French cuisine has always intimidated me. Chef Julia Child got it right when she said “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” With the French’s pride and strict practice for classique cooking methods, it’s easy to understand why. From the way they pick their ingredients down to the presentation of the finished dish, the French have a disciplined extremity for nothing less than perfection, particularly with French desserts.
When I received an invite from Kalami Cebu to join him in attending the launch of Chef Benoit‘s Classic and Traditional French Patisseries at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, I knew right away what to expect from the event.
When I arrived at the Lobby Lounge of the hotel, I saw a selection of some of France’s finest desserts spread out before me– Tarts, Meringues, Eclairs, Choux, and even Madeleines. The dishes were all exemplary and carried the signature precision expected from a dedicated chef. Among the options, Chef Benoit spoke highly of his favorites– the flans and the tarts that were reminiscent of his childhood.
Here are some of the French desserts at Waterfront Hotel Cebu City that I was able to try during the event:
If there’s one dessert dish that the French are most famous for, it would definitely be their Macaron. Over the years, we’ve seen a rampant rise of shops selling Macarons in Cebu. Chef Benoit prepared two Macaron variants for his guests– one with a Strawberry filling, the other with Lemon. I personally enjoyed the Lemon Macaron as it came with a refreshing taste. But definitely, the strawberry-filled Macaron was delightful too; with the right amount of filling for the cookie.
Another famous French dessert, the Eclair, was served at the event. For as long as I can remember, I had always envisioned the Eclair as a type of dessert with a chocolate glaze on top and custard cream in the middle. Once again, Chef Benoit played with my tastebuds as he infused the filling with coffee; which was always a welcome change on a classic favorite.
The Choux was an entirely new experience for me. Even though it was greatly similar to a favorite dessert of mine, the Cream Puff, Chef Benoit’s Choux gave me a whole new look on the pastry. The dessert came in a variety of colors, which represent the flavors they are filled with: Pistachio, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla. I picked the Chocolate Choux and was pleased when the filling met my tongue.
The Vacherin, a personal favorite of mine reminded me so much of the meringue we used to eat in Bacolod. But despite the shared similarities regarding the appearance, the taste between the two varied greatly. For one, the Vacherin had an airy and soft texture to it. As I made my way through the meringue, bits of Blueberries greeted me and played a surprising game with my tongue.
Chef Benoit’s Gateau Chocolat re-introduced me to an old-time favorite, Chocolate Cake. But compared with the other chocolate cakes, his recreation of the popular French dessert had the perfect balance to it– neither too sweet nor bitter. It also introduced me to a new way of devouring the cake– with a topping of pastry cream and drizzled with caramel sauce. Ah, délicieux!
You can sample some of these pastries specially prepared by Chef Benoit as they offer these dishes as an afternoon affair. For only Php 499, you can already delight in classic French desserts (excluding drinks). They will be served every afternoon at the Lobby Lounge of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City. For information or reservations, you may call (032)232-6888 local 8600.