The Philippine Star
Chateau 1771: ‘No Borders Cuisine’ for three decades
Since we opened here in Bonifacio Global City, most of our customers have been returning customers and the new ones are their children,” said Vicky Pacheco, COO and executive chef, 1771 Group of companies.
“The older customers remember Chateau 1771 in Malate, which we started 30 years ago. Their children recall the lovely meals they had with their parents.”
It was Ricky Gutierrez, founder and CEO of the 1771 Group of Restaurants, who envisioned a place where people could come together for memorable dining.
When Chateau 1771 first opened its doors in 1771 Adriatico Street in 1988, it was a place where discerning gourmands wined and dined amid the backdrop of busy city life. For more than three decades, Chateau 1771 has moved with the times — locating at the current center of business and lifestyle — from its original location in Malate to Ortigas, Makati, and now Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
“Shangri-La is here and it is like New York,” said Ricky. “It is alive and mature. I like the idea that the Philippine Stock Exchange is here also. This is where the future of cuisine is, and that is why we are here at BGC.”
The PSE pretty much dictates where the future will be. “When the economy is good, everybody celebrates, and when the economy is bad, people still eat. There is also the mix of offices and luxury residential dwellings.”
MEALS FOR ALL
It was Chateau 1771 that coined the phrase “No Borders Cuisine.” And chef Vicky showcases these meals by highlighting outstanding innovations in French, Swiss, and Italian favorites. Her culinary creations constantly tickle the palates of her diners with wonderful twists on European favorites.
“We pretty much engineered the menus in such a way that if you have a certain budget, you can still eat here,” added Gutierrez. “If you have a budget of P500, you could get your lunch here. Our pasta is around P320. But if you want to eat steaks and don’t mind spending, you could also do that here.”
Chef Vicky added, “We need to keep our old favorites on the menu because our customers look for them. I had a customer who asked for some sauce that we used to serve with our meat meals back in Malate. The sauce is what he came back for, so I had to reproduce it. And now I have it here for regular customers.”
But chef Vicky continues to evolve with the times. For example, she shared that she came up with a lemon chicken dish, but not the Chinese variety.
How would chef Vicky plan a meal for her diners? She shared how she would start a meal with butterbaked oysters. These fresh Aklan oysters are baked with butter-flavored Worcestershire sauce, garlic and parsley, then topped with bacon bits. Or go for something light with the Goat Cheese and Grilled Apple Salad. Enjoy Chèvre cheese, bacon, and grilled apples drizzled with Pommery mustard dressing over mixed greens.
If unwinding with friends? Share the Antipasto Platter complete with prosciutto crudo, mixed bar nuts tossed in butter, some smoked duck breast, Parma ham and cheese croquetas, to smoked gindara.
Another option is the deeply satisfying TomatoCheese Fondue made with Gruyère cheese and flavored with Fendant wine and tomatoes. Pair them perfectly with wine.
The two specialties of the restaurant are crowd favorites. Potence is grilled beef tenderloin hung on a metal gallows, then flambéed with brandy. The serving itself is a performance to behold! On the other hand, the Butterflied Queen Prawns is nicely plated stuffed prawns cooked with cream, mushrooms, squash and raclette cheese served with risotto.
Of course, one must end with the famous Coffee Pie. A must-eat, it has a chocolate cashew crust with coffee filling, topped with cream cheese and toffee sauce.
“In the last 30 years the taste of the Filipino has not changed,” added chef Vicky. “Maybe now Filipinos look for more fancy presentation. But that home taste we love is still there. Filipino diners know what they want and what they consider masarap.”
ANOTHER TRADEMARK: OLMEDO ART
And, in keeping with the nostalgia theme, we ask about the Onib Olmedo artworks that fill the resto and have been a trademark of the Chateau 1771 restos. And Onib also created beautiful still-lifes and landscapes that evoke contemplation and wonder.
“Onib was a friend of mine in the ’70s,” Ricky said. “His works are in all our Chateau 1771 restaurants since we opened in Malate. I guess he would give me murals and paintings so that I would give him free meals?” he says with a laugh.
We asked why the name of the resto changes whenever Chateau 1771 finds a new home. I was told that when Chateau 1771 left El Pueblo in Ortigas, the owners didn’t want to give up the space and rebranded it as Cafe 1771. It’s an entirely different concept and not just a name change. Cafe 1771 is also where 1771 Events Place is located.
As for Greenbelt 5, they simply decided to move Sentro 1771 from Greenbelt 3 to Chateau 1771’s spot in Greenbelt 5 because it is a prime corner in terms of visibility and facade.
“There is only one Chateau 1771 because there is only one chef Vicky,” Ricky concluded.
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Chateau 1771 is located at 2/F One Bonifacio High Street, 5th Avenue corner 28th St., BGC, Taguig. For reservations or more information, contact 0917-862-6467 or visit the website www.chateau1771.com.ph. Like and follow @ Chateau1771 on Facebook and Instagram.