WHILE the celebrations for French National Day — Bastille Day — (celebrated on July 14) are over, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, mindful of its French roots, is celebrating French cuisine, arguably one of the things that makes French culture as rich as it is.
For this month, the hotel tapped the gifts of French chef Patrick Terrien. Mr. Terrien hails from the Loire Valley, famous for its magnificent chateuax and exquisite wines. He started as a saucier and then became a sous chef under chef Charles Janon at the Intercontinental Paris. After that he moved on to become sous chef to chef Joël Robuchon at the Nikko Hotel in Paris. (Mr. Robuchon has several Michelin stars awarded to his restaurants, spanning the globe from Paris to Macau.)
For 24 years, Mr. Terrien was chef instructor at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, and was chef instructor at the Tsuji Academy in Osaka, Japan for four years earning him an Honorary Member Distinction of the Tsuji Academy. He has been recognized many times over through the years, receiving the Diplôme du Mérite Culinaire from Club Prosper Montagé in 1984 and third place at the Club des Toques Blanches competition, as well as being a member of the Academie Culinaire of France.
For his almost 50 years of work, Mr. Terrien now serves as the French Food Ambassador and guest French Master Chef in 21 countries.
The hotel has set up various activities to highlight Mr. Terrien’s techniques until July 23, kicking off with an intimate dinner on July 17. On July 19, Mr. Terrien taught a cooking class in one of the hotel’s kitchens, teaching about 10 people how to make two French dishes.
On July 21, the hotel will hold a four-course dinner featuring Mr. Terrien’s dishes, paired with French wines, while throughout the week, his dishes will be under the spotlight over at Spiral’s French station.
To celebrate the sunny climes of Provence, a barbecue will be held by the hotel’s Sunset Bar on July 28. Throughout the month, French wines from every region will be featured at the hotel’s Le Bar: Bordeaux and the South of France were represented for the first two weeks of July, but you’ll still have a chance to sip a few glasses of wines from Burgundy and Cotes du Rhone until July 29. A wine appreciation class will be held on July 29, with a rate of P2,000 net per person. Meanwhile, Le Bar will have a selection of cheese, wines, charcuterie, and pastries available until July 31.
While there’s no denying the sensual delight of French cuisine, a man of Mr. Terrien’s caliber deconstructs the sizzle and the plating to an emotional core. He said: “Cooking is all about love. Put love to the food you make.” — JLG