Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian cooks up a storm to help raise funds for Yolanda survivors

IMAGE Bernie V. Franco

Geoffrey Zakarian's version of adobo was the highlight of the five-course meal he prepared for the Feast of Colours, a fund-raising dinner gala for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.


It was a grand gustatory event to raise funds for the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, a five-course meal that was created by the internationally renowned chef Geoffrey Zakarian.

Chef Geoffrey said he immediately accepted the invitation to be the main attraction of The Feast of Colours, a fund-raising dinner gala organized by Colours, the living magazine channel, and Cignal Digital TV.

The charity event was held on March 20 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.

The money that was raised from the event will help fund the relief efforts of the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) for the families affected by the super typhoon.

Chef Geoffrey it turned out was a perfect choice as he took pride in saying that the charity he heads in New York has been feeding starving people for 20 years.

This is to say nothing yet about his being the grand winner of The Next Iron Chef Season 4 in 2010.

He is also a known TV personality, a restaurateur, and an author.

FEEDING THE PRESS. At the Feast of Colours press conference hours before the main event, Chef Geoffrey held a cooking demonstration of the Adobo Spiced Pork Belly, the highlight of his five-course masterwork.

Some of the personal touches he added to the classic Filipino dish were endive, pickled mango, and calamansi.

He related that his two kids grew up eating adobo, courtesy of their Filipina help.

The dish, in fact, is a weekly special in the Zakarian household.

At the press conference, the American celebrity chef repeatedly praised the Filipino dishes.

“I can’t pronounce what I had but what I had was amazing breakfast… three Filipino specialties,” he bantered and the press chuckled.

The hotel's resident chef was around to identify the Filipino specialties that the celebrity chef enjoyed: Bangus, tocino, and beef tapa.

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Chef Geoffrey added that he also loved the lechon.

FAMILIAR. The 54-year-old winning chef informed the media that his restaurants in the United States employ many Filipinos.

So he knew what he was talking about when he cited the appeal of the Filipinos as a happy people.

“What you have here that they don’t have anywhere else, it’s the people and culture,” he remarked further.



COOKING FOR CHARITY. Cignal TV Managing Director Annie Naval explained how the project came to be.

“We really wanted to partner with PDRF.

“We were supposed to bring the Iron Chef here last year, it’s just that when all these disasters happened, we felt that it was not yet the right time.

“Now that the areas that were devastated are now recovering, we feel that it is the right time [to partner with PDRF].

"Don’t forget, they still need help.”


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