Kitchen MIshaps and Victories, Restaurant Rants and Raves and a whole lotta wanderlust!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kitschen Invasion: Rachel's Chicken Dinner

I have known Rachel Le Roux since high school, when she was still Rachel Rapaport. Regardless of what last name she carries and how long she was away for, she is still the same down-to-earth, fun loving, cool chick I first met at Brent.

Rae and I always complain we don't see each other as much as we'd like, so the universe made it possible for us to have more frequent get togethers since she lives in the South and I now work in Alabang. Last Tuesday, she invited me over for dinner, and although her husband Hylton is a chef (an awesome one-check out Pi Catering on Facebook) she made dinner that night.

Here's what we had:
Garlic mushroom and eggplant salad with balsamic dressing

Roasted butternut squash with rosemary

Chicken ala Rae (and garlic mash which I forgot to photograph :s)

Rachel's Chicken Dinner

12 Chicken Thighs / Legs
1 1/2 packet of Asian Gourmet Thai Aromatic Grill Kai Yang
6-8 peeled whole shallots
3-4 twigs of Rosemary
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Marinate the chicken for about 30 mins. Then put it in a roasting tray with the shallots, rosemary and salt and cook on about 350˚F for about 45 minutes. Halfway through the time, I usually put water into the tray to steam up and soften the chicken.

Turn up the heat for an extra 10 minutes for extra crispy skin.


A little bit about Rachel:

What's it like being married to a chef? What's the typical meal like at the Le Roux residence?
Everyone must think that I get gourmet food at home everyday but I don't. All a chef does is cook at work so that last thing he would like to do is cook at home after hours on his feet. So I cook dinner most of the time. But when he has his days off and fancies cooking up a storm, well these are the days that I reap the benefits. Typical meal? Meat with a salad and potatoes or something Asian. Rice doesn't really come onto our table too often, guess it's from the years of living in London. But there has to be meat, because he's South African and because they can't live without it.

You used to live in London, from a culinary perspective, what do you miss about living there?
When you think about London, food doesn't generally come into mind. People often say that the food is bland. But when you live there, you discover and crave for certain things that you enjoyed. Where do I even begin? Pork and Leek sausages, Supermarket bought Angus Aberdeen Rib Eye steak that doesn't cost and arm and a leg, Pret-a-Manger, and I know we get quite a good variety here in Manila, but OH MY. THE CHEESES. What a wonderful selection. When I was up to it, I'd walk to Whole Foods and head straight to huge, refrigerated cheese room and treat myself to a chunk of Manchego with quince jelly. Solero Exotic Fruit Sorbet Ice Cream, Sunday Roasts! Lamb, Beef or Pork with veggies, Yorkshire pudding, Gastro pubs and I miss my favourite restaurants--Busaba Ethai, Belgo's Centrale in Covent Garden, my local pub (The Queens Head in Brook Green) for last minute meals out, Wagamamas around the city, and most importantly Chelsea Bun in Fulham for their traditional English fry-up breakfasts. Oh, the wonders of the English fry-ups.

Rachel with her hubby, Chef Hylton Le Roux

Tell us more about Pi Catering and what it can bring to the table in the already saturated food industry in Manila
Hylton has been a chef now for fourteen years, from working in Gordon Ramsey's kitchen at the Savoy Hotel to Heston Bleumental's kitchen at The Fat Duck to gastro pubs and catering companies. His vision and concept for Pi Catering is to bring his culinary knowledge and experiences into homes, as if you have a Michelin Star restaurant in your own home! He will initially sit with you to create a menu suitable for your palate and works on a menu concept designed just for you. And then on the day of the event, everything is brought to you. Just think of everything that you need to make you feel like you are dining out but in fact, you are sitting in your own dining room and at the end of the night, all you do is sit back and have your night cap with you and your friends in the comfort of your own home. I think Manila's foodies will be pleasantly and wonderfully surprised. :) It's different, it's classically creative and it's fun.
He's also blogging about the whole start up of the company and his take on food.

Check out Pi Catering on Facebook and Hylton's blog at

1 comment:

  1. Erica,

    Thank you so much for your article on Rachel Rapaport Le Roux and the culinary feast you had.

    I'm just curious: How did Hylton and Rachel meet?

    Blessings in the new year.