A PLATE for wisdom. By law of relativity, Chef Sharwin Tee feeds the mind and empowers people via his culinary expertise. With every exciting dish the toqued man creates and recreates to make the palates of many rejoice, he puts a book on a shelf.

It’s a win-win situation — Sharwin educates the palates of foodies and enriches the minds of the less fortunate. He’s making the tools for learning accessible to the less fortunate ones with every bite of his food.

Sharwin’s cause is to build libraries in public schools across the nation. The personal mission, perhaps, gives another purpose to why he chose to become a chef.

His efforts have built one library in Calabanga, Camarines Sur and he’s on his way to building the next here in Davao.

“A couple more ‘pop-ups’ and the second library will be up by the end of the year at the latest,” shared Sharwin.

His latest “gig” was at the Lotus Court of Marco Polo Davao, where he whipped up a Chinese lauriat dinner, with four of the courses paired with Lagarde wines.

On the menu, the chef, with the hotel’s culinary team working with him, presented a 10-course meal. It listed three family recipes, “I wanted to share the dishes I grew up with.”

Just like his previous dinner for a cause in the city held a few months back, the chef utilized the ingredient that’s distinctively Davao and Mindanao—the Malagos cheese and chocolates, tuna, pomelo and the Bukidnon’s Kitayama Wagyu beef.

“When the ingredients were presented to me, I already knew how I was going to use it,” the chef said.

Each ingredient played a “superb performance” under the baton of the young chef. The flavors of each course were titillating to the palate. The tuna char Siu with pomelo honey glaze made an exciting pair, the marriage of the baked Chinese-style Wagyu beef with curry with the Malagos chevre cheese was a match made in heaven.

Even the popular house specialty of buchi was reinvented with the chef’s mixture of chevre cheese and durian for the filling, and the drizzling of dark chocolate over the coating. It was a delicious surprise indeed.

The lauriat was an orchestration of flavors that deserved a standing ovation, and the praises Chef Sharwin Tee refuse to receive for himself, “It’s a team effort and this would not have been possible without the support of the Marco Polo culinary team.”

Soon, the second library will be up and young minds will be fed, wisdom will be gained and children will be empowered.

Chef Sharwin Tee is not stopping at two, “I plan to build libraries in thirteen provinces,” he said.

With full house attendance on this pop-up dinner and, for sure, on the coming ones, it won’t be long until the praiseworthy undertaking of this chef will be realized.

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For more photos of this feature and other lifestyle stories, visit www.ofapplesandlemons.com. For travel stories, visit www.jeepneyjinggoy.com. Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com