Food

Sofitel's Master Chefs Write Love Letters To Their Mothers With Food

This Mother's Day, Spiral's chefs are putting their own spin on their mothers' signature dishes.
IMAGE Courtesy of Sofitel
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Every Mother’s Day, many a child tries their hand at easing the burden of a mother’s load: breakfasts in bed, thoughtful presents, a day at the spa, and perhaps a treat out for a culinary experience where someone else, for a change, washes the dishes.

This year, the Sofitel Philippine Plaza makes it easy with a wide selection of promotions for Mother’s Day, running from May 11 to 13. They have a special poolside barbecue buffet at the Sunset Bar, a Mother’s Day brunch at Le Bar, beautification packages at Le Spa and Vietura Aesthetic Lifestyle.

But let’s face it: once you hear the word “Sofitel,” the mind quickly wanders over to the Spiral buffet, highly regarded for its 21 dining ateliers and most especially its cheese room. One of the ways Spiral is celebrating Mother’s Day is perhaps the most charming of all, with its Master Chefs making renditions of dishes learned from or inspired by their mothers.

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Chef Bryan Ortigoso of the Filipino Atelier offers up a special Menudo, saying, “Menudo brings back memories from my childhood, when my mom would usually prepare this for our family for lunch or dinner. I really love this dish, because it consists of a variety of ingredients, such as sausages mixed with hints of sweetness from raisins and tomatoes, that make the dish a complete fiesta in the palate.”

IMAGE: Courtesy of Sofitel
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Chef Bryan Ortigoso's Menudo

Chef Michael Tai of the Chinese Wok creates a Yong Tau Fu, or vegetables stuffed with seafood mince and brown bean sauce. “One of the famous dishes in Malaysia and Singapore, the Yong Tau Fu was always prepared by my mother at home because of its healthy components. She wanted everyone in the family to appreciate this dish,” says Chef Tai. But wanting to make it a little more special for Spiral’s many discerning diners, Chef Tai’s version includes shrimp, marinated premium-quality fish, and yellow bean sauce.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Sofitel
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Chef Michael Tai's Yong Tau Fu

Similarly, Chef Romeo Malate of the Thai Atelier adds a host of new additions to his Clam Stew with Basil, sautéing together lemongrass, galangal, coriander and basil, then adding fish stock, giving the recipe a little more kick. “Originally, [my mom] would first sauté the clams together with ginger roots, garlic, and onion to lessen the clams’ fishy aroma,” he explains. But make no mistake, the original recipe is highly regarded by the chef, who adds, “Since I love seafood, having this dish prepared by my mom twice a week meant a lot to me.”

IMAGE: Courtesy of Sofitel
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Chef Romeo Malate's Clam Stew with Basil

Chef Masaaki Ishagawa of the Japanese Atelier, however, chose to maintain tradition in his rendition of a Flower Pork Belly Shabu Shabu. “Back home in Japan, my mom and I used to bake together when I was young. That was our special time together. I stayed true to my mom’s original recipe of the flower pork belly shabu shabu as an homage to her,” says Chef Ishagawa. “I dedicate this dish to her because in my hometown, we would usually give carnation flowers to show our appreciation to our mothers.”

IMAGE: Courtesy of Sofitel
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Chef Masaaki Ishagawa's Flower Pork Belly Shabu Shabu

Chef Julien Cossé of the French Stove also sang praises of mother’s Beef Tongue with Pickled Sauce. “I was 14 years old when I learned to cook this dish,” he says. “This was our family’s favorite dish back at home. We have it together with mashed potatoes and baguette. Almost every Sunday my mom cooked this recipe and we made sure there were no leftovers.” And while he tried to stay as close as possible to the original recipe, Chef Cossé adds, “I tried to make it just like my mom did, but obviously my recipe will never surpass her version. That’s the best beef tongue in the world.”

IMAGE: Courtesy of Sofitel
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Chef Julien Cossé's Beef Tongue with Pickled Sauce

Rounding out the selection is of course a sweet offering from La Patisserie, at the hands of Chef Rolando Macatangay, in the form of tiramisu. This one is less a direct interpretation of a home recipe, and really more a love letter playing off of his mother’s love for coffee. “At home, we had an espresso machine, as we were a big coffee-loving family. Tiramisu is an all-time dessert favorite, and I wanted my mom to try my own version,” says Chef Macatangay. “I added my own special touch, adding Baileys liqueur to enhance the chemistry of the ingredients. She would definitely love the aroma of the liqueur and its perfect blend with coffee, like she was sipping from her espresso cup.”

With a vast array of dishes served at Spiral, there’s no question that all who line up for Mother’s Day weekend will have their tummies filled to happy submission. But for such a special occasion that honors such special women in our lives, it’s a whole other experience to fill up on dishes made with and inspired by love.

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For further inquiries and reservations, please contact +632 551 5555 or [email protected].

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