Royal chief

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Friday, May 2, 2014

PICTURE a royal banquet in a palace in Riyadh Saudi, Arabia. It’s for 50 guests, a feast of 200 to 300 dishes is prepared. Served in 100 percent silver plates, the luscious food includes club steak, chicken shistawok (kebabs marinated in yogurt, tomato paste and olive oil), meat kabsa (a base of rice with a whole baked lamb on top), 10 to 12 salads like fatosh, mozarella and tomato.

George Mirafuentes is a Cebuano royal chef. He is the son of the late Casino Español chef Inting Mirafuentes, who gave George a penchant for food. He is one mean and lean chef. He started out tinkering with electronics and communications engineering his career path wanted to be a mass com major instead.

His dream of being a seaman’s chef was curtailed, happily by a call from his brother-in-law to be a chef in the Royal Palace of Prince Salaman and Princess Maha after the war. According to him cooking is an art and a science. He has been employed for 22 years at the palace kitchen. George said Nora Daza is his food icon.


The war ended with Saddam Hussein’s fall in 1991. Prince Salam is the nephew of King Fahad and Princess Fahad. Maha is the niece of King Abdullah and their pair of twins study in London.

George prepares the diet of the princess. It’s always plated with chicken, beef tenderloin and steamed veggies. Pasta must be al dente and he makes the pasta himself.

The princess’ favorite dish is tortellini stuffed with ricotta and feta cheese. Italian spaghetti must have fresh tomatoes, basil leaves and Parmesan cheese. Sweets include strawberry shortcake and chocolate gateau.

George graciously shared one of his recipes.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 03, 2014.


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