One of the questions most often asked of me is, “What is your favorite food?” Without thinking twice, I always reply, “Foei gras!” (Panfried goose or duck liver).
The non-foodie may be taken aback by the mere mention of the word “liver.” But as I always say, “Don’t knock it off till you’ve tried it!” Even if you use aratilis with foie gras, it will still taste delicious. Pan-fried or seared foie gras is usually served with dried fruit or puree on the side.
When I was still living in Paris, I would sometimes fly back to Manila with my mother’s cans of this interesting dish in my luggage. In my teens, I had no idea what they were, but I distinctly remember feasting on this dish—it was one of our popular appetizers in our French Restaurant Au Bon Vivant on Leon Guerrero Street in Manila. Later on I found out they were pate foie gras with black truffles in the middle.
I also remember my mom educating me on this succulent, out-of-this-world French specialty. There are two ways of preparing foie gras, according to her: foie gras fraise (pan-fried) or pate foie gras (chilled).
I also learned that all pate foie gras is not quite the same. I used to buy our Au Bon supply from a place called Petit Quenault in the Hotel De Ville area of Paris.
Another popular brand is Rougie. I remember they came in cans with a red label. Rougie is one of the better brands.
I prefer the pan-fried variety. Usually served with a side dish of salad and any kind of fruit puree, it will make you close your eyes in euphoria.
Just last week, I was blessed with an invitation to sample an all-foie gras menu. I was so excited! It was a foie gras festival with a tie-up with the most popular foie gras maker of France, Rougie!
We tried several dishes, such as Three Duck Pate Foie Gras Canapé served with figs. Others: Farmer’s Meal; Homemade Marinated Duck Foie Gras Pate; and Duck Foie Gras pan-fried with calvados apples and grapes.
Main dishes: Steak Rossini; DUck Breast Duo with truffle red wine sauce; and a Duck Foie Gras Carbonara.
We were briefed by young French sommelier Benjamin on the origin and the wine pairings.
With French white wine Montbazillac Domaine Du Petit Paris complementing the appetizers and red Chateau Lamartine going with the main, it was an experience of a lifetime.
I, of course, loved the chilled pate with the various sidings with melba toast and warm crusty bread, but the pan-seared dishes were to die for.
The ones that really stood out were the Farmer’s meal, the Tornedos Rosinni, the Duck breast Duo and the Carbonara.
You have to experience this menu.
All these were served at L’Entrecote at the Fort, with chef Martin Gaspar himself fencing in the kitchen and bringing out the winning dishes.
Also interesting in chef Martin’s menu were the Steak Frites (steak topped withherb butter and served with unlimited French fries) and the Swiss Fondue menu. Those, I will go back for.
The local cuisine scene has come a long way, thanks to the global exposure of people like Gaspar who looks French but is actually Filipino. He and a few others have opened our eyes to all these wonderful dishes.
This is a festival that shouldn’t be missed.
L’entrecote is at Burgos Circle Town Center in Taguig City. Call 8564858. Follow @sandydaza on Twitter; visit sandydaza.blogspot.com.