Friday, March 10, 2017

Dining Finds in Baguio: Home-Cooked French Cuisine with Five-Star Quality at Chef Didier's Table

Chef Didier Derouet is a true French artisan.
Photo: Vincent Garrucho

Baguio, also known as the City of Pines offer a lot of dining places from local food to international cuisine.  Amidst these variety of restaurants at the center of the city, it's refreshing to know that one of the few authentic French dining places is found right in the house of Chef Didier Derouet, a French national, and his charming Filipina wife, Merna Brazil, aptly called Chef Didier's Table.

I have personally known Chef Didier and Merna back in Manila, when they opened a spa near Greenbelt in Makati.  Chef Didier at that time just came out from his stint as Executive Pastry Chef at Novotel Hotel Manila, and at Fairmont Hotel Makati, wherein he was one of the pioneering staff when these hotels opened a few years ago.  

Home-made spices prepared from fresh ingredients.

Taking with him an expansive experience in the hospitality business around the world, folks living in Baguio City is lucky to find Chef Didier recently relocating in this cool mountain city. Opening their doors to friends and guests, the husband and wife team set up their place with two long tables to serve what they do best... cook the best European meals and make diners feel at home, literally. Their place can sit in 16 people comfortably, which makes the gathering more intimate.  It is one of the best ways to spend a pleasant evening in Baguio, while indulging in five-star quality dishes.  

Merna Brazil (far right) serving us delectable dishes at their own home.

During my visit with friends, Chef Didier and Merna offered a five-course meal using the freshest ingredients one can only find in Baguio. Located on the 2nd floor of Rosalinda Mansion along R. Ayson Road, it was a pleasant surprise to find a simple apartment building, a bit off the grid, yet feel the warmth of a cozy, intimate dining experience for those who come for a no-frills, true gastronomical experience.

Chef Didier educating his guests about each dish he lovingly prepared.

Many moons ago, I had the opportunity to live in France as a language student, which gives me fair knowledge on what is good French food, and what is a mediocre attempt in preparing any French cuisine.  Remember the popular phrase, "Surprise me?" Chef Didier's Table was the perfect place to experience it. Each dish was accompanied by "oohs" and "aaahs" by my friends every time Merna comes out of the kitchen, with the next dish in hand.

Here is the composition of the five-course meal we delightfully indulged in.

1.  Cream of Vegetable with Fennel Baguette Soup

2.  Home-made Aromatic Pasta with Shellfish in Herb Cream Sauce

3.  Spiced, Crusted Mahi-Mahi Fish with Red Rice and Roasted Vegetables

4.  Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Tomato Vinaigrette and Mozarella Millefeuille

5. Gateau de Breton

Chef Didier's Table offer four to eight-course meals, starting from Php 499 for the four-course meal. To reserve, they need 24 hours in advance to give time in purchasing the freshest ingredients at the famous Baguio market. 

Our friends; Jeffrey Enriquez, Monch Henares, Steven Chen, Manny Gacuma, the Derouets, the Garruchos and the Puyats comically demonstrating the fullness of our tummies after the five-course meal.

Every morning was also a great start of the day at Chef Didier's Table. A true artisan, he bakes the freshest breads and pastries he is best known for in the hotel industry.  Wafting the place with delectable aromas, the French "boulangerie" in Baguio is definitely here to stay.

Strawberry taho bought from a street vendor, went well with French baguette made by Chef Didier from scratch.

Fresh buttered croissants, hand-made by Chef Didier.
Breakfast is served outdoors. Enjoying the cool Baguio breeze from left to right; Jeffrey Enriquez, author, Vincent Garrucho, Patti Garrucho, Merna Brazil, Monch Henares, Chef Didier Derouet and Steven Chen.

For menus and latest products, follow Chef Didier's Table on Facebook by clicking here.

Chef Didier's Table
Address: 83 Ayson Street corner Ferguson Rd and Gaerlan St., Baguio City

For reservations, call:
Telephone: 0939-110-3174 and 0921-572-8408