MANILA -- After Canada Day and the American 4th of July celebration, it's the France's turn this coming July 14. Bastille Day or La Fete Nationale is the French National Day.
In celebration of this occasion, Sofitel Philippine Plaza is holding its annual French week from July 9 to 15.
During this period, the hotel will offer French delights from wine appreciation classes to a French gastronomic journey at the Spiral buffet.
“It's a bit shorter but we still have a lot of activities. The French week will be at the same week of Bastille Day, which is on the 14th. We'll have, of course, the celebration of Bastille Day at Spiral. There's going to be fireworks. Our theme will be the French colors,” explained Sofitel food and beverage manager Tanguy Gras.
From July 9-15, Sofitel's Le Bar will be offering a selection of French products from cheeses, wines, charcuterie, and pastries for its La Grande Epicerie de Paris promotion.
“The Art of Wine” will be held on July 12 at Spiral, which is a wine appreciation class featuring French wine connoisseur Tanguy Gras. On July 13 and 14, Le Bar will also have a special wine tasting event featuring the finest French wines.
But the hotel's main attraction for French week is the cuisine of its French master chef Julien Cosse at the Spiral buffet. The chef prepared various French dishes from the different regions of France. These dishes are also paired with the buffet's premier wine selection and bespoke French cocktails.
“It's more traditional cuisine something that you eat with a French family. It's a really generous selection featuring the products from the different regions. This is really beautifully and masterfully prepared by Chef Julien,” Gras said.
Northwest France, specifically Normandy, is known for its mussels, oysters, apples, and cheeses like camembert. Chef Cosse prepared mussels a la Normande, camembert salad, and tarte tatin (apple tart).
In the northeast, culinary staples include potatoes, cabbage, beetroot, dry Rieslings and also its German traditions. The chef prepared salmon in Riesling sauce, asparagus and zucchini terrine, and apple strudel.
The Bourgogne or Franche-Comte region or eastern France, on the other hand, is known for its Comte cheese, yellow wine, smoked ham, and sausages. Snails cassolette with Chablis wine sauce, terrine forestiere, and red wine poached pear are the dishes representing the region.
And in the French Mediterranean or southeast France, the cuisine of Provence Occitania and Corsica are the most popular, known for using fresh ingredients like vegetables and fruits. For this, the chef prepared bouillabaisse, daube Provencale, nicoise salad, and lavander crème brulee.
Then there's the southwest of France, which is rich with ingredients such as duck, lamb, mushrooms and truffle. Cosse prepared duck supreme and foie gras skewers, Basque cake with custard, and other dishes.
Bouillabaisse or traditional Provencal fish stew. Photo by author
Daube Provencale is a traditional beef stew that uses inexpensive cuts of beef. Photo by author
Fish dieppoise or a fish stew that originated from Normandy. Photo by author
Mussels a la Normande is a mussel dish from Normandy that has a rich cream sauce and calvados or apple brandy. Photo by author
On Bastille Day, Spiral will have a special celebration complete with live music and fireworks. There's also a complimentary bloody revolutionary cocktail for guests.
Lunch starts at P2,750 while dinner is at P3,500 per person.