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Top UK chefs create Negros-inspired dishes in Don Papa Rum’s Dos Chefs and Tres Papas takeover

Chefs Andrew Clarke and Budgie Montoya, with UK's top bartenders, play up Philippine flavors and produce

Chefs Andrew Clarke and Budgie Montoya, with their signature styles, whip up dishes inspired by their trips to Manila and Negros.

Chef Montoya’s starter of ‘lapu-lapu,’ ‘suahe, ‘and ‘mustasa’ in spicy ‘gata’

It is inspiring to see how Don Papa Rum has grown since its introduction in 2011, expanding its reach to now over 30 countries in Europe and Asia. Beyond offering a selection of delicious premium rum, Don Papa’s dedication to showcasing Philippine flavors, talent, and stories highlights the brand’s commitment to promoting the richness of Filipino culture on a global scale.

In keeping with this, Don Papa recently welcomed leading chefs and bartenders from the United Kingdom to immerse themselves in the Philippine way of life, and to get to know more about its people and culture, its key sites and wonders, and the unique variety of Filipino tastes and flavors.

They launched a “kitchen and bar takeover” dubbed as the Dos Chefs and Tres Papas Takeover. Comparable to a love letter, it was inspired by their travels to Negros Islands and Manila.

Dos Chefs menu

The venue was Lampara in Makati.

The kitchen takeover was held at Lampara, Makati, on April 13. This private dinner was artfully crafted by award-winning chefs Andrew Clarke of Acme Fire Cult and Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya of Apoy and Sarap UK.

Multi-awarded chef Andrew Clarke has been a mover in the UK food scene for 25 years.

Chef Andrew Clarke’s main dish made of roast pork, clams, cauliflower, ‘salsa macha,’ tamarind, prune, grilled cabbage, ‘longganisa’ vinaigrette, capers, and herbs.

Andrew Clarke is a multi-awarded chef known for his innovations around meat and BBQ.  He’s regarded as a mover in the UK food scene for 25 years. In 2017, he was named as the Maverick of the Year at the London Restaurant Festival. In 2019, he received the Innovation Award from the Craft Guild of Chefs, and later that year, he landed in the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list as one of the most influential Londoners of 2019/2020.

Ferdinand “Budgie” Montoya, a Filipino-Australian champion of Southeast Asian Cuisine in London, especially Filipino cuisine, is behind the multi-awarded Apoy and Sarap restaurants. His recipes have been featured in The Guardian, The Financial Times, and The Great British Chefs, among others.

Chef Montoya’s burnt casava cheesecake with Don Papa caramel

With their own signature styles, both created dishes inspired by their journey. Chef Andrew Clark created the main dish made of roast pork, clams, cauliflower, salsa macha, tamarind and prune, grilled cabbage, longganisa vinaigrette, capers, and herbs.  Chef Budgie Montoya made the starter lapu-lapu, suahe, and mustasa in spicy gata, as well as the dessert, burnt casava cheesecake with Don Papa caramel.

Asked about their inspiration for their menu and their experience in Negros, Chef Clark said, “The Philippines already has many of the culinary influences that inspire my cooking, from Chinese to Spanish and Mexican. My dish pays homage to the Farmers Market in Cubao, a vibrant showcase of fruits and vegetables, meat, and fish, with the friendliest people eager for you to try their produce. With so many beautiful ingredients to choose from, I was really spoilt for choice.”

 Chef Montoya said, “For the starter I was inspired by the amazing local produce on our recent visit to Farmers Market. It’s not often I get to cook with local Filipino ingredients, and I wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity.” He added, “The dessert is a playful take on a Filipino classic and a childhood favorite of mine, the casava cake. The dish is inspired by mom’s massage cake recipe and my love for a Basque style burnt cheesecake.”

Don Papa Rum’s UK brand ambassador Callum Whitehead

Mixologists Matt Arnold and Carrie Smith

Master mixologist Matt Arnold, Don Papa Rum’s UK brand ambassador Callum Whitehead, and UK Top 50 cocktail bar Hoot The Redeemer’s top bartender Carrie Smith

On the same night, the bar takeover with the Tres Papas happened just below Lampara, at OTO. The public got to experience a one-night-only special menu curated by the UK’s world-class competition winner Matt Arnold, Hoot The Redeemer’s award-winning Carrie Smith, as well as Don Papa Rum’s UK brand ambassador Callum Whitehead.

Callum said: “The Tres Papas takeover is inspired by the concept of Bayanihan, communal unity, and cooperation. At Don Papa Rum, we look at hospitality around the world as our community, and we absolutely love building connections and fostering relationships with bars, restaurants, and bartenders. Tonight, we build stronger relationships with Bar OTO and bring the flavors of the UK to the team, incorporating key ingredients with uniquely British and Scottish twists for a mind-blowing cocktail experience.”

With this theme, Carrie used uniquely Scottish ingredients in her two cocktails: Buckfast, a Scottish tonic wine for Here We Bucking Go, and an Irn Bru reduction syrup for The Irn Papa. Matt mixed a Guinness caramel reduction with Don Papa Rum in his cocktail Short & Stout to combine the flavors of a key stout in the UK and the exceptional caramel flavor from the old Custard factory, where his bar is. Callum brought in the taste of British strawberries in an explosive cocktail inspired by the upcoming berry season in the UK and their key timing in Wimbledon in his cocktail Wimbledon Blitz.

It was a memorable Don Papa Takeover attended by key media, followers of the brand, Don Papa executives from global and Asia Pacific. Global brand ambassador Aaron Goodall said, “Over the last few years, with trade groups from Don Papa’s largest markets visiting the Philippines and our home of Negros Island, we’ve heard wonderful compliments and praise for the food and beverage industry here. And for us at Don Papa, as we build stronger ties with the trade, we’re looking to showcase how the best bars in Europe use Don Papa Rum through our Tres Papas activation.”

Senior brand and customer marketing manager for Asia Pacific Angeline Manahan said: “The kitchen and bar takeover was an incredible success. We were absolutely thrilled to welcome talented chefs and bartenders from the UK, who brought their flair and passion for Filipino flavors. It’s truly heartwarming to see global talents embracing our cuisine, and we look forward to hosting more of them in the future. To all the spirits and cocktail enthusiasts out there, keep an eye out for more exciting Don Papa initiatives coming your way this year!”

Award-winning chefs Andrew Clarke of Acme Fire Cult and Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya of Apoy and Sarap UK

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