Maymay Liechtenstein designs ‘multi-sensorial’ dinner for Ballet Philippines
Guests almost always brave the rush-hour traffic going to the south just to experience a Kathleen Liechtenstein dinner. And we were no exception that Tuesday night.
“Maymay” Liechtenstein is known in lifestyle circles for dinners that are multi-sensorial experiences. They stimulate your senses, from the think-out-of-the-box presentation of dishes to the various nuances of taste.
Liechtenstein was designing—the word is so apt—a dinner to kick off the celebration of the 48th season of Ballet Philippines and to celebrate the return of National Artist (Dance) Alice Reyes as artistic director of Ballet Philippines (BP).
For us who witnessed how Reyes laid the foundation for modern dance in the country in the ’70s and helped put ballet in the mainstream of Philippine lifestyle and culture, the dinner was a great opportunity to touch base and find out how Reyes felt about settling down here again, after having been based in the US the past years, and being at the helm again of the country’s premier ballet company.
Reyes founded Ballet Philippines, with Eddie Elejar, and in 2019, the company will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
On Aug. 18, it presents “A Gala Celebration,” an anthology of Ballet Philippines’ masterpieces, including Agnes Locsin’s “Salome,” Bam Damian’s “Minamahal, Sinasamba,” Edna Vida’s “Vision of Fire,” Norman Walker’s “Summer’s End” and an excerpt from the classical piece “Raymonda.”
(See related story by Cathy Yamsuan, Aug. 7, page D3.)
According to BP president Margie Moran-Floirendo, BP now has 60 professional staffers and players. Even in the peripatetic national culture scene, that’s how BP has been working to sustain itself, thanks to indefatigable supporters like Floirendo, and now, again, Reyes.
Liechtenstein has been one of the avid supporters of BP, so this dinner last May couldn’t have been anything but a labor of love.
The experience began as one stepped inside the house and was greeted by the sight of the Gabby Barredo’s sculptures that brought to life the social space of the house. The dining room was a strong dramatic image created by the Barredo table and sculpture chairs. Seeing that, one knew the night would be dinner at centerstage.
The dishes bore the titles of BP classics, and incredibly, were styled to look as such.
Liechtenstein is known for her unique selection of ingredients, and it showed in this dinner. Her appetizers ranged from chicken truffle to cotton candy.
Her Nutcracker Box had lechon de leche belly, singkamas, prosciutto and mozzarella lollipops, among other surprises.
Her entree was grilled A5-9 Wagyu Port and Blackberry Jam, Lemon Curd, Truffle Sauce with Dragon Fruit Rice, and Seared Diver Scallop.
Halfway through dinner, Liechtenstein’s daughter Lauren sang arias and Broadway favorites.
Indeed, it was a dinner that was a feast for the senses.
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