After attending a lovely Food and Wine Pairings evening at Dusit Hotel Manila, I was very lucky to be invited to attend the Chef’s Table interactive cooking workshop that was organized by the NEW Dusit Hospitality Management College or DHMC Manila. I’ve attended many cooking classes in hotels and restaurants when I was based in Jakarta, Indonesia, but nothing prepared me for how truly hands on this cooking workshop turned out to be.
If you are in Manila and are keen on learning more about food, beverages or specific food preparations, I highly recommend checking out the different workshops they have at Dusit, because depending on the kind of event – whether it’s a wine tasting, gin appreication or a hands on workshop – it’s a great activity to experience with friends or a date. Their contact details are at the bottom of this post.
If someone would have told me that by the end of the course I would have done everything that we did, I wouldn’t have believed them. But because we had Master Chefs that were truly amazing teachers, we were all able to do the techniques that they taught us.
Not only was it a lot of fun, but we met some really nice and interesting folks from different backgrounds and I really surprised myself in the kitchen. I never thought that we would literally be doing the prep ourselves and learning classic French culinary techniques under Master Chefs while using unfamiliar ingredients that were flown in from France.
We really learned a lot, and it was learning by doing, not just listening in a classroom setting. The techniques that we did were techniques of Chef Paul Bocuse.
DHMC Manila is partnered with Institut Paul Bocuse, and they flew in Chef Sebastien Charretier from Lyon. He, together with Master Chef Cyrille Soenen of DHMC, were patient and trusting teachers. I loved how they told us at the beginning that they wanted us to enjoy the experience of learning, and it was not a competition because each person will have their own pace. It’s not about finishing faster, or doing it better, but about learning.
They echoed this throughout the workshop by patiently teaching us each technique and then watching us replicate it, while giving us tips and guiding us to be able to do it on our own.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be cleaning and deboning a pigeon myself. My classmates kept telling me, just think of it like a chicken – but the truth is I have never cleaned a chicken!
So if Chefs can teach someone like me and my assistant Hayee (who has never cooked a day in her life) how to do all these things – rolling and piping pastry, deboning a pigeon, etc. – then they are not just master chefs but master teachers. We both enjoyed the amazing experience and felt like we accomplished a lot of new things during the course.
It was such a good mix of attendees too. There were some who were in Hotel and Restaurant Management, while others were in the baking and cooking business, and some were foodies and writers. We got to know our fellow attendees quite well over the course, which lasted from 2pm until 10pm – this is including an enjoyable and leisurely 3 course meal with wine pairings, and then gift certificate distribution and class picture taking after the meal.
We were split into two groups, and here we are with our group mates Martin and Grant of Sofitel Manila, ready to enjoy the dishes we had helped Chef prepare.
First course: L’Oeuf Parfait en Cappucino De Champignons or Perfect Egg with Mushroom Cappuccino, paired perfectly with Alsace Pinot Blanc and Auexerrois
Our entrée was Pigeon En Croute Inspiration de Mr. Paul Bocuse (Inspired Recipe of Mr. Paul Bocuse “Pigeon en croute”) with foie gras, Sauce Salmis and Puree Lisse De Panais (mashed parsnip) paired with red wine Chiron les Granges. I confess I am not into gamey meats like pigeon, duck or lamb, but I promised myself that I would say yes and try everything. I surprised myself because I actually ate all the pigeon in this dish, with the sauce made from some of the internal parts, and I was able to do so because the parsnip mash and red wine balanced out the flavors.
Chou Croquant Praline Cocktail or Crispy Praline with Choux paste. The pièce de résistance, this dessert was unbelievably yummy and plated by the attendees themselves, with some whipped cream, mandarins and some gold leaf. It was paired with a sweet wine 2010 Clos Lapeyre Jurançon La Magendia.
Institut Paul Bocuse Master Classes for Professionals & Keen Amateurs
In the future, they will have more shor courses classes for professionals and enthusiasts. I would definitely watch out for them! This Friday they will be having a Four-Hands Dinner, which sounds Magnifique! You can sign up for it here.
Indulge in an intimate 4-course themed gourmet dinner prepared by Chef Sébastien Charretier and Chef Cyrille Soenen with the use of specially-curated seasonal ingredients paired beautifully with premium wines.
You can see all the photos I took of the event in this album. If you would like to see more of my food adventures, please do not forget to LIKE me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram. I have some cool boomerangs and videos of this event on my IG stores.