When we arrived, there were Manila Peninsula branded aprons and caps on the stainless kitchen counters at the banquet kitchen. Hanging out in the kitchen for me is nothing new, but being in a hotel kitchen is always exciting since you’ll be behind the scenes.
We were greeted by the director for public relations, Mr. Mariano Garchitorena or Garch for short, whom I have met several times in the past. He took me directly to the bar to Mr. Austin Moreno so I can create my own cocktail or rather… mocktail. I made myself the gunner made with ginger ale, ginger beer and a dash of lime cordial and bitters.
Although I said I wasn’t drinking that afternoon. I ended up taking sips of the other cocktails. My favorite was the Monkey Gland.
I also was able to witness how he made the Hanky Panky. To learn more about these cocktails, check out my post on Prohibition Cocktails at the Manila Peninsula.
We were also given pass around snacks but I tried to hold off on them cause I knew we were making other stuff and I didn’t want to get too full. They served us chili dogs and tuna burgers while waiting to get settled.
Chef Franco Diaz who was in charge of the demo is a true Chicagoan who taught us how to make an authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza. They even asked for audience participation to help roll out the dough. It’s not one of my fortes so I’m thankful no one called me out.
I was, however called out to assemble the reuben sandwiches. Even though I hesitated for a while, peer pressure got to me. I was even offered a job. Chef Mike Wehrle asked me when I could start working for them and I immediately said, “After Christmas.” It’s not every day you get an offer to work in a 5-star hotel even more an international hotel chain, whether he was kidding or not. Haha! This photo was taken by the person who volunteered me The Bald Baker, Mr. Cy Ynares, who is always such awesome company.
Ruben sandwiches consist of the Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut and rye bread.
Thirty minutes later, the pizza was out of the oven and boy did it look good. The difference of a deep dish pizza and a normal pizza is that usually, you would put shredded cheese on top whereas a deep dish pizza has slices of cheese at the bottom of the crust topped with the tomato sauce.
The crust was airy and lightly crunchy and not as heavy as it looks. I’m guessing it’s because of all the butter in there.
As the pizza is being cut into pieces you’ll see cheese ooze out and the strings of cheese form as you pull it apart.
Aside from these, check out these the Chicago Skyline Photography exhibit at The Lobby and featured items on The Lobby menu such as the Chicago hot dog, duck hot dog, chicken pot pie and salted caramel sundae. At Escolta, they will feature a Chicago burger station, deep-dish cheese and pepperoni pizza, poutine and an “Eli” cheesecake with flavors chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry and assorted cocktails. Not to mention, the prohibition-era cocktails at Salon de Ning and The Bar.
Check out these awesome Chicago showcase. Drop by any time from November 2 to November 25 at the Manila Peninsula to Celebrate Chicago with The Peninsula Hotels