Food & Drink

Sour Milk, Grilled Cheese, and Uni Ice Cream Shine at Metro Manila's Biggest Dessert Event

What you get when Chefs Miko Aspiras, Kristine Lotilla, Sunshine Puey, and Sally Camacho-Mueller get together.
IMAGE Jason Mariposa

There comes a point in every person's life where the dream is to be surrounded with the most delectable desserts. It could be a toddler all too immune from the perils of sweets and hoping for every kind of lollipop in the world. It could be a 12-year-old fresh from the effects of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka, wishing to be transported into a sugary eden. It could be a recent heartbreak that needs to be soothed with an endless supply of chocolate. It could be just longing for the simple thrill of a cupcake. 

The recently concluded Dessert Dialogue celebrated the power of a shot of sugar—and more. Gathering the country's best dessert masters, with a little help from Top Chef Just Desserts finalist Sally Camacho-Mueller, the night featured nine outstanding sweets inspired by the chefs culinary history. 

After stunning bites from Noel Mauricio (Le Petit Souffle and Ping Pong Diplomacy) and fougasse from Richie Manapat, the dessert journey opens with a refreshing teaser from Chef Kristine Lotilla: an Avocado and Sampinit Religieuse that manages to be be light but sinful all at once. Lotilla repeats this balanced style with her Guava and Shortbread Ice Cream Eton Mess, inspired by years enjoying Assumption tarts. 

Avocado and Sampinit Religieuse

Guava and Shortbread Ice Cream Eton Mess

By contrast, Chef Sunshine Puey of Gourmandise brings heavy-hitters to the table, with a luxurious Whipped Goat's Cheesecake with Calamansi Curd and Raspberry Gel—each component contributing a different yet very bold flavor that plays well as a whole. It's strong, sure, but served perfectly as a light swipe on a plate, like a little nudge instead of a full-blown swing. 

Prosciutto and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Pumpkin Butter and Apple Chips


Whipped Goat's Cheesecake with Calamansi Curd and Raspberry Gel

The Gourmandise chef continues to blur the lines, offering a sweet-savory Grilled Cheese number. Using Manapat's bread, she makes a prosciutto and brie sandwich brightened with subtle pumpkin butter and sweet apple chips. 

Putting together sweet and savory seems to be the theme of the night—with Chef Sally Camacho Mueller continuing this profile with her contributions. The reality show alum admits that she likes mixing unexpected ingredients in her desserts and for her first show, she comes up with a stellar surprise—a cremeux made with her own banana and calamansi concoction, with milk chocolate, and crispy duck chicharon. There are more components to this treat that anyone can remember, especially after taking a bite, but the impressive part is how, despite the techniques and ingredients, nothing overwhelms.

Duck Chicharron, Cabana Cremeux, Milk Chocolate

Uni Ice Cream, Sake, Lychee

For her second dish, the chef unveils an Uni Ice Cream, using urchin roe instead of egg yolks. Distinct traces of the urchin's briny flavor show up in the ice cream, further amplified by a generous scoop of urchin. Contrast comes in the form of sake (which the chef generously plies) and a sweet tuille that makes it dessert.

Cookies and Milk

Salted Egg

Chef Miko Aspiras goes way back with his desserts. His Cookies and Milk is an homage to his first restaurant, Scout's Honor, but instead of settling for a sure hit with an old-fashioned combination, he introduces his first dessert candidly with "It's panis na milk." Served in milk bottles, the fermented milk cream is paired with a cookie crumble—a nice reimagining of tradition. His second dessert is yet another showstopper: a Salted Egg ice cream that presents the punch of salted egg in full force. 


The four chefs ended with an edible installation using different types of chocolates for guests to scrape off and consume. That's the thing about these kinds of dishes. They can be as high-falluting and complex as they want, but the end all and be all of any type of food—especially dessert—is to be enjoyed.

View More Articles About:
About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor,
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
View Other Articles From Sasha
Latest Feed
Premium Scotch whisky Macallan launches a new edition destined to appreciate in value.
To begin Esquire's series of interviews with candidates seeking posts in 2019, we speak to Samira Gutoc, a hijab-wearing Muslim who is running for the Senate in the hopes of bringing the 20-year absence of a Muslim legislator from the Upper Chamber to an end.
Melissa Reese, who is also half Filipino, now has kids dressing up like her for Halloween
Palm returns to the market with a smaller companion device to help you disconnect.
A zombie film from Korea, new anime based on Filipino graphic literature, and other highlights
There are many. We found the best. Because no matter how good your camera or phone, a few post-production tweaks make a huge difference.
Load More Articles
Connect With Us