Recapping Our First Cross Cultures Three Michelin Starred Collaboration: #HertogJanXToyo (A Photo Essay)

Ricky Carandang, one of our Cross Cultures regulars, at our Hertog Jan x Toyo Eatery collaboration dinner. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)

My events platform Cross Cultures hosted our first ever 3 Michelin-starred collaboration with Hertog Jan from Belgium, and one of my favorite restaurants in the Philippines, Toyo Eatery  during the period of Madrid Fusion Manila, as part of the Dinner with the Stars and Flavors of the Philippines. *Hertog Jan also recently just jumped up to land the No. 61 spot on the World’s Best Restaurants list!

The collaboration officially began with a trip to Malipayon Farms in Silang, Cavite (we left Manila at 5AM,  whew!) where Hertog Jan’s chef-owner Gert de Mangeleer and sous chef Jef Poppe sourced for local vegetables, for their salad dish, “A Walk Through The Gardens of Manila.” They handpicked over 40 ingredients that included fennel, alugbati, baby amaranth, baby corn, carrots, sweet potato, mango, papaya, cashews, peanuts for our event three days later.

The event was very intimate– only 30 (very coveted) seats– a request from Gert to keep quality control in check. He meticulously prepared everything himself, and never left the kitchen, only until after all the dishes had been served, which were paired with wines from Sommelier Selection and free-flowing sparkling and still waters from San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, officially distributed in the Philippines by Werdenberg International.

I’ll let all of Tristan Dehesa’s stunning photos do the talking (all photo credits by him, except for 2 photos I took!) and I want to say that it was a beautiful exchange of cultures between Belgium and the Philippines, and also between two chefs who both share the common denominator of using modern techniques to highlight the excellent qualities of their produce. “Planning the menu was done over a period of time,” shared Jordy, who had developed a real bromance with Gert after just meeting for the first time this trip.  (They event met up in New York the week after!) “When team Hertog Jan arrived, we spoke about their plans with the products they brought over from Europe, and team Toyo just decided on what we felt best paired with the dishes from their menu. It was easy to decide on the menu because there was really good communication on both ends.”

“It was a wonderful experience to combine Philippines products with our Flemish products,” Gert said,”I didn’t expect the Philippines to have such a fine cuisine and such beautiful products. We are also happy to have made [new] friends.”

planning cross cultures- hertog jan- toyo
The final planning… (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Hertog Jan x Toyo- Cross Cultures- Madrid Fusion Manila 2017
We are ready! (Photo by Cheryl Tiu)
Guests enjoyed free-flowing water from San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, officially distributed in the Philippines by Werdenberg Intl.
Free-flowing San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna for our guests! Our favorite waters are officially distributed in the Philippines by Werdenberg International Corp. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Gert de Mangeleer- Manila
Hertog Jan’s Gert de Mangeleer (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Hertog Jan sous chef Jef Poppe
Hertog Jan sous chef Jef Poppe (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
toyo t-shirt- photo by tristan dehesa
Let’s go, TOYO! (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Chef's Knives- Hertog Jan
Hertog Jan’s knives. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
jordy navarra- photo by tristan dehesa
Toyo Eatery’s Jordy Navarra. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
cheryl tiu service
Service time. Cheryl welcoming the first round of guests. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Hertog Jan's A Walk Through The Gardens of Manila. They used over 40 local ingredients they personally picked from Malipayon Farms
Plating the gorgeous A Walk Through the Gardens of Manila, using almost 40 ingredients from Gerardo Jimenez’s Malipayon Farms. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Black Radish, Talakitok, Fermented Tomato Juice- HErtog Han Toyo
Hertog Jan’s Black Radish, Talakitok and Fermented Tomato Juice, shaped as a rose. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Toyo Eatery's pencil clams sourced from Sorsogon
Toyo Eatery’s Pencil Clams sourced from Sorsogon. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Hertog Jan Smoked Duck- Cross Cultures- Toyo- Tristan Dehesa
Hertog Jan’s Smoked Duck that they brought in from France. It was stuffed with burnt hay, and dry-aged for 3 weeks, before being cooked, smoked and finally finished with salt and black pepper. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Hertog Jan's Smoked Duck that blew everyone away
The duck was served with beetroot powder; cooked beetroot, fresh cherries, black garlic, licorice. Perfection. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Toyo's Lightly Grilled Mackerel in Grass-Fed Butter
Toyo Eatery’s Lightly Grilled Mackerel in Grass-Fed Butter with Semi-Ripe Guava and Kamias, a favorite in their new menu. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
hertog jan- snickers dessert- cross cultures- toyo- tristan dehesa
Chef Gert de Mangeleer’s guilty pleasure is… Snickers chocolate bar! He eats at least one every day! So for his dessert, which is also a Hertog Jan signature, he created one of chocolate, peanuts and caramel– which was cooked in nitrogen to create an “ice cream.” (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Ces Drilon and Ricky Carandang
Ces Drilon and Ricky Carandang (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Clinton Palanca
Clinton Palanca (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Neal Oshima
Neal Oshima (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Michelle Ayuyao and Mara Coson
Michelle Ayuyao and Mara Coson (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Jin Perez and Jerome Go
Jin Perez and Jerome Go (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
John and Katrine Tiu, Charles Tiu
John and Katrine Tiu, Charles Tiu (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Julien Royer of Odette- Cross Cultures- Hertog Jan- Toyo
Julien Royer of Odette in Singapore (Photo by Cheryl Tiu)
giveaways at cross cultures-hertog jan-toyo-san pellegrino
Our guests went home with homemade bread from the Toyo kitchen and a spread created by both Hertog Jan and Toyo, using both local and European fish, and San Pellegrino goodies. (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Gert de Mangeleer, Cheryl Tiu, Jordy Navarra
Cross Cultures (Cheryl Tiu): Hertog Jan (Gert de Mangeleer) x Toyo Eatery (Jordy Navarra) (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
May Navarra- Gert de Mangeleer, Jordy Navarra
Pasalubongs to bring back home for our Belgian guests! The lovely May Navarra, wife and the woman behind Jordy! (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)
Teams Cross Cultures, Hertog Jan and Toyo
Thank you and congratulations everyone!!! It was an awesome evening! <3 <3 <3 (Photo by Tristan Dehesa)