French Food Will Invade Manila's Best Restaurants on March 21
The names of the dishes might be tricky to pronounce, but struggling through words like Bouillabaisse or Filet de boeuf will be richly rewarded with unforgettable gastronomic delights. With its quaint restaurants serving as temples of the best ingredients in the region, gourmands point to Lyons in France as the capital of gastronomy, not only in that country but all over the world.
Of course, not everyone can travel to France on a whim to enjoy good French food. Which is why the world has been gifted with Goût de France (Good France), the culinary event that is tagged as the biggest French dinner. Following the inclusion of the “Gastronomic Meal of the French” in the UNESCO World Intangible Heritage list, it was launched by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and renowned French chef Alain Ducasse in 2015.
Happening on March 21 with 150 chefs from the Philippines and other countries, Goût de France offers a traditional French menu consisting of a starter, main course, cheeses, and dessert, all accompanied by French wines and spirits.
This year marks the biggest number of participants from the Philippines, with chefs from 28 restaurants in Metro Manila, Tagaytay, Baguio City, Cebu City, and Malaybalay in Bukidnon, as well as big names in the industry demonstrating their French cooking techniques, with some highlighting local culinary traditions and ingredients in the Philippines. The roster represents haute cuisine, bistros, culinary schools, and hotels and resorts.
At the sneak peek of Goût de France at the Manila Hotel, chefs sent out samples of their offerings for the French dinner. The line-up read like who’s who of the local French fine dining culinary scene with local stars such as Chef Ariel Manuel of Bistro Manuel, Chef Vicky Pacheco of Chateau 1771, Chef Jessie Sincioco of Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Chef Gene Gonzalez of Café Ysabel, Chef Menoy Gimenez of Tito Chef Restaurant, Chef Waya Araos-Wijangco of Gourmet Gypsy Art Café, and Chef Cocoy Ventura of SGD Coffee Roastery.
Foreign chefs like Chef Konrad Walter of The Manila Hotel’s Champagne Room, Chef Robert Lilja of Maria Luisa's Garden Room, Chef Julien Cossé of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s Spiral Manila, and Chef Hervé Clair of Raffles Makati’s Mirèio are also represented.
Outside Manila, the participating chefs are Chef Didier Derouet of Café Adriana by Hill Station in Baguio, Chef Armand Lafare of Element Boutique Hotel, Chef David Olyver Virrey of Eiffel Kubo in Malaybalay City, Chef Jonathan Bouthiaux of Anya Resort Tagaytay’s Samira, and Chef Richard Amado of La Vie Parisienne and La Vie in the Sky in Cebu City.
“Goût de France / Good France in the Philippines has grown remarkably since we first organized it with six participating chefs in 2015. This year, we count 27 chefs of different nationalities and diverse professional backgrounds based in various parts of the archipelago,” says French Ambassador Nicolas Galey.
This year’s edition also dedicates a particular focus on responsible cuisine. Following France’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the fight against climate change, participating chefs are encouraged to offer earth-friendly menus with dishes using less fat, sugar, and salt, expressing greater concern for good food and respect for the planet’s resources.