CHOW BUZZ | Legendary Chef Auguste Escoffier’s great grandson visits Manila


“La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur.”
(Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.)
―Auguste Escoffier

On October 30, Discovery Primea hosted Monsieur Michel Escoffier, the great-grandson of the iconic chef and culinary writer Auguste Escoffier.

The lineage of finely trained chefs throughout culinary history can be traced to Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935). No other figure has done more to contribute to the history of culinary arts and raise the stature of cooking to a highly respected career path.

The elder Escoffier was a pioneer of the fine dining industry and is widely recognized as the Father of modern French cuisine. He is also referred to as the “King of Chefs and Chef of Kings.”

This is Michel Escoffier’s first Philippine visit, which is part of his tour of Asia where he has been connecting with the many chapters—Manila included—of the Disciples Escoffier.

Michel Escoffier (in photo, right) with Chef Cyrille Soenen (left) of Impressions Restaurant, which has been classified as Maîtres Cuisiniers de France or “Master Chef of France,” a title given by an eponymous association to those who “preserve, advance and perpetuate the tradition of great French cuisine.” Chow Buzz photo for InterAksyon.

At the same time, Escoffier has also been promoting the preservation of the legacy of his great-grandfather and the culinary traditions that the latter has started.

His one-day visit was made possible by Disciples Escoffier International Asia.


Discovery Primea’s General Manager David Pardo de Ayala, a member of the prestigious Disciples Escoffier, poses for press photos with Discovery Primea’s Executive Chef Luis Chikiamco. Photo courtesy of Escoffier Philippines.

During his brief stay, Michel Escoffier was guest of honor at the Epicurean Dinner event at Discovery Primea’s Flame Restaurant.

David Pardo de Ayala, General Manager of The Discovery Leisure Company Inc., together with Discovery Primea’s Executive Chef Luis Chikiamco, prepared a special tasting menu filled with distinct Filipino flavors but prepared using classic French cooking techniques.

The evening started with assorted nibbles like Pinoy Oysters Rockefeller and Quezo de Bola and Hamon.

Chilled Seafood Bounty consists of tomato and lemongrass gelée, and local seaweed salad. This dish was served at Discovery Primea’s Epicurious Dinner in honor of Michel Escoffier. Chow Buzz photo for InterAksyon.

This was followed by a first course of Chilled Seafood Bounty that highlighted the rich treasures of the Philippine Seas. Fresh seafood were set on a tomato and lemongrass gelée, then finished with a lato or seaweed salad.

The hands-down star of the Epicurean Dinner at Discovery Primea recently was this seared Rougie foie gras served on top of harvest vegetables. Just before serving, ‘sinigang’ broth was poured on the dish. Chow Buzz photo for InterAksyon.

The second course was a Chow Buzz favorite: Rougie Foie Gras “Pot-au-Feu” that consisted of a perfectly seared Perigord duck liver or foie gras mounted on top of locally harvested vegetables. Seconds after this dish was served before each guest, sinigang or tamarind broth was gently poured on it  to balance the richness of the foie gras. A brilliant take on the homey Filipino sinigang.

A refreshing Sorbet Aux Agrumes D’Ici or Calamansi Sorbet preceded the main dish of Roasted Colorado Lamb Chop, served with a kaldereta-inspired sauce and topped with black olive crust.

Roasted Colorado Lamb Chop by Discovery Primea’s Executive Chef Luis Chikiamco. Chow Buzz photo for InterAksyon.

Dinner ended with a dessert that presented the Philippine mango in three ways: panna cotta, mango glass, and candied green mango that was partnered with the flavor and texture of Philippine coconut.

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