Friday, June 29, 2012

TastEX 2012: Discovering the Taste of Success

How do you define success? Can it be translated into a sumptuous dish like what Josiah Catering's TastePRO did in its Brand Degustation? Apparently you can. Last June 27 on Blue Leaf Pavilion, one of the country's leading corporate caterer, TastePRO flexed its culinary muscles to demonstrate its intimate understanding of successful brands in the Philippines.

I was honored to be invited to this momentous event, this food extravaganza to tribute some of the most successful companies in the country.

For the second time, TastePRO’s Brand Degustation offered a showcase of savory treats in this year’s TastEX using three different themes as backdrop for their wide array of dishes for business events, meetings and activities.

For their Oscar theme, they celebrated the companies’ glittering success with the glamour of Hollywood while featuring lavish dishes worthy of the grandest company anniversaries, Christmas parties and other corporate celebrations.

Meanwhile, their Architects of Greatness theme reflected the building blocks of successful businesses, great ideas generated and shared through seminars, conventions and sales rallies. And to complement these meeting of the minds, TastePRO featured a variety of delectable dishes to appeal to the discerning tastes of business professionals.

And finally for their Poker theme, they glorified the tenacity, competence and quick thinking of individuals responsible for the success of these companies, TastePRO honored these characteristics by featuring sumptuous hors d’oeuvres fit for product launches and business cocktail parties.

Here are TastePRO’s  flavorful tributes to these successful companies.

For Johnson & Johnson they prepared Grilled Cilantro Chicken on Mini Whole Wheat Ciabatta with Vietnamese Dressing. Sampling it, you can taste the fresh taste of cilantro infused in the chicken with the Vietnamese sauce adding more flavor to it. Definitely an ingenious take on the company’s focus, one's health and well-being.

While with the Philippine Association of Opthalmologists, they prepared a Sugar Free Carrot Torte, a play perhaps on the saying that carrots are good for the eyes. It was a beautifully crafted and filling carrot laced dessert.  

Then they also made them a Butternut Squash Crème Brulee, a creamy and cinnamon infused dessert which was thankfully not too sweet but just right to fill your sweet cravings.

With Wyeth, they prepared the appetizing Goat’s Cheese and Mushroom Tart with Tomato Confit. The milk ingredient is inspired by the products of the company that are focused on children’s health.

For HP, they prepared Crispy Mac and Cheese, a different twist on this beloved American dish with the macaroni embedded inside. Because like the popular Mac and Cheese, HP is a very recognizable brand worldwide.

And one of my favorites that night is Lifestyle’s Red Beans and Shrimp Salad Cups with Southwestern BBQ Dressing. Reflecting the wellness company’s ideal of providing innovative health products, TastePRO half-filled a petite rounded cup with red beans, corn, bits of bell pepper, and other veggies topped with shrimp that generated a tasty combination of flavors and freshness.

Meanwhile, Fluor Daniel was tributed with a Mini Molten Lava Cake with Vanilla Sauce, one of the big dessert hits of the night. Fresh from the oven, it looked like a chocolate soufflé with vanila drippings. Breaking through its chocolatey façade, you will encounter with what seems to be a lava of chocolate inside the small cake. Indulgent and satisfying, this is a generous take on the company’s various business endeavors.

Sun Cellular on the other hand, was embodied by the Thai Seafood Stir Fry in Crisp Rice Cakes and Bean Sprouts, a complete Thai dish to represent the wide range of the telecom company’s services.

JP Morgan’s interpretation meanwhile, is the Mini US Tenderloin Steak Sandwich with Onion Jam and au jus, made of high grade ingredients it represented the largest banking company in the US.

Korea is also represented by Samsung, interpreted nicely with Rice Cakes in Sweet Pepper Sauce

Kimchi Pancakes and

Grilled Pork in Lettuce Wrap with Chili Bean Paste, filling Korean dishes to represent their numerous and innovative brands.

Lastly, one of my favorites too is HSBC’s 5 Spice Braised Pork Belly Slice in Wonton Cups with Peanuts and Chives. The Pork Belly slices was marinated well in 5 spice that when you eat it with the crunchy wonton cups, earthy peanuts and green chives it subtly delivers a tasty fusion of flavors and textures. Quite a satisfying tribute to Asia’s oldest financial institution.

After all these sumptuous tributes, TastePRO still managed to add to these delectable dishes with the following:

Open Face Bacon and Egg Crostini with Hollandaise Sauce. This bacon and quail egg sampler is a good bet especially if you want a more filling cocktail treat.

Meanwhile, the Trio of Confit Tart (Truffle Roasted Garlic and Tomato Confit, Duck Confit and Pork Confit) are good savory spreads to any crostini.

For dessert, they have a Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake if you want something rich and luxuriant.

And a Berries Triffle for a smooth combination of cream and blueberry to sweetly conclude a satisfying meal.

After sampling all the intricate dishes showcased in their opulent themes, TastePRO has indeed elevated the essence of branding by giving it a creative interpretation through food. It deftly suggests another facet that marketing and branding officers can take a look at especially when preparing grand product launches or elaborate parties for their products.

Because food can also serve as another medium for clients and business partners to strongly remember a brand, a product or a company. Besides, who doesn't remember a magnificent meal served in a glamorous setting? Most of us do J

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