Guam Diner Bytes: Feeregalo Euro Dining special gala dinner
I had the distinct pleasure of being asked to emcee the special gala dinner fundraiser for St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School for the second year. The quality of education is exemplified by each student attending. These young people are talented, self-assured and focused on their academic achievements with the nurturing support of a faith-inspired environment.
My role is to provide the commentary for the incredible fine dining adventure the guests (proud parents, friends and supporters) are about to embark on that is orchestrated by Grand Master Chef Makoto Fujigaya and his culinary team at Feeregalo.
Chef Fujigaya has over 40 years of culinary experience and has been recognized as one of the world’s top chefs. He loves Guam and has lived here for a number of years, working for the Dai-Ichi Hotel’s French restaurant, La Fuente, in 1978. After a brief stint touring Europe and working at some of the top hotels in France, he returned to Guam as Executive Chef of the Dai-Ichi Hotel, where he also oversaw and had a hand in the amazing culinary creations at the legendary French restaurant, Claret. In 2000, he was back in Japan as the assistant Executive Chef of the Dai Ichi Hotel Ginza and shortly thereafter became the Executive Chef of the Dai-Ichi Shimbashi Annex. In 2003, he returned to Guam as the Grand Chef of the Leo Palace Resort.
The special 5-course meal prepared by Chef Fujigaya also had a vegetarian option, and I was privileged to have been able to taste his marvelous rendition of a Fried Mushroom & truffle Potato Croquette with Pomodoro Sauce. I regret not getting a photo of this.
The regular special menu started out with an Asian-style marinated seafood Carpaccio. This had local lemon citrus and sesame seeds in a vinaigrette.
Next was an onion soup pie that had a puff pastry top and a very delicate onion broth. One thing you must try at Feeregalo is the French bread baked by Chef Oikawa. His breads have been in demand since the 80s.
The next course featured fried scallops and Caesar salad with remoulade sauce. Ever the saucier, Chef Fujigaya served us sweet panko-battered scallops that played with his remoulade. He placed an “ama ebi” (sweet fresh water baby shrimp) on the plate as an element along with a Caesar salad. This was certainly a crowd pleaser!
The Main course was one of Chef Fujigaya’s specialties - his roasted tenderloin beef with chateaubriand sauce, served with scallop potato, glazed carrot, tomato gratin and buttered broccoli. Chef Fujigaya’s beef cooked for 12 hours, which really tenderized it. You have to try his sauces – this is where he really shines.
For dessert, we were treated to a delightful moussed coffee chocolate served with vanilla ice cream and anglaise sauce. This was created by the Leo Palace’s new pastry chef, Madoka Hosotani.
One of the highlights of the dinner is when I introduced Chef Fujigaya and his team to the audience. The applause was a resounding endorsement of their satisfaction. If you’ve not yet been to Leo Palace, make it a point to go there. They have some surprises awaiting you!