Chef Mia Manuel, wife to multi-awarded chef Ariel Manuel, with whom she built the highly acclaimed former Lolo Dad’s Café, is a celebrity chef in her own right. A master of pastry arts, she likewise digs into a treasure chest of recipes passed on to her by her mother, Dr. Maria Lim-Ayuyao, the youngest daughter of a World War II hero, Brig. General Vicente Lim, and educator-civic leader Pilar Hidalgo-Lim. Chef Mia is now a pastry chef-instructor at the Lyceum of the Philippines.
For the Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch at Sofitel Philippine Plaza’s Spiral on May 10, Chef Mia also draws inspiration from family vacations spent in France. She presents Pork Pâté (pâté made of pork and served tapas style with French baguette), Duck Liver Mousse (melt-in-the-mouth duck mousse), and Gravlax and Cream Cheese Cake (salmon with cream cheese spread) for her savory dishes and, for dessert, she makes Brune Butter Cupcake with Lemon Cream Icing (Chef Mia’s favorite cake as a kid to which she has given her own twist), Canonigo with Custard Sauce (light, baked meringue with delicious custard), and White Chocolate Pots de Crème (crème brûlée given a white chocolate twist).
CHEF SUZETTE MONTINOLA
Chef Suzette Montinola is another highly respected chef in the country. She transformed her maternal ancestral home in the San Miguel, Manila, area into an exquisite Filipino heritage dining restaurant called La Cocina de Tita Moning. She did this to preserve the house as well as the heirloom recipes handed down to her by her grandmother, Doña Ramona ‘Tita Moning’ Hernandez-Legarda, which she wants to continue to share with everyone who wants a taste of it. By doing so, she is able to give diners the rare experience of dining in an elegant Old Manila setting, She teaches Culinary Arts at Enderun Colleges at the same time.
For Sofitel’s Mother’s Day spread, Chef Suzette offers Whole Baked Lapu-Lapu with Olive Oil and Garlic (a recipe handed down by Tita Moning, this recipe capitalizes on the freshness of fish), Tita Moning’s Beef Osso Buco Gremolata (makes use of beef shanks instead of veal), Roast Pork a la Tita Moning (slow-cooked pork with crisped-up chicharon style skin, served with candied sweet potato), and Bread and Butter Pudding (made with fresh American bread, this dessert is a cross between a custard and a pudding).
Editor-in-chief of Appetite Magazine and a true-blue, typical homemaker who loves to cook and eat, Nina Daza-Puyat is the daughter of Philippine culinary icon Nora Daza, whose legacy has helped shape Filipino cuisine, and is the sister of renowned chef Sandy Daza.
For her featured dishes for Sofitel’s Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch, Nina includes French Onion Tartlettes (combining the onion tart on puff pastry Nina tried from Chef Andre Soltner’s Lutece in New York and her favorite Fresh Onion Soup Gratinee from her late mom’s French restaurant Au Bon Vivant in the 1960s up to 1980s), Portobello Mushroom Fries (gourmet fries served with garlic mayonnaise), Fried Mixed Seafood Crepe with Tartar Sauce (the best-selling Lumpiang Lamang Dagat from her mom’s restaurant in Paris called Aux Iles Philippines), Chicken Relleno with Giblet Gravy (created by Nina’s mom Nora Daza and always served with their grandmother’s Russian Salad during Christmas), and Alfajores (shortbread cookies).
JUDY ANN SANTOS-AGONCILLO
A multi-awarded film and television actress, TV show host, product endorser and film producer, Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo has always loved to cook for her family and friends. In 2008, she took a crash course in International Cuisine in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and graduated with distinction from her Culinary Arts course at the Center for Asian Culinary Studies (CACS) under Chef Gene Gonzalez.
For the Mother’s Day food promotion, Judy Ann stays true to her Filipino roots by presenting a host of Filipino comfort foods that she, her husband Ryan Agoncillo and their two kids Yohan and Lucho enjoy at home. Her menu: Chicken Binakol (chicken soup dish cooked with buko juice and buko strips), Beef Kaldereta (Judy Ann’s own interpretation of a staff meal which she enjoyed as an intern at Chef Jessie’s restaurant two years ago), Lumpiang Shanghai (a family favorite kicked up a notch with the addition of garlic powder, onion powder and bacon), Chicken Curry (classic chicken curry dish with red curry paste taking the place of the usual curry powder, plus lemongrass and lychees), Triple Chocolate Champorado (the usual champorado, but with three types of chocolate—cocoa powder, milk chocolate and dark chocolate), and Ginataang Mais (made richer with coconut cream and condensed milk instead of just coconut milk).
Sofitel’s Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch is available at Php3,650++ per adult and Php1,600++ per child. For dinner, the rates are Php2,650++ per adult and Php1,450 per child.
(Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is located at the CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. For inquiries and reservations, call 551-5555 local 6988.)