Monday, October 17, 2022

Discovering Culinary Connections with Flavors of Colombia at Discovery Primea's Flame Restaurant

Experiencing a country's cuisine, they say, is the closest thing to understanding and appreciating the pulse of any culture. Flame Restaurant at Discovery Primea invites you to explore the rich culinary heritage of Colombia with a specially curated multi-course menu for a limited time... 

Discovering new flavors is always something to look forward to, and broadening one's perspective is an adventure in itself. An additional evening in a limited run promises a memorable gastronomic experience at Discovery Primea. Due to popular demand from a sold out first run, Flavors of Colombia by guest chef Manuel Martinez is extended to October 19 with a special dinner highlighting traditional Colombian cuisine at Flame Restaurant. Take your palate on a culinary journey to the other side of the world and discover new flavors as well as subtle connections with a shared heritage and history with each lavish dish.

Located high up at the 16th floor of Discovery PrimeaFlame Restaurant is your portal to modern Asian cuisine and charcoal-grilled specialties created by Executive Chef Luis Chikiamko. And for one additional evening on October 19, Flame Restaurant takes you to the famed Gateway to South America with traditional Colombian dishes prepared by guest chef Manuel Martinez.  

Highlighting time-honored Colombian recipes, guest chef Manuel Martinez takes you back to his roots and heritage with each dish in a multi-course menu for a unique culinary experience. In an on-going initiative by the Colombian Embassy in Manila headed by Ambassador Marcella Ordoñez to promote Colombian culture through heritage cuisine, an insightful peek into Colombia's culinary traditions provides tasty snapshots from the fifth largest country in Latin America with the world's second largest Spanish-speaking population. The unique program includes bringing Colombian chefs to various countries sharing traditional dishes to showcase the different layers and depth of Colombia's colorful and vibrant culture. 

A former aerospace manufacturing engineer, Chef Manuel Martinez opted to trade complex and intricate calculations for pots and pans and has since been involved in Colombia's heritage cuisine. His passion for their national cuisine has led to a deeper understanding on how recipes reflect a people's culture and history resulting in the book San Sebastian de Tenerife at the End of the XIX Century detailing his research as well as a successful restaurant earning the highest accolades back in Colombia. And in one special evening, diners can join Chef Manuel Martinez on his culinary journey at Flame Restaurant.    

A native of Colombia himself, Discovery Primea General Manager David Pardo de Ayala welcomed guests to the exclusive preview of Flavors of Colombia encouraging everyone to appreciate not only the differences but the subtle similarities reflecting connections shaped by a shared history between Colombia and the Philippines.

Chef Manuel Martinez kicked off the Colombian experience at Flame Restaurant with a cooking demo for a national staple, the arepa or flat, round unleavened bread made from soaked ground kernels of maize. The traditional corn-based flatbread dates back long before Hispanic times, and remains one of Colombia's enduring culinary traditions. Grilled, baked, fried, boiled or steamed, the classic arepa is the flavorful starch base for many Colombian dishes showcased in the special dinner at Flame Restaurant.   

Sampling portions of the curated dinner menu for Flavors of Colombia were served that day, starting with the tasty trio of Carnaval de Arepas, Croquetas de Arroz Apastelado and Empanaditas Cachacas.  

Made from corn, the Empanaditas Cachacas filled with savory beef and potatoes is comfortingly familiar but unlike the local version made from flour, the Colombian empanaditas are lighter with a delicately crisp and clean finish. With maize as the foundation of Colombia's agrarian heritage, it's not surprising that the starch is often used as the base for most dishes.

The play on textural contrasts and rich savory notes combine for tasty bites, opening up the palate for a unique taste of Colombia. The similarities from a shared history and culture come to mind with the Empanaditas Cachacas, easing your palate to the Colombian culinary experience. 

The Croquetas de Arroz Apastelado is another familiar dish yet texturally different with a more pronounced crispness smoothened by sour cream. The starters present an insightful and deeper dive into Colombia's culinary culture shaped by local ingredients and formed by a dominant Spanish influence.  

The savory trio of arepas with the Carnaval de Arepas topped by a variety of ingredients including chicharon takes you even deeper into Colombia's culture. The versatility of arepas as a base for infinite combinations of flavors are immediately apparent from the first bite. The mild sweetness of the maize pairs well with a variety of ingredients. 

Comfortingly familiar yet refreshingly different, the uniqueness of Colombian cuisine is also celebrated with a seemingly common thread linking us all back to a shared heritage with Spain. At the Flavors of Colombia dinner in Flame Restaurant, guests will enjoy even more traditional dishes like Enocado de Pescado with Chilean Sea Bass, red snapper, shellfish and "Arroz con Titoté in a creamy and hearty coconut bisque and Costillas al Carbon with charcoal-grilled US Beef short ribs, Papitas Saladas, roasted cauliflower, cilantro creamed corn and Hogao sauce. South American wines will also be offered at the Flavors of Colombia dinner on October 19 to complete the experience. 

For dessert, Chef Manuel Martinez caps a tasty preview with an indulgent trifecta of Merengón de Guanabana or Guyabano Pavlova, Cocadas de Piña, Enyucado Bites and a sweet cassava dessert with just a hint of spices transforming the familiar into something refreshingly new and different.  

The desserts are paired with Cafe con Leche made with Colombian Coffee Semifreddo to cap a sumptuous dining experience. 

An understanding of any culture always involves a deep and immersive experience. But there's just nothing quite like tasting a culture and savoring each bite for an insightful peek. Chef Manuel Martinez takes you to Colombia, one dish at a time. 

For one evening, take your palate to the other side of the world with the heritage cuisine of Chef Manuel Martinez at Flavors of Colombia in Flame Restaurant. Seats for Flavors of Colombia are still available for October 19 at P 4,500++ per person

Flame Restaurant is located at the 16th Floor of Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City. For reservations and inquiries, call (632) 7955-8888 or visit their website at

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