Spanish-meets-Pinoy food in Madrid Fusión Manila 2015:

Madrid Fusión—the biggest gastronomic trade fair in Spain—comes to Manila this April 24-26 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. It will showcase new, cutting edge and avant-garde techniques, ingredients, and recipes from some of the world’s top chefs.

Among the Michelin-starred Spanish chefs expected to attend are:
Elena Arzak, 2012 World’s Best Female Chef, and Andoni Luis Aduriz of the restaurant Mugaritz, considered one of the world’s most influential chefs.
Six other Spanish chefs will be flying in for the occasion: Quique Dacosta (Alicante), Ramón Freixa (Ramón Freixa Madrid), Francis Paniego (Echaurren, El Portal de Echaurren), Paco Roncero (La Terraza del Casino), Mario Sandoval (Coque) and Paco Torreblanca (Torreblanca Bombonerias y Pastelerias).
Asian chefs André Chiang (Restaurant André in Singapore) and Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong) will also be at the event.

From the Philippines, the featured chefs are: Fernando Aracama (Aracama), Margarita Fores (Lusso and Grace Park), J Gamboa (Cirkulo), José Luis Gonzalez (Gallery Vask), Pepe Lopez (Rambla), Rob Pengson (The Goose Station), Bruce Ricketts (Mecha Uma), Myrna Segismundo (Restaurant 9501), Claude Tayag (Bale Dutung) and Juan Carlos de Terry (Terry’s).

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(L-R) Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry’s; Jose Luis Gonzales of VASK; Bruce Ricketts of Mecha Uma; Margarita Fores of Grace Park; Myrna Seguismundo of Restaurant 9501; and Claude Tayag of Bale Dutung

The culinary affair will feature three exciting events:
1) International Gastronomy Congress is where chefs will discuss and demonstrate trends and techniques that will transform the future of food. They will share and discuss various culinary traditions from Spanish and Filipino cultures.
2) The Trade Exhibition will showcase Spanish and Filipino premium products such as Spanish wines, cheeses, sausages, hams, beers and sweets, as well as Philippine rice, cacao, coffee, mango, coconut, liqueurs, chocolates, cheeses, nuts and artisanal salts and world-class kitchen equipment.
3) The Flavors of the Philippines Festival will run the entire month of April. It will bring together several malls, restaurants, bars, hotels, food trucks and exhibition halls to celebrate Philippine gastronomy through simultaneous events in Manila and other parts of the country.

Congress delegates will also experience the best culinary offerings of the Philippines through regional lunches that will feature exciting flavors from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
“With this event, Manila hopes to retake its place as one of the gastronomical capitals in this part of the world. The event serves to challenge our food artisans to challenge our food artisans to bring out the best in their craft,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez  Jr.
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. at the media briefing at Fairmont Makati

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L-R: Lourdes Plana of Toro de Debate; Enrique Feas of the Spanish embassy; Spanish ambassador Luis Calvo; Inigo Canedo of Arum

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L-R: Tourism Promotions Board chief operating officer Domingo Ramon Enerio, III and Spanish ambassador Luis Calvo

Madrid Fusión is presented by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tourism Promotions Board along with Spain’s Foro de Debate, S.L. and Arum Estrategias Internacionalización (Arum).
The event is part of the DOT’s efforts for its Visit the Philippines 2015 campaign and will celebrate the shared culinary history of the Philippines and Spain.

Register now to enjoy an early-bird discount for tickets. It will include access to the three-day conference, regional lunches and meals, use of simultaneous translation device inside the venue, access to trade exhibition, badge, delegate kit, and a certificate of attendance.
http://www.madridfusionmanila.com

Tried & Tested: Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Sorry, I just got back from Hong Kong—am sick—and have lots of work to do.
The trip was planned way back in November when I got invited to Art Basel Hong Kong.
This time I chose to stay with my hubby at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental (LMO) in Central.
Didn’t know what to expect, but I’m a lucky girl, so we got upgraded to the Deluxe L600 room on the top floor.
This was the anteroom

Deluxe L600

that opens up to the living room. Jeroen and I enjoyed this couch very much. We had delicious naps here.

Deluxe L600

On the left is a work desk that we used mainly as a charging station and tambakan ng snacks, papers, etc. :)

Deluxe L600

Bed was OK. Sheets can be softer, but Jeroen loved the pillows. So happy there was an electric outlet near the bed, for my laptop.

Bed

Okay, here’s the thing about the room: it is all about the bathroom!! There’s a rounded partition that separates the bathroom from the guest room. It reminds me of an airplane fitting

Bathroom

The bathroom can be accessed through the bedroom and the living room. At night, it looks like a movie set.

Bathroom

Jeroen liked the Frette bathrobes. This way to the shower

Bathroom

The shower is fantastic, although I had a small accident when I opened the shower for the first time—didn’t know the hand shower was facing me and I got all wet!!

Bathroom

Because I was sick, I didn’t get to use the giant bathtub, which I regret because 15 years ago, I wanted a bathtub just like this. *sigh*

Bathroom

On the left counter is where I put makeup on

Bathroom

There were two lavatories

Bathroom

and the most amazing amenities drawer. Love the packaging!!

Bathroom

Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the toilet. It was in a separate stall and perfect.
What I loved: the hotel slippers

Hotel slippers

As usual, I overpacked for a four-day trip, but neglected to bring a spring coat and neck warmer, so I got sick.
Closets with lots of hangers are a must

Closet

I love my bag

Closet

Thanks Jeroen for coming along. Every trip with you is a honeymoon.

Jeroen

Other notes on the LMO:
1) Customer service is excellent. From the bellhops who call your taxi and take your bags to the room, to the people at front desk, and the servers who bring room service—service is A++++.
2) Unfortunately, I did not like the room service. The chicken rice was malansa—what is this word in English? Although Jeroen loved the nasi goreng, which he ordered twice.
3) Location is right next to the Landmark—a mall that doesn’t interest me. The nearest drugstore (Mannings) and grocery (Marketplace) are too far for. I do not like the brands in this mall, and I don’t like the food (too fancy).
4) The best part: Comme des Garçons is right around the corner at Ice House Street, and COS is not too far at Queens Road.
5) Hotel is very near the MTR Station.

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark/

Furla meets high tea at Raffles Makati’s at Prêt-à-Portea

Raffles Makati launches its second Prêt-à-Portea series at the Writers Bar, this time in collaboration with Italian luxe brand Furla.
Enjoy high tea with teacup sandwiches, ham and cheese layered in an apricot chutney spread, bruschetta tapenade topped with finely sliced olives and cherry tomatoes, orange-coated macarons, lip-shaped truffles, and nutty pralines—all inspired by Furla’s Spring Collection.
Priced at Php 1550++ for two, you’ll get a three-tier assembly of raspberry beignets dusted with pink snow powder, apricot-flavoured scones, and a vanilla éclair donned with edible silver leaves.

Furla Afternoon Tea at Writers Bar, Raffles Makati

The highlight of the day are the toasted marshmallow macarons with Furla’s Neo-Pop print design and the Candy Bag taking form in a black and red religieuse. Add a sparkling glass of Rosé champagne for Php 1000++.

Furla Afternoon Tea at Writers Bar, Raffles Makati 3

Afternoon Tea will be offered March 16 to May 16, 2015, available daily from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM.
For more information and reservations, call 795-1840 or email dining.makati@raffles.com.

The Odd Couple returns via RTL CBS Entertainment HD

I’m old enough to remember The Odd Couple when it aired on TV back in the ’70s.
From 1970-1975, the original sitcom starred Tony Randall as Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison.
Forty years later, The Odd Couple returns as RTL CBS Entertainment HD brings it back to the small screen on March 13, Friday at 9:55 PM.

Jack-Klugman-Tony-Randall-Odd-Couple THE ODD COUPLE

This time around, The Odd Couple stars Matthew Perry as endearing slob Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as uptight neat freak Felix Unger.
The two former college buddies become unlikely roommates after the demise of their marriages. Not long after Oscar lets Felix move in, Oscar fears he’s made a monumental mistake.

THE ODD COUPLE

Oscar’s jack-of-all-trades assistant, Dani, and his long-time agent, Teddy, have their hands full trying to keep Oscar’s career as a sports radio host on track as he deals with his new living situation.
Fortunately, their quirky next door neighbour Emily helps Felix adapt to his new life as a bachelor and rein in his many eccentricities.
Despite how exasperated Oscar and Felix make each other, in the end, these mismatched friends agree they can help each other move on from their divorces and make their crazy living arrangement work.

Aside from starring in The Odd Couple, Matthew Perry also serves as one of the show’s executive producers. Also in the cast are Lindsay Sloane, Yvette Nicole Brown and Wendell Pierce.

The Suffering: What I gave up for Lent

This Lent I decided to give up four things that are difficult for me: Coke, cake, cookies, and ice cream.
In the beginning the list also included chocolate, but I need to have some sugar, so I’ve had a little bit of chocolate since Ash Wednesday.
Cake and cookies are the easiest to give up. Ice cream is hard but bearable. But not having Coke is hell.
I’ve tried to Google why one can skip fasting on Saturday or Sunday, but someone pointed out that Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights—why can’t I give up those things that aren’t good for me any way?

No to Coke

Since giving up Coke, I haven’t been enjoying eating as much. I try to compensate with orange juice and the thought of banana-Q for dessert, but food doesn’t taste as good without Coke.
Let me tell you it is a suffering. As I type this my mouth feels parched no matter how much ice water I drink. My teeth hurt!
I am almost delirious thinking of Coke and Chippy—that salty sweet and cruchy combination.
I can’t tell you how many times I have thought of throwing in the towel, but the suffering will end on April 5, Easter Sunday, when I can finally feel the ice-cold Coke down my throat. That’s 25 days from now.

A few years ago I gave up shopping for Lent, except for necessities. I used to think giving up shopping was harder than giving up Coke. Now I know better.
So far I have lost only 1 lb. so the fasting isn’t really a diet plan. If I could lose 5 lbs. then I would think about giving up these things for good.
And you, did you give up anything for Lent? How are you coping?

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