How does a quality Filipino resto stand the test of time? | Lifestyle.INQ

How does a quality Filipino resto stand the test of time?

Garnering a loyal following from customers and securing the stamp of approval from Manila’s elite and even dignitaries, it seems that Via Mare has a secret sauce to secure its place in the Philippines’ gastronomic history.

But it turns out, there was no secret after all.

Talking to INQUIRER.net on the occasion of its 40th anniversary, Via Mare President and Chief Executive Officer Glenda Barretto shared how being innovative, consistent and ensuring topnotch quality of dishes that they serve has made the restaurant a beloved household name.

She said that she is lucky to have staff members who have imbibed the values that she taught them.

“We try to inculcate a culture of quality in everything we do: from the service, to the tableware, to the food and to the presentation. I am very passionate about that. I guess it rubbed off on them,” Barretto said.

Barretto, who has been at the helm of Via Mare since its inception in September 1975, recalled how former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte representative Imelda Marcos has become instrumental in their growth as they are always tapped when the Marcoses host state dinners at the Malacanang Palace.

“Mrs. Marcos, upon seeing what I do, and by her influence, began serving Filipino food during state dinners. She said: ‘Let us just refine our Filipino food and the next time we have a state dinner, we will serve Filipino food.’ She always wanted the best of Filipino cuisine,” she said.

Meanwhile, Barretto also offered a few words of wisdom to aspiring restaurateurs.

“Work hard. Be consistent. Always maintain the quality (of your food),” she said.

She emphasized that one should not lose the drive to keep one’s business afloat.

“You cannot get sick, you cannot get tired. You just have to do it. You should have the drive,” the acclaimed and multiawarded chef added. AJH