Last November 27, 2018, Enderun Colleges held a charity dinner entitled Harvest Of Hope: A Dinner for the Benefit of the Culinary Center of Tuloy Foundation with famed chef Alain Ducasse at its guest of honor.
Last year we were invited by Enderun’s Chef Suzette Montinola to present to Chef Ducasse’s representative (a French chef who flew from Paris) our products along with other farmers and suppliers that were handpicked by the meticulous chefs of Enderun. It was a very stressful presentation, and all us farmers were silent and serious as the chefs went from table to table, tasting our products. But we had nothing to fear, as all the chefs were kind and gracious and were willing to share their experience and knowledge with us.
When the French chef, followed by several senior Enderun chefs, approached our table, he was immediately curious because 1) we were the only dairy represented (Malagos was there, but as a cheese supplier, while we were there for our milks, yogurts, kesong puti, and butter) and 2) the Philippines is not really known to have a serious dairy industry.
He first tasted our milk and was delightfully surprised. He said that it reminded him of his childhood, when they would go to the farm beside their farm (he grew up outside Paris in the province) to get fresh milk. It was so rich, so fresh, and so unadulterated. A big smile. 🙂 Then he proceeded to taste the other products: kesong puti (he was curious about our local cheese), yogurts, and our butter. All good, all smiles. The other chefs concurred and proceeded to go back to the kitchen to get more bread to eat with our butter. They wanted more! 🙂
Fast forward a year later it’s showtime, and our little farm was able to meet their order of 260 sticks of butter (our apologies to our clients who were unable to buy any) specially made with Dasol salt, kesong puti, and full-cream unsweetened Greek yogurt. They used our products as part of their Harvest For Hope dinner.
But before the dinner, all the participating farmers were given a small booth outside the dining area so we could showcase our wares and talk about our farm to Chef Alain Ducasse himself, who was going to go around to meet the farmers.
Meeting Chef Ducasse was like a dream come true as he is truly a world-class chef. He is one of 2 chefs in the world to hold 21 Michelin stars throughout his career and is revered worldwide. When he tasted our milk he looked very thoughtful as if he was carefully analyzing the taste profile. After tasting it he said (in French) “Yes, it’s good. It tastes like real milk.”
Happy dance. 🙂 We fan-girled all over him, even running after him to sign our menu board. I hope our peskiness didn’t erase any good will he got from drinking our milk.
Then guests proceeded to the dining room. Dinner was about to start. Gracing the table were our half-sticks of butter, ready to be slathered on Enderun’s fresh bread. Our thanks to Lali and CJ Juntereal for the photos.
The other dish that featured our Greek yogurt and kesong puti with micro-cucumbers and edible flowers. Very pretty! Photo care of Enderun Colleges.
The dinner as a fund-raiser was an enormous success, raising much more than they initially targeted. And we went home happy, hearts full and feeling blessed.
Thank you Enderun! Thank you Chef Alain Ducasse!