Find out why it’s all good – very good – at the Sofitel, this month of July
Manila’s forerunning hotel in all things leisurely and cultural, the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila celebrates French Month from the 4th to the 31st of July. And, in true Sofitel form, this celebration takes place in the grandest of style.
“Sofitel as a French brand takes pride in being on the forefront of gastronomy and culture. Cheese is part of the core of a French man’s DNA. This month, we are highlighting over 210 different types of cheese at Spiral’s L’Epicerie to further enrich the Filipino’s growing adoration for the classic French staple,” Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila General Manager Adam Laker stated.
Yes, foodies; you read right: that’s a whopping 210 cheese varieties, in honor of French Month. To boot, the hotel will be showcasing a scrumptious selection of French dishes and patisseries, as well as a large array of cold cuts, and French wines.
Everyone say Fromage!
This month, at the Sofitel, it’s all about saying cheese – lots and lots of cheese. Highly-trained cheese specialist, Colin Chandaras, flew in from France to guide diners through a palatable, exciting cheese journey like no other. “What I love about cheese is that you have hundreds of possibilities in its production depending on the season of the year, the taste you’re looking for, and several other factors,”
Chandaras pointed out.
Chandaras – who is extremely passionate about cheese – was trained by none other than the master cheesemaker himself, Pascal Beillevaire of world-renowned cheese manufacturing company, 30-year-old cheese producers, Fromage Beillevaire.
“Beillevaire is a very exclusive, family-owned artisanal cheese business based in France. The best chefs around the world use cheeses by Beillevaire,” shared Beatrice Lombard, Segment Manager of Chef Selection, the company which is the exclusive distributor of Beillevaire cheeses in the Philippines.
“The cheeses of Beillevaire come from the different regions of France, and they are very specific, and some of them are very, very seasonal, and even in France, some of the varieties are very difficult to find. So to have them in the Philippines is absolutely amazing,” she added.
Among the 210 cheeses which will be highlighted at Spiral’s L’Epicerie this July are the Ossau-Iraty (a delicious, nutty, and robust variety from the two regions of France in the Western Pyrénées), the Bleu de Gex (a creamy, semi-soft blue cheese from l’Ain and Jura), the Rouleau de Provence (a fresh goat soft cheese with herbs produced by a limited number of farmers in the Alpes of the Haute Provence), the Thyme Tamarre (a rich tasting cheese from the milk of goats from Roves), and the Pelardon (a full and rich peppery cheese from the Cevennes region, near the Alpes in the Languedoc), to name just a few kinds.
Fruit of the (French) vine
Aside from cheeses, French wines will also be in the spotlight through the month of July. Sofitel’s Le Bar will host La Grande Epicerie; transformed into Parisian streets, where guests can indulge in tres-délicieux patisseries, cold cuts, cheeses and fine, flavourful, French wines.
On the July 10, French wine master Matthieu Lerat will share his knowledge on French wines, while Pascal Beillevaire will share secrets on the fine art of cheese and wine pairings.
On July 28, discover the captivating flavors of wine from the finest wine regions of France with an exclusive wine-appreciation class at Le Bar.
Some of the wines to be featured are the La Moynerie Sur Loire 2014 (best for pairing with shellfish and crustacées, as well as cheese), the Clos Des Verdots – Côtes De Bergerac Moelleux 2014 (ideal with foie gras, chocolate cake and fruit tarts), and the Clavel Le Mas 2013 (best with more hearty, flavorful dishes).
Hot off Spiral’s French Stove
Savor a gastronomique experience at Spiral’s French stove with French specialty dishes such as Beef Tartare, Duck Confit with Lentil Cassoulet, Tartiflette (savory, creamy potato slices, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions, casserole-style), Pissaladière (pizza slices topped with caramelized onion and anchovy), Escargots à la Bourguignonne (escargot in garlicky sauce), Chicken Supreme in Foie Gras Sauce and Trumpet Mushroom, Petits Pois à La Française (a classic French pea dish, with onions, and lettuce which are gently poached in a buttery sauce with crème fraiche and vegetable stock), and everyone’s favorite French desserts, Macarons and Crème Brûlée.
Sofitel’s Executive Chef Denis Vecchiato will be conducting cooking demonstrations, while cheese expert Colin Chandaras will impart his passion on cheese appreciation at Spiral’s L’Epicerie from July 6 to10 at lunch and dinner. Meanwhile, on July 11, Pascal Beillevaire will conduct a special wine and cheese class at Spiral’s L’Epicerie at 4p.m.
Indeed, it’s all very good – and very French! – this month at the Sofitel!
For price inquiries, schedules, and reservations, please call F&B Reservations at (02) 832-6988 or email H6308-FB12@sofitel.com
By ANGIE DUARTE