Thanks + giving

THERE is so much to be thankful for, and with the recent (unfortunate + tragic) events that transpired in the Philippines, there is an even more cause for giving. That latter, we are not in short of.

Executive Chef Jayme Natividad presented the slow-baked, bacon-topped turkey at the Thanksgiving Benefit DInner for Typhoon Yolanda at the RGB restaurant of  Park Inn by Radisson

Moments after the calamities, the world turned its attention to the Philippines and reached out. We didn’t have to ask. There is so much good in the world and the blessings are infinite. Our Pinoy hearts are filled with gratitude. Thanks for giving.

Thanksgiving may just be more meaningful this year, even for us Pinoys, who somehow got the American holiday into the Pinoy calendar of events (we still have to report for work here though). We did and still say our thank yous everyday but maybe the day resonated the voice of gratitude louder.

These days we take into account our brothers and sisters in need in everything that we do. The Holiday celebrations are toned down, if not scratched, and the money donated to charity. If there is a gathering, for sure it has a worthwhile cause. Take for example the spread Park Inn by Radisson prepared on Thanksgiving Day, it may be a treat but whatever they make will go to charity. It was a benefit dinner after all.

That’s one more thing I am thankful for, a chef like Jayme Natividad who shares his talents and whip up a most delectable array of food.

At the benefit dinner: Park Inn's PR Manager with Chef Jayme Natividad; SM Investment Corp (Hotel Group) executives, Paul Lee & Buda Nubla.

For Thanksgiving, Natividad channeled his “kitchen” days in the Big Apple and prepared more than tradition required. Aside from the RGB favorites of grilled specialties, taking “center stage” is the slow-roasted, bacon-wrapped turkey slathered with compound butter with herbs, the mixed berry sauce with orange and scallions, turkey stuffing with raisins and cashew, turkey gravy, sweet potato and marshmallows.

The turkey's best friends.

There was also his duo of most-heartwarming soups—the roasted pumpkin and the roasted garlic soups (now my favorite), the Porchetta (crispy skin over tender meat), the White Fish stuffed with spinach and poached in wine veloute.... Gravlax....

...and for dessert, the Pumpkin Pie and the Apple Pie.

Pumpkin sweetness!

Maybe you have missed trying this buffet but Chef Jayme has filled the daily ala carte menu with great food. I will recommend the Chicken Adobo, the Seafood Sinigang sa Mangosteen (perfect blend of sweetness and sourness)...

Easy to fall in love with- the slow-cooked Chicken Adobo & the very tender Beef Salpicao.

...Pasta De Davao (with a hearty serving of seafood), the Beef Salpicao (yes, I had to break my no-meat diet and try this tenderloin goody)....

The sea's freshest bounties are found in these dishes: the Tuna Ceviche and the Pasta de Dabaw .

....and you must try the Molten Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and the Malagos Ricotta Cheesecake.

An eruption of dark chocolate goodness- the Molten CHocolate Cake topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. 

Davao-made cheese in this fabulous dessert- Malagos Ricotta Cheesecake.

Back to the benefit dinner, after several turkeys after, the evening finally came to an end with the diners leaving with smiles on their faces. Smiling, because they somehow were able to help in raising the funds for the victims of Yolanda.

Remember that there is no such thing as “little” when anyone helps for when we gather the “little” helps, it will add up to something big. These days, almost everything we do always extend a little something to our fellow Pinoys in need. Thank you world for helping. Thank you Universe for all the blessings. Thank you Park Inn for a very nice benefit dinner.

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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 01, 2013.