Monday, December 19, 2016

Flavors of an Elegant Filipino Christmas by Chef Jessie Sincioco

Words and photos by Gene Rose Gozum Imphang
IG Account: @msgenerose

If you haven’t planned your Christmas menu yet, now’s a good time to do so.  Take it from the expert as Chef Jessie shares her recipes for an Elegant Filipino Christmas.

We Filipino love Christmas, because for us Christmas is the BEST time of the year! This is the most festive and most celebrated occasion. Starting 1st of September we’d hear Christmas songs, by November we’d see Christmas ornaments then the celebration ends in January. And of course, the star in every celebration is the FOOD!

One Saturday, Maya Kitchen Culinary Elite Series opened it’s door to Chef Jessie Sincioco as she showcased her creativity and passion for making a hearty Filipino Christmas table. “For us Filipino, the dining table is our gathering place, with the food and its thoughtful preparation reflect our love for those whom we serve these to.”

Chef Jessie was the grand prize winner in baking category of the Great Maya Kitchen Cook Fest back in 1983. And after that, the rest was history. She is now the President and CEO of her own company, JCS Gastronomies Inc., and runs hands-on her restaurants namely, Top of the City by Chef Jessie, Chef Jessie Rockwell Club and Chef Jessie Grill at the Grove by Rockwell.

“A lot of times people would ask me for advice about what to prepare for their Christmas meals, says Chef Jessie. “So I really think of everything special. It doesn’t have to be most expensive, but it has to be something that you really want to eat.”

For the Culinary Elite Series, her Christmas Table is inspired by Filipino flavors. Chef Jessie uses indigenous ingredients from the appetizers to the dessert. “I really thought of doing something Filipino. This is because we have to showcase that Filipino food can be elegant too.” says Chef.

Her menu includes, Smoked Milkfish and Bihod Pie with Croutons and Mesclun of Local Greens with Marigold and Crispy Coconut Flakes in Coco-Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing as appetizers.For the main course, she prepared Cochinillo Stuffed with Atchara Rice, a special Kinulob na Chicken recipe, and Tiger Prawns with Laing. Lastly, dessert-Dark Chocolate Fudge Orange Cupcake out of Local Cacao de Bola.

Chef Jessie started off by saying, “It feels so like home here, and I would like everybody know, if there’s no Maya Kitchen there’s no Chef Jessie. If it's not for the Great Maya Cookfest that changed the direction of my life, the path of my career I would not have been in the kitchen. Let me take this opportunity to thank from the bottom of my heart the people behind Liberty Flour Mills, Inc, and the Maya Kitchen. I would like to thank Mr. William Uy, Chairman and President of Liberty Flour Mills. And up until now all my flour requirements are from them. That’s how loyal I am also because their products are the best.”

The Appetizers

Smoked Milkfish and Bihod Pie with Croutons

Preparing the Cheese Mousse
Mesclun of Local Greens with Marigold and Crispy Coconut Flakes in Coco-Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Dusting with gold flakes

Main Course

Cochinillo Stuffed with Atchara Rice

After boiling, the pig should look like this and then stuff it.
This Cochinillo will be the center of your Christmas table and for sure will be a lovely conversation piece.  The rigorous prep starts with boiling the pig, then a special fried rice with atsara, is cooked and stuffed inside the pig just before popping it in the oven. Once it turns a bit of golden brown, brush with oil. Drain the atsara then chop it a little more for finer texture.

Kinulob na Chicken

 Tiger Prawns with Laing

The prawns were stuffed with Laing then popped in the oven.


For dessert section, Dark Chocolate Fudge Orange Cupcake out of Local Cacao de Bola

Maya Kitchen provides us with enough resources not only helping us fix daily meals but avant garde dishes making us true queens of our kitchen.

Do visit this page again as we post recipes from this workshop.


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