Our friend Carlo the pastry chef, who has been very scarce in the last two or three years, invited us to the graduation dinner of the Heny Sison Culinary School, where he teaches the art and science of pastry. “If he thinks he can make up for a year’s non-appearance by treating us to dinner,” we scoffed, “He’s absolutely right.” For we know that Carlo is so
snooty discriminating about food preparation, the dinner would certainly be fantastic.
Literally, too, because it is not easy to complain about the austerity of the meal when you are having truffled cheeses and Camembert with honey and figs while the waiter constantly tops up your glass of wine. And the meal had not even officially begun.
Then came the Salade Nicoise, a.k.a. the dish most likely to elicit a mis-correction from a smarmy waiter if you pronounce it correctly. (Tell him here is an ‘e’ at the end so it is Nis-waz.) Very satisfying; the anchovy and seared tuna made it a meal.
Followed by Mushroom and Black Truffle Ravioli. The portion looks small, but the flavors are so intense that any more would be a sin. Speaking of sin, isn’t it irritating when you go to a dinner that aspires to fabulousness—it is prepared by graduating student chefs for their favorite people after all—and you hear people bemoaning the richness of the food and its caloric content? If you want to be virtuous, go and sit on top of a column in the desert where your ration of bread and water has to be hoisted up to you on a pulley (See Buñuel’s Simon of the Desert).
Dessert was not one, two, or three items, but a buffet. The macadamia tarts and Rocky Road bars with chewy marshmallows were sublime. Did you know that marshmallows are made of confectioner’s sugar, egg white and gelatin? Being completely ignorant of culinary matters, we thought they grew on trees.
The Heny Sison Culinary School is at 33 Bonnie Serrano Avenue corner Sunrise Drive, Crame, Quezon City, tel. 0918-371-5478. For general inquiries and information on the next class series, email email@example.com or visit their website.