By Ana de Villa Singson

We had another heavyweight culinary wiz gracing our September AAA Cooking and Baking Club Session, CHEF SAU DEL ROSARIO.  The man behind  famed Café Fleur and Sawsaw, this Pampangueno is a product of 4 generations  of culinary wonders and afficionados. His credentials are studded with mentors with a dizziying number of coveted and hard to come by Michelin stars. From Manila to Paris, London, Shanghai, Singapore, his culinary journey is seen in the melding of continental, oriental and most importantly, Filipino food themes evident in his cooking. His cookbook, “20 Years of Love and Cooking” is divided into chapters that mimic the many international influences that are such a large part of his story.

We loved Chef Sau’s energy….and generosity.  We got really excited when announced that he was   raffling out one of his cookbooks!  Titled “20 Years of Love and Cooking”, his cookbook  is divided into chapters that mimic the many international influences that are such a large part of his story.  To win the book, we had to guess the name of the first restaurant he opened in Manila when he first got back from France.  We frantically raced to be the first to message him with our answer ( Le Taxi in Malate was his first local venture when he first returned to Manila!) and  11 of us messaged him within seconds of each other.  We had a tie-breaker, since 2 of us texted at the same time, one through Viber and one through Messenger. Generous to a fault, Chef Sau upped the ante and gave out not one…but 2 cookbooks to the lucky winners:  Tricia Tensuan and Margie Duavit! 

His generosity did not end there.  A perfectionist to the core, Chef Sau wanted a professional look throughout…and hired ( and paid!) for a professional audio-visual team to ensure that lights were perfect, food was properly framed and that the zoom experience was seamless!  The session was definitely all those…plus plus plus!

We learned the intricacies of Chicken Galantine.  He made it look so easy, cutting up, deboning and strussing up the dcavity-filled chicken.  His version has a delicious filing made out of chorizo de Bilbao, sausage, ham.  But he told us that we could experiment and be creative.  Try a tofu filling, or a chestnut -sausage-and buttered bread stuffing.  All vegetarian?  Why not?  Try making your own.  You’ll find his recipe below.  He also taught us to make Pako Salad, shown here in the video.

In the end, Chef Sau gave us all his phone number.  He told us that if needed a table at his any of his restos, we should simply message him and he “will cancel anyone” to get us a table.  Now that’s really very brave!  And within seconds, someone had taken him up on his offer, booking a table for her son’s birthday!

Thank you, Chef Sau!  You’re not just a mentor now.  We have your number and consider you a friend.  We will see you soon and will eat up a storm when we are in any of your yummy, top-rated restos!