It’s difficult to restrain my praise for these two chefs.
Chefs Ed and Booj catered the lunch at my Food Photography Workshop last September and there are some people who remember the meal more than they do the workshop. Indeed, dishes like mussel-chorizo paella and crispy pork belly with lemongrass-soy sauce glaze make their mark both in mind and stomach.
I’m still getting to know Chef Booj but I’ve known Chef Ed since 1995. To me, he’s always “Chef Ed,” the two words a conjunction of one, my good friend and someone from whom I continuously learn ever more about food. Chef Ed has an astounding taste memory bank – he’ll remember tastes of years ago and pair them with flavors he’s tasted last night. From him I’ve learned which flavors have a surprising affinity for one another (like white chocolate and mango) and he’s also shared plenty of his recipes with me: candied santol, leche flan, and even Iberian Chicken, a specialty dish of his that he’s serving at the Dessert Comes First Christmas Gift List.
Iberian Chicken has many variations but the version I know and love is simply chicken roasted low and slow in a bath of extra virgin olive oil, cosseted in cloves of garlic (LOTS of garlic!), onion, herbs, and pocked with peppercorns. The meat remains moist and white and I like to soak my rice in the sauce that leaves my lips glistening like the glutton that I am.
Chefs Ed and Booj make a superb paella, the playground on which they play with many combinations. At the event, they’ve christened the paella they will serve Paella ala M, which is similar to the seafood-laden paella de marisco. Theirs is a paella heavy with the sea’s bounty seeming to gambol in rice perfumed with spice, specifically saffron. An abundant and heartwarming dish, this is something that when I eat it, makes me feel very loved.
The chicken ham comes with sauce seen above in the gravy boat.
Chef Ed gave me a ham one Christmas, something he’d cured and made himself. Perfectly pink and supremely juicy, it was beyond any known notion I had of succulent. This year, he and Chef Booj have come out with something they call Chicken Ham. It tastes like ham … but it’s from a chicken! Taste it to believe it. It usually sells for P1,000 but at the event, it’ll be sold for the special price of P700. Excellent deal.
I know that these two chefs are more comfortable in the hot kitchen so I’m especially touched when I see that they’ve come out with a special dessert for my event. These are Glazed Fruit Bars, the chef-duo’s take on fruitcake. I’m taking baby steps when it comes to acquiring a taste for this traditional holiday sweet, but this one I like. Unlike a fruitcake, there’s more than enough batter here to support a light-handed amount of glazed fruit and a spatter of walnuts. The ideal fruitcake for the non-fruitcake eater.
M Cuisine, Inc.
(02) 470 4812