I have written about Shorts before and how I hide them in the pantry when the kids aren’t looking. (I’m only half joking about that.)
Shorbs are perfect for special occasions, celebrations, holidays like Mother’s Day and Easter, and great for dressing up a dessert table without having to order anything. I even think they are a great hostess gift when you are invited to someone’s home for dinner. They are classy, easy to find, and have great packaging.
Recently, Mannix, the (super)man behind SHORTS Gourmet, invited me along with some of his other friends to a dinner in his home to celebrate new friendships (and old), good food, and new beginnings. Mannix commissioned his friend, Chef Fara to put together a lovely six course tasting dinner for all of us and boy was I glad that I could make it!
I love it when I am invited into people’s homes and I can see just how relaxed they are, how they choose to decorate their sacred space, and when I am invited for a meal, I love seeing how they set their table. Setting the table for any meal is like prepping the stage before the show. I really do appreciate the details.
Mannix’s table was set elegantly, but kept simple at the same time, with white roses and candles. It was the perfect back drop to the international flavors that would grace our plates when Chef Fara’s international dishes were set out for us to enjoy. I learned through our casual conversation that Mannix put the floral arrangement all together by himself, AND that he also has a beautiful voice.
Chef Fara and Mannix had met when they were both doing other things. Through the course of their friendship, Fara had gone on to study culinary here in the Philippines but left Manila to work in such prestigious restaurants as Le Petit Maison in Dubai, and he came back to Manila to join the pioneer team of Nobu. Because he felt that yet another change was necessary, he left Nobu only recently, and is still deciding on what his next venture will be. I think with what I was able to sample of Chef Fara’s cooking, I am sure I will be hearing of something soon…
The coconut strings were a nice touch to this hearty soup that is rich in flavor. I really do enjoy noodle soup. Soup in general for me is comforting, so this was a nice start to the meal. Plus, I enjoyed all the different textures that Chef Fara played with here.
When this dish was served, Tedrick and I were talking across the table after this course. And at the same time, Mannix was asking us if we would like some more of this light and lovely treat. I was half listening and answering Tedrick at the same time while still paying attention to Mannix. So, when I answered Tedrick with a sure and confident “Yes.” to his question, Mannix thought I was saying “YES.” to more smoked salmon…
That was a good thing! Because before I knew it Chef brought out some more of these lovely treats. The hint of truffle oil made me want just a little more…(Secret: I could have had a third.)
These were like yummy tortellinis on steroids. Big and cheesy, and done just the right way. Al dente. I didn’t even realize the tomato sauce was fresh until my friend Tin pointed it out.
I enjoyed the little bit of spice in each bite.
Boneless ribs done right. After this course we got to chatting as well, and we realized that Chef Fara, much like Mannix is a “Jack of all trades,” knowing how to do more than just prepare wonderful internationally inspired tasting menus because some of us remarked at the serving pieces our food was coming out of the kitchen on. What I didn’t realize is that the serving pieces on which our food was so elegantly served were actually tiles. Who knew?
Tedrick shared this was the best chicken he ever had. I for one, was super surprised because Chef was quite worried that the chicken might be dry. We were a little late to start dinner and Chef was concerned that it might leave the chicken over done and dry. It was not dry at all, in fact, much like Tedrick said, I think it was quite delicious. I really enjoyed the orange zest on the rice, it’s not something I would ever think of adding to my rice but it gave the entire dish a light and fruity feel so that I didn’t feel like it was the 6th dish of a six course meal.
I was definitely starting to feel a bit full after this course, but I knew that there were SHORTS for dessert, so I saved a little space.
AND…Mannix surprised us with a new flavor!
For those of you who know Shorts, you’ll notice right away that the shape of these Shorts is just a bit different. These shortbread mango filled treats truly have to be hand rolled because of their delicate filling. I loved how the mango filling was just a tad chewy.
What Mannix wanted to impress upon us, is that the possibility for Shorts is more than what we realize. Finishing a six course tasting menu with Shorts as the main attraction on the dessert platter is another way to enjoy these rich buttery treats, making SHORTS even more versatile than I previously thought.
If you would like to know more about how to have Chef Fara Pakdamanian create a meal for you in the comfort of your own home you can email him email@example.com or you can text and call him 0915-889-9393.
For orders and inquiries:
Shorts Gourmet is also available at select Rustan’s Supermarkets. (Rockwell, San Antonio, Century Mall, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Alabang, P. Guevara, and Katipunan.