IMAGE TRISTAN DEHESA (@tristandehesa); MARK NICDAO
In his second collaboration dinner in Manila, Japanese chef Hiroyasu Kawate of Florilège—ranked third on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018—joined Margarita Forés and Jordy Navarra, Miele’s One to Watch for 2018, at a one-night-only, six-hands collaboration at Toyo Eatery.
Hiroyasu Kawate and Jordy Navarra at Toyo Eatery
Last year, Kawate also collaborated with Forés at Mirèio in the Raffles Fairmont Hotel. Forés was named Asia's Best Female Chef in 2016.
Although Navarra had already met Kawate a few years ago when they first discussed the possibility of a collaboration, the idea for this dinner was set in motion when Forés brought Kawate to Toyo during his visit last year.
The timing of the event was decided upon when they all met up once again at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant awarding ceremony in Macau in late March.
As Kawate was the main guest, Forés and Navarra asked him what he wanted to serve so the two could then prepare dishes to complement his.
Japanese chef Hiroyasu Kawate of Florilège, ranked third on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018
“Creating the menu was a synergistic exercise, where each of our chefs' creations complemented the other,” shares Forés.
“Showcasing local ingredients with the best of the world—ayu, dashi, vinegar, and potato from Japan, dried peppers from California, 25-year-old balsamic from Modena, local Kitayama wagyu, alocon, organic Batangas duck, local cheese, dilis, and more—was inspiring,” adds Forés.
Kalabasa Flower, Fores
Blood Clam, Navarra
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Crab Maja Blanca, Fores
Champorado & Dulong, Navarra
Garden Vegetables, Fores
Sustainable Beef, Kawate
Navarra adds, “We also wanted to collaborate on one dish together which turned out to be the main course, Lechon 'Kawate.'"
The chefs also made sure to delight everyone with a sweet ending.
Mango, Cashews, and Coconut
Filipino petit fours, Navarra
All three chefs agree that after sharing the Toyo kitchen and each other’s energies this will not be the last from this gourmet triumvirate. “We always enjoy having guest chefs cook in Toyo, but this is the first time we hosted two chefs at the same time,” says Navarra. “They both brought a different dynamic to the collaboration and we hope to do it again next year.”
In Japanese-occupied Manila, an American woman who was known as "Madame Tsubaki" ran a night club that offered drinks, music, and companionship to homesick soldiers. It was a front for a spy ring that funneled information and supplies to guerilla groups outside the city.