We recently spent some time talking to chefs throughout the Philippines about their approach to cooking. In particular, we asked them about the role that the country’s favourite mayonnaise—Lady’s Choice—continues to play in many of their dishes. One recurring theme for all of them was their desire to reinvent popular classics for modern tastes.
Taste is a time traveller
As Chef Al Lazaro III from Milagros Private Kitchen says, “For many chefs, food is all about memory.” For Chef Al, that applies whether he’s trying to recreate a beloved childhood dish or even, as in the case of Milagros, a uniquely intimate and exclusive dining experience. But he’s not alone in his quest for innovation through reinvention.
“We serve our dishes with a modern, innovative twist.”
Chef Randel, Qubiertos Grill and Restaurant, Congressional Avenue Branch
Qubiertos has made a name for itself serving dishes that draw on cuisines from several different regions. “We serve regional cuisine from other parts of the country, such as our Dinakdakan from Ilocos, Sisig from Pampanga and Lechon Cebu from Cebu,” says Chef Randel.
Despite all this culinary diversity, there’s one ingredient that links them all: Lady’s Choice. At Qubiertos, it’s used to bring a perfect balance to their Dinakdakan, where otherwise the main ingredient of pork brains can prove to be a bit overwhelming for some diners.
A matter of texture and taste
Back at Milagros Private Kitchen, Chef Al successfully transformed Mechado — a traditional stew with Spanish influences — into something truly spectacular. The dish usually comprises of a chunky mixture of beef sirloin and lardons. However, Chef Al has a new twist on it. “I simmer the lardons in fresh herbs and tomatoes I’ve grown, then process the sauce to make it smooth.”
At Cookbook Kitchen in Mandaluyong, Chef Kenneth Datu serves a new take on fish casserole that’s worth a detour. He explains, “It’s unlike any other. It tastes like your go-to comfort food because of Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise.”
The nation’s favourite mayonnaise is also a hero ingredient in another of Cookbook Kitchen’s best sellers, their crusted fish. This dish gets raves from the most important food critics, the diners themselves. One Cookbook Kitchen customer says, “It’s a dish that says hello with a crispy crust and settles you in with creamy fish that’s doused in a delightful blend of mayonnaise and herbs.” Mmm, sounds delicious.
It’s great to see so many chefs throughout the Philippines reconnecting with the country’s culinary past and reinventing classic dishes. It’s even more heartening to see them finding new, inventive ways to use a key ingredient that’s also been part of the kitchen for decades: Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise.