When Gilbert met Georgia: The Remullas find love in the kitchen

KITCHEN SPY - KITCHEN SPY By Heidi Ng () - March 24, 2005 - 12:00am
Gilbert and Georgia Remulla are the epitome of the modern couple. Gilbert is already in his second term as representative of the second district of Cavite, while Georgia is a practicing pediatric dentist.

It was actually in New York that Gilbert and Georgia met and fell in love. Gilbert chose to take a leave of absence in 1997 from a career in television as reporter for TV Patrol, The World Tonight, and Insider, and as host of Alas Singko Y Medya, to pursue further studies in international affairs in Columbia. Georgia, after graduating in 1996, chose to leave for New York, instead of Boston, for a certificate course on child dentistry in Columbia University as well. Congressman Remulla lived on 110th, while Georgia on the 11th on the Upper West, and they belonged to a group of six Filipinos who would always go out for dinners and movies.

In this case, it is true that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Gilbert likes the fact that Georgia can cook, and it does help that she is beautiful, too. She is the daughter of Ruby Roa, sister of former Miss Universe Gloria Diaz and has the good-looking Robin da Roza, Illac Diaz, and talented Isabel Diaz as relatives. Gilbert, on the other hand, has charisma both on and off the screen. The son of long-time former Cavite Governor Juanito Remulla, he was poised early on to be in politics or in media. Full of dreams, the lovely couple fell in love in the Big Apple.

Georgia was the cook in the group and would always host dinners at her apartment. One day, her talent for cooking was put to a test when the group tasked her with cooking adobo and pinakbet for 170 people for the Southeast Asian night in Columbia. The group helped her chop ingredients and cook in her small kitchen.

"I had only a small microwave, and we had to cook the dishes by batches in my small kitchen. By the end of the night, my whole apartment smelled!" Georgia shares. "Gilbert, on the other hand, played the guitar and sang with his friends during the Southeast Asian night. As for cooking, well, he helped wash the dishes!"

Georgia finds time to cook after coming back from her clinic and does the menu planning for their home. One time, she had to call and e-mail their mayordoma of more than two decades for recipes for a turkey stuffing that she was planning to cook for Thanksgiving while in New York. She also gets her recipe inspirations from television shows and cookbooks. Just give her a recipe and she can follow it to a T or make her own version of it, just like what she did for dinner at their Magallanes home.

The Remullas shares with Philippine STAR readers their adaptations of Wolfgang Puck’s recipes. Gilbert helped in mashing the potatoes and was the taste tester for the dinner, while Georgia, the expert in the kitchen, continued to create wonderful dishes for our group that night. She even made her own leche flan. The dinner was a smashing success and proved how adept Georgia was in the kitchen. Of course, Gilbert claims he taught Georgia how to run the kitchen.

"Georgia is very good in following my instructions," he jokingly remarks. It was a fantastic dinner with very funny chitchat from Congressman Gilbert, engaging conversation with friends, good wine, Marks and Spencer tea, and a delicious chocolate mousse cake from the Century Park Hotel. You have to try these dishes at home. They are absolutely delish!
Roasted Beet Napoleon Salad
(Adapted from a recipe by Wolfgang Puck)
1 pack herbed goat cheese
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 whole red beets
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the beets in a small roasting pan and pour enough cold water to reach one-fourth of the way up the sides of the beets. Cover the pan with foil, and roast the beets until tender for about two hours. The beets are done when you can slide a skewer through them easily. When cooked, remove the beets from the pan, allow to cool and then peel.

Cut each beet into thin round slices.

In a sauté pan, bring vinegar and sugar to a boil. Lower to a simmer and poach beets one minute on each side. Place beets on a baking tray, cover and refrigerate until needed.

When ready to assemble, heat olive oil on a sauté pan. Slightly warm slices of goat cheese.

Starting with a slice of beet, layer the beet and goat cheese slices, alternately one on top of the other, until you reach four layers of cheese. Top with a slice of beet. Carefully cut through the layers, dividing into three wedges.

Arrange the beet and goat cheese wedges in the center of each salad plate. Toss baby lettuce with a vinaigrette dressing and place around the beet napoleon.
Simple Vinaigrette Dressing
2 red onions, small (sibuyas Tagalog) peeled and minced
2 Tbsps. honey cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canola oil
fresh ground pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together onion and mustard. Whisk in the vinegar and then the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover bowl and refrigerate till needed.
Wasabi Mashed Potatoes
(Inspired by a recipe of Wolfgang Puck)
5 large potatoes, peeled and mashed
salted water
4 Tbsps. butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream, heated
1-1/2 Tbsps. wasabi
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. roasted garlic puree

Cut potatoes into large pieces of equal size. Cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook till tender. Mash thoroughly. Add wasabi, butter, and warm cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Roasted Garlic
5 cloves garlic
olive oil

Cut the tops of the garlic cloves. Place in foil and sprinkle with salt and olive oil. Wrap in foil. Place in a toaster oven for 30 minutes or until garlic is soft enough to be squeezed out of its skin.
Pan-Roasted Chilean Sea Bass
8 pcs. sea bass fillet
salt and pepper
canola oil

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in an oven-proof pan. Season sea bass with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, sear the sea bass for about three minutes per side or until slightly golden brown in color. To finish cooking, place the frying pan in the oven for about three to five minutes.
Salted Spinach
1/2 kilo spinach
1 clove garlic, sliced
olive oil

Heat oil in pan. Add sliced garlic and spinach. Saute until spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat.
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
2 Tbsps. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1/8 tsp. salt and pepper
pinch of sugar

In a small bowl, use a wire whisk to mix lemon, oil, salt, and pepper until blended. Add chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed.

To serve: Place the mashed potatoes on a plate. Top with sautéed spinach. Lay pan-fried sea bass on top of mashed potatoes. Garnish with lemon and top with lemon vinaigrette dressing.
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Thanks for your letters! E-mail comments to starkitchenspy@yahoo.com.

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