This August 15 and 30, 2023, The Westin Manila is set to offer an extraordinary gastronomic experience that pays homage to the rich Filipino culinary heritage. Seasonal Tastes proudly presents “Lik·Hain: A Six-Course Degustation by Executive Chef Rej Casanova,” , an event that promises to elevate classic Filipino dishes with contemporary flair and pair them with biodynamic wines.
Chef Casanova, with 15 years of culinary expertise under his belt, is driven by his passion for recreating beloved Filipino recipes that hold a special place in his heart since childhood. Fond memories of his mother and grandmother’s homecooked Filipino meals inspired him to explore the vast potential of local produce and cooking traditions, fueling his creativity to experiment with textures and flavors.
“I want to share my pride and love for our own dishes,” he says. “After all, my love of cooking began with my mother and grandmother’s homecooked Filipino meals. Heirloom recipes bring me comfort, and I was fascinated by our local produce, cooking traditions, and the numerous ways we can turn them into delicious memories with the family even when I was little.”
“For Lik•Hain, I’m bringing together those memories and flavors and turning them into delectable plates with a variety of textures, forms, and compositions. I make sure that whatever well-loved favorite I recreate remains true to the flavors that have become familiar to the local palate and that they standout with every bite.”
The six-course degustation begins with an amuse bouche called “Isaw,” creatively crafted as chicken liver mousse on a garlic breadstick with onion ash, spiced vinegar gel, and shallots, inspired by Chef Casanova’s favorite street food.
Next comes his creative rendition of the popular “Kilawin,” featuring tuna tartare, calamansi, cilantro dressing, green mango, and chili-tomato glaze—a delightful blend of flavors and textures that captivate the palate.
For a comforting and warm course, the “Bulalo” is reimagined, boasting braised oxtail in cabbage confit, sweet corn pudding, and bone marrow cream—culinary craftsmanship that invokes feelings of nostalgia.
The “Ginataan” seafood entrée showcases slow-cooked confit emperor fish, pumpkin mousseline, coconut cream, and laing. To elevate the dish further, Chef Casanova presents the labuyo caviar and crispy rice cracker as pearls and a seashell, adding a touch of elegance to the plate.
For the main course, prepare to be taken back in time with Chef Casanova’s elevated version of “Beef Steak Tagalog,” featuring pan-roasted Australian beef rump fillet, Adlai rice with malunggay chimichurri, onion textures, and calamansi and soy emulsion.
To conclude this culinary journey, a deconstructed “Halo-Halo” awaits, presenting sweet surprises artfully arranged in a bowl. With caramelized custard, langka compote, red bean purée, nata de coco, condensed milk pudding, coconut Chantilly, crispy milk foam, and ube granita, the finale promises to leave a lasting impression.
“We invite everyone to rediscover our own Filipino cuisine and join us for the two-night run degustation dinner, which will feature six timeless Filipino dishes reimagined with contemporary techniques and creative composition.”
The Lik•Hain degustation menu is available on August 15 and 30, 2023, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM, at P4,000 nett per person.
For table reservations and inquiries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +632.8256.2020.