KITCHEN STORIES by Aissa Arambulo-Dela Cruz
Flavourful and heartwarming stories that fill the heart, and feed the soul.
Before the pandemic, a trip to Plantation Bay Resort & Spa at the tip of Marigondon in Mactan Island was always worth the distance and the traffic. Spectacular man-made lagoons and waterfalls dominate this Caribbean-inspired resort. Its luxurious rooms and suites sit in clusters around the fresh and salt-water lagoons. Its culinary offerings are a cornucopia of excellent savory and sweet creations.
Executive Chef Lee Ramas and Pastry Chef Gerard Apurado
With a quarantine lifestyle, a new norm of eating and dining has been developed by the hospitality industry to keep the business moving. And the savvy of the indefatigable General Manager Efren Belarmino came to fore when he met with his culinary team led by Executive Chef Lee Ramas. Since their baked items were very popular, he particularly gave directives to Pastry Chef Gerard Apurado to do take-outs. GM Efren decided, “it is time to make these available in the comfort of their homes. Owner Manny Gonzalez then coined the name “Bakeshop by the Beach”. This was successfully launched in June. The menu for the take-outs includes some of the favorite desserts and pastries from an array of cakes, loaves, brownies, “Pinoy” pies and breads. Creative and driven 27-year-old Pastry Chef Gerard Apurado has started a trend by offering the creamy and buttery Ensaymada every Monday calling it “Ensaymondays:” and on Fridays the exquisite Croissants are available. Yes.. take-out and delivered to your doorsteps..
Ensaymada is a Filipino soft, sweet dough pastry smothered with butter and topped with sugar and grated cheese, which was adopted from the Spain. The genuine ones have a rich, soft, moist and buttery dough, the kind I grew up with. The Croissant, on the other hand, is a French buttery and flaky bread due to a process called lamination, a culinary preparation consisting of many thin layers of dough separated by butter produced by repeated folding and rolling. So the crescent-shaped roll is delicately crusty on the outside and moist inside. Then there are the “Pinoy” Cookies that softly bring us back to our roots – tableya, malunngay, mango, ube at casuy. So to enjoy these exquisite baked products, visit and direct message the resort in their social media accounts: Facebook page: Plantation Bay’s Bakeshop and Instagram: plantationbaybakeshop