IT WAS an experimentation of combining flavors and techniques during the repertoire meal of the student chefs of the Center for Asian Culinary Studies-Davao (CACS) on July 10 to 12, 2019.
Together with Chef Gene Gonzalez, CACS founder, president, and chief instructor were a panel of some of Davao City’s top chefs, restaurant owners, and food writers to taste and see what the young chefs have made as they open a new chapter in their career as chefs.
Over good wine and conversations on food, the chefs took us to different places and introduced us to bold flavors during a full course meal.
While I was not able to attend the first day of the repertoire meal, I was still able to enjoy the full course meal the students prepared during the last two days.
Mickee Gallera, Sittie Noronisah Disamburun, and Nerryl Jude Bodegas prepared a meal highlighting local ingredients like tuna, frog, coconut, pomelo, and malunggay, among others.
Their standout dishes included the Garlic Malunggay Focaccia and Pan Seared Tarok in infused oil and kangkong salad with burnt coconut Beurre Noisette sauce. Though I have to make special mention of their truffled mash sweet potato and passionfruit truffle with almond nuts, which was honestly delicious.
On the last day of the repertoire meal, Krisna Pia Valdez, Mauriel Monroid, Julie Yanson, and Richard Emmanuel Ramos prepared a meal that highlights the flavors of Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
Their Turkish Soup, which is made with red lentils and garnished with mint and chili flakes on top, was flavorful despite its texture borderlines a hummus. There was also marinated chicken in the soup and it was really good.
Despite the nervousness we see in them every time they present their dishes, we can also see the boldness and eagerness in them to experiment with different ingredients and flavor.