The flavors of food and life-A A +A
Friday, July 11, 2014
THE flavors of Spain are somehow familiar to us; sometimes not in their original form, but the hint of the flavor is there.
So it is good of Marco Polo Plaza to remind us of the genuine taste of Spanish cuisine through its Café Marco culinary journey called Sabores de España, which it has had for the past eight years: Spanish cuisine through heritage recipes from Gemma Pido and prepared by Marco Polo’s executive chef Stefan Verrillo, chef Juanito Abangan, chef Nestor Alcoseba and chef Fidel Galvez.
At a formal Spanish dinner Marco Polo’s general manager Hans Hauri hosted open Sabores de España, guests were treated to a heavy pre-dinner cocktail with Spanish tapas like croquettas de pollo y jamon, tortillas de patatas and bonuelos de chorizos.
The dinner itself began with a platter of appetizers from which one could choose slices of jamon Serrano, marinated Spanish olives, semi-aged Manchego cheese and spicy almonds. This was followed by a light salad of melon, chorizo and artichoke in tarragon dressing that gave it a refreshing slightly tart taste.
Then there was a light fish soup, sopa Cachorrena, with orange and parsley oil (reminds one a bit of tinola) and fabada (beans and chorizo casserole; the Pinoy version would probably be pork and beans) and the familiar gambas.
To prepare the palate for the main course, there was a chef’s dramatically presented sorbet: a scoop of naranha and fennel sorbet with saffron threads placed in a big cup lined with crushed ice and dry ice that made its “smoking” way to the diner’s place on the table! The main course consisted of spiced duck with pears picada (picada is a sauce of Valencian or Catalan origin usually made with garlic, nuts and saffron but this one had, of course, pears), lengua estofada (really soft and flavorful) with asparagus, crispy baby beans and fennel. Also in the main course was seafood paella; for Pinoys, a really good Spanish meal would have to have that!
A quartet of desserts ended the meal: leche fritta (fried milk with blueberry sauce, really good), brazo de Mercedes, orange cardamon ice cream and a personal favorite, turones.
All in all it was a great meal and most of this hearty goodness are available during the Café Marco Sabores de España buffet, which the café will offer until July 20. Catch up with it and enjoy!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 12, 2014.