CULTURAL POTPOURRI| Snake River Farms’ Dinner @ Bondi & Bourke-Davao

IT WAS a week filled with anticipation when I got Carmina Mapa del Rosario’s invitation for the exclusive Snake River Farms Dinner hosted by the Mindanao Butchers & Company in partnership with the Alternative Food Corporation (AFC) held last October 17, 2017.

KAWSHIK Sehwani lectures on Snake River Farms premium Wagyu Beef and Kurobuta Pork

KAWSHIK Sehwani lectures on Snake River Farms premium Wagyu Beef and Kurobuta Pork

I was cheering just as loud for Kawshik Sehwani, the head honcho of the Sehwani Group of Companies which owns AFC, “a broadline food service integrator based in the Ortigas Business District.”  AFC supplies meat, poultry, seafood, spices and food products, among others, to answer the needs of the local food industry that demands stability, quality and value.  On the other hand, Snake River Farms, which Kawshik also heads, offers a complete line of fresh American Wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork as well as specialty gourmet products.

“Raffy (Rafael Garcia del Rosario) and I met the friendly Kawshik Sehwani while we were studying in Boston, USA.  The Sehwanis are among the earliest immigrants from Mumbai, India, to settle in the Philippines by the turn of the 20th century,” revealed Carmina Mapa-del Rosario.  Kawshik makes fun of his inability to read and write in Sanskrit proclaiming he is a product of the La Salle Brothers’ education.  And when I asked him how he compares to Nico Bolzico who is scheduled to launch his Bolzico’s Beef from Argentina this coming October 28 at Bondi & Bourke-Davao, Kawshik seriously answered, “ Nico may have the abs but I have this!  He then exposed to us his rather bushy chest which surprised us.  Who would think that this successful, respected and so articulate businessman could transform himself into a Bollywood comedian at an instant!

(L-R): CARMINA Mapa-del Rosario, Michael E. Dakudao, Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, Carlo Calma Lorenzana

(L-R): CARMINA Mapa-del Rosario, Michael E. Dakudao, Dottie Wurgler-Cronin, Carlo Calma Lorenzana

Davao’s popular restaurateurs headed by the veteran chef Claude Le’ Neindre, including some young Japanese nationals who operate Japanese restos in the city, were in attendance when Kawshik Sehwani gave a short lecture on the Snake River Farms’ best prime beef and pork products in the Philippine food business.  “Family owned and operated, Snake River Farms Wagyu/Angus cross cattle are raised along the high plain of the Snake River in Eastern Idaho, USA.  Often referred to as the American Kobe beef, our proprietary herd has developed into one of the most highly regarded groups of American Wagyu cattle in the world,” he said as he added, “The beauty of Snake River Farms American Wagyu Beef is its simplicity.  It has been raised from the finest stock in the best environment for an intense beef flavor to be savored and enjoyed.”  Kawshik also pointed out that Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef offers positive nutritional benefits as well.  Wagyu cattle are genetically predisposed to a lower percentage of saturated fat than any other breed.

DAVAO’S restaurateurs

DAVAO’S restaurateurs

“The Mindanao Butchers & Co. aims to provide the local Davao market with quality cuts of meat from the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Brasil,” revealed the Crazy Cook on Heels, Carmina Mapa-del Rosario.  The business enterprise is owned by a group of young entrepreneurs from Davao and Manila namely Carlo Calma Lorenzana (Sunmade Rice, La Cabrera, Lagarde Wines, and more), Bobby Tenchavez (Tender Bob’s, Fireside, Kettle, and more), Rafael Garcia del Rosario (Delgar Properties, Tropical Fruits, among others), Sandro Gonzalez and Anton Lopez (Ulticon Builders, Tapa King). Carmina Mapa-del Rosario (Bangkok Wok and Crazy Cook Catering) manages the company with the assistance of April Ignacio as Sales Manager.

Indeed, I absolutely love the —ber months of the year as everywhere are signs of the coming Merry Christmas season.  This month ushers in the hearty, comforting food in generous servings we Filipinos love and expect in the coming holiday season’s celebration.  And chef Wade Watson of Bondi & Burke would readily tell you that not all steaks are created equal.  The Australian chef believes that you can never go wrong with Snake River Farms premium quality Amercian Wagyu Beef and the world’s finest American Kurobuta Pork.  The Snake River Farms Wagyu Beef is known as the “butter knife beef because it takes no more than a butter knife to cut it.”  The American Kurobuta Pork (Berkshire Pork) is “rich in flavor and much darker in color and ranked first in tenderness and juiciness, among other quality traits, by the National Pork Producers Council.”

CENTER cut sirloin steak

CENTER cut sirloin steak

The proof as they say is always in the tasting.  Chef Wade impressed the guests with a five course steak dinner which took four hours for the diners to enjoy.  It was a welcome experience in “Slow Food,” the antithesis to fastfood we have gotten used to with the fast lifestyle in these crazier times.  First served was the Rib-Eye Cap matched with Lagarde Guarda Cabernet Franc.  Then came the Japanese Ohmi Beef from Shiga Prefecture which took five hours to slow roast.  Goodness, I’ve never tasted roasted striploin this good except when I was living in Tokyo.  I was in heaven.  The small chunk of expensive steak came served with Lagarde Guarda Blend.  I could have stopped right there very satisfied; but then came the Kurobuta braised belly giving me a taste of the most flavorful and tenderest pork I’ve ever tasted.  The Kurobuta came matched with Primeras Vinas Malbec.  The Flank Steak served with Primeras Vinas Cabernet Sauvignon and the Sirloin with the Henry Gran Guarda completed the steak dinner course.  Honestly, my favorite that evening was the incomparable Japanese Ohmi Beef.

For dessert, chef Wade served a selection of fine cheeses with olives, fresh apple slices, flatbread and compote.  The dessert wine that went with it was the Henry Late Harvest, a Muscat wine which I truly love.

Thank you, dear Carmina Mapa-del Rosario and Carlo Calma Lorenzana, for inviting me for a most memorable culinary evening of the finest steaks and wine.

For interested steak lovers, you may order the finest Wagyu beef and Kurobuta pork through April Ann Ignacio at 0933 855 6210.

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