Rarely that we sat down and interview a corporate chef while we enjoy flavorful dishes served by one of them and we just had that opportunity when the very young and vibrant head of the kitchen for a well known restaurant company shared to us what their latest campaign is all about. Chef Josh Boutwood adds new flavor to The Bistro Group’s newest campaign “Taste the Love,” not just because he’s young, only in his 20s, but remarkably, shares his passion in cooking and quite experimental in what he do as he keep up with the heat inside the kitchen.
Taste of Love is introduced as way to celebrate the milestones of The Bistro Group, namely the opening of 50 restaurants spread across 12 concepts, the appointment of Corporate Chef Josh Boutwood, and the launch of its Premiere Card. The Bistro Group is a collection of international hospitality casual dining brands and home-grown restaurant concepts, namely TGI Friday’s, Italianni’s, Fish & Co., Flapjacks, Pig Out!, Krazy Garlik, The Stock Market, Bulgogi Brothers , Ma Maison, Village Tavern, Watami, and Modern Shanghai, which is the latest restaurant to join the group.
Let’s first talk about Chef Josh Boutwood. Chef Josh is half-Filipino and half-Briton, who also owns a restaurant, Alchemy, located at the Station 2 in Boracay, is a 26-year-old guy who studied at the Escuela de Culinao Mojacar in Spain, and apprenticed under French Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in England. He has worked in various restaurants in Spain, Denmark, and Sweden, most notably at Noma, touted as one of the best restaurants in the world by San Pellegrinos’ 50 Best. He won several awards at the 3rd Philippine Culinary Cup, and much more. Whew! Quite a lot of achievements for such a young age.
But what sets apart Chef Josh from or Josh, to his contemporaries, is his penchant for out-of-the-box style of cooking. As we’ve mentioned above, he’s always into the arts of experimental cooking and guess what, we have been awed by his magical concepts, which makes The Bistro Group joints even more exciting to look after.
As The Bistro Group launch the Taste of Love campaign, it’s also the right opportunity to introduce Chef Josh’s Sesame Teriyaki Chicken Wings and Fully Loaded Sweet Potato Skins at Village Tavern where we met him recently. And wait until you taste the love of Chef Josh’s Black Pizza. Uh-hum, Black Pizza. You read that right. How many of you there have tasted and tried a Black Pizza? Hands up? Well, if you’re already quite intrigued, then go to Village Tavern in Bonifacio High Street, and let your taste buds experience this newest pizza concept.
Original or not, we asked Chef Josh if he has heard of the Black Pizza before or if somebody else have already tapped on this. Chef Josh humbly answered that he’s not sure (in a British accent, by the way). “There are lots of good chefs in the world and I’m not sure if a black pizza exists already, but it will be good to know if I was the first to introduce this (Black Pizza) here.”
Okay, he’s not sure though, but how or when did the Black Pizza came to be, Chef Josh?
“It just started out of sheer boredom,” he said as he stared all of us interviewing him. “I was just in the kitchen one afternoon and I just kinda took the day of experimenting with our pizza. The first time I came out with the idea, everyone in the kitchen thought that I was crazy, and I thought they wanna kill me right there,” he continued as he joked around.
Nice. So how did the customers love it?
“Terrific. I guess, customers love to try new dishes and flavors and when they saw the Black Pizza, it became a hit, right there and then.”
How do you prepare a Black Pizza?
“It’s just like how you prepare your regular pizza but with a squid ink to make the color black,” he shared to us. Ooh, squid inks. Interesting.
“Well, at first, I didn’t know if it will taste good but surprisingly, it turned out real good. We don’t have any size in particular, just one, like if you would notice, the pie or crust has the uneven portions per servings, and we kinda like it that way,” Chef Josh added.
If you were gonna ask us, this Black Pizza, aside that it is one of the best-sellers in Village Tavern, it really does taste good. It’s a little bit crunchy, not too much thickness, and chewy.
So there you have it, we shared you one of the exciting food that you can expect once you visit Village Tavern in BHS. But that’s not all, the Taste of Love campaign is a concept in all of The Bistro Group restaurants and each of them has their unique and authentic recipes that you can enjoy. The latest restaurant Modern Shanghai brings authentic recipes from the region and serves them in a homey, comfortable environment.
Says Lisa Ronquillo, AVP Marketing of The Bistro Group, “Taste the Love is not just about food. It’s about the heart and the passion that goes into everything we do, from our concepts to our locations to our service to of course, our food. By focusing on creating a dining experience that diners will want to repeat and share, we allow our customers to taste the love from the moment they get hungry and think about our restaurants to the time they have polished off every bite.”
As a way of saying thank you to loyal customers, The Bistro Group is also launching the Premiere Card, which offers multiple discount offers up to 40% off the total bill; complimentary appetizers, coffee, and tea; as well as birthday treats for the cardholder.
In addition, for the month of hearts, The Bistro Group is offering an exclusive deal for Citibank cardholders. From February 4-7, cardholders will receive 50% off food and beverage orders worth at least Php 2,500, with a discount up to Php 5,000.
“We invite everyone to Taste the Love at the Bistro Group of Restaurants and to stay tuned as we roll out even more exciting deals, menu items, and restaurants in 2013. We are excited about what we have in store for our customers, and with great food, great service, great ambiance, what’s not to love?” Ronquillo states.
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