A dinner to remember by chefs Mario Sandoval and Tatung Sarthou

One highlight of covering Madrid Fusion for me was that I got invited to a meal to be jointly prepared by Spanish chef Mario Sandoval, who runs two-Michelin-starred restaurant Coque and who earned his first Michelin star at the tender age of 26, and the Philippines’ very own Chef Tatung.

This special dinner was part of Gastrofestival, which was another set of events that is associated with Madrid Fusion. Gastrofestival is organized by the government of Madrid to invite people to enjoy different aspects of Madrid gastronomy.

Because of Chef Tatung’s role as presenter for the Philippines in Madrid Fusion, he was invited to prepare the special “four-hands dinner” with Chef Mario Sandoval. Some Filipinos were invited to be part of the meal as guests of Madrid Fusion Manila, and I was lucky enough to be one of them

The dinner was held at Hotel Orfila. There were 60 guests in total, and one table was reserved for our group.

They gave us the menu for the meal, and after I told them that I was pescetarian, they graciously told me that alternatives would be given so I would not miss a course.

The first course was a stew of crab, mollusks, shrimp, and octopus. (Caldereta de cangrejo real con moluscos, tartar de gamba roja y pulpitos a la brasa)

Seafood stew
 Next up was squid and prawn ceviche. (Ceviche de calamari y langostinos con leche de tigre, jugo de citricos y cilantro)

Squid and prawn ceviche
My favorite course was the tartar de salmon with guacamole. (Tartar de salmon con guacamole, mango y salsa de soja, lima y jarabe de arce)

Salmon tartar

They gave me vegetarian substitutes- mushroom risotto and a vegetable salad-
for the meat dishes (Chicken sisig and beef with coconut sauce).

Mushroom risotto

Vegetable salad
Of course, no dinner is complete without dessert, and this was obviously made by Chef Tatung- Cheese Bibingka.

Cheese bibingka
It was a heavenly meal and I really was very grateful to be part of it.

The Philippine table with Chef Mario Sandoval and Chef Tatung
It was amazing to see two talented chefs working together to create this dinner. It also did us proud that Chef Tatung could hold his own as he worked with such a renowned chef. Madrid Fusion, along with Gastrofestival, is certainly a great way to show to the world that Philippine culinary talent is world-class.