After years of ceased operations due to the pandemic, Vatel Restaurant celebrated its reopening and 10th year at Hotel Benilde Maison de La Salle with a gala night, serving an authentic French culinary experience with a six-course meal, all under the supervision of French executive chef Pascal Peyramaure.
Set to open to the public in 2024, Vatel Restaurant announced its transfer of location to The Atrium @ Benilde, the fourth and newest campus of De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
Vice Chancellor for Academics, Mr. Marco Angelo Lacson, opened the night with opening remarks as he welcomed Chef Peyramaure, expressing his gratitude to the chef for sharing his expertise with the Benildean faculty and students and for putting together a whole new menu for the reopening of the restaurant.
“[The Benilde and Vatel] partnership has been very successful over the years, and out of this partnership is this fabulous restaurant which we are reopening after three long years of closure due to the pandemic,” he said.
The executive chef was then formally introduced alongside his translator, Merce. In his speech, he explained the three main objectives of his visit. The first is to find local ingredients for the French dishes served in Vatel Restaurant Manila. Despite recognizing that this was difficult for them, he was still enthusiastic about pushing through with the challenge since, ideally, locally-sourced ingredients would help make the prices of the dishes more affordable to the public. His second objective is to share his knowledge with Chef Mark and Chef John, who will train future students at the Benilde Hotel. And last, but not least, his final objective is to guide all chefs working at the restaurant in creating a new menu.
“He was very happy working with his students. He’s very glad to be here to share his expertise and he hopes that you will enjoy the meal we have been preparing tonight. Thank you very much to all the administrators from the bottom of his heart, and to the honored guests. Bon appetit!” Merce on translating Chef Pascal’s words of gratitude.
Following this was the highlight of the night: a French fine dining experience that was served by Benildean students for their practicum test. The dinner menu consisted of three types of wines, champagne, three different salmon dishes, beef shank as the main course, salad, and finally, mango tart with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Dinner was prepared by the Vatel kitchen team which also consisted of Benildean student chefs.
To end the night with a bang, Coro San Benildo, the resident chorale group of the College, captivated everyone in the room as they serenaded the crowd with their two sets of performances.
The restaurant is still open this year with a reservations-only policy.