They called the lime-green concoction of gelatin, whipped cream, buko (young coconut) and pandan leaf essence, Claude’s Dream. I thought the name primarily had to do with the light, cloud-like consistency of the dessert. And the man it was named after was not necessarily its creator. I learned otherwise, and by accident too. But that is getting ahead of my story.
It all began as an observation. “You have this passion for food. You must like to eat and cook”. That was enough for Claude Tayag (painter, sculptor, and furniture-designer) to invite me to his house for lunch. “At the rate I carry on about food, people will soon overlook my being an artist, for my cooking. But, I will cook for you. Bring your friends,” he said grandly, a grin spreading across his face. It was then I thought of inviting Claude, in turn, to contribute a recipe for the magazines. The planned lunch evolved into a plan pictorial in Angeles, a city in the province of Pampanga, about an hour and a half drive northwards from Manila.
“My house still unfinished but it is fine to live. You must excuse the mess,” Claude warned, when he confirmed our lunch date.