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Media people don chef’s hat; Casino Español to mount Broadway revue

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Myra Gonzalez asked friends and close relations to join her for Sunday lunch at Casino Español de Cebu to mark her birthday. Heading the list were her children Inma and Paolo Manguerra with their brood—Santi, Paloma and Ignacio.

Well-wishers included brother-in-law Manuel Larrañaga; cousins Joy Enriquez, Marilou and Eddie Bernardo; Merlie Zamora with daughter Mia, Diana Estalilla Belaunzaran, Dodong and Vivien Seno, Christy Mah and son Christopher Mah.

A few days later Myra was once more at El Comedor of Casino Español, this time for a meeting called by Honorary Consul of Spain Anton Perdices, with Laura Hidalgo San José and Julia Millan of Sociedad Española de Beneficiencia.

Among those present were Anton’s mom Maricar Perdices, Paqui Aboitiz, Quina Melendez, Julina Muertegui, Marichu Garcia, Conchita Taylor, Fr. Hernando, Maricar and Josele de Madrazo, Len-Len Jarque, Francisco and Marilen Jarque.

Speaking of Casino Español de Cebu, congratulations are due the recently elected officers for the year 2013-14. President for a second term is Antonio Veloso Jr., with former president Gabriel Leyson as vice president.

The rest of the officers are Edgar Chionbian, secretary; David Chan, treasurer; Luis More III, sports director; Eduardo Gonzalez, house chairperson; and Paco Jarque, director for social and cultural events.

‘Casino’s Got Talent’

In May 2012, Casino Español de Cebu hosted a fun night dubbed “Casino’s Got Talent” at the ballroom, Salon de España. It was a big success, participated by members and dependents who sang, danced or played musical instruments.

Well, they’re having a second edition come May 15, and it is generating as much enthusiasm as last year, says Honey Loop, the driving force behind it. This year has a theme, though: Broadway numbers. Tenor Del Ordoñez has already signed up.

After that, Casino Español will start preparations for the annual observance of Spanish month in July. The opening salvo is a dinner on July 2 with the presence of Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq.

For the rest of the month of July there will be gastronomic activities as well as sports events all the way up to July 25, feast of Santiago Apostol (the Apostle St. James), Spain’s patron saint.

Domecq has been invited to be the guest of honor at the opening of “Sabores de España,” a culinary journey at Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, on July 3.

General manager Hans Hauri says it is one of the most successful food festivals of the year since its inception in 2007. Gema Luisa Pido is the consultant for the Spanish cuisine served.

‘Great Media Cookout’

Ongoing at Marco Polo’s Café Marco for lunch and dinner is “The Great Media Cookout,” which opened with a big bang on April 12. Opening night was a sellout as were the days that followed.

Hans and Bo Hauri were beside themselves with the enthusiasm generated by this food festival, which gathered media luminaries of Cebu to share, even cook, some of their well-guarded family recipes. They were all present at the opening, duly introduced and asked to make a grand entrance to the foyer, descending the main staircase.

“Your kinilaw is gone,” TV host Alexis Yap was told. “All 10 kilos of it?” he gasped, and went on to churn out some more. His Awesome Mango Float was enjoying the same success among the desserts.

Nestor Alonso, food writer for the Freeman, had jade green prawns mounted as canapés which were the first to be tasted. His beef in perpetual sauce scored high points, too. Noel Villaflor of Sunstar earned top ratings with his Sisig and Kesong Puti.

Honey Jarque Loop of Philippine Star shared the Spanish dish Pollo a la Chilindron, aromatic with a good drizzle of pimenton. Next day she offered Lapu Lapu al Horno. She earlier explained to Susan Sala how she flavored it.

GMA’s Cebu station manager Ann Marie Tan had Visayan specialties such as chicken binakol with young coconut; and the tempting humba with hard-boiled eggs to reduce ang ka ngilngig, and that translates as reducing “the thrill.”

Healthy food came from Tonee Despojo, photojournalist of Cebu Daily News: grilled boneless bangus, and steamed lapu-lapu with sunflower oil.

Quite popular as bloggers (IluvCebu.

com) and because they are young, good-looking and nice are brothers Doyzkie, Reymund and Edd Buenaviaje. For this event they brought their father’s specialty—Crispy Pata with Kare-Kare Sauce. It was quite a hit.

Who thought up the whole thing? Jessica Avila, who else? She is Marco Polo’s consultant for Filipino cuisine, with accent on the gastronomy of the Visayas, and with special focus on Cebu.

She was there, all right, with supportive husband Bobit Avila and their daughter Katrina who takes after her. Jessica’s thrust is in taking common concepts and turning them into extraordinary feats, such as “The Great Media Cookout” at Marco Polo.

Jessica’s fame has gone beyond Cebu and the boundaries of the Philippines. In her career, she has planned dinners for visiting dignitaries and heads of state, including the king and queen of Malaysia.


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