Chef embarks on new venture–as purveyor of fine foods | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

CHEF Philip Golding says, “Cheese!” APPLE TAPAN-SERRANO
CHEF Philip Golding says, “Cheese!” APPLE TAPAN-SERRANO

I was pleasantly surprised to see an old colleague when I visited S&L Fine Foods. Turned out, chef Philip Golding joined the company four months ago as culinary consultant, and just two weeks before, was appointed its chief operating officer.


According to Golding, S&L (initials of owners Sinan Batur and wife Lizelle) Fine Foods, Inc. is a privately owned company that imports and distributes food to various food service establishments.


“Our product line includes imported dairy, cold cuts and grocery items from Europe,” he said, adding that they deliver “not just high-quality food at reasonable prices and outstanding customer service, but also fresh ideas, proven to help our customers experience growth and success.”


This is a new chapter for him, he pointed out. The equation works—with Philip to oversee the operations, Sinan is now free to travel for the latest food finds, and make friends abroad so they pay more attention to the Manila market, so that we get the best products at the best possible price.


I gathered that we are to expect great things from them, starting with the opening of Brera and the Butchery (S&L’s deli and meat shop, respectively).


He toured me around the Yakal facility, where the walk-in freezers and chillers are stacked with legs of ham of all sorts, jamon Serrano and prosciutto, cured sausages, cheeses (wheels and wheels of them from the world over), as well as beef and lamb, in all its grades and conceivable cuts.




Yakal is also home to their first deli and butcher shop, which, while understated, is filled with all sorts of quality, reasonably priced ingredients.


Philip said that chefs can come over, do a tasting, collaborate, and let him source exactly what they need.


The Brera Delicatessen (Acacia Town Center, Acacia Estates, Taguig), which opens today, is the retail arm of S&L Fine Foods.


“At the full-service counter, we encourage tasting the cheeses and cold cuts before you buy. Brera Acacia is truly the place to feed your palate and soul. We believe that food is more than fuel. It engages the senses, inspires the imagination and nourishes the gatherings of family and friends,” Philip said.


“Brera Delicatessen will be an upscale deli specializing in a combination of fast hot or cold sandwiches,” he added. “Based on our distinct menu, we will follow a differentiation strategy that will provide unique or hard-to-find choices to deli patrons.”


I caught Philip training culinary professionals to become product specialists. His goal is for them to know their products like the back of their hand, not just to sell, but to enlighten the consumer about the products.


“Give me time, and you’ll find that those behind the counters will be able to speak of each and every item on the shelf,” he said.




“They’ll be able to tell you that jamon Ibérico is the most famous delicacy from Spain, especially when it is jamon Ibérico de Bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham). It’s eaten on every special occasion or celebration. It is normally served as starter to a fine meal. Sliced very thinly and served on a plate, it is usually eaten straight with no accompaniments, but there may be a bit of fresh bread on the side,” Philip said.


S&L offers imported cheeses from Europe. Here are a few basic guidelines to get started:


How to serve cheese


If serving cheese before dinner, choose lighter cheeses such as an herb-coated goat cheese or fresh mozzarella.


If serving cheese after dinner, go for full-flavored cheeses like Manchego, cheddar, aged Gouda and/or blue cheeses.


Choose cheeses with different textures. Go for a soft and creamy cheese, such as Brie; a firmer cheese such as cheddar, Gouda or Gruyère; and a hard grating-style cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano.


“S&L now offers new meat products from John Dee. John Dee’s high-quality, grain-fed beef is the product of an integrated feeding program. We offer Premium, Silver, Gold graded Angus beef and Platinum Black Wagyu beef from Australia,” he said.


Using dry heat is the best way to cook steaks and other tender cuts of meat. Dry heat cooking causes the exterior of the meat to brown and caramelize, which gives the steak a complex flavor.


Golding said he was proud of the foie gras at S&L, which is imported from France: “Delicious served on a warm, toasted brioche, this luxury block of duck foie gras will melt in your mouth.”


A mentor and culinary instructor, Golding can go on and on about each product on the shelves, passing on knowledge to the next generation of chefs under his wing.


Brera will open soon in Greenhills and Alabang.  The main branch is at 135-B Yakal St., San Antonio Village, Makati City. Mobile no. 0917-8179441.

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