YOU’VE got to give it to Chef Sau del Rosario. This celebrity chef is so creative and innovative that he constantly manages to reinvent Filipino cuisine and make it more fun, exciting and delicious. He stays as close to the classic and authentic flavor profile of Filipino dishes as possible, and he does not do fusion, but he introduces new ingredients and cooking techniques that make the dishes so refreshingly new while at the same time staying familiar.
Well, diners get to taste Chef Sau’s brand of cooking at Solaire Resort and Casino’s Fresh restaurant, as he headlines the restaurant’s Filipino Food Festival from June 15 to July 15, 2015. This is the first time that Solaire is holding a special food promotion, specifically a Filipino food festival, and Chef Sau is its very first guest chef. This is certainly a testament to Chef Sau’s accomplishments as a chef and an affirmation of how much diners, whether Filipino or foreigners, enjoy the food that he whips up with a stroke of his culinary genius.
For the Filipino Food Festival, Solaire will be offering the best of Filipino cuisine, which will include a number of Chef Sau’s favorite recipes. Chef Sau will be showcasing not just Kapampangan dishes (he hails from the province of Pampanga, which is considered as the culinary capital of the Philippines).
Sisig, though, will not just be sisig when Chef Sau presents it. Sisig will be Sisig Foie Gras with Eggs, an exquisite gourmet variation of the traditional Kapampangan fare which he introduces for the first time via the food festival.
Tamales, too, will not be flat and wrapped in banana leaves as is the common practice, but it will be Lobster Tamales with a little lobster bisque, presented in a round glass bowl, and topped with boiled quail egg, a generous piece of perfectly seared foie gras, microgreens and edible flowers. A beautiful work of art that is at the same time an awesome treat for the palate!
And Kaldereta? It will not just be the usual goat’s meat or beef but Lamb Kaldereta, and he slow-cooks it, the sous vide way (*sealed in a special plastic pouch made especially for sous vide cooking, dropped in the sous vide water tank where the water is kept at a steady temperature, and allowed to cook through for hours without losing its natural juices and the flavors of the marinade it is cooked in). Then he presents it on a plate like an artist’s palette, in a slightly deconstructed manner with pinakbet ratatouille and rice balls.
Other dishes that can be expected during the Filipino Food Festival include U.S. Beef Morcon with Caramelized Shallots and Beetroot Pickled Eggs, Duck Magret Adobo with Coconut and Dalandan, and Pinangat na Fish Wrapped in Gabi Leaves.
If these do not get your appetite going, the desserts certainly will, one of which is the Molten Malagos Tablea Chocolate Cake, which is perfectly paired with Sampaguita Ice Cream.
More than just Kapampangan food, Chef Sau will also be presenting the flavors of other cities, provinces and regions in the country. A true proponent of Filipino cuisine, Chef Sau always seeks to promote Filipino cuisine and elevate it to the level of other international cuisines not just in taste but also in presentation. Nobody beats Chef Sau when it comes to talent in recreating a Filipino dish and plating it afterwards.
“I’ve done quite a lot of these festivals already, but since this one showcases Filipino cuisine for the celebration of Philippine Independence, we emphasize the evolution of Filipino cuisine. This is why I brought with me my lola’s gilingan, which is used in traditional Filipino cooking. At the same time, we shall be using progressive cooking techniques, but we’ll make sure we do that without compromising texture and flavor in the dishes,” explains Chef Sau, who shall also be making his recently launched book, 20 Years of Love and Cooking, available for the duration of the Filipino Food Festival and will be personally signing copies during Sunday brunches.
He adds: “Presentation is also very important, especially since we’re having the food festival at Solaire, so we must consider the market and give the dish presentation a tinge of sophistication so diners will appreciate it. We want them to spread the word that good Filipino food can be found in a casino and that Filipino cuisine is comparable with the best in the world.”
The Filipino Food Festival at Solaire will thus have all the best stuff that Filipino cuisine has to offer, including lechon at the carving station. Chef Sau says that there will be Malagos cheese and Guimaras mangoes stuffed lechon, and bringhe stuffed lechon.
“Aside from lechon with different stuffings, we will also have lechon baka on certain days. We will also offer Paella Valenciana, the grill station will have lobster, we have a pancitan section where diners can have their favorite noodles prepared for them, a girl will be bringing around street food like kwek-kwek for those who want to try them, and a sari-sari store type area where diners can buy take-home delicacies like barquillos and San Nicolas cookies. There will be kakanins like tibok-tibok and kalamay, and drinks will be sa-malamig choices like buko juice and sago’t gulaman,” Chef Sau says.
Solaire Resort & Casino’s Filipino Food Festival at Fresh restaurant featuring Chef Sau del Rosario starts on Monday, June 15, 2015, and will last for a month.
(Solaire Resort & Casino is located at 1 Asean Ave., Entertainment City, Tambo, Parañaque City; with telephone number 888-8888.)