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Crimson’s ‘Toque of the Town’

Crab and uni pancit palabok

Crab and uni pancit palabok

FRESH from the confirmation that Azure Beach Club, the flagship restaurant of Crimson Resort & Spa in Mactan Island, has just been conferred the World Luxury Restaurant Award, General Manager Kristofer Quadros proudly reveals that the “Toque of the Town” food event in cooperation with Philippine Airlines, is supporting Cebu’s stake on being a culinary destination.

Azure Beach Club’s Executive Sous Chef Godfrey Laforteza has been offering holistic gastronomic experience right by the beach. His open theater kitchen showcasing live cooking continues to fascinate guests with its intrepid modern Asian cuisine. Here, Chef Godfrey pours out his passion for his culinary flair that has been greatly influenced by two of the world’s greatest chefs, Nobu Matsuhisa and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

“Toque of the Town” last May presented Filipino-American Chef Dale Talde, who gained popularity with reality show enthusiasts as a contestant in the popular show “Top Chef” in America. After obtaining culinary training in the Culinary Institute of America, he trained with renowned chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Jean Georges Vongerichten. He opened his restaurant “Talde” in Brooklyn in 2012 offering Asian-American fusion cuisine.

As guest chef of Azure Beach Club, Chef Talde showcased his take on Filipino cuisine, which has been fast gaining recognition in the international culinary scene. His exposure to Filipino cookery is through his immigrant mother and grandmother who hail from Iloilo.


Chef Dale Talde (left) and Azure   Beach Club’s Executive Sous Chef Godfrey Laforteza

Chef Dale Talde (left) and Azure Beach Club’s Executive Sous Chef Godfrey Laforteza

Chef Dale’s Filipino dishes were creatively paired with exciting cocktail mixes to enhance the flavors.

Being born and raised in Chicago, his Filipino or native taste is altered by his American culture and his love for Asian cuisine. His Salmon Kinilaw was mildly soured with calamansi and kamias or iba, coconut water and garnished with avocado and black tapioca. Beach Club Mojito was paired with the appetizer. His grandmother who has 13 children, Chef Dale claims, inspired the Green Mango and Tomato Salad. He used bagoong vinaigrette and topped this with candied dilis using Palawan honey and a six-minute boiled egg cut in half. Citrus A (a mix of gin, fresh orange, lemon, Galliano herbal liqueur and vanilla) complemented the bagoong dressing.

Chef Dale table-hops after each dish is served to describe his creations. Instead of using shrimps, Chef Dale substituted crab and uni to prepare his Pancit Palabok topped with Lechon Kawali. Uni or the gonads of sea urchin is a very popular Japanese sushi ingredient. Uni is locally known in Cebu as “tihi-tihi”, which is eaten fresh scraped out of the sea urchin.

Duck adobo

Duck adobo

His deliciously tender lechon kawali melted in my mouth. Not a hard liquor fan, I graciously refused the Whiskey in the Jar infused with cardamom, lemon, honey and apple. His Duck Arroz Caldo topped with Duck Adobo is a rare treat since duck is not a common fare in Cebu.



Chef Dale cooked his Duck Adobo using vinegar, garlic, black pepper and annatto seeds or achuete for coloring. I enjoyed the Beach Red
Sangria paired with the dish.

Green mango and  tomato salad with dilis

Green mango and
tomato salad with dilis

His Halo-Halo, however, left me bewildered with the “mixes” or “halo” that went into the bowl: green tea syrup, yuzu pickled nata de Coco (yuzu is a sour citrus fruit hybrid from East Asia), caramelized mango, ube ice cream, leche flan and topped with the popular American cereal, cheerios.

TAGS: adobo, Cebu, chef, dishes, Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan
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