The Cebu chapter of La Chaine des Rotisseurs held a fellowship night at the ballroom of the Cebu Grand Convention Center. An informal event, the dress code was blue jeans and white tops.
This was decreed by Baili de Cebu Amparito Llamas Lhuillier. She explained the absence of Michel Lhuillier, Baili delegue of La Chaine for the Philippines, as he was not feeling well.
Hosts were Winglip Chang and his lovely wife Pinky, who had thought of every detail. Substantial canapes were served during the cocktail hour along with chilled Italian Prosecco, and very fine red and white wines.
Up on a dais to welcome everyone before dinner were Amparito with Winglip as well as the rest of the officers present: Dr. Vivina Yrastorza, Teresin Mendezona, Dr. Nestor Alonso and Dave Sharpe.
It was free seating, and dinner was served buffet style. There was a pasta station that was like a magnet for almost everyone. Rating superlatives were the entrées like salt crusted salmon, grilled prawns, filets of Peking duck and juicy Black Angus Prime Rib Roast.
Paquito and Zenaida Chua sat with Amparito along with Cebu Marco Polo Hotel’s general manager Julie Najar, resident manager Xavier Masson and executive chef Stefano Verrillo.
At Teresin’s table were Glenn and Honey Loop, Irma Atillo, Margie Taylor, Elvira Luym, Marissa Fernan and Victoria Hermosisima. Angie Mathieu was escorted by her son Mickey Paulson.
At Dave Sharpe’s table sat his wife Joy, Stephanie Sharpe, Michael Sharpe, Jean Marc Pasquet, Dean Pasquet and Kimberly Maitland-Smith. Also present: Frances and Erwin Siao, Stella Bernabe, Mariter Klepp and Plantation Bay’s Efren Belarmino.
At the end of the evening, the officers went up the dais once more with Amparito congratulating Winglip for a truly wonderful gastronomic experience. Asked to collect a plaque was manager Ramon Rose Lim, followed by the chefs, the kitchen brigade and the service staff.
Next event for La Chaine in Cebu will be the anniversary gala on Dec. 10 at the grand ballroom of the Cebu City Marriott Hotel. For this, formal attire is requested: long gowns for the ladies, dark suits for the men.
The menu will have an Indian theme, said general manager Patrick Carroll at a meeting with Amparito, Teresin, Vivina and Nestor. Also present were public relations officer Nico Velasquez and Lyle Kelvin Cajayon, the food-and-beverage manager who did a PowerPoint presentation about the exotic food.
For the occasion, the Marriott is bringing in Indian chef Alam Singh who is the banquet chief at the Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit. He was in Cebu a year ago for an Indian food festival at the Cebu Marriott.
Chef Alam Singh brings with him 15 years of cooking experience. He will be in Cebu a week before the gala, for the food tasting on Dec. 4. How does one prepare Indian food without being overly spicy? That will be answered by Chef Alam when he comes.
Speaking of the Cebu Marriott, they offer a fantastic breakfast buffet. Knowing this on a recent trip to Cebu, Ingrid Sala Santamaria asked a friend to join her for breakfast there on a Monday morning at 8 o’clock.
Ingrid discussed her coming performances in Cebu on Nov. 21 and 22 at the Temple of Leah up in the hills of Busay overlooking Cebu City. She will be piano soloist in the 2nd and 3rd movements of the “Emperor Concerto” by Beethoven, with the Visayan Symphony Orchestra. Conducting will be Korean maestro Juliet Kim with professor Reynaldo Abellana as concert master.
“But there’s something else I’d like to discuss,” she said. “I have another book to launch.” A year ago, Ingrid presented a book she had titled “My Four Seasons,” which covers her career as a concert pianist for six decades.
Now, Ingrid has prepared another book, this time a precious documentation of her Romantic Piano Concertos Journey Tours with professor Reynaldo Reyes from January 2001 to August 2015. Together they gave some 400 concerts all over the Philippines and in key cities of the United States and Southeast Asia.
Her dear friend Dr. Amor Hernando edited the book which has 250 pages and contains more than 800 photos in color. “Where and when do you think we can launch the book?” she asked her friend.
At that moment, with the query dangling in the air, Frances Alfafara, the hotel’s marketing communications director, appeared with Nico Velasquez in tow. She said, “The staff alerted us there was a VIP at the breakfast buffet.”
Ingrid explained the reason why she was there. Frances and Nico said, “You must have the launch here at the Marriott. It will be a great honor and a great pleasure for us.”
And so it was agreed. It will be a small gathering of Ingrid’s media friends on Nov. 24 at 10:30 a.m., at the Cebu Marriott’s Luxury Suite. Just as with last year’s book, this one will include a compact disc of Ingrid playing those romantic era concertos.
“Please stay on,” Frances and Nico convinced Ingrid, “at least until Nov. 26 for our Christmas tree lighting ceremony. And besides, that falls on Thanksgiving Day.”
After the book is launched, Ingrid will start preparing a third one which she plans to launch a year from now. This will be all about the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra which resulted from the 1991 music development program initiated by the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation.