You are out of your mind or probably having fever if you despise chocolate. The tempting and alluring shades of brown whispers my name every time I’m near it. It’s the sight I can’t let go my eyes of. I’m still on my normal state, a normal human being who trips when I see chocolates lingering around. I confess, I’m a chocolate lover.
A month ago, Cafe Ysabel celebrated the dawn of Artisanal Philippine Chocolate as a heritage product brought by our Spanish colonizers and cultivated for more than 400 years. According to Chef Gene Gonzalez, chef patron of the Chocolate Dinner I attended, conservatives felt strongly against All Chocolate and Wine Diners. Sticking to the conservative thinking, many Filipinos are still doubtful if the fusion of chocolate and savory dishes will work.
At this stage, the conservatives still live in some of us. Afraid to take that leap for being an adventurist in eating. At the Filipino Chocolate Dinner prepared by Chef Gene’s team, I witnessed the extraordinary side of chocolate in this country.

The Filipino Chocolates:

Five (5) different Philippine Chocolatiers namely Malagos Chocolate, Risa’s Chocolate, Kablon Farms, Theo & Philo, and Magdalena’s Cacao Beans Chocolates showcased their world class creations.
Theo & Philo Chocolates
That evening, I was seated beside Philo Chua, the man who came back home to the Philippines and introduce his chocolates now known as Theo & Philo. His flavors are always out of this world but always capitalizing on Filipino favorites. For example, his best-selling chocolate Green Mango & Salt, already speaks about being pinoy.
Malagos Chocolate
“Is this really made in the Philippines?” The packaging alone made me wonder where the chocolates came from. A proudly Filipino product that uses the finest ingredients and equipments to produce chocolates that can compete not only locally, but internationally. Malagos gives emphasis on being the finest by using cacao beans that originated from Trinitario, hybrid of the Criollo and Forastero varieties.
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Risa’s Chocolate
The meticulous Pam birthed Risa Chocolates out of her passion to give smiles to everyone’s faces through her chocolate creations. Her vibrant personality manifests on her bright yellow packaging, which I think is pretty neat. Take a piece of her truffles, oh my you wouldn’t regret it!
Magdalena’s Cacao Beans Chocolates
Magdalena Laguna, where Magdalena’s Cacao Beans Chocolates are planted. Magdalena’s makes their nutritious cacao beans from scratch to finish. I brought home with me Magdalena’s 70% Cacao Bean Chocolates with dried mango slices, a snack I’m still hankering for until this day.
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Kablon Farms Chocolates
Kablon Farms, healthy food products from South Cotabato, doesn’t limit itself to chocolates alone. The family-owned company grows their fruits in their 65-hectare plantation, processing them later into chocolates and other fruit product lines. With their wide range of all-natural products, Kablon Farms merges world-class quality and nutrition benefits in one.


The Chocolate Dishes:

Chocolates won’t come last in this event. From start to end, I experienced the wonders of what cacao can do to food.
Turkish Pita Bread with Cocoa Vinaigrette
Magdalena’s cocoa nib infused vinaigrette, Turkish pita bread with Malagos cocoa nibs.
Gougere of blue cheese with Theo and Philo Chocolate tomato mayo.

Roasted Suam with Biscotti
Risa’s savory chocolate biscotti with roasted suam topped with Risa’s Milk Chocolate foam. There were pinches of spice on my soup, matches the chocolate biscotti that was stronger and more bitter.
Parrot Fish with Coco Whisked Butter Sauce
Topped with market day shrimps guisado in Bellota ham fat, Magdalena Theobrama noodles. I also had those white edible flowers, meant for eating, not only for design.
Baked Chicken Galantina 
The attraction I had with this Baked Galantina was quick. Baked Galantina of free range chicken on a gratin bed of white chocolate lemon mousseline. Topped with crispy orange zest, Risa’s mole, balsamic pearls, leek creme, mesclun or roquette salad with vanilla vinaigrette.

Roasted Boar Itag Steak
To complete the boar steak that had firm texture, the plate was filled with foie gras cubes, fish sauce emulsion, pumpkin puree, wild guava sphere, Malagos chocolate demiglace with wood spiced guava confit.
Reconstructed Kablon marble cheesecake stuffed with burnt sugar cheesecake on tablea ampao crust; mango caviar; coco jam macaron; coconut ice cream; Kablon passion fruit creme anglaise; strawberry macedoines. For the cooling temperature of dessert, we had Chorizong macao ice cream truffle coated with Theo and Philo.
Jilliver seated with Philippine Chocolatiers
I’m waiting for the period that more restaurants will infuse chocolates on their dishes. This dinner proves that chocolates are not staple for desserts alone. Our Philippine chocolates take their versatility from appetizer to dessert. We must be proud of how our local chocolates transformed. Classy, sophisticated and indeed world-class!
The Philippine Chocolatiers and Chef Gene Gonzalez
These men and woman (hello Pam of Risa!) are taking Philippine artisan chocolates to great heights.
Thank you Chef Gene for an evening of Philippine chocolate appreciation. My perspective on chocolates widened as I was endeared to local chocolates more than before.
You’ve never failed to entertain us with your line up of extraordinary dishes and your warm hospitality to us, your guests.
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout