Chef Remi Vercelli of the Tivoli first joined the Mandarin Oriental chain at its hotel in Geneva, where he became chef de cuisine of Le Sud Paul Bocuse, a brasserie (that serves French food by Paul Bocuse) on the banks of the Rhone River.
Vercelli says his biggest influence remains Bocuse, in whose kitchens he first worked as chef de partie and then as sous chef in Lyon, France.
The young man later ventured out of Europe and moved to Pasadena, California, where he worked as sous chef at Bistro de la Gare; then to Manhattan, where he further honed his culinary ability at Benoit Bistro Alain Ducasse in New York.
Since 2011, chef Remi has made The Tivoli his home. Vercelli has managed to keep his guests satisfied with his classical dishes tinged with modern chic.
Inspired by Bocuse and his bride, the newlywed chef’s latest work, The Foie and Mushroom Menu, is surreal and one out of a fairytale.
Mushroom soup in all its forms is undoubtedly a crowd favorite. Whether from store-bought cans to the fancier types whipped à la minute, a bowl of hearty mushroom soup can bring you back to your childhood.
Remi’s take on it is best described as heaven in a cup—made from a mélange of the tastiest fresh wild mushrooms imported from Europe. Their distinct flavors are further enhanced by generous splashes of quality cream and butter.
The soup is bountifully topped with shavings of fresh foie gras and served with a baguette, The marriage of the two is a dynamite combination, the resulting soup seasoned to perfection—light yet rich, with sensational spurts of hot broth and cold foie.
Other buzz-worthy menu offerings include a warm, savory crème brûlée overloaded with an assortment of fresh mushrooms and capped with a scoop of foie gras ice cream (something to die for—sinfully smooth, rich, tasty and delicious); an opulent puff pastry balloon for you to burst, with a fascinating blend of premium, edible gems such as escargot, duck liver “à la bourguignonne, wild mushrooms and shaved truffles inside, bathed in a light broth; and the chef’s favorite, one that he says took him three days to make—a pâté of foie gras, smoked magret duck, wild mushroom salad with cherry mustard.
Have a bite of chef Remi’s edible masterpieces with the Tivoli’s Mushroom and Foie Promotion (only till Saturday). Call the Mandarin Oriental Hotel for reservations.
As a special holiday treat, chef Remi shares his Wild mushroom soup and shaved foie gras recipe. You may not find all these mushrooms, but try to experiment with a mix of those you can find locally.
Wild Mushroom Soup
with Shaved Foie Gras
Wild mushrooms, 200 g ceps, 200 g pied de mouton
300 g white mushrooms, 20 g dried morel mushrooms
50 g butter
150 shallots, sliced
20 g garlic, chopped
150 ml dry white wine
300 ml chicken stock or vegetable stock
200 ml liquid cream
1 bay leaf
150 g raw foie gras, brand kept in freezer
4 slices of baguette bread
Pea sprouts or herbs for garnishing
Wash carefully all the mushrooms and soak the morels in water for 10 minutes.
Slice the white mushrooms and cut the ceps and pied de mouton into medium-sized chunks.
Drain the morels but don’t keep the jus.
Sauté all the mushrooms in butter. Add the shallots and garlic. After 3 minutes, deglaze with white wine. Add the bay leaf and reduce until almost dry.
Add half of the chicken stock and the cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce for 5 minutes then remove the mixture from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to let the liquid infuse with the mushrooms.
Pour the preparation in a blender. If it’s too thick, add some more chicken stock.
Meanwhile, toast the baguette.
Just before serving, remove the foie gras from the freezer and use a peeler to shave the foie gras.
Plating: Pour the hot soup into a soup plate. Place the shaved foie gras on the baguette slices and place the bread alongside the soup. Decorate the baguette with herbs.
Red Garlic promo
Congratulations to Red Garlic!
The restaurant that serves my favorite spicy sardine pasta is 1 year old. Chef Vince Rodriguez has asked me to thank readers on his behalf for supporting Red Garlic, and to inform the public that the resto is giving 20-percent off on diners’ total bill until Oct. 6. And on Oct. 7, it will host a one-day only lunch and dinner buffet for only P299 net!
The buffet will feature signature dishes such as the angus tomahawk steak, ribs, salmon duo, short plate, Sardinia and Florence pasta, pass around pizza and more.
Unfortunately, no reservations are allowed; the buffet is strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. Lunch buffet is at 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., and dinner at 5-11 p.m.
(Red Garlic is at 218 Blueridge A, Katipunan Ave., Quezon City.)
For a copy of my new holiday cooking class schedules, call 0917-5543700, 0908-2372346, 4008496, 9289296.