Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vanilla ice cream, baby!

If nature’s bounty inspires an artist to create beautiful works of art, then the finest ingredients arouse a chef’s creativity to whip up the most exquisite of dishes. Well, in chef Ariel Manuel’s case to come up with an ice cream flavor that’s sure to change the world of ice cream lovers one pint at a time.

For this award-winning chef, nothing is more challenging than creating his own version of an ice cream flavor that Filipinos are so familiar with vanilla almond. In fact, when Selecta asked him to come up with his signature blend for its Gold Series, chef Ariel knew that he was in for a difficult challenge.

“How can you go wrong with that combination? Vanilla is such a versatile ingredient. You can pair it with almost anything. The hardest part was how to make the taste stand out from what’s already available on the market. What I did was focus on the flavor and texture. And when I say flavor, one should not scrimp on the ingredients,” explains Manuel.

Needless to say, chef Ariel’s version doesn’t disappoint. This new indulgence, Selecta Gold Series Vanilla Almond, is hale and hearty with generous amounts of almonds, lavished with swirls of golden caramel fudge against a backdrop of extra creamy and velvety vanilla ice cream. It’s perfect for foodies who appreciate big, bold flavors and larger-than-life textures.

For its Gold Series, Selecta uses only the finest ingredients. The almond is imported from the land of nuts — Great Valley, California.
“They definitely mastered the art of roasting nuts. The vanilla base, on the other hand, melts in the mouth because it has a higher cream content,” adds the amiable chef.

It took chef Ariel and a team from Selecta almost six months to come up with the perfect ice cream blend. They conducted meetings almost every day to be sure that even the tiniest detail was taken care of.

Simply Delectable

Selecta’s humble beginnings can be traced to the Arce family’s ice cream parlor in A. Bonifacio, Manila in 1948. Well known for its creaminess and its unusual and exciting flavors, Selecta also became famous for its unique gold can packaging, qualities which remained throughout the years.

Did you know that the name Selecta is a misnomer? The Arce family originally commissioned an artist to design the logo of their company named “Delecta.” However, the artist crafted the logo with such passion that the letter “D” looked like an “S.” Soon, people started calling the ice cream brand Selecta.

In 1999, to complement its frozen novelty category and strengthen itself for competition, RFM teamed up with Unilever, the largest ice cream company in the world, to form Selecta Walls Incorporated. The joint venture proved to be a success and by the year 2000, Selecta had become “the national ice cream leader.”

With its passion to satisfy sophisticated urbanites’ deepest dessert cravings, Selecta gives its clients another reason to indulge with the new Vanilla Almond ice cream. Chef Ariel’s delectable creation is a perfect complement to the other premium flavors meticulously co-created by Manila’s finest chefs: Berry Strawberry by chef J. Gamboa; Chocolate Truffles by chef Rolando Laudico; and Hazelnut Brownie by chef Sau del Rosario.

Meet The Chef-Of-Staff

Chef Ariel is undoubtedly one of the most respected figures in foodlandia, having worked at the finest hotels in the country such as The Peninsula, Makati Shangri-La, Heritage Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Manila, and The Westin Philippine Plaza.

His fine-dining resto, Lolo Dad’s Café which he runs with wife Mia, is touted as one of the most expensive and exquisite food establishments in the metro. Surprisingly, his regular clients and food critics aren’t complaining because, as they say, “there’s a great reason for and value behind such exorbitance.” Predominantly French, the menu changes depending on what’s in season and what the diners like. In fact, a group of foodies dined recently at Lolo Dad’s. Since it was their first time, they wanted to try the resto’s best sellers. To their surprise, the chef treated them to a six-course meal — using Selecta’s Vanilla Almond from appetizer to dessert — which isn’t part of the resto’s regular menu. “I don’t endorse a product that I don’t believe in. Vanilla ice cream is such a versatile product. You can actually incorporate it in any food item,” enthuses chef Ariel.

For appetizer, chef Ariel whipped up a terrine of foie gras with Selecta’s Vanilla Almond ice cream, which he used as a garnish. It was followed by scallops and a scoop of ice cream for the hot appetizer. “Again, scallops and vanilla ice cream is a match made in culinary heaven,” he enthuses.

Chef Ariel served sea bass with Vanilla Almond ice cream as the cream base, and rack of lamb for the main course to the delight of the diners. “I incorporated the ice cream in a bread pudding which goes well with the lamb,” he explains. The hearty meal was capped with scoops of the luscious and velvety Vanilla Almond Ice Cream.

Selecta Gold Series Vanilla Almond is now part of the menu of Lolo Dad’s Café and Lolo Dad’s Brasserie at 6750 Makati City. When asked if that was part of his contract with Selecta, the chef hastily replied: “No, it’s not. I just believe in the product. It has so much potential. This ice cream flavor is so versatile that you can use it to enhance the flavor of any dish.”

Every Friday to Sunday until Dec. 20, moviegoers at Greenbelt, Glorietta, Shangri-La Cineplex, Alabang Town Center, Theater Mall and MovieWorld Galleria can indulge in a free scoop of Selecta Gold Series Vanilla Almond. Just present your movie tickets at the Selecta booth.


Post a Comment


Only Ice Cream Copyright © 2009