Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Impressions Celebrates Gastronomia de España ♥ ♥ ♥





Published on Manila Bulletin Sunday Lifestyle Section, June 9, 2013


“It wasn’t easy getting these two together,” Hubertus Cramer, Resorts World Manila’s Vice President for F&B, jokingly said to me, referring to Impressions Executive Chef Cyrille Soenen and Chef Victor Burgos whom Marriott Hotel Manila flew in all the way from the Kingdom of Spain for the Resorts World Manila’s month-long celebration of Gastronomia de España.




Chef Cyrille Soenen and Chef Victor Burgos



Only for this June, there is no need to travel half way around the world to savor our favorite Spanish delicacies. “Gastronomia de España” brings to us Adalusia, Barcelona, Bilbao, Catalonia, Madrid, San Sebastian, Seville, Valencia and even the Basque Country! This news makes me so happy I want to don my fanciest red costume, put roses in my hair, clap and stomp and strut away with all my bottled up passion and do the Flamenco!



 Wine and Cheese Buffet



So what happens when you put together a French chef and a Spanish chef?

Well, this was what greeted me at Impressions last Tuesday – a beautiful wine and cheese buffet showcasing lovely French breads, luscious French butter, tasty Spanish cold cuts and sausages, Spanish cheeses, French truffle honey, Spanish olives, dried fruits, nuts, seeds… and of course, free-flowing Spanish wines.











The cheeses called out to me the loudest and soon my first plate was covered with slices of scrumptious dairy products from different regions of Spain. There was the soft and creamy Arzúa Ulloa from the cows of Galicia, the nutty and savory La Corrala, the salty and tangy Mahón, the flavorful and buttery Murcia al Vino, the intense and crumbly Manchego D.O. 12 months, and also a Manchego made from goat’s milk with merlot.

















Chef Cyrille (he’s always a darling!) tipped me about the “El Porfiao” Torta de Castuera, which was this amazing soft and creamy cheese made with raw milk of the Merino sheep. I scooped out a generous serving of the rich, fat, buttery cheese onto my plate and laced it with an even more generous drizzling of Maison Pébeyre truffle honey. The salty-sweet-pungent-fragrant marriage was beautiful.



 El Porfiao Torta de Castuera swimming in truffle honey



My number two favorite was the Valdeon. I love strong and stinky cheeses and this blue baby made from a combination of cow and goat’s milk was bold, full-flavored, salty and spicy. I took delight in nibbling on the Valdeon on its own, but when I paired it with Impressions’ homemade quince jelly, the combination tasted like the compelling, mind-shattering attraction between a sweet, tender, feminine lady and a robust, powerful, macho man. Boom! Boom! Boom!



Valdeon with Quince Jelly



Of course, a big girl like me would not survive without her meats. Trays and trays of Iberico ham, salami, chorizo, and other delectable Spanish charcuterie including a whole leg of Jamon Serrano were at my service. Did I mention there was Chistorra de Pamplona and Morcilla Asturiana, too? I topped these savory pieces of meat on bread and mopped up the orange oils and juices before stuffing them into my greedy mouth. To wash down all these delicious Spanish sustenance were bottles of Marqués de Cáceres Crianza 2009, Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Blanco 2011, Bodegas Olarra Anares Crianza 2009, and Avelino Vegas Montespina Verdejo 2011.



Jamon Serrano




 Cured Meats




Chistorra de Pamplona and Morcilla Asturiana




Blood sausage on toast



The Wine and Cheese Night is just a preview to the more elaborate Wine and Tapas Night happening at Impressions on June 18, and the Grand Spanish Sunday Brunch Buffet on June 30 in celebration of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day. 

On all the days in between now and then, Chef Cyrille will be spoiling us with a wide array of sumptuous Spanish gastronomical delights from tapas to soups to main courses to desserts. I will definitely be back to have an all-out Spanish fiesta starting with some tapas of Broiled French Oysters with Chorizo Crumbles and Truffle Hollandaise, and Crispy Callos with Confit of Vegetables on Garbanzos-Poleta Cake. Soup will be a hearty Salmorejo de Cordoba, a cold tomato soup with jamon and bacalao, followed by an entrée of Sous Vide Kurobuta Pork Belly, Braised Segovian Fabada with Morcilla Sausage served with a side of Pimiento Caviar. Or Slow-cooked Octopus, Paella Verde, Compressed Watermelon and Squid Ink Beurre Blanc… I still cannot make up my mind.

And for dessert, the most sacred course of any meal, I will indulge in a French-Spanish fusion of Orange Mille-feuille, Ricotta Espuma, Mixed Berries and Buenalba Gelato. I cannot contain my excitement for this!

And just maybe, if the stomach is willing to cooperate with the mouth, I am going to have a second dessert of Impressions’ Lemon Souffle. I know it’s got nothing to do with the ongoing Gastronomia de España promotion, but the golden crust, the light and creamy innards always, always transport me to heaven.



Lemon Souffle or what's left of it
(because it was so soooo good!)




Mixed Berries Tiramisu


Adiós for now, muchachos! Mamacita is going to eat! Olé!



Chef Cyrille of Impressions


Impressions is located at the 3rd Floor of Maxims Tower, Resorts World Manila, Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay. For reservations, please call (02) 908-8883 or email impressions@rwmanila.com.


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