Dreaming of California at Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

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It’s near impossible to separate the idea of a gastronomical adventure from Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. The brand has a knack for venturing into various cuisines, and whenever their culinary team at the Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu comes up with a new menu, it’s something that we at Zee constantly look forward to.

This time around, Executive Chef Jean Louis Leon, backed by his team, join the brand’s global food and beverage campaign of Califonia Dreamin’, a menu that serves up flavours from America’s West Coast.

The California-inspired menu pays tribute to chefs who were instrumental in turning the world’s palates toward fresh, locally-grown produce and mixing cultural influences from Latin America, Asia and Europe. It was back in the early ‘70s when Californian cuisine first caught flavour, when pioneering chef Alice Waters opened her restaurant, Chez Panisse. Quickly, it became known for its use of organic and locally-grown ingredients. Since then, entrepreneurial California chefs have not shied away from mixing unexpected combinations of ingredients and food styles, while making the most of the abundant sun-kissed produce for which the state is known.

Taking cues from the philosophy of sourcing locally, Chef Jean Louis re-creates the California Dreamin’ menu in a way that highlights Cebu-grown ingredients. Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu’s California dreamin’ à la carte menu features seven dishes of classic California fusion cuisine. Seafood, fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs figure prominently in a medley of bold flavours, surprising combinations and unpretentious style.

“Some ingredients, like the guinea fowl for example, aren’t native to the area,” Chef Jean Louis says, “so I substituted it with chicken, something we can find easily here.”

That being said, it’s easy to spot how he’s made the campaign his own, aside from the switch in ingredients. The plates, for one, have been personally picked by Chef Jean Louis, as he shared at a previous dinner. As he’s French, this shone through in how he assembled the dessert—lemon and avocado cheesecake—with a flair that most, if not all, French chefs have.

It’s interesting to note that Cebu shares some similarities with California, as both celebrate the fusion of sunshine and seasonal fare. If this sounds like something right up your alley, California Dreamin’ will be available at The Sails restaurant throughout the months of March and April 2019.

Check out the gallery above for a preview of the menu!

Gia Mayola
Gia Mayola

Gia Mayola is Zee's Managing Editor. She's usually either cooking or eating in her spare time, or rolling on the mats as a white belt in jiujitsu. Follow her insatiable wanderlust and love for food and fashion on Instagram: @eyasthetics

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