Francis Ang, chef and proprietor of Restaurant Abacá, thrives on the diverse culinary culture in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, which make “the perfect place to open a fine-dining Filipino restaurant—the first of its kind,” says the chef. Inspired by seasonality, he has his pick of local farmers’ markets to create a regional Filipino cuisine with a modern twist.
For Ang, harmony—whether a classic flavor combination or of the totally unexpected—is essential to a chef. “We are always looking for the eureka moment.” He found it with his Sisig Fried Rice pairing, a pig’s head, triple cooked and mixed with rice. The pork is heritage breed – only “the best pork for the best whisky,” says Ang, who was told by Abacá’s GM and Beverage Director Justin Goo that if the dish worked it would be mind-blowing. “Let me tell you, it works!” Paired with Highland Park, “both the whisky and dish have the smokiness, salinity, umami, richness and complexity.” In picking up on citrus, warm spice and smoke in the spirit, Ang created a special glaze with soy sauce, calamansi and Highland Park whisky reduction to wok-fry the fried rice. “The result is absolute perfection.”
Also perfect, if slightly “unexpected,” is Highland Park whisky and Filipino cuisine as a culinary duet. “With Highland Park and Philippines both surrounded by seas and oceans,” Ang says, “I believe their geographic location makes the flavors both salty and hearty, creating products full of umami and flavor.” And, deliciously in tune.
“A Wild Harmony” is brought to life through a joint venture between Highland Park, an award-winning single malt Scotch whisky that hails from Scotland’s Orkney Islands, and acclaimed restauranteurs in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Inspired by Highland Park, these gourmands created elevated and surprising culinary pairings to amplify the distinct flavor of the whisky. The chefs use the finest and freshest local ingredients to craft cuisine in their signature styles, which are then paired with the whisky’s rich combination of smoky and sweet flavors to achieve a harmonious crescendo. Highland Park shares the chefs’ admiration for unique yet flavorful combinations that result in exquisite pairings for connoisseurs of good taste. To learn more about Highland Park and where to buy your own bottle, visit HERE.