The Best of Norway - Chef Markus Dybwad

Last Saturday night May 21, I was invited to a rare culinary event that happened in I’m Angus Steakhouse Yakal Makati. They featured Chef Markus Dybwad, who for one night only, gave his best to present authentic Norwegian cuisine to all of the attendees of that dinner party. Chef Markus Dybwad is a former Jr. Sous Chef of Fat Duck, Heston Blumenthal's 3 Michelin star Restaurant.
I have to admit that even if I want to I am not qualified to make a review of the courses that he has prepared. Through all of my travels and culinary empiricism, this was actually my first time to have a taste of what Norway has to offer. Nonetheless, I wrote this article to share with you, my experience so that you may consider events like this one in the future and perhaps even look forward to it with much excitement as I would now, after showing up for this one.

The arrival:

I was privileged enough to receive an invitation a couple of weeks ahead for this dinner event. It was exclusive only to forty people, and reservations were already halfway booked when they notified me. Being excited about the whole thing, I arrived at the restaurant exactly at 6PM. There were already a few people who seem to have known each other from previous events as they greeted each other with excitement. The attendees were of different nationalities. While the common language is, of course, English, I can hear some people speaking in Spanish, and I think a couple of them were even French. No one immediately took a seat as they lingered near the bar area for a while for chit-chats and a glass of champagne, the welcome drinks for this night.

Even before the guests went to their seats, some of the staff were already going around to serve canapes. I was able to try out four of them, and I was certainly happy that Saturday is my cheat day! I’m Angus Steakhouse has an open kitchen which is clearly visible from our area. We could see Chef Markus Dybwad and the other chefs in action while they were busy preparing all of his courses.

The Courses:

The first plate that was served on that evening was Charred Atlantic Mackerel with Cucumber and Ponzu. I thought that it was a very strong entry. It had awoken my palate right away as I clearly tasted the strong oily flavor of Mackerel with the tangy citrus Ponzu. The texture of the fish was definitely on point and certainly made me excited for what the next course will be. I have to mention that the wine connoisseur did a great job with her pairings for this evening. The Ribbonwood Pinot Gris 2014 complimented this particular course very well with its bold flavor.

The next plate was the Norwegian Fjord Salmon Trout, Milk, and Roasted Grains. This was probably my favorite for the night. Chef Markus Dybwad did a great job with this dish. The salmon was not as strong in flavor as the mackerel that was earlier served. But this was probably because of the milk that added sweetness to this particular course. The grains gave a wonderful crispy contrast to the very soft texture of the fish. It was a delightful experience to have all of the components together and just taste everything in your mouth all at once.

Then came the Alaskan King Crab with Carrots and Goat Cheese Cream. This was definitely something new to me and quite an artistic sight to behold! I certainly enjoyed this dish too, and to be honest I wish I could have more of it. After a short while, though, the next plate arrived on our table and it was the Poached Baltic Brill, with grilled lemon emulsion and pickled daikon. This last main course was as strong as the first one, and a fitting end before the dessert. It gave me a concrete impression of what Norwegian cuisine is all about and how good Chef Markus Dybwad really is when it comes to seafood.

In this event, I had the pleasure of meeting Paolo. Apparently it was his third time to attend a dinner prepared by Chef Markus. He is a very enthusiastic person when it comes to the culinary world, and he seeks out the best restaurants and chefs internationally. He told me, though, that when it comes to seafood, Chef Markus is definitely his favorite and he has been a fan for a long time now.
At the end of the night, Chef Dybwad finally came out of the kitchen and greeted all of us. We had the opportunity to take a photo with him and I even asked for his autograph as well.

Final Thoughts:

This event certainly gave me a good grasp of Norwegian Cuisine. More importantly, that it was prepared by an excellent Chef, Markus Dybwad. I am glad that restaurants like I’m Angus Steakhouse actually hold dinners like this one which I would compare to rock concerts that culinary enthusiasts here in the Philippines should attend.  I am definitely looking forward to what’s next.
The Best of Norway - Chef Markus Dybwad Reviewed by Unknown on 3:37 PM Rating: 5

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