Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

3/17/2010

A Taste of Temptation

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

I never did figure out if this made it to print, but this assignment has been one of my favorites so far. It involved an island getaway with sinful food to boot. Who could ask for anything more? Well, friends along for the ride might have been nice, but that's too much to ask.

Snake River Farms meats shine in simple cooking
Text by: Carren Jao
Written for MEGA Magazine


“SIMPLISTIC preparation lets the flavor shine,” explains the newly opened Shangri-La Resort and Spa Executive Chef, Chef Geoff Simmons. True enough, while most dishes rely on unpronounceable flavorings, exotic peppers, or miscellaneous chilis, his dishes were prepared with utmost minimalism.

Such a bold move only stems from two factors—the confidence in one’s culinary abilities and the assurance of quality. Despite being treated to a glorious sunset on the cliff face of the new establishment only hours earlier, the main event was undoubtedly the succulent Snake River Farms meats prepared and plated to perfection before us.

Tracing its lineage from the legendary Wagyu cattle of Japan, Snake River Farms’ American Wagyu beef promises intense flavor and buttery soft tenderness. Forgoing hormones or animal by-products in the feed, the American beef cattle develop slowly grazing upon wide open Idaho plains. On small Midwest farms alongside it, Kurobuta pork, darker in color and richer in flavor than regular porks, are raised. Together, they form the ingredients of one utterly wicked night.

Neat square chunks of meat, as if prepared for the home, first sat on our tables. Meticulously labeled and organized, they dared you to choose your preference. Is it the Striploin Black, shyly placed on a corner? Or is it the Kurobuta Belly, with its delectable fat fairly eking out of its skin? A simple tenderloin carpaccio lightly cooked and topped with a pear relish then graced the table. After the preceding showcase, its subtle flavor served to calm down the taste buds.

Then, wrapped like Cleopatra rolled in a Persian rug, the Kurobuta Shortribs Cannelloni with Sichuan Peppers were served. Beef cheek meat finely were shredded and rolled, packing surprising flavor into such a small plate. Topped with a Kurobuta Shortribs, the dish was a siren call to my awaiting palate.

A Dalandan Granite and Calamansi Sorbet was the signal of headier delights to come. With a cleansed palate, the Gold Rib Eye Bordelaise was served with shameless generosity. Simple potatoes topped with asparagus stalks quelled the onslaught of decadence. Sweet reward came with the chef’s re-constructed rendition of a cheesecake; a blueberry compote hid under a softly swirled cheese cake mixture topped with a lightly-sweetened crumbled crust.

As the dessert was, so was I—turned upside down on this night of decadence. It is no wonder these same meats have graced the plates of countless celebrities as Wolfgang Puck serves up seduction in the Oscars and Grammys. This night was opulence cloaked in simplicity—it was a sin not to partake.
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Alternatives Food Corporation exclusively distributes Snake River Farms meats in the Philippines. Their meats are currently being offered in establishments such as 21 Prime Suites at Discovery Suites, Abaca in Cebu City, Lemuria, Kai Restaurant, Mulberry Suites in Cagayan de Oro, and Illustrado. For more information log onto www.alternatives.ph or Snake River Farms.

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