Restaurant of the Year

L’ARTISAN

WE again give recognition to one restaurant most geared to our hopes and expectations from the food community in this landmark award for Sun Star Cebu’s Best of Cebu: Restaurant of the Year.

The panel welcomed nominations and scoured the city for our personal choices for great overall dining experiences throughout the year.

Shortlists were thoroughly discussed and, with considerable deliberation, further narrowed down to the final five and then, two, for which we have tapped the expertise of an external panel of judges who have practical experience in the food industry and the international food scene at large.

For this category, the shortlisted restaurants were rated for overall dining experience using a hundred-point rating system spread out over specific sub-criteria under Overall Ambience and Design, Food Experience, Service Experience and Uniqueness of Concept and Menu.

L’artisan French & Mediterranean Cuisine is virtually a glass menagerie with full floor-to ceiling panels bordered along its length by dramatic sheer drapes. The literal transparency still somehow does not prepare one for the homey warmth of the interiors designed, built and recently remodeled by the Executive Chef and founder himself, Jeffrey Broutin. If anything, that is only a hint of the consummate creative that he is.

Lighter, brighter colors bring in the sun from his family’s summer home in Périgord from where he also draws inspiration for his duck dishes. His seafood, particularly their specialty Moules Marinières, comes influenced by his childhood in his hometown, Lille. The classics also come along with surprising takes on local availabilities. There’s the Tuna Cheek, for example, the regular grill joint panga elevated with a broil to one’s desired doneness then served with a choice of sauces, ours being hollandaise. Frenchman that he is, he also has a full page on the menu for desserts to leave some room for.

The rest of the menu comprises other traditional dishes influenced by over fifteen years of kitchen experience across Europe, Asia and the Middle East; all done with avant-garde cooking methods. A state-of-the art glassed-in theater kitchen invites guests to witness their culinary artwork being prepared. The Chef’s Table, a private room, is also available for more intimate gatherings.

Casual and fine dining may not seem to belong in the same sentence as in what they would like to identify with. That is best explained by the French sophistication in their food, the sincerity of the flavors, excellent service and the Filipino hospitality making L’artisan French & Mediterranean Cuisine one’s “kitchen away from home.” Oakridge Business Park, A.S Fortuna, Mandaue City, 0925-4830244 or 0947-9603821. (Michael Karlo Lim)

The Panel

Joshua Herve Poulard

Of Haitian-American and Filipino heritage, Joshua was born in Germany and grew up all throughout the United States of America; Tokyo, Japan; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – experiences which developed his global palate. He moved to the Philippines to touch base with roots and to attend the International School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management where he earned a degree in Culinary Arts. He has since been based in Cebu and now runs a small business selling artisanal pies.

Kurt Famador

Cebuano through and through, Kurt’s culinary journey started at the Philippine School of Culinary Arts-Cebu. Kurt had put his elbow in across several known restaurants locally before seeking fortune in the Land of Plenty. He began at Chili’s before he moved from line cook to Demi Chef de Partie at Sorrentino’s Group of Restaurants’ Bistecca Italian Steakhouse & Wine Bar. He also returned home to become Chef and one-half of the restaurant formerly known as Carnivore with Barbra Sia.

Barbra Sia

Born and raised in Metro Manila, Barb studied Food and Beverage Services at Punlaan School, Manila. She started in the industry at the tender age of 17 as a cold kitchen cook for Wedneberg International Corporation’s Carpaccio Ristorante Italiano in Makati where she quickly rose to Demi Chef de Partie in just two years. Trying her luck abroad, she worked her way up the ranks for three years before she become the Day Sous Chef for Earls Kitchen + Bar, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She later returned home to become the Chef and co-owner of the restaurant formerly known as Carnivore.


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