• Fifth Avenue showcase for tofu chef • Ambassador receives Wharton honors

Chef Alex Dino is the latest talent to be featured in the Best of the Philippines on Fifth Avenue Project of the Philippine Consulate. This means that for one month, a mural poster of Alex will be gracing the consulate window for all Fifth Avenue passers-by to see.

Alex was chosen to represent the month of May designated by the consulate as Philippine Cuisine Month.

Alex won the Sears Chef Challenge in 2010 and was named one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Cafeteria Chefs in 2008. In his new book “Modern Tofu”, he gives a new twist on an old staple, using tofu as an ingredient in hors d’oeuvres and appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, as well as desserts. The New York City-trained chef runs a catering company, Sachet d’Epices, that specializes in Asian and European cuisine.

On May 19, he did a cooking demonstration at the Philippine Center showcasing some of his cooking techniques and “toys.” He used a “Sous Vide Immersion Circulator,” which uses various wood chips to infuse a smokey taste to food. His menu for the evening included “Cod in Citrus-Beer Brodo and Balsamic Caviar,” “Tofu and Alfalfa with Sake-Pepper Mignonette Paired with Chilled Sake and Mango Balls” and “Sunny-side mango,” which all made use of Philippine products. San Miguel beer was provided by Rey Rogan of Reyland, importer of Philippine food products and carabao mangoes. The “balsamic caviar” was a hit with the audience.

Alex cooks with beer.

The Best of the Philippines on Fifth Avenue Project has featured designers and artisans who have received global acclaim for their craft. Some of those who have been invited to showcase their work at the Philippine Center windows were event planner and designer Jerry Sibal, fashion designer and Supima award winner Robin Tomas, accessories designers Brian Tenorio and Emi Jorge, and abaca fashion designer Dita Sandico Ong.
Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. was honored with a Joseph Wharton Award for Lifetime Achievement during the 41st Annual Gala Dinner of the Wharton Club of Washington, D.C. held May 17, 2011 at the Park Hyatt Washington. He received the award from Alan Schlaifer, club president and CEO.

Cuisia (right) receives Wharton award. Photo: Philippine Embassy

The award recognizes Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania alumni who have become “very exceptional leaders” with “amazing careers,” according to a press statement. Established in 1968, the Wharton Club of Washington, D.C. is one of the largest and most active organizations in its alumni network.

Other recipients included Joyce M. Hunter, CEO of Vulcan Consulting LLC, D; Wayne Silby, founder of the Calvert Group; and Alison Malmon, founder & executive director of Active Minds, Inc.

In his acceptance speech, Cuisia recalled his involvements in both public and private sectors in his country, from the time he became governor of the Central Bank from 1990 to 1993 until his retirement from the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company in 2009 as its president and CEO.

Cuisia graduated with an MBA in Finance. As the new Philippine ambassador to the U.S. and the first Filipino recipient of the award, he pledged to continue serving his countrymen, to whom he dedicated the recognition.

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