The first molecular mixology event in the Philippines? Well, its about time we had one!
Our group and its few affiliates in the bartending scene in the country think that it might be time to introduce this concept to the people in the industry here, or at least those who are willing and have the means. The few pioneers would hopefully continue the work in their respective establishments, conduct their own experiments, and try out more advanced techniques on their own after the workshop. Of course the fee is no joke. That’s because we currently do not have an expert in the Philippines and have to fly one in.
Neil Ocampo, The Liquid Chef from 1 Altitude & Stellar Bar at the Raffles Place in Singapore had trained directly under the proponent of Molecular Gastronomy, Chef Ferran Adriá from Spain of the famous elBulli restaurant.
August & September are busy months for competitive bartenders. Amidst the usual flairtending & classical mixology competitions being held in all corners of country, trade shows, and HRM week celebration in universities, you feel a sense of lacking. Not that there’s anything wrong with flair & cocktail competitions, but these events had happened many times before with the same formats, and unless there are quality, global-level events such as the Philippine Flair Open, I don’t look forward to it anymore. Everyone is just looking forward to something different, especially the seasoned ones in their industry. So, THIS IS IT!
OR IS IT?
As I sit here, writing this post while eating my bland boiled cabbage dinner, wondering if Pimm’s #1 would be nice mixed in with hot ginger tea, I think about the bartenders I cross paths with during my visits to the provinces. They’ve probably never heard of, much less tasted, Pimm’s before. The only exposure they get is from the big brands sponsoring events in their area, which really are very limited. The fulfilment they get from their work has more to do with the customer service and even customer entertainment aspects of it rather than the experience of creating drinks unique to them that they can call their own – a twist on the classic perhaps, or even something radically different.
Perhaps flair is highlighted much because aside from the catchy performance that draws people in, that is probably the only thing that they could offer – entertainment. I might be wrong, but it makes sense to me. Not a lot of people here drink to enjoy the drink itself, and much less are concerned with what goes into what they are drinking. So much emphasis is given to food anyway. Majority of health buffs don’t care about their iced teas & sodas being mostly of glucose or high fructose corn syrup, nor do the 90% of self-proclaimed beer lovers care about other beers aside from San Miguel. Doing a survey of bars in Boracay where drinking establishments of all kinds, social class level, and style abound, yield the same bar menu. Meaning the backpacker on a budget will get the same drink as those checked in at 4 & 5-star resorts, one paying P60 and the other P450 because they’ve ordered from a shirtless guy versus someone in a uniform.
In the end, most people won’t care about what bartenders here do. What’s this workshop for then?
It is not really as to make “molecular cocktails” a fad. It is to start getting some people, albeit 25 at a time for now, understand that cocktails can be more interesting, technical, challenging, artistic, that any beverage could cross the boundaries between what is food and what is a drink, that understanding your ingredients more can make you do more and make better things, that bartenders can do science in their field too, and I can go on and on about our group’s motives behind this and the Filipino majority’s apathy towards their drinks.
It has to start somewhere, and we’re not ones who’ll just wait for things to happen.
So, finally, HERE IT IS!