July 17, 2012

My Kitchen by Chef Chris Guarantees Happy Tummies

(Slow-roasted lamb ribs with garlic and rosemary rub are succulent and tender to the bite. The dish is served with braised lentils, olive fried potatoes, and Italian style broccoli.)

THE first time I met the Swiss-born chef Chris Locher and was introduced to his famous panizza—his own version of the pizza—was back in February 2007. He was still chef patron of C’ Italian Dining in Clark, Angeles, Pampanga and back then, it was known among expat bankers as the “best Italian restaurant in the country.”

I remember urging Chef Chris to open a branch in Manila so my foodie friends and I could gorge on his sumptuous dishes more frequently, but he dismissed this by saying that he wasn’t too keen on the city’s traffic jam, noise, and pollution.

Flash forward five years later, Chef Chris has left his old employ, and has continued his culinary career in Manila, setting up My Kitchen by Chef Chris in Paco. (He is also executive chef at The Continental at the exclusive Tower Club in Makati, creating gastronomic delights for its well-heeled members.)

With the chef’s old regulars like myself, and a growing new crop of fans, My Kitchen has become the newest dining hotspot in the metropolis. Many historians-foodies have noted, the restaurant’s presence has given life to Paco itself, whose historical significance became obscured by the district having become a haven of parked trailers and trucks.

What I love about My Kitchen and Chef’s Chris’ creations is that they are always consistently superb, and the portions are always large enough to share with family and friends. So it’s not unusual to see loads of families heading to the restaurant after Sunday Mass at the Paco Park Church. (The rest in InterAksyon.com, June 11, 2012. Copyright to these photos are owned by this blogger.)

(The Kristina panizza is a meat-lover’s favorite made with bacon and ham, plus caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms.)

(Lemon lime cheesecake - A baked cheese cake with almond crust, finely crusted with sugar crust sweet lemon lime sauce, almond and cream. A perfect balance of zest and sweetness.)

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