Story by MARK FRANCISCO
Photos by GERRY GORIT
Bringing with him memories of 20 years chef stint in Dubai and Riyadh, executive chef Bienvenido Chavez had immediately befriended the Muslim patrons of the hotel’s flagship KaVe Restaurant. The patrons expressed interest in making the hotel’s kitchen a halal one – meaning there is a separate area for pork supplies to unload and be prepared and cooked.
In barely two weeks in his new post, the maverick chef has completely overhauled all the menus in KaVe Restaurant as well as Limketkai Luxe’s The Lounge. Homemade ice creams with distinctively exotic flavors as wasabi, cherry and salted eggs were introduced. An all-Mexican array opened up. The international buffet menu expanded.
Now at the age of 53, Chavez wasted no time in reimagining the way Cagayanons eat. He is also keen on implementing the “farm to table” concept where the hotel chefs themselves would round up fresh produce from the market and whip up their recipes immediately, served straight to the diners.
“I talk to the dining patrons as much as they want to interact with me. And if they critique me and wish to eat something more palatable, I change the menu on the spot,” Chavez said. That is not an exaggeration. Two weeks ago when BusinessWeek Mindanao lifestyle columnist Sheryl Macale commented that an enchilada was too bland for her taste, Chavez personally had another order be cooked and served.
That is how Chavez runs the kitchen side of Limketkai Luxe. It will definitely reimagine the way we Cagayanons and visitors dine.
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