September 14, 2018

Culinaria: A Celebration of European Cuisine

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  • Europe is stereotypically known as the continent of good food and Europeans have made a name for themselves as some of the best chefs in the world.

    Last September 12, 2018, a number of European chefs put their best foot forward once again for Culinaria as part of the European Culinary Week 2018.

    The European Culinary Week is a weeklong celebration of European cuisine, showcasing European Geographical Indication produce (mostly food and beverage) to the Philippines.

    ECCP President Guenter Taus giving the opening remarks

    Culinaria, one of the events of the European Culinary Week, showcases the creations of 6 award-winning chefs in an open kitchen style, providing guests a high-end European gastronomic experience by way of a walk through dinner.

    Upon signing the registration, each guest is presented a passport. They were then ushered to the Grand Hyatt’s ballroom 1 for cocktails. While waiting for the event to start, guests were entertained by circus performers with acts such as juggling and unicycling.

    The circus came over and set the opening on fire, quite literally

    Once everything was set, guests transferred to ballroom 3, where they were greeted by Guenter Taus, President of the ECCP and Chairman of the EPBN Steering Committee. Grand Hyatt Executive Chef Mark Hagan then declared the kitchen open.

    What followed was a short but breathtaking performance that involved fog machines, strobe lights, kitchen equipment, and fire. After that, it was finally time to eat!

    There was no order as to which chef to visit first though it seemed wise to go from one side the next in order. Each chef made two dishes each, and each dish is meant to be partnered with some sort of alcoholic beverage. Once the guest has tried a creation, their passport gets stamped.

    Raw Cuttlefish, Black Garlic, Camomile, and eyes sauce by Chef Francesco Brutto

    Topinambur Pu-er, Black Cabbage, and Walnuts by Chef Francesco Brutto

    Four of the chefs, namely Chef Francesco Brutto, Chef Santiago Guerrero, Chef François-Xavier Lambory, and Chef Gavin McDonagh all served savory dishes, with a focus mainly on seafood.

    Cantaloupe Melon Gazpacho with Smoked Sardines and Olive Caviar by Chef Santiago Guerrero

    Scallop with White Bean and Razor Clam Stew, Pumpkin Puree Flavoured with Smoked Bacon Cream by Chef Gavin McDonagh

    On either side, just before the main kitchen was Chef Laetitia Moreau and our very own Chef Miko Aspiras serving desserts.

    Forest Berries Religieuse by Chef Miko Aspiras

    In the middle of the room was cheese after cheese, cold cuts, and various European beers from countries such as Spain, France, and Switzerland.

    Cheese Extravaganza

    Cold cuts at the Cheese Extravaganza

    It’s no secret that Europe is a culinary paradise and Culinaria provided the proper avenue for these chefs to show what they can really do.

    The European Culinary Week 2018 runs from September 10 to 16, 2018. For more information about the event, log on to their official website at

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