Sustainability at its finest

Published April 24, 2022, 8:12 AM

by John Legaspi

After a two-year wait and with Manila’s easing into a state of relative calm, Solaire is back to hosting one-of-a-kind events with its signature touch of luxury that many are missing to experience once again.

Solaire unveils its latest partnership with one of the country’s most sought-after chocolatiers, Auro Chocolate, in a one-night exclusive degustation dinner entitled “Chocolate Harvest: Farm-to-Table Degustation”. Happening on April 28, 2022, at the luxury resort’s Finestra Italian Steakhouse, guests can witness Italian heritage and Filipino excellence come together to champion sustainability and elevate communities.

Auro Chocolate offers a variety of single-origin white, milk, and dark chocolate whose flavors are indicative of its origin

The special dinner is filled with gastronomic creations made from the heart and soul of cacao. The event features a 6-course menu with dishes rooted in classic Italian cuisine infused with fine Filipino-made chocolate. Each item on the curated degustation list uniquely plays on flavors and textures that are unexpected and unusual. The entire experience aims to surprise, displaying the versatility and variety of cacao forms and uses.

Chef Alan Marchetti draws inspiration from his home country and pushes the boundaries of the conventional by experimenting with the familiar and the new. The painstaking process of reinventing dishes is often more challenging than starting from scratch, having to unlearn and untie sacred traditions learned from years of perfecting the craft. In his quest to elevate and reintroduce, Chef Alan has had to go back and forth on the drawing board to deconstruct elements of his chosen dishes and muster a form of creativity to rebuild each with a touch of non so che– to leave the mind and palate in awe, to let the imagination run at full-steam.

Finestra’s Chef Alan Marchetti will showcase a different kind of Italian degustation with a chocolate flair

The 6-course menu features different parts of the cacao, rendering distinct taste notes and mouthfeel. Each bite is a playful roller coaster ride, with exciting turns that you won’t see coming. The starters take staples from two opposing cultures. The first is an earthy but refreshing tuna ceviche with tinges of pleasant cacao’s astringency and spice for an added bite, while the second is an ox tail vaccinara that brings the Romans’ vivid history to the attention by pairing meat with fresh and piney nuances. Finestra’s specialties also include pasta. A natural addition, this course presents a luxury pairing that will entice your senses to lean in for a closer look. It’s visually dramatic, more so when you take your first bite. An explosion of overwhelming depths of flavors from foie gras, chocolate, and porcini will envelop you in a tender balance of sweet and savory punctuated by a delicate nuttiness that lingers. The fish course is gently infused with hints of cacao for a subtle tone of sweet vanilla complemented by a mild earthiness from the bed of puree it is laid on. The next is a lamb tenderloin cooked at a precise temperature while immersed in the dense silkiness of cocoa butter. The tenderness in each bite harmonizes with a gentle bittersweetness from dark chocolate with a hint of savory flair. As the night nears its closing, a fun game in three parts arrives on your table. A dessert trio of chocolate exuberance made from different Auro chocolates will delight you with a myriad of taste combinations that will set the fireworks alight.

The new partnership between two of the country’s leading brands was initiated by Solaire’s Vice President for Culinary, Chef Michael Dinges, a staunch sustainability advocate who puts emphasis on farm-to-table practices as a means to support local farms. Solaire’s kitchens use select ingredients sourced directly from the resort’s partners, incorporating these in the list of specialties from its 15 dining and beverage establishments. Apart from holding numerous international awards for its products, Auro Chocolate’s commitment to promoting sustainability and empowering Filipino farmers seamlessly aligns with Solaire’s Filipino-first ethos, making them a natural choice for a community-centric endeavor.

Other than an incredible culinary showcase, Solaire’s Finestra also officially introduces its newest signature retail chocolates crafted in collaboration with Auro Chocolate. These exclusive and limited-edition chocolate bars come in three decadent flavors and cocoa percentages: Olive Oil and Sea Salt (64 percent Dark Chocolate), Hazelnut and Mango (42 percent Milk Chocolate), and Calamansi and Biscotti (32 percent White Chocolate).

Unravel the undiscovered allure of the flavors of cacao in an exceptional dinner where sustainability is at its finest. Book your tables for “Chocolate Harvest: Farm-to-Table Degustation” by visiting or call +632 8888.8888.