Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Best of Spain: Tapas Night 2016 at Green Sun

Nine chefs. One evening...it's Tapas Night at Green Sun.

For one evening, nine of the best Spanish chefs based in the metro converged at Green Sun to prepare a sumptuous and epic tapas feast highlighting the authentic and rich regional flavors of Spain, formally kicking off Madrid Fusion Manila 2016.

Organized by the Embassy of Spain, Tapas Night 2016 aimed to showcase both the modernity and tradition of Spanish Tapas as a prelude to the much-awaited Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 set for April 7-9, 2016. The best Spanish wines, cava, and liquor from AWC Philippines/Codormiu, Barcino, Bestworld Beverage Brands, Emperador, Estrella Damm, Golden Wines, Premier Wine & Spirits, Terry's Selection, and Wine depot flowed freely the whole evening, adding a celebratory vibe.

And when you have good wine, you need some equally good cheese to complete the experience. At the Tapas Night 2016, the chefs and organizers pulled all the stops, showcasing an impressive selection of cheeses and Spanish charcuterie.

The elegant spread by Terry's Selection included a wide variety of imported cheeses like Torta del Casar, made with sheep's milk from the Extremadura region of Spain...

...and the Queso Manchego from the La Mancha region showcasing the rich culinary diversity of Spain.  

Alongside the cheeses served that evening was an equally impressive spread of Spanish charcuterie and cured meats...

...like the rustic Chorizo, a pork sausage blended with pimenton; and Jamon Serrano, the Spanish take on prosciutto.

Inside Green Sun's kitchen, Chef Pablo Lopez of Donosti and eight other noted chefs, the cream of the metro's Spanish culinary scene, prepared the impressive array of richly flavored and authentic Spanish tapas recreating the regional flavors of Spain. The other participating chefs included Jose Luis "Chele" Gonzalez of Vask, Ivan Saiz of Arrozeria, Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry's Selection, Pepe Lopez of Rambla y Las Flores, Carlos Garcia of Black Pig, Nicolas Diaz of Barcino, Amado Garcia Fernandez of Pablo Bistro, and Justo Rodrigo Lopez of Txanton.

Seeing all nine chefs in one kitchen was an experience in itself, an epic collaboration between top chefs. Each chef prepared their assigned dishes, with each course executed with precision. As more guests arrived, the kitchen picked up the pace to serve the first batch of tapas...

And as the first courses of tapas were expedited and served, the chefs spared a few precious minutes to enjoy the camaraderie of the moment before getting back to the frenzied action of the kitchen.

That evening, individual servings of tapas were served to guests like the Hojaldre de Txistorra con Aioli de Manzana Asada (Txistorra Roll with Roasted Apple Aioli, L) and Bacalao Confitado Sobre Lecho de Arroz-a Banda (Codfish Confit on a bed of Murcia's Quintessential Seafood Risotto, R). 

More elaborate tapas were served, including Pulpo a la Parilla con Migas de Romesco Y Patata (Grilled Octopus with Romesco Crumbs and Vanilla-Scented Potato)...

...and the intricate Baguette de Salmon, Queso Manchego Y Aceite de Trufa (Salmon, Manchego & Truffle Oil Air Baguette), each one delivering a burst of rich flavors with every bite.

More tapas with a modern spin were served, like Sushi de Jamon Serrano con Tomate Y Mahonesa de Soja (Jamon Serrano Sushi with Tomato and Soya Mayonnaise, L) and Torto de Carillera de Cerdo Iberico con Patata en Dos Texturas (Iberian Pork Cheek Corn Patties with Potatoes in Two Textures, R).

Many more tapas were served that evening, each one representing a particular Spanish region. The unique format allowed guests to take a culinary journey of Spain with each bite. But there's nothing quite like the iconic Jamon Iberico de Bellota to complete the feast. The black-hoofed pig native to Spain is known the world over for its distinct notes, due partly to its all-natural acorn diet. 

The Jamon Iberico de Bellota is masterfully carved in paper-thin slices, with fine layers of fat that just melt in your mouth releasing its rich and bold flavors. 

It was great to see familiar faces and old friends that night, including Chef Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry's Selection, Claude Tayag (more on Claude Tayag on my previous post here) and Vask's Jose Luis "Chele" Gonzalez (more on Chele Gonzalez on my earlier posts on The Vask Experience and Vask's Weekday Brunch Menu). 

For the main courses, a hearty and comforting bowl of Manitas y Magro de Cochinillo, Confitados en Salsa a la Mayte Commodore (Suckling Pig lean and trotters gently cooked in the original Mayte Commodore sun-dried Rioja Pepper sauce), slow-cooked and simmered to perfection was served...

...along with the rustic and traditional Fabada Asturiana, a rich Spanish bean stew, to round out my own culinary journey through Spain, all in one memorable evening.

For dessert, Terry's Selection served their signature Turrones, a chewy nougat with chocolate and almonds, as more wine was served. Tapas Night 2016 was more than just good food, it was a celebration of a shared passion and common history, an exciting and tasty glimpse of the future's potential while maintaining tradition and strengthening bonds from the past. If this is a preview of even more good things to come, then this year's edition of Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 is definitely something to look forward to, scheduled to start this April 7-9, 2016, at the SMX Convention Center. Here's to the best of Spain, right here in Manila...

For more information on Spanish products and Madrid Fusion 2016, you may email the Embassy of Spain Economic and Commercial Office at manila@comercio.mineco.es. You can also visit the Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 website for more updates here at http://www.madridfusionmanila.com/

Green Sun is located at 2285 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City, or call (02) 548-9200 for inquiries and reservations.

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