Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Brazilian Churrasco at the movenpick hotel Mactan

COOKING WITH CHARACTER - Dr. Nestor Alonso ll - The Philippine Star

The La Chaine des Rotisseurs, a society dedicated to the art of the table, recently held a fellowship dinner at the Ibiza Beach Club of the Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu with the theme, “Latin Night-Brazilian Churrasco Buffet Dinner.” The Cebu Baillage of this gourmet society has just celebrated its 20th anniversary last March 2013 and this dinner at the Movenpick was scheduled a long time ago. It had to be postponed because the hotel had undergone a major renovation (cost is only Php500 million!),  to the disappointment of many members and guests because they always look forward to the wonderful dinner parties hosted by Manny Osmeña.

Rains were really pouring in Cebu last May 31 but the heavens seemed to cooperate to make the party successful because the rains miraculously stopped on my way to the hotel. It would be a bit difficult to enjoy the ambiance of the Ibiza Beach Club if guests were seated indoors to dine on the Churrasco Buffet.

Churrasco (Spanish/Portuguese) refers to beef or grilled meat and waiters move around, slicing meat into the guest’s plate  and this style of service is called  espeto corrido  or  rodízio. It’s quite popular in South America, including Brazil. The meats, which may include beef, chicken, lamb, pork, sausages and even seafood, are cooked in a barbecue grill called churrasqueira. 

The dinner began with a Peruvian Chilled Vegetable Soup, spiked with Sour Cream, Marjoram and Country Bread. This was paired with 2011 Discipulus Blanc, Manny O, Laguedoc, France.

This was followed by the Lobster Ceviche paired with a white wine from Portugal, the 2011 Agapito Branco Manny O. My beloved readers know that our version of this dish is the kinilaw, with the acid of the vinegar (ceviche uses acids from the lemon/lime juice) to “cook” the protein of the seafood, changing the color from translucent to opaque white. It is always with a prayer that I presume any parasite present is rendered harmless. This is the reason why Cebuanos, excuse me, use only salt-water seafood; fresh-water animals pose a potential parasite problem.

Then the time of the long knives began with the service of the Brazilian Churrasco served with Mediterranean Vegetables, Grilled Corn on the Cob and Arroz Rojo de Chile Anejo. Guests had an option on which wine was to be poured, the 2011 Agapito Rosé or the 2009 Bibulus Manny O, Bordeaux. As usual, your favorite food columnist had one glass of each wine so I could pair it with the different meats and learn which combination would be perfect.

 The presence of so many knives could spell danger if the members or guests were antagonists. The society has strict rules to prohibit any discussion on the subject of religion or politics. The gourmet society is also very friendly with the service brigade (those churrasco knives were really sharp!). At the end of the evening, we always acknowledge their contribution to the success of the event.

Dessert was Grilled Pineapple (served, espeto corrido  style) with Maple Walnut Ice Cream in Cashew Tuile Basket, paired with the Honepoot, Kaarzizht Winery Stellenbosch South Africa. And my attention now was focused on the architecture of the most beautiful boardwalk in the Philippines, if not in Southeast Asia. Made with rosewood and ipil, bound with stainless steel screws. The cost could probably be in the range of P3,000 per square foot. Wow!

Congratulations to the hotel’s gracious owner Manny Osmeña and Movenpick GM Knuth Kiefer for this very successful hosting of the Churrasco Buffet and a taste of the lifestyle (the rule, not the exception) at the Ibiza Beach Club. [email protected]

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