Dining with Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu’s New Executive Chef

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Despite the looming presence of the typhoon last week, we found ourselves making our way to the other island to sample the creations of Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu’s new Executive Chef, Jean Louis Leon.

Dinner was hosted at the indoor restaurant of the Ibiza Beach Club, where cool blue and purple lights bathed the guests as they enjoyed glasses of frosé—frozen rosé, Ibiza’s newest drink—and good conversation. When everyone was settled, Chef Jean Louis graciously made his way to each person, exchanging pleasantries. 

Born and raised in France, he’s built his career through assignments in various hotels and resorts in Europe and Asia. Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu is his first assignment with Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, an international hotel brand of Swiss heritage known for its 70 years of culinary excellence.

“There’s so much interest in the culinary scene now, and I couln’t be any more proud to be part of a company that understands and takes food and beverage to heart,” shared Chef Jean Louis of his appointment. “Aside from the beautiful beach and waters Cebu is known for, I love that this region has so much to offer in terms of locally grown produce and talent. I am delighted to join the team, and I look forward to bringing more exciting delights to the table through new flavours and textures.”

The first dish was the seafood plate which, as their marketing team commented, was a new creation that no one had tried until that night. It was a well-curated plate of squid tossed with tapenade, prawns with avocado oil and citrus dressing, beet-cured salmon in mustard dill sauce, and a squid ink sponge that balanced everything out. 

The next course was Bicol Express, a dish that was the least of my expectations. This was Chef Jean Louis’ twist on the Filipino classic; served in a coconut husk on a bed of salt, it was a delightful surprise from a French chef. This writer personally prefers her Bicol Express a bit spicier, although Chef Jean Louis did it justice, especially with how tender the pork was—and that soft-boiled egg added so much depth to the dish.

Next was the Churrasco-style Angus Rib Eye. Served in bernaise sauce, the angus rib eye was sinfully mouthwatering. The grilled polenta on the side mopped up the cream-based sauce, and the beef jus enhanced with truffle oil added a savoury touch. By this time, I had noticed that all the dishes had cream in some form, which I pointed out to those I shared a table with.

“It’s because he’s French,” said one with a chuckle. With that realization, I had to agree. 

We capped off the night with Yuzu Bavarois, a dessert that consists of milk thickened with eggs and gelatin, into which whipped cream is folded. The yuzu, which is a Japanese citrus, cut through the dessert’s creaminess with its aroma and flavour. 

By the time the last person cleaned up his plate, a light drizzle had begun and the winds had picked up. Still, that did not deter us from hanging back and talking over our self-made cocktails, courtesy of Ibiza’s ‘Cocktail in a Box’ offering. 

Chef Jean Louis had emerged out of the kitchen then, making his rounds at the tables and apologizing that he had to leave early.

“I’ve got two monkeys to play with, and a wife to kiss,” he laughed boisterously as he made his way out of the restaurant, waving a hand in parting.

See gallery for the photos.

 

 

Gia Mayola
Gia Mayola

Gia Mayola is Zee's Managing Editor. She's usually either cooking or eating in her spare time — that's if she's not scrolling through social media to watch cat videos. Follow her insatiable wanderlust and love for food and fashion on Instagram: @eyasthetics

9 Comments
  1. LM SKINCENTRE 皮膚暗啞 皮膚知識與問題 皮膚資訊 皮膚暗啞,失去應有光澤,看起來缺乏朝氣、一臉倦容。其實皮膚暗啞是一個表徵,表示皮膚健康出現問題。這裡我解釋一下皮膚暗啞的成因與處理方法吧。 年輕健康的皮膚是光澤而明亮,這是健康的訊息。當皮膚表面乾燥、死皮過厚或黑色素聚積、就會導致皮膚暗啞,這些因素可以是先天或後天形成。先天因素,如膚色較深或表層缺乏油脂保護(即是乾性皮膚),後天因素則包括:時常暴露於紫外線下、因皮膚發炎而引致色素沉澱、皮膚老化令新陳代謝減慢等,都可以令皮膚變得暗啞發黃。想解決以上問題?先要對症下藥。 如果問題是源自黑色素積聚,可…

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