Thursday, August 6, 2015

Australian Grassfed Beef Culinary Trail

A few weeks ago, I got an invite from the Australian Embassy Manila and Meat & Livestock Australia to participate in a culinary trail as they partner with select restaurants to serve up specially-created menus featuring premium Australian Grassfed Beef.

The Australian Grassfed Beef Caravan was a one-week festival, and select media friends were asked to choose one culinary trail of our preference.  Each day lists a different round-up of select restaurants, but because I am such a big fan of chef Jessie, I chose the day where we would start with one of her restaurants.

If there's anyone who is the most excited to go on this Australian Grassfed Beef Caravan, it would be C. As you may very well know by now, he is the consummate gourmand in the family; all my effort in preparing good food is really to please his palate. I was fortunate enough that he was able to go with me this day, I enjoyed eating all those Australian Grassfed  Beef with him, and comparing notes about which dish we liked best.

Joining us in this culinary trail was the Meat & Livestock Australia country manager Peter Paul Perez, Australian Trade Commissioner Natasha Monks and AusTrade Business Development Manager Liza Bautista. It was a very informative day as they shared with us the details of how to spot the difference in beef quality based on the region that the beef originated from. I wasn't even aware until then, that imported beef are branded based on the region they came from. 

Chef Jessie at The Rockwell Club

While waiting for the other guests to arrive, she entertained us with her anecdotes about her experience of being the personal chef of the Pope during his Manila visit earlier this year.

Sorry for the bias here, but in my eyes, Chef Jessie can do no wrong. We are loyal patrons since her Le Souffle days, and dishes from her kitchen are nothing but exquisite. I always have the seafood risotto whenever I am there.

I do not really fancy raw meat, but her beef tartare was really something else.  The beef was delicately rolled in sisho leaf and then wrapped in nori. The combination of flavors was something new to my palate, and when second servings were offered, I was so much tempted to get another piece.

Australian Grassfed Beef Tartare with Sisho & Nori.

 Brochette of Grilled Grassfed Cape Grim Striploin Steak
in licorice and carrot puree, served with fiddlefern greens (pako)

 Grilled Peppered Australian Grassfed Beef Tenderloin steak
served with double baked potato and raw papaya

Our gastronomic experience was even made more intense because I got to meet and talk to Chef Jessie, and she personally served our meal.

 Australian Grassfed Beef Short Ribs with Cabernet Barbecue Sauce
served with homemade mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables

I thoroughly enjoyed my Chef Jessie experience yet again, and this time she just reinforced her status as my favorite chef as all the beef dishes she sent out of her kitchen was well-executed, very flavorful and cooked just right!

People's Palace

I know this is going to date me, but the People's Palace I know was the one located in Malate in the late 90's.  C and I were just dating then, and People's Palace was one of the restos we'd frequent whenever we were at Malate.  This is a first for me to try the Greenbelt location, and I am sure I will be back with the entire family very, very soon.

Australian Grassfed Beef Satay with Papaya + Chili + Lime Salad

Green Curry of Australian Grassfed Top Blade Beef with Eggplant + Long Beans + Baby Corn

Chesa Bianca Swiss Restaurant

Tucked in the quiet street of Yakal in Makati is a quiant restaurant that features the best of Swiss cooking. Chesa Bianca is run by the same group which operates Santi's Delicatessen, so it was no wonder we were served plates upon plates of food, until we could not stand anymore.

Traditional fondue with Gruy√®re and Emmental cheese white wine, garlic and black pepper. 

Pot Au Feu. Beef Brisket in hearty broth, root vegetables, potato, fresh horseradish, parsley and chives.

Peppered Seared Oyster Blade Nicoise Salad.. Romaine lettuce, potato, French beans, Sicilian olives, parsley, caper berries, quail eggs, Dijon mustard vinaigrette.

Grilled Rib Eye with red wine jus, parsley horseradish butter, roasted mushroom and crispy potatoes.

Zurich Veal in a mushroom cream sauce served with crisp Swiss rosti potatoes. This is the house specialty, and I do not wonder why. Clearly one of the best dishes served to me that day.

Grilled Striploin with porcini jus, hazelnut sage butter, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes.

When Red is Green
What is Australian Grassfed Beef?

In Australia the majority of cattle are raised on natural pastures and this meat is described as grassfed or free range.  They are not the same as organic beef.  Australian grassfed beef is seen as an important component of a healthy diet. 

With cattle raised exclusively on pasture in Australia’s pristine environment, Australian grass fed beef is not only tastier but has many nutritional advantages Australian grass fed beef is seen as an important component of a healthy diet being naturally low in fat and cholesterol, while offering a higher level of Omega 3 fatty acids
If it's easily available locally, I'm willing to purchase grass-fed beef, even at a more premium price point. When compared with other types of beef, grass-fed beef may have:
1. Less total fat and cholesterol
2. More heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids
3. Lean red meat is a good source of B vitamins

Get a chance to win round-trip tickets for 2 to Australia via Qantas Airways

The first-ever Australian grassfed beef promotion in the Philippines is ongoing until August 23, 2015. Diners can select from various dishes using the customised menus and in doing so, they get a chance to win Php 5,000 dining privileges or round-trip tickets for 2 to Australia via Qantas Airways. The promotion is jointly presented by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and the State of Victoria

Participating restaurants include: 100, A Steakhouse at Acacia Hotel, Arya, Blackbird, Carpaccio, Casa Roces, Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Chef Jessie Top of the Citi, Chesa Bianca, Cravings, Cyma, Epicurious, Ilustrado, Kitchen 1B, Lucia Ristorante, One Way, People’s Palace, Prime101, Sala, Sala Bistro, The Blackboard, The Breakfast Table, The True Grill, The Urban Farm, and The Wholesome Table

Chef Jessie
Rockwell Club
Amorsolo Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City

People's Palace
Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City

Chesa Bianca Swiss Restaurant
Yakal Street, San Antonio Village, Makati City