Chef Sau del Rosario now serves his wildly popular pastries and comfort dishes in Makati
Sau del Rosario is not one to slack off even during his downtime. Apart from organizing Culinarya Pampanga, which makes his province’s best-selling dishes available in the metro, he also started offering a line of baked goods that became an instant hit.
“I hate baking but during the lockdown, I had a lot of time so I challenged myself to do my least favorite thing to do,” says the chef. “It started with the buko pie. I did not have the proper pastry pan for it, so I used a springform cake mold and recreated the famous pie by having multiple layers and styling it the French way.” He cheekily named it the Vuco Fye.
A single Instagram post of this creation resulted in many inquiries and requests, forcing him to address the demand and sell it. He gets a thousand orders per week. Seeing the success and potential, he soon added pastries such as the Heg Fye, Vananah Walnut Malagos Cake, and the Huve Brioche to his selection.
While juggling these two projects, Del Rosario is finding time to open not one, but two restaurants.
He used to run two dining spots in Pampanga: Café Fleur and 25 Seeds. The former is an ode to his mom’s cooking, while the latter is a farm-to-table restaurant showcasing more of his culinary chops.
Del Rosario moved Café Fleur during the pandemic to Manila, in bustling Poblacion, Makati. It officially opened last week. 25 Seeds continues to operate back in Pampanga, and by the end of the year, he will be opening two more shops in his home province, this time inside the Clark International Airport.
“Café Fleur is very personal to me because this is a way of commemorating my parents. I was very lucky to be surrounded with delicious food, and witnessed how my mom cooked all of them.” The place is designed with interiors similar to what his family had back home and plays music from Hotdog, VST and Mike Hanopol, the very same tunes he enjoyed listening to growing up.
Bringing back dying recipes
As for food, he will appease your appetite with his lamb tagine, mushroom ravioli, pork belly BBQ and home-cured salmon. These dot the menu along with food he served in Pampanga, such as the duck leg confit with lemongrass, and his spicy tuyo and caper pasta.
The café in Manila will serve breakfast. And to accommodate his baking business, he has also set up a panaderia right by the entry. One of his longtime advocacies is to bring back the dying recipes of his province.
“I am going to be doing the same thing for the local pastries and breads,” he says.
Come April, he will open Bistro Fleur on Kalayaan Avenue in Makati. There, he will profess his love for Kapampangan food. “You will get to experience my signature dishes like the macadamia kare-kare, lamb shank kaldereta, and sisig paella.”
The brand name holds a nostalgic value for Del Rosario because his family’s household was recognized in the neighborhood for an abundance of flowers.
“My mom and lola were plantitas! We probably had 20 different types of flowers surrounding our ancestral home. Thus, the word fleur (French for flowers) came about, in reference to my mom’s food, which I put my personal spin to.” INQ
Cafe Fleur is at 5893 Enriquez St., Poblacion, Makati; tel. 0917-5560917