Henderson and her son Hector in the Rochelle Canteen kitchen. Credit: Patricia Niven for Resy

Resy At HomeLondon

Margot Henderson’s Filipino-Inspired Menu Pays Tribute to Her Friend — and One of Asia’s Greatest Chefs

By

Rochelle Canteen

4.7 · British · $

Shoreditch

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As a driving force behind one of London’s most revered restaurants and one half of a culinary power couple, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Margot Henderson gets out a lot. Whether as part of Arnold and Henderson, the high-end catering company she co-founded with Melanie Arnold, or as the chef of Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch, she has frequently made trips to provide the palate at events around the world.

A few years ago, she made a trip to The Philippines to work with the prolific Filipino chef and restaurateur Margarita Forés, an influential figure who towers over Manila’s dining scene, and Henderson’s muse for week three of Rochelle Canteen’s feasting kits, as part of Resy’s At-Home Specials series.


In Manila, Forés oversees a small empire consisting of chic Filipino-Italian restaurants such as Lusso and Grace Park, as well as the popular Cibo franchise of casual eateries. Speaking over the phone, Henderson notes the similarities: “She’s a good friend”, she says. “We did a programme together a few years ago where I went out to the Philippines for Nordic Netflix and we cooked together. The both of us do similar jobs – she has a catering business, and she has restaurants as well.”

Henderson is unequivocal in her praise for Forés, who won Best Female Chef in Asia in 2016. “She is a force – oh my god. Everything she does is mind-blowing”, she beams. “She really knows her stuff. And she’s lots of fun – and enjoys a glass of wine”, she says with a laugh.

Henderson and Forés in Manila. Image courtesy ViaPlay.

Forés’ instinct for seasonal Italian cooking, which she developed in Tuscany, is something that she’s brought to her restaurants, and it’s something she’s known for in her native Philippines. But she’s also a strident advocate and ambassador for Filipino food and culture on the global stage, an area that’s progressed significantly as second and third-generation Filipinos make an impact in a diverse range of areas such as sports, business, art, and food. Henderson is a supporter too, and mentions awareness as lacking in the public consciousness. “It is one of the Asian cuisines that hasn’t been so publicised”, she reflects.

As well as Forés’ recipes and influence, it’s a cuisine that she’s become familiar with through preparing it at home. “Seabass kinilaw is something I love to make, and that’s very part of their culture”, she says. Forés is also known for a playful dish of potato crisps and mayonnaise, a dish that Henderson plans to recreate with Rochelle Canteen’s memorably fierce garlic aioli, presented in a paper bag like the original.

Having spoken to Henderson about the menu several times, the impact of her time with Forés in Manila and her enthusiasm for classic Filipino cooking is evident, presenting in a wistful vacillating between dishes she’s loved cooking for herself, but perhaps never had the opportunity to share with guests – that is, until now.

Just as evident is her adoration of Manila’s bustling dining scene: “Restaurants in Manila are really impressive. There’s a lot of really good stuff going on there — I love Manila,” she enthuses.

A few dishes from the menu. Credit: Patricia Niven for Resy

Finally, while the cuisines of the Philippines are famously regional, adobo is perhaps the closest that most would be able to agree upon as an unofficial national dish. Like the zesty kinilaw, Henderson’s version has more than a streak of Rochelle Canteen running through it. “We’re going to get some of our beautiful pork from Swaledale. I’m going to poach the chickens whole like we do [at Rochelle Canteen], and we’re going to poach the pork as a whole piece,” she says. “So, then they’ll sit. And then the next day we’ll take them out and slice them, because then you fry it afterwards.”

“We’re going to put a bit of a Rochelle twist on it.”


Each box serves two people. Some home preparation required.

Premium Box (£150) includes:

  • Cocktail: Margarita
  • Wine: St John Mâcon 2017, Pinot Noir
  • Potato Crisps & Garlic Mayonnaise
  • Pickled Cucumber & Radishes
  • Sea Bass, Coconut, Lime & Chili Raw Fish
  • Braised Aubergine, Onions, Garlic & Lime
  • BBQ Prawns & Chili Dressing
  • Chicken & Pork Belly Adobo
  • Garlic Rice
  • Roast Pumpkin, Mung Bean Noodles, Shiitake & Greens
  • Pavlova with Tropical Fruits
  • Table decoration item hand-selected by Rochelle Canteen

Standard Box (£80) includes:

  • Potato Crisps & Garlic Mayonnaise
  • Pickled Cucumber & Radishes
  • Sea Bass, Coconut, Lime & Chili Raw Fish
  • Braised Aubergine, Onions, Garlic & Lime
  • BBQ Prawns & Chili Dressing
  • Chicken & Pork Belly Adobo
  • Garlic Rice
  • Roast Pumpkin, Mung Bean Noodles, Shiitake & Greens
  • Pavlova with Tropical Fruits

Menu subject to minor seasonal changes.


The Resy At Home Specials takeout package will be available for collection or delivery from Rochelle Canteen, only on Resy, on Saturdays (7, 14, 21, 28) throughout November. The package inspired by Margarita Forés will be available for collection or delivery on Saturday 14th November. To buy your ticket, click here

David Paw is Resy’s International Editor — follow him on Instagram. Follow Resy, too. 

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