When invited to a mystery dinner featuring cheese (and the bait of a seven course meal) it’s hard to say no. Who doesn’t love cheese? (and seven course meals) (all of which would probably contain some measure of le fromage)
Last last Thursday evening, on a rainy night, I was fetched from the newly renovated San Antonio Plaza Arcade and brought to a secret place where dinner was served. Our host was Perfect Italiano, a brand that carries a variety of cheese (made in New Zealand) for different cooking needs.
When I opened the door, there was a long table (a much longer one than The Last Supper’s) which sat approximately twenty people, including handsome people Erwan Heusaff and Victor Basa. I was an hour late, so I was seated at the end of the long table, where, like a freakin god, I was backlit by a bright and shining light (the LCD projector screen).
There might be some famous people hands somewhere in there.
The feast was created by Pinoy Eats World represented by Chef JJ Yulo and Chef Namee Jorolan. I’m sorry not to have brought a better camera. We’ll just have to make do with Mikka’s better pictures and my ugly phone pictures. Do know that the event was set up nicely, with a magnet-generating photobooth and an Italian themed table setting set in a cozy room, all of which the photos won’t do justice to.
The dish names had something to do with The Prefettos, a family of Italian chefs who are the faces of Perfect Italiano’s brand campaign. Prepare yourself for the various ways Perfect Italiano cheese can be incorporated into 7 courses in one dinner.
First Course: Attilo’s Chorizo
A chorizo fondue incorporating the Perfect Italiano Pizza Plus mix (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan) and skewers of roasted baby potatoes.
Second Course: Amadore’s Panzanella de Amore
A bread salad with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bread and chopped basil leaves, plus an anchovy herb dressing.
Third Course: Soup Graziano
Fourth Course: Ilario’s Seaside Special
Prawns and clams with Parmeggiano gremolata over seared zucchini parm salad. The zucchini was tasty and tender, I loved it.
Fifth Course: Surprise!
This was actually a bonus meal. It’s already massacred in the shot, but the original dish looked like pasta topped with a generous serving of mushrooms cooked in brown butter. The light cheese sauce was made of the Pizza Plus mix and 2 kinds of mushrooms. It was surprisingly nostalgic, reminding me of childhood days when I used to microwave grated cheese over cooked spaghetti noodles.
Sixth Course: Primo’s Pride
Medium rare kitayama beef with chimi, plus roasted cauliflower and broccoli covered in parmesan and romano Mornay sauce. Juicy meat + roasted veggies = always a winner.
Seventh Course: Dolce Prefetto
I’m a sucker for lemon-based desserts. This calamansi cheesecake had a delicious balance of tanginess and creaminess. Where’s the cheese? Some parmesan was incorporated into the crust.
The cheese was skillfully incorporated in unique ways for each course. By the end of the dinner, it didn’t feel like cheese overload or taste redundant. Each dish was distinct, which goes to show how possible it is to include cheese throughout the challenge of an entire dinner course. My stomach was just the right kind of full by the time we finished.
We all went home with a gift bag, which included a block of Romano cheese, a bag of Parmesan, and Mozzarella. Plus a 4GB usb. As you can see, I’ve been cooking with the Romano. So far, I’ve used it in a roasted broccoli dish and a sweet potato snack.
Grazie Perfect Italiano, Nuffnang Philippines, K2, Pinoy Eats World, and to everyone else who created this dinner experience.