FIRE AT THE HEARTH

A new restau­rant plays with food while keep­ing the warmth of home

Cebu Living - - Food - By DENISE DANIELLE AL­CAN­TARA Im­age by MAI PAGES

“Rules? There are no rules,” em­pha­sized three- Miche­lin star chef Grant Achatz with a smirk on his face in the first episode of Chef ’s Ta­ble sea­son two. Eat­ing for nour­ish­ment and eat­ing for plea­sure are two dif­fer­ent things. Why else do chefs trans­form into mad sci­en­tists and think of the odd­est ways to pre­pare and present food? Case in point: Achatz serves a he­lium- filled bal­loon made of green ap­ple taffy for dessert in his restau­rant Alinea, urg­ing food­ies from all over the world to re­serve a ta­ble sim­ply to ex­pe­ri­ence this bizarre food first­hand.

With the city be­com­ing more cos­mopoli­tan, the rise of busi­ness de­vel­op­ments has also opened up more pro­gres­sive food con­cepts. The din­ing scene has be­come more dy­namic and the peo­ple are more re­cep­tive to try­ing some­thing be­yond the usual lu­tong ba­hay fare.

Kayu is one of the first restau­rants that opened in 32 San­son by Rock­well. Of­ten mis­taken as a Ja­panese term, the restau­rant’s name is de­rived from the Ce­buano word kalayo, which means fire or pas­sion. Af­ter train­ing un­der the wing of iron chef Masa­haru Ma­ri­moto, chef Fran­cis “Izzy” Sy went back to Cebu and con­cep­tu­al­ized a mod­ern- fusion restau­rant that would rise in the heart of the city. “I wanted to break that chain where Ce­buanos don’t get to see what’s out­side. They’re used to the food that’s just here, and I wanted to show them what’s out there, that there’s still more,” he says.

Din­ing here is like step­ping into an old friend’s house turned into a mod­ern restau­rant with a full view of what’s go­ing

ABOVE: PAN-SEARED PAR­ROT FISH WITH WILD MUSH­ROOM RAGOUT, BROWN BUT­TER

EMUL­SION, AND SQUID INK. BE­LOW: BEET­ROOT SALAD WITH GOAT’S MILK RICOTTA, TZATZIKI, GUAVA GEL, OR­ANGE, AND

GARAM MASALA VINAIGRETTE.

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