Yvette Fernandez, Gallery Vask’s Chef Chele Gonzalez and The Peninsula Manila director of PR Mariano Garchitorena

Beyond Bean-to-Bar: Chocolate-inspired eight hands benefit dinner @ The Pen
(The Philippine Star) - January 21, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — They say two hands are better than one. If this is true, then eight of the best hands in the culinary business collaborating together while using chocolate as the key ingredient to produce an exclusive six-course menu for a fundraiser that would benefit cacao farmers in the southern Philippines has all the making of an unforgettable evening. And the benefit dinner at the Peninsula’s Old Manila Restaurant featuring The Peninsula’s Old Manila Chef de Cuisine Allan Briones, The Test Kitchen‘s Chef Josh Boutwood, Gallery Vask’s Chef Chele Gonzalez and The Peninsula Manila Executive Pastry Chef Xavier Castello did not disappoint.

Celebrating the versatility of premium Davao Auro Chocolate – brainchild of young entrepreneurs Kelly Go and Mark Ocampo – the Beyong Bean-to-Bar in Old Manila gave guests the opportunity to adopt organically-grown Theobromacacao Criollo variety trees in Davao and help a small community of retire marines that had traded in their arms to farm cacao trees.

The chocolate-inflected benefit dinner was an unprecedented eight hands collaborative effort that showed off the many nuances of chocolate, its sweet as well as savory side, offering a richness, profundity and complexity that made it an ideal dinner companion. The bold structure of the Chocolate Stout from Pedro Brewcarfters and wines from Philippine Wine Merchants were also a natural pairing to the dishes served by the four chefs.

Partnering with Auro Chocolates for the Beyond Bean-to-Bar: Chocolate-Inspired Dinner was also in keeping with The Peninsula Hotels’ philosophy of Sustainable Luxury Vision 2020 where the 10 hotels and their sister properties regard sustainability as a sensible and inevitable business decision that benefits the short, medium and long-term economic value of the group.



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