A colorful arrangement of cuisines that easily activates your sight and smell can be found every Thursday night inside the La Cascata restaurant at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort in Tamuning.
”It’s fabulous and fantastic,” said Mariquito Fernandez, executive chef.
The mouthwatering Southeast Asian dinner buffet includes a menu from a variety of countries, and customers won’t have to travel far to indulge in the culinary magic that Fernandez and his team cook up each week.
“They will experience excitement trying every cuisine from Southeast Asia. So, this is food from places like Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia,” he said.
Fernandez said he worked with the resort’s general manager to come up with the theme.
“I just made the menu and, he said yes, this is the what we are going to serve to the public,” he said. “It was quite a challenge.”
But, it was a challenge Fernandez said he and his team were ready to bring to the customers.
So after doing his own research and asking around about some of the authentic dishes, Fernandez was able to create a spread that combines flavors from all over the region.
La Cascata cooks and staff also help to bring the Southeast Asia experience to life with décor that includes flags from the different countries.
On the menu: Singaporean Chili Crab, Indonesian Nasi Goreng, Hainanese Chicken with rice, Kare Kare, Satay Beef, Fried Tofu - Brunei style, a curry station and more. They also have a whole roasted pig on the buffet line and an array of seafood kept on ice.
“I have this passion for cooking and that’s why I am here,” he said. “We have a lot of food. Just enjoy and dine.”
And don’t forget to try dessert!
The chef said the dining experience also includes local products.
Finding his passion
Chef Fernandez has come a long way in the industry over the years.
The Leyte, Philippines native was only 18 when he got his first job working in a restaurant kitchen.
He didn’t immediately pick up a cooking. He started off as a dishwasher.
However, it wasn’t long after that Fernandez found himself taking culinary courses.
“I found out that I love food. Now I have been working in the business for almost 30 years,” he said. “I don’t like food. I love it. That’s what drives this passion in me. If you love something you should pursue it.”
His food journey took him to Cebu before he relocated to Guam ten years ago.
Now, you can find Fernandez sharing his experience with his culinary family at the Sheraton.
“I mentor these guys on my team. I tell them my story and said if they would like to move up to just continue.”
Fernandez puts hard work and passion into each and every delicious creation that leaves his kitchen. He invites everyone to see and taste for themselves.
“Come every Thursday night for the Southeast Asia theme!”