PARK AV­ENUE DESSERTS

From Punk Rock Pi­o­neer to Pres­i­dent of the Pas­try Al­liance of the Philip­pines: the un­likely jour­ney of Park Av­enue Bak­ery & Café’s Chef Buddy Trinidad

Let’s Eat - - WHAT'S INSIDE - WORDS BY SPANKY HIZON EN­RIQUEZ

“S hould I stay or should I go?” I’m guess­ing if some young indie di­rec­tor de­cided to make a doc­u­men­tary about Chef Buddy Trinidad, that song would play over the film’s trailer. It’s apt. I’m imag­in­ing the chef as a young mu­si­cian in the mid-‘80s,, gui­tar slung over his shoul­ders, shot in grainy 16mm, in black and white of course, look­ing both sullen and soul­ful as he glares into the cam­era, as a rock star should. The trailer then cuts to 1999, where ev­ery­thing turns shiny and glossy and so­phis­ti­cated: a track­ing shot, Buddy on the move, now as a chef on the rise in Stars in Glo­ri­etta, the Philip­pine out­post of one of the best restau­rants in the world, work­ing with no less than the leg­endary Jeremiah Tower. The trailer ends in the present day, as Mr. Trinidad, now the Pres­i­dent of the Pas­try Al­liance of the Philip­pines, is seen in the busy pro­duc­tion area of Park Av­enue Bak­ery & Café in Ma­gal­lanes, men­tor­ing a group of promis­ing culi­nary pro­fes­sion­als, in­spir­ing them, rock­ing their world, as that song by The Clash fades to the un­mis­tak­able scratch of a turntable’s nee­dle slid­ing off a 45 sin­gle. The chef has found his home.

Buddy still plays reg­u­lar gigs with Be­trayed, the sem­i­nal Pi­noy punk rock band that’s deeply in­flu­enced most of the le­git OPM rock­ers in the past quar­ter cen­tury. Park Av­enue’s com­mis­sary, not to be out­done, has been the train­ing ground of many of the most ac­com­plished new pas­try chefs, mil­len­ni­als now mak­ing waves in the in­dus­try. To be at the nexus of two very dis­tinct but still, quite sim­i­lar dis­ci­plines is in­deed un­con­ven­tional and rare. But some­how, Buddy’s found him­self right in the in­ter­sec­tion of both. Mu­sic, not un­like bak­ing, re­lies on pre­ci­sion and the mas­tery of a craft. And bak­ing’s best, just like mu­sic, will al­ways be de­rived from a sub­lime com­bi­na­tion of cre­ativ­ity and pas­sion. And to sus­tain one’s pop­u­lar­ity and rel­e­vance in an ever com­pet­i­tive and yes, clut­tered field, a mu­si­cian or a culi­nary pro can’t rely just on the “Best of…”. There

al­ways a de­mand for some­thing new to go along with the clas­sics.

A few months ago, Buddy and his wife Rita changed the name of their very pop­u­lar pas­try shop, Park Av­enue Desserts, to the more widely en­com­pass­ing, and more ap­pro­pri­ate, Park Av­enue Bak­ery & Café. There will be a dis­tinct em­pha­sis on ar­ti­sanal breads – the new “Crazin” is in­sane in the best way pos­si­ble – chock­full of raisins, cran­ber­ries, and a whole lot of macadamias. The change will also high­light many of their best­sellers, which are ac­tu­ally sa­vory items: pasta and sand­wiches, all made from scratch. There’s con­stant change in Park Av­enue, and some­how, each it­er­a­tion, each in­ven­tion, el­e­vates what came be­fore. Ev­ery­one’s fa­vorite Red Vel­vet isn’t a cup­cake here; in­stead it takes the form of a very French cre­ation: an Opera cake. An­other sexy rein­ter­pre­ta­tion: the silki­est leche flan imag­in­able seam­lessly sits above a caramel cake, creamy and satin smooth.

Look­ing around the shop’s shelves and peer­ing into the chillers, there’s al­most an em­bar­rass­ment of riches; the Park Av­enue branches in Paseo de Ma­gal­lanes and in Rus­tan’s Makati al­most seem too small to con­tain Buddy’s bursts of cre­ativ­ity. So it’s good to know that plans are afoot for three more out­lets set to open in 2018. That’s what rock stars do best af­ter all. They keep on com­ing up with the hits!

“BUDDY CAME HOME IN 1999 TO BE THE EX­EC­U­TIVE CHEF OF “STARS” IN GLO­RI­ETTA, THE PHILIP­PINE OUT­POST OF ONE OF THE BEST RESTAU­RANTS IN THE WORLD, WORK­ING WITH NO LESS THAN THE LEG­ENDARY JEREMIAH TOWER.”

02 1 Choco­late Crois­sant 2 Red Vel­vet 3 Grilled Rose­mary Chicken with Tomato Jam 4 Creamy Caramel Cus­tard Cake 5 Chef Buddy Trinidad

PHO­TOS BY GABBY CANTERO

06

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