In the kitchen with Christopher Belen

In the kitchen with Christopher Belen

As head chef of Stock Burger Co., Sirocco and in-room dining at Holiday Inn Doha  – The Business Park, Christopher Belen enjoys experimenting with flavors. Here, we learn more about his favorite ingredients and how to make his surf and turf dish.

Getting to know Christopher Belen:

When did you realize that you wanted to become a chef?
As a child, I thoroughly enjoyed simply spending the day helping my mom prepare food in the kitchen. Watching cooking shows also gave me the confidence to follow my passion.

What has been your greatest source of inspiration?
I am inspired by the fact that we are living in a very progressive era in gastronomy. There is so much that the market can offer, from available technologies to produce. This has opened so many doors and placed the hospitality industry in a different league.

If you had to pick the proudest moment in your career, which one would it be?
It was back in 2017, when I joined as head chef of Stock Burger Co. (American sports bar), Sirocco (all-day dining) and in-room dining. I had the chance to showcase my experience and knowledge, with a great team beside me. Shortly after opening Stock Burger Co., we received several awards.

What are your plans and ambitions for 2023?
This year, I am looking forward to introducing new dishes that combine ingredients to produce modern variations of classic dishes that cater to a broad clientele. My ambition is to show case Filipino cuisine and put it on the gastronomical map, because I believe that in the Philippines, we have a very rich culinary heritage.

What’s on the menu?
Today, I am cooking surf and turf, served with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and bourbon sauce. In this recipe, I will demonstrate how to take advantage of what the market can offer by using widely available, ready-made products that taste as good as the food you can get at your favorite restaurant yet save you time without breaking the bank.

What are the main ingredients and products you’re using these days?
These days, I’m using fresh and local produce. My focus is on high-quality products, especially those made by Nestlé. I also use a great deal of herbs and spices in my dishes.

What are the recent food trends you’ve noticed?
With most of us seeking comfort food when we eat, the trend for homely food is still strong. While we might look for something comfortingly familiar, we still want to experiment and try new things, hence we have a new type of fusion which marries traditional dishes with new twists.

What advice would you give suppliers and foodservice professionals who are looking to offer the best to the market?
Suppliers should always offer chefs two key things in terms of produce: sustainability and consistency.

In the kitchen with Chef Christopher Belen food photo

Christopher Belen’s Surf N Turf


Beef medallion

  • 200g beef tenderloin
  • 8g crushed black pepper
  • 8g cumin powder
  • 4g mandolin sea salt
  • 4g brown sugar
  • 2g paprika powder
  • 2g chili powder
  • 2g garlic powder
  • 2g onion powder
  • 5ml olive oil
  • 10g butter

Jumbo prawns

  • 2 pcs jumbo prawns (100g)
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested
  • 5g chopped dill
  • 5g freshly chopped garlic
  • 5g sea salt
  • 3g white pepper powder
  • 5ml olive oil

Creamy mashed potatoes

  • 100g MAGGI® mashed potato mix
  • 250ml  fresh milk
  • 20g chopped parsley
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 10g sea salt
  • 5g white pepper

Grilled asparagus and sautéed button mushrooms

  • 80g asparagus
  • 80g button mushroom cut into quarters
  • 10ml olive oil
  • 5g unsalted butter
  • 10g chopped parsley
  • 5g sea salt
  • 3g crushed black pepper

Bourbon sauce

  • Nestlé instant “Chef® Demi-Glace Sauce”
  • Splash of Bourbon
  • 10g unsalted butter


Beef medallion

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients to make a rub.
  2. Marinate the steak with the dry rub for 1 hour.
  3. Heat a heavy pan until it starts smoking and add a touch of oil.
  4. Put the marinated steak into the pan and sear until it starts to caramelize. Cook the steak to your desired level. For a medium steak, the meat should reach 57 – 60 degrees Celsius.
  5. Once the steak reaches 55 degrees Celsius, add the butter to the pan and baste the meat.
  6. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside to allow the meat to rest. (This allows the meat to relax and the juices to redistribute, creating a more tender and juicy meat.)

Jumbo prawns

  1. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, dill, garlic, lemon zest and half of the juice.
  2. Marinate the prawns and season to taste. Leave to sit for 1 hour.
  3. Heat a pan on the stove until it reaches smoking point.
  4. Cook the prawns for approximately 7 minutes, turning once during the cooking time.
  5. Finish with lemon juice and butter.

Creamy mashed potatoes

  1. In a pot, boil the milk on the stove.
  2. Add the MAGGI® mashed potato mix and stir.
  3. Add the butter. Reduce the heat down to medium and keep stirring until you achieve the desired consistency.
  4. Season the mashed potato and garnish with the chopped parsley.

 Grilled asparagus and sautéed button mushrooms

  1. Place a sautéing pan on the stove and heat until smoking point. Add half the olive oil and cook the asparagus for approximately 5 minutes, seasoning to taste.
  2. Finish it with butter.
  3. In another pan sauté the mushrooms in the remaining olive oil until all the moisture has evaporated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and finish with the butter and chopped parsley.

 Bourbon sauce

  1. Dilute the instant Chef®  Demi Glace Sauce in water and bring it to the boil, according to the instructions.
  2. Reduce the sauce to your preferred consistency.
  3. Add the Bourbon and continue simmering
  4. To finish, add the butter for extra texture and flavor.


  1. Put a generous amount of mashed potato in the middle of the plate and place the mushrooms around it.
  2. Place the steak on top of the mashed potato.
  3. Then layer the grilled asparagus on top of the steak followed by the prawns. Pour the sauce on top and enjoy.


Read about other inspiring chefs like Christopher Belen by clicking here.

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